the coloring is blaah

I think a common misconception of people who aren’t familiar with the LGBT+ community is similar to people who look at a rainbow and only see seven colors. Like, “hey, dude, a lot of pretty colors here–but I can recite them all from memory, y'know? There’s a handy acronym and everything. It’s a kindergarten-level breakdown.”

They can say the same thing about the community: “I get it! You can be gay! Or lesbian! Or bisexual! Pansexual! Asexual! Aromantic! Transgender! You are a letter, and you make sense to me when you’re broken down this way.” Which, cool, good start to acceptance. Except.

The reality is, yeah, you see seven colors at first glance–but then you start to realize there isn’t just one shade of red. Or orange. Or blue, or green. You start to realize just how many variants there are of each and every color…and some of those variants look very similar, and some are crazy different–but sky blue, denim, and turquoise can all still be called blue, y'know? The deal is the same with LGBT+ folks. You may technically fit under one (or more) of the umbrella terms…but in the end, you are your own individual human being. You are your own particular color. You can’t be pinned and labeled and made into an acronym. People are too complicated for acronyms.

I really do think we put too much stock in the umbrella and not enough in the human aspect. Which is not to say the umbrella isn’t a good, solid construct for forming your identity; it’s certainly a useful starting block. It’s how a lot of LGBT+ folks start figuring out how they fit with the world, what lens they’re seeing through. And that’s excellent. But at the end of the day, I hope the thing you identify most wholly as is “me”, because no matter what that word means to you, you are legitimate. You don’t have to jam into one box to belong. You’re still part of the rainbow community, no matter how many of those colors apply to you, no matter how you wear that identity. And you are still so much more than one of seven clearly-labeled colors.

ROYGBIV just isn’t enough, man. I think it’s important not to lose sight of that.