Transcending the Acronym: Genders, Sexes, Sexualities, and Gender Identities Beyond “LGBT”

deadline for submissions: 
January 31, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
Leland G. Spencer
contact email: 

Special Issue: Women & LanguageGuest Editor: Leland G. Spencer, Miami University Transcending the Acronym: Genders, Sexes, Sexualities, and Gender Identities Beyond “LGBT” Article Deadline: January 31, 2018

Critical studies of gender, sex, sexuality, and gender identity have many goals, and certainly one includes the effort to trouble, interrogate, and upend binaries, dichotomies, and rigid categories—and the naturalization thereof. Despite these underlying theoretical commitments many of us share, research about sexuality and gender identity often subtly reinscribes many of the categories and even binaries it purports to disavow. The ubiquitous initialism LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender), sometimes extended to become more inclusive by adding a Q for “queer” or “questioning” or an A for “ally” or “asexual,” often obscures as much as it clarifies. For instance, the acronym problematically conflates gender identity and sexuality, leading to dubious conclusions in articles that claim to report results about “LGBT” people but have actually only surveyed cisgender gay and lesbian people. The acronym also leaves out a range of sexualities and gender identities, and the ones it represents overemphasize colonized, Western, and White understandings of sexuality and gender identity.

Thus, this special issue invites articles that explore identities and expressions of gender, sex, sexuality, and gender identity not typically contained in the acronym, including analyses that interrogate the acronym and its hegemony as such. Potential topics include but are not limited to:

  • pansexuality,
  • asexuality,
  • skoliosexuality,
  • agender,
  • genderqueer,
  • quare,
  • intersex,
  • two spirit,
  • polyamory,
  • third gender,
  • gender fluidity,
  • and many more.

All types of original research are welcome, including but not limited to: quantitative, qualitative, rhetorical, critical, theoretical, historical, performative, creative/artistic, and autoethnographic. Contributions that consider intersections of various axes of difference are especially encouraged, as are articles that consider non-Western understandings of gender, sex, sexuality, and gender identity. Articles may have any of the following goals (again, not an exhaustive list): 

  • definition and theorization of terms,
  • offering histories and best practices for language use,
  • analysis of experiences of persons at particular social locations,
  • criticism of portrayals or representations in media,
  • theoretically informed analysis of personal experiences,
  • social movement criticism,
  • or examination of the influence of social institutions such as education, statist violence, religion, workplaces and the economy, or healthcare practices.

Articles should follow the general guidelines for manuscripts to be submitted to Women & Language but should be submitted by email to Dr. Leland G. Spencer, spencelg@miamioh.edu. Inquiries about the issue may be sent to the same email address. 

Article deadline: January 31, 2018 

A PDF version of this call may be downloaded at: https://tinyurl.com/WL-Call-LGS