As we bear witness to the widespread protests around the United States and around the world in response to the police murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and many others, we remember that Pride itself began as a riot, and it was these demonstrations led by Black trans women that created the many social, political, and material changes that LGBTQ+ people benefit from today. Through both the COVID-19 pandemic and the uprising in protest of racist violence in the United States, we as linguists should ask ourselves: how can our work and involvement in our communities support Black scholars and communities and challenge the systems of oppression in academia and in the world? The LSA’s Committee on LGBTQ+ Issues in Linguistics (COZIL) wants to reaffirm the LSA’s message in its Statement on Racial Justice, and we are excited to continue sharing and uplifting the innovative and insightful work done by LGBTQ+ linguists in our community, this month and beyond, especially from LGBTQ+ scholars of color.

What has COZIL been up to this year?

This past year, COZIL hosted a workshop at the LSA institute at UC Davis on "Advancing LGBTQ+ Issues in Linguistics and Beyond: Outreach and Advocacy" to discuss ways in which academic work, outreach, and advocacy can work together.


Lal Zimman and Tyler Kibbey

At the LSA’s annual meeting in January, COZIL co-sponsored two panels. The Towards an Intersectional Linguistics panel highlighted the history and importance of intersectionality in linguistics, and the Queer and Trans Digital Modalities panel highlighted the importance of queer online connections, which have become even more salient in the time of COVID.

Towards an Intersectional Linguistics:


Elaine Chun, DeAndre Miles Hercules, Jessi Grieser, Nick Mararac, Sarah Phillips

Queer and Trans Digital Modalities:


Chloe Brotherton, Lal Zimman, Will Hayworth, Bryce McLeary, Joel Jenkins, Archie Crowley

What is coming up for COZIL?

COZIL is celebrating this Pride month and beyond with a series of blog posts written by LSA members and LGBTQ+ linguists dealing with issues ranging from drag in the time of COVID, translation of nonbinary and gender inclusive language, issues facing trans linguists, and more! Keep an eye out for the upcoming posts from LSA members throughout the month.

COZIL is also developing a Summer/Fall webinar series to be hosted at various departments featuring work in queer dialectology, sociophonetics, and Lavender Languages and Lingusitics. Dates will be announced soon, so stay tuned for that!

If you want to become more involved with COZIL and our ongoing projects, please sign up for the listserv here. COZIL is committed to advancing the work and lives of LGBTQ+ linguists, and would love to hear your ideas as we work to better support our communities.

Happy Pride Month, and remember, the first Pride was a riot!*

 

Tyler Kibbey (Humboldt University) COZIL Chair

Archie Crowley (University of South Carolina) Incoming COZIL Chair

 

*In response to a comment with concerns that this language would incite violence in an already painful time in the United States, the authors would like to recognize that the LSA’s official statement “strongly supports the peaceful demonstrations” (emphasis ours). At the same time, we also want to maintain that the historical roots of Pride, and particularly the Stonewall Riots (read more here and here), were incredibly impactful for the lives of LGBTQ+ communities, and that forceful demonstration is a crucial part of queer and trans history.