Professor Hardenberg: Tetsu…
Professor Hardenberg: Tetsu!
Tetsu: Aaaah! W-what? Oh, it’s you, Professor… Bikkuri shita… Don’t startle me like this, it’s bad for my heart! I thought you were Master Bangloss…
Professor Hardenberg: Bangloss?! How could you mistake me for that pipsqueak of a charlatan?!
Tetsu: Uwaaah! P-please, Professor, don’t be so loud, he might be nearby… Soreyori, you want something?
Professor Hardenberg: Hmm, right. Tetsu, do you know what LGBT stands for?
Tetsu: I do! "G" stands for “gay” – I know because I’m gay!
Professor Hardenberg: Yes, yes, everyone’s aware of your preferences. And other letters?
Tetsu: Mmmm… "L" stands for… “lazy”? Master Bangloss always nags me for being lazy…
Professor Hardenberg: What?! Oh, goodness… LGBT: Lazy and Gay Bumpkin Tetsu. No, it’s not what it means!
Tetsu: Ugh... G-gomen nasai…
Professor Hardenberg: Well, it seems I need to educate you about the terminology, or you’ll keep embarrassing yourself and your own community. Now, sit here and…
Tetsu: Suru na, Professor! I wanna play Final Fantasy-y-y-y! I haven’t done my daily quest yet! Uwaaaaa—
Professor Hardenberg: Stop wailing. And listen.
Professor Hardenberg: Ahem. Okay. To put it in simple words, LGBT is an abbreviation for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. Lesbians are homosexual women, gays are homosexual men, bisexuals are those who swing both ways and transgenders are folks whose gender identity flips (sort of "men in woman bodies" and "women in man bodies"). Got it?
Professor Hardenberg: Good. Now, it becomes a bit more complicated. What do we use this abbreviation for? We use it to designate the community of people who identify themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. The community is built on the principles of inclusiveness and respect (which means it doesn't label people, but rather listens to them and asks them how they identify themselves). Since the community is inclusive, it's constantly grows; and since not all the folks who join the community identify themselves within these four main categories, the abbreviation LGBT is expanding as well, acquiring... ahem, new letters.
Tetsu: MOAR LETTERS?! Uso!
Professor Hardenberg: Yes. More letters. First comes the letter "Q", which stands for, erm... "queer" and "questioning".
Professor Hardenberg: Well, as I said—
Tetsu: So what is it? Queer or questioning?
Professor Hardenberg: Both.
Professor Hardenberg: Well, AS I'VE JUST SAID... Tetsu! Are you listening?
Professor Hardenberg: Now, now... Don't squint so hard. Relax.
Professor Hardenberg: Oh, goodness... Okay, I'll explain. As I said, the community doesn't label people, but listens to them. So if a lot of folks identify themselves as "queer" or start to "question" their sexual orientation or gender identity, the community should add the letter Q to the abbreviation, which becomes LGBTQ.
Tetsu: Ugh... It's very queer, you know...
Professor Hardenberg: Well...
Tetsu: And questionable.
Professor Hardenberg: QUESTIONING. Anyway, what is important is that both queers and questioning folks think that "Q" is specifically about them, so everyone is happy.
Tetsu: Ah! Naruhodo. Now it all makes sense!
Professor Hardenberg: Indeed. And here comes the next letter, the letter "I", which stands for "intersex". This is an astonishing biological phenomenon, when the biological sex of an individual cannot be determined at birth because of variations in the person's chromosomes, gonads, hormonal status and genitals. The mechanism of this—
Tetsu: AAAAAAAH! Yada! Stoppu, Professor, stoppu! Jeez... My head is spinning already! How long are you going to lecture me? Are there more letters?
Professor Hardenberg: Ah, erm... yes. Sorry, Tetsu, I became a bit enthusiastic earlier.
Tetsu: IT'S NOT A BIT!
Professor Hardenberg: Haha. Well, don't worry, there is only one letter left. The letter "A". It stands for—
Tetsu: Bah! I've figured it out already! It's stands for "answering", right? It's for those "questioning folks" who start to answer the questions that they asked themselves earlier. Hehehe, I'm smart, am I not?
Professor Hardenberg: Erm... Yes, Tetsu, you are very, very smart. But I am afraid "A" is not what you think it is.
Professor Hardenberg: No. "A" stands for "allies", families and friends of LGBTQI folks – very nice people willing to join the community and support those whom they love.
Tetsu: It's very nice, indeed.
Professor Hardenberg: Aye (Hmm... It's better not to mention that "A" may also stand for "asexual". Tetsu's head will explode). Now, Tetsu, I have a question for you. Although the terminology that we've just discussed is widespread, it can't be considered scientific. Why?
Tetsu: Eh? Wha... JODAN JA NAI, PROFESSOR! Are you going to torture me for the rest of the day? You know perfectly well I've no clue— Ahhhhh! Wakatta! I've got it! Hehehe... Yeah, must be it.
Professor Hardenberg: Oh? You look pretty smug. So? What is it?
Tetsu: Hehehehe... It's bad for science because you, science guys, always stutter when you try to pronounce—
Professor Hardenberg: WE DON'T STUTTER!
Tetsu: Honto? You don't? Say it quickly three times then. L-G-B-T-Q-I-A. Ne? Say it, say it!
Professor Hardenberg: LGBTQIA, LGTBQAI, LB... Blimey!
Tetsu: AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Yappari! You stuttered!
Professor Hardenberg: Doh! It's, indeed, a bit too long and difficult to pronounce. (Well... maybe not a bit... Darn! Way too long, actually. I wonder why LGBTQIA folks don't start using some nice synonym for themselves? Like... "rainbow community"? Would make things so much easier.)
Professor Hardenberg: Hmm? Ah! Yes, Tetsu, you are right. This abbreviation is a bit too long. By the way, this is exactly why some people truncate it to LGBT+. Keep it brief and neat, right? Hahaha.
Tetsu: LGBT+? "Brief and neat"? Is this your idea of "brief and neat", Professor?
Professor Hardenberg: Now, now, Tetsu, don't be grumpy. You still haven't answered my question. So? What's your answer?
Professor Hardenberg: Hmm... I see you are starting to pout. Okay, lets continue this conversation later. You may go and play.
Tetsu: Honto?! Yaaay! Arigatou, Professor! Ja ne.
Professor Hardenberg: See you tomorrow, Te... Heh, he's already gone.
つずく (To be continued…)