Wikipedia talk:Categorization/Ethnicity, gender, religion and sexuality

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Issues with LGBT, LGBT people, and Queer categories[edit]

Current situation: Last year there was discussion about the scope of the Category:LGBT people. It was primarily between two users.

The current wording describing the category is as follows: LGBT stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender/Transsexual. Queer, pansexual and Radical Faeries are included in the LGBT concept.

Rest of current wording collapsed

This category groups articles on people,

  • who have come out to the general public as homosexual, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, Queer, pansexual or Radical Faerie, or, for historical figures, who are recognised thus by consensus of scholars in reliable sources,
  • and for whom, apart from the previous, LGBT is or was a significant part of their public life or notability.

Sexual or gender-related indetermination (e.g., asexuality, Klinefelter,...) is in itself not sufficient justification for inclusion in this category or its subcategories. Other subdivisions of Category:People by gender or Category:People by status might be more suitable in this case.

The content of each biography contained in this category or its subcategories should clarify how being LGBT is a significant part of the public life or notability of its subject, according to reliable published sources.

The problem: I recognize that having a clearly defined category for a contentious label is important, especially for BLPs. The category is clearly defined but with arbitrary boundaries that don't match common definitions. Of particular concern to me is the exclusion of asexual and intersex from this category's scope while terms like pansexual and radical faeries which are, respectively, rarely and never included in the definition of LGBT. Most sources include more than just gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender. They generally include asexual and intersex (see PFLAG, University of Michigan, UCLA, Berkeley, U of Wisconsin; GLAAD notes that it's an umbrella term, but does not specify beyond the literal acronym).

The problem seems to be deciding on what labels fall under the LGBT umbrella. If the intent is to be literal and narrow in scope, we should do so and only include identities that sources typically put in this category (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, and pansexual come to mind). However, I think the intent of the category is to be a large umbrella for all gender and sexual minorities judging by its parent and sub categories.

Note that this definition does not match the apparent definition used in its parent category, Category:LGBT. This internal inconsistency needs to be addressed as well.

Category trees: To show the scope of the issue and extensity of the categories.

Category tree for LGBT
LGBT(33 C, 29 P)
Category tree for Queer
Queer(9 C, 47 P)
Category tree for LGBT people
LGBT people(15 C, 1 P)
Category tree for Queer people
Queer people(5 C, 2 P)


Proposed remedies: There are two solutions I see to this problem.

First, we could just allow the definition of Category:LGBT people match that of Category:LGBT and widen its scope. However there would still be issues with clearly defined categories. Because of this, I'm less in favor of this idea and prefer a second option.

The second option would be a wider change. I propose moving Category:Queer to be a parent cat of LGBT per definitions at PFLAG, U of Michigan, UC Berkeley, U of Wisconsin, and the definitions given on the article Queer. I will note that "queer" is still not preferred by some, as is noted by GLAAD, however this seems to be a minority opinion among sources. (Note, I would be happy to find more sources to support this position if desired. I felt this was sufficient to show the general definition of the term though).

In doing so, I propose we make LGBT more narrow and limit it to the identities sources often use. (The exact scope can be determined in discussion). This would apply to Category:Queer people and Category:LGBT people as well.

Making "queer" the parent category would allow identities often not explicitly included in LGBT to be under the same umbrella. To complement a more narrow, literal definition of LGBT, we could create a sub category like Category:Gender minority or Category:Queer gender identities that would include gender identities such as third gender, Two-spirit, radical faeries, and genderqueer (which includes many other identities). Pairing this with LGBT would cover all the possibilities. We could do the same for sexual identities like polysexuality and demisexuality. I will say upfront that I do not intend to include fetishes and kinks (e.g., furries or bdsm) as part of this category as they're not includes by sources.

I understand that the second option is a rather major reorganization of the categories and needs extensive discussion. I am not sure if an RfC would be appropriate or even a discussion on VP, but thought this was the best place to at least start. Though I think the current situation is a problem and I would like to see this remedied in some way or another, I am not strongly wedded to this particular proposal. I am very open to suggestions and compromise here. Cheers. For transparency, I have posted neutral notices of this discussion on the four linked category pages and on WT:LGBT. EvergreenFir (talk) Please {{re}} 01:15, 23 August 2015 (UTC)

The problem is that queer remains a controversial term; while it's certainly used by some people as an umbrella term for all sexual and gender identities that fall outside of the umbrella of conventional cisgender heterosexuality, and is certainly some people's own identity label of choice, it is not accepted by many LGBT people due to its past pejorative connotations. So we simply can't use it as the all-encompassing umbrella term for all sexual or gender variant people, because it's not a neutral terminology.
"Radical faeries", by the way, isn't a sexual identity label that supplants identifying as gay or bisexual or pansexual or whatever — it's a subculture within the gay male community, with which some people identify in the same manner as "bears" or "twinks" or other affiliative subgroups within gay male identity. It's a group that some people belong to, but it's not an identity label in the sense that terms such as "gay", "bisexual" or "lesbian" are. Bearcat (talk) 02:11, 23 August 2015 (UTC)
To the best of my understanding, sources say it's generally accepted. Not sure "most" is accurate. If that's the case, NPOV suggests that it would be the neutral term. As for radical faeries, yes, you are right that it's not an identity label... not sure where that particular one would belong. EvergreenFir (talk) Please {{re}} 02:38, 23 August 2015 (UTC)
While the sources you offered certainly confirm that the "umbrella term for all people of sexual or gender difference" usage of queer exists, none of them confirms that it's generally accepted as the normative or standard term for what it refers to. It's a usage that exists among some of the people it covers, but is rejected by many of the people who are technically covered by it. It's a usage that we can only apply to people who can be explicitly sourced as using it for themselves, and cannot apply to anybody who cannot be sourced as specifically identifying with that exact word itself. And I'm saying this as somebody who likes the word, and wishes it would become the norm — but it just isn't accepted widely enough to be used as the normative term. Bearcat (talk) 05:33, 23 August 2015 (UTC)
@Bearcat: any ideas on how to fix the categorization problem them? Shall we widen LGBT to be the umbrella term? EvergreenFir (talk) Please {{re}} 20:53, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
I disagree with the premise that pansexuals/omnisexuals/metasexuals/"just sexuals" aren't normally included within the overall "LGBT+" everchanging banner (the definition of which is not the sole province of GLAAD or any other particular group, and I say that having worked closely for several years with a former activism director of GLAAD, whom I respect a lot). And it really does change, sometimes a lot; the inclusion of "B" at all was a huge debate that has happened within my adult lifetime, and has still not met with full acceptance even within the GLBT... (or however you like to spell it) Welstanschauung. At least as late as the early 2000s, friends of mine were printing up "This is offensive to bisexuals" sticker to stick on things at the SF Pride march, the Folsom Street Fair, etc., that only mentioned GLT, and I'd be somewhat surprised if they're not still doing so in 2015. Radical faeries are obviously within the "queer" gambit, but they are not a sexual orientation, being a spiritual affinity group, and do not need to be specifically mentioned as part of the categorization scheme, any more than another religious+sexuality group. I do agree that self-defined asexuals are being included of late (not without controversy), as are people who self-identify as intergender/intersex/agender/mixed gender/etc. But "intersex" also has a medical definition that doesn't necessarily always relate, and which may require detailed medical exams to even identify. I.e., GLAAD or whoever has no more right to assign an overinclusive GLBT+ label to a medically intersex person who self-identifies as male, or as female, as some religious group would have to define a transwoman with the label "male". Not everyone whose parts are unusual wants an "ally" in the GLBTTAwhatever scene, and association with it may be seen as harmful by some of them.

Tread carefully and do not overgeneralize. It must be clear that these categories should not include living persons who do not self-ID as belonging to them. I know from direct experience with some of them that some self-identifying non-sexuals or "asexuals" (another word with an even more unrelated meaning in biology) strongly resist any association with TLGB. And not all transgender people appreciate this conglomerating association, either. I know a transwoman who considers herself a heterosexual woman who was born with some parts external that should have been internal, and does not think of herself as "queer" at all, but is simply quietly living as a normal woman. Plenty of cross-dressers do not consider themselves part of the BLTGetc. community, either. Short version: Not everyone is riding a rainbow float, and WP needs to stop trying to force them onboard. PS: I say that as a SF Pride safety monitor; I have no soapbox, but I do have concerns about the shouting that is so often done from them by would-be allies who don't really know what they're talking about and who want to forcibly categorize everyone a certain way that suits one particular socio-political activism viewpoint. It's good that groups like GLAAD exist to raise awareness against discrimination, but their fans do not get to tell other people who and what they are. Categorization can be dangerous, and we need to be extra mindful of that at WP:CATEGRS. Remember that in some cultures people can be imprisoned or executed for homosexuality or suspicions relating to it. Not even just in the places you are imagining, either. Did you know that crossdressers were rounded up and imprisoned in Athens just a few years ago? Etc.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  23:06, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

@SMcCandlish: Our personal opinions political issues aside, the current categorizaiton scheme is broken. We need to fix it somehow. I offered two ideas and am open to others. EvergreenFir (talk) Please {{re}} 01:10, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
The problem with "queer" may be that it's only a "reclaimed" word to an extent, as a self-label, and is still used as a slur sometimes by others, though less so over time. Not sure how people will feel about that. Even if "LGBT" isn't ideal either. One likely solution is to stop lumping together LGBT. Organizations like GLAAD do so because the discrimination issues are related, but that doesn't mean they're identical matters otherwise. One's gender self-identity and one's sexual orientation are not necessarily closely related. If transgender were separated from the orientation cluster, that would probably help.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  01:28, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

Are "African American" categories supported by sources and policy?[edit]

Opinions are needed on the following matter: Talk:Mariah Carey#RfC: Are "African American" categories supported by sources and policy?. A WP:Permalink for it is here. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 22:50, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

Commons Category[edit]

A perannular brooch, being worn as part of reconstructed historical Norse men's clothing; see also these museum waxsworks.

Could someone please sort out Commons:Category:Penannular_brooches, specifically the subcategory "Females with penannualar brooches"? Apart from the silliness of categorizing objects by the gender of the user, men also wear them, for instance in highland dress. HLHJ (talk) 14:57, 6 December 2015 (UTC)

You'd have to list that for discussion on Commons, through the process that pertains to discussion or deletion of image categories on Commons. This policy document only pertains to categorization of biographical articles about people on en:, and has no bearing on the validity or invalidity of Commons categories for images. Bearcat (talk) 20:33, 6 December 2015 (UTC)

"Haitian" versus "African-American" ?[edit]

There is a BLP article (stub) that currently has the following two categories:

  • Category:African-American male rappers
  • Category:American rappers of Haitian descent

While there is no dispute on the 2nd category (his mother moved here from Haiti) my question is about the 1st category which was recently changed by another editor from American male rappers. While the person is black in appearance I am not sure if it is appropriate to say black people of "Haitian descent" are automatically "African-American".

Help? Koala Tea Of Mercy (KTOM's Articulations & Invigilations) 07:39, 2 May 2016 (UTC)

This is a tricky one, which I'll preface with the caveat that I'm a Canadian. In the Canadian context, where our "black" population is very predominantly Caribbean, it is considered objectively incorrect to describe a person of Caribbean heritage as "African-Canadian" — the distinction between "African-Canadian" and "Caribbean-Canadian" carries a lot of weight in Canadian culture, such that Black Canadian is still the standard umbrella term up here even while "Black American" has been deprecated as not standard anymore south of the 49th parallel. In the United States, however, I don't believe anything like the same distinction is observed — "African American" seems, as far as I can tell, to be accepted as the standard term for all "black" Americans regardless of the African vs. Caribbean distinction. So I agree that the "African-American" category isn't ideal — but it is appropriate and necesssary to keep the rapper in question filed in a "black" category context, and per US cultural terminology I'm not sure what other alternative is available. Bearcat (talk) 15:58, 2 May 2016 (UTC)

Mention of bipolar disorder in biography articles[edit]

Opinions are needed on the following matter: Wikipedia talk:Biographies of living persons#Bipolar disorder. A WP:Permalink for it is here. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 04:02, 25 May 2016 (UTC)