Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender are abbreviated as LGBT. The initialism, as well as some of its popular variations, has been in use since the 1990s and serves as a catch-all phrase for sexual orientation and gender identity.
The term LGBT is a shortened version of the initialism LGB, which started to take the place of the word gay in reference to the larger LGBT group in the middle the to late 1980s. When transgender persons are not included, the shorter word LGB is still used in place of LGBT.
Instead of referring only to those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender, it can also refer to anyone who is non-heterosexual or non-cisgender. For those who identify as queer or are unsure of their sexual or gender identity, a common version, LGBTQ, adds the letter Q to signify this inclusivity.
How Does Lgb Work?
- LGB is an acronym for lesbian, gay, and bisexual. These words signify:
- Lesbians are women who are romantically and sexually attracted to other women.
- Any person who is gay is attracted to the same gender.
- Bisexuals are persons who are attracted to both men and women sexually and romantically.
What Does LGBTQIA+ Mean When It Has a T?
The T in LGBTQIA+ can mean a number of things, but it usually refers to gender identification. Some words are no longer used or have significantly variable meanings based on the individual.
Anyone whose gender identity differs from the sex they were assigned at birth is referred to as trans.
Transsexual – a term that refers to a person who changes their sex through surgery or other medical procedures; not frequently used.
Someone who identifies as a gender other than the one listed on their birth certificate is said to be transgender.
What Exactly Is QIA?
The acronym QIA stands for queer, intersex, and asexual. These words signify:
When a person is examining their sexuality, gender identity, and gender expression, they are questioning.
As an all-encompassing word or as a distinctive way to celebrate defying social expectations, queer
Intersex is a term used to describe people who don’t conform to the traditional gender roles of either man or woman or who have reproductive systems that aren’t biologically normal.
Asexual – used to describe people who don’t feel romantic or sexual attraction in the traditional sense.
A Few Additional LGBTQ Terms
People are questioning social conventions related to relationships, sexuality, and gender identity in today’s culture. Other words to describe them were made or gained popularity because these individuals might not be gay.
- Short for asexual, ace
- Bi is an abbreviation for bisexual or bicurious.
- The abbreviation for “cisgender” is “cis” (a person who identifies as the gender they were assigned at birth)
- Being completely secretive about one’s sexual orientation or gender identity is the state of being “closeted.”
- Sharing one’s sexual orientation or gender identity with close friends and family is known as “coming out.”
- The term “fluid” refers to a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity as not being fixed or binary.
- Short for graysexual, gray-a
- Pan is the abbreviation for pansexual.
- per is a pronoun for those who do not identify as either male or female (short for person)
- The word “poly” is short for “polyamorous.”
Be Careful when Using Slang
It’s crucial to use these and any other slang you may have heard with tact. Even if a person who is not part of the LGBTQIA+ community means well, they may unintentionally offend someone by using one of these words. When in doubt about the use of these or any slang terminology, it is recommended to consult a member of the LGBTQIA+ community or a website like GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation).
The Acceptance Language
The ultimate aim of communication should be to learn how to communicate respectfully to and about people, or to educate your children on how to do so. Check out these resources for further details on gender identity language:
Knowledge of Gender Terms
- 42 Usable Gender-Neutral Phrases for Daily Use
- Why “They” Has Always Been Singular in Context