The Affirm United Team has decided to use the term Queer community rather than LGBTQ+.

Here's why:

Queer is becoming more and more common in the community to describe one’s identity. There are a wide range of gender identity and sexual orientation options, and one person can identify as several or fluctuate between a few. Some are more widely recognized than others, and it’s awkward to need a full paragraph to explain one’s identity. Because it allows for wider variation, it’s becoming more common to just say “I’m queer.”

Proponents of LGBTQ+ will often say that queer has been used as a derogatory term. On the one hand, we believe that it has been widely reclaimed. On the other hand, any word can be used as an insult, depending on the intent with which it is spoken. While we invite you to use the word Queer respectfully to describe our community, we remind you that it will be taken in the spirit in which it is used.

Why not LGBTQ+ though? Well, some struggle with the “alphabet soup.” It’s hard to remember, hard to pronounce, and it keeps changing. New letters are added to try to include new groups of people, but in the end there are so many varieties of gender and sexual orientation identity that it’s an impossible task to include them all in an acronym. Therefore the + is added… but it doesn’t necessarily feel inclusive to everyone when one’s identity is all indicated by the + or the letters in the acronym only touch side aspects of it (for example, there’s no letter for gender neutral, non-binary, pansexual, demisexual, etc). Furthermore, in the community, LGBTQ has been used by some to exclude certain groups (for example asexuals or non-binary people).

So while some in the community still use LGBTQ+ or a version of the acronym, we have chosen to use Queer, in the interest of including all ranges of gender identity and sexual orientations, the Affirm United Team will use the term Queer community, and invite you to do so as well.