The Definition of MOGAI



Marginalized Orientations, Gender identities, And Intersex. it’s meant to be an all inclusive umbrella term for asexuals, homosexuals, multisexuals, trans people, and intersex people. Alternative to LGBTQIAP+


The Issue

As long as we live in this society — one born from a mix of cultures and genders all trying to improve a country theoretically founded on Puritan ideals — we’re going to need words for the “other.” Anyone deviating from a straight, white, cisgender, reasonably affluent white male is considered “other.” This single-viewpoint standard is (obviously) ridiculous, but we’re immersed in it. Some might say drowning.

Still, these “others” defying it by existing, creating, pushing, asserting their rights, and making us all talk about them. And as long as that’s the case, we need words.

Words for varying races, genders, sexual orientations, and other “deviations” change over time. Words commonly used as slurs get replaced as society evolves. Words that were intended to hurt get reclaimed. And sometimes, new words come in to common use through a genuine societal desire to be accepting and understanding. This is rare, but it happened in the case of “LGBT.”

LGBT, as you probably know, is “lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender.” It includes many people who have been historically maltreated based on a part of their core identity. It is the phrase that has been adopted up to and including politicians to describe certain collective communities. It’s a good start.

But LGBT isn’t enough.

People are DIVERSE. People experience gender, attraction, identity, and relationships in as many ways as there are individuals. While LGBT covers many of those people, it leaves out whole categories and completely ignores those who search their own identity and find a shade of grey.

Here’s a very short list of some people not automatically, denotatively included in “LGBT”: Asexuals, aromantics, people of non-binary gender, two-spirit, queer, questioning, pansexuals, panromantics…all kinds of different words that people feel match them best. And so “LGBT” became “LGTBQQIAA+”

“LGBTQQIAA+,” of course, has its own  problems. For one thing, it’s LONG. People started referring to it as “the alphabet soup.” For another, it still doesn’t include everyone.

The Proposed Solutions

I am (obviously) not the first person to reach for a better term than “LGBTQQIAA+.” To be perfectly frank, that is too many characters long for something I tweet about so much.

One possible solution is “QUILTBAG.” (QUILTBAG stands for “Queer/Questioning, Undecided, Intersex, Lesbian, Trans, Bisexual, Asexual, Gay/Genderqueer.”) While reasonably inclusive, this has its own troubles. For one, it’s still long, and the longer something is, the less likely it is to be assimilated into the language. For another, imagine a political candidate saying it; “Our friends in the QUILTBAG community…”

Some people have proposed “GSD” for “Gender and Sexual Diversities,” which is short and inclusive but also can lead to confusion. For one, it hasn’t achieved anything like common use, and for another, the acronym has other meanings (German Shepard Dog, “Gettin’ Shit Done,” etc.). Related short acronyms have been suggested, but most suffer from the same problem or questionable origins.

Finally, we come to “MOGAI.” Though Urban Dictionary gets it a bit wrong (“A” obviously stands not for “and” or “identities” but for “alignments,”) this acronym covers a very wide variety of people. It’s short, and it’s unlikely to be confused for anything else. It fits all the criteria.

MOGAI: Discussion

Sadly, though MOGAI was initially proposed by a someone with good intentions, it was co-opted by people trying to say that asexuals shouldn’t be included because some of them are “cishet.” This was totally inappropriate and a gross misinterpretation of both the term and asexuality itself.

Some opponents say that asexuals are not a marginalized identity.

In response to that, I dare them to try being an ace woman discussing it with an angry drunk dude, or trying to begin a romantic relationship while being honest that you just don’t feel “that way” about your potential partner. To be frank, it sucks sometimes.

Some say that because MOGAI does include people who are heteroromantic and/or cisgender, the term shouldn’t be used at all.

This is essentially an argument against inclusivity founded on the principle that some people aren’t “queer enough.” Heteroromantic and heterosexual are not the same thing. Not everybody is both.

Since all arguments against it seem to be based in this “queer enough” nonsense, many (myself included) have decided to adopt the term and consider it a step towards including all people who find that the standard molds for gender or sexual orientation don’t fit them.

So there it is, folks. MOGAI. We can use it as the inclusive solution, instead of a tool of exclusion. Let’s make it our own.

5 thoughts on “The Definition of MOGAI

  1. I’ve never heard MOGAI before but I definitely support a new shortened acronym. I thought I was the only one who found the current one a mouthful! And I agree with you that asexuality SHOULD be included. “Not queer enough?” Hogwash. Who gets to decide who’s enough and who isn’t? What are these mysterious measurements by which “enough” is determined? A lack of sexuality has just as strong an effect on identity as sexuality, especially since sexuality is considered the norm, making asexuality very much marginalized.


  2. I like this term a lot, and I have desperate need of it. I’m part of a monthly comics club, whose basic membership rule is “not white cis men.” They’ve already got plenty of room to play and decide with comics. I’m running “MOGWAI” past my club members. Thanks.


  3. I Appreciate this but it’s important to note that the I in MOGAI doesn’t stand for Identities but rather for Intersex, to be inclusive of our Intersex siblings. MOGAI is “Marginalized Orientations, Genders, And Intersex.” As Identities is already covered just fine under Orientations and Genders


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s