Here’s Why Lea DeLaria Thinks We Should Use ‘Queer’ Instead Of ‘LGBT’

“Queer is everybody.”

Actress Lea DeLaria speaks onstage at the 61st Annual Obie Awards at Webster Hall on May 23, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Pont/Getty Images for American Theater Wing)

“Orange Is The New Black” star Lea DeLaria recently shared her feelings surrounding labels when it comes to people identifying along the spectrum of queer and trans identity.

Speaking to Pride Source, the out and outspoken actress said that she takes issue with the compartmentalizing of each identity in our community into one, lengthy acronym. Instead, DeLaria said that she prefers the word “queer.”

“This is the biggest issue we have in the queer community to date and will continue to be the biggest issue until we learn to accept our differences, and that’s the issue,” DeLaria told Pride Source. “And part of me believes that this inclusivity of calling us the LGBTQQTY-whatever-LMNOP tends to stress our differences. And that’s why I refuse to do it. I say queer. Queer is everybody.”

We tend to agree with DeLaira, which is why we changed our name from Gay Voices to Queer Voices in February 2016. We feel “queer” is simply the best, most inclusive and most empowering word that we have to describe the vast multitude of identities that navigate and identify with our community.

Thanks for speaking out about this, Lea!

The new season of “Orange Is The New Black” is slated to hit Netflix July 11.