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What Does LGBTQ Stand For? A Brief History & Guide!



What Does LGBTQ Stand For

LGBTQ is an acronym that represents lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer. The first four letters of the acronym,’’ LGBTQ,’’ have been functional since the 1990s.

But recently, there has been a need for increased attention on the inclusion of other sexual identities to show better representation.

The acronym depicts various gender identities and sexualities and is directed to an individual with the same/similar gender attracted or transgender.

What Does The Q In LGBTQ? A brief history of LGBTQ!

LGBTQ history goes as far as the first documented instances of sexuality and same-sex love in ancient civilization. This involved the history of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender cultures and people worldwide.

A Brief History Of LGBTQ

LGBTQ has survived persecution which gave rise to secrecy, shame, and suppression over the centuries. In recent decades, LGBTQ has been interwoven and pursued into historical narratives.

Homosexual was the first widely used term, followed by Gay in the 1970s. When lesbians sought more public recognition, the phrase ‘’gay and lesbian’’ started becoming common. Over time, different communities have worked hard to build their own identity, including whether and how to align with sexuality-based communities and different gender.

LGBTQ artists and activists have developed signs to raise consciousness about the topic since the trend began. 

In 1988, activists started using the initialism LGBTQ in the United States. Not until the 1990s, within the movement, did the LGBTQ community start to gain equal respect as straight individuals.

What does each letter mean in LGBTQ?

In the LGBTQ community, different communities identify themselves with each letter. They include:

Letter ‘L’:

The letter L in LGBTQ stands for lesbian. A lesbian is a homosexual female whose basic romantic, emotional, and sexual orientation is toward people of the same gender. A lesbian is also a woman that is physically attracted to a fellow woman. A lesbian is attracted to lesbians, pansexual women, and bisexual women, among others. The letter L comes first because of the change that came with the surge of feminist ideas that began in the 80s and 90s.

Letter ‘G’:

The letter G in LGBTQ stangs for Gay. Gay describes individuals whose lasting romantic, physical, and emotional attractions are to people of the same sex. Gay is a phrase that refers to a homosexual individual or the quality of being homosexual. It can also pass as a scant usage that refers to male homosexuality.

Letter ‘B’:

The letter ‘B’ in LGBTQ stands for Bisexual. A bisexual individual is a person whose basic romantic, physical, and emotional attractions are to individuals of both genders. A bisexual person is attracted not exclusively to a particular gender. They are attracted to both genders, including men and women. At the same time, this offers a basic definition of bisexual individuals belonging to different groups. Each person perceives their sexual attraction differently.

Letter ‘T’:

The letter ‘T’ in LGBTQ stands for Transgender. A transgender individual connotes a person whose gender expression or gender identity differs from what is typically associated with the sex they were born with. Individuals who identify with the term ‘transgender’ can describe themselves using one or more different terms— including nonbinary or transgender.

A doctor administers most transgender or nonbinary individuals hormones/ hormonal drugs to bring their bodies into adjustment with their gender individuality. Some transgender people also undergo surgery. It is important to note that not all transgender or nonbinary people can or will want to go through all these steps. A transgender identity is not dependent upon medical procedures or physical appearance.

Letter ‘Q’:

The ‘Q’ in LGBTQ stands for Queer. When a person is referred to as queer, it represents individuals whose sexual orientation is not straight or heterosexual. The queer term includes people who possess gender-fluid, nonbinary, or ender-nonconforming identities. 

  • Questioning: Sometimes, when a letter ‘Q’ is noticed at the end of LGBT, it can furthermore mean questioning. This term explains an individual still questioning their gender identity or sexual orientation.

What is the meaning of the “Plus” symbol?

The plus symbol at the end of the LGBTQ represents members of the LGBTQ community who identify with a gender identity or sexual orientation that isn’t represented in the LGBTQ acronym. 

What is the meaning of the “Plus” symbol?

These other sexual identities include; 

  • Pansexual
  • Gender -fluid
  • Bi-curios.

Other sexual labels include intersex and agender orally or asexual.

  • Intersex: Intersex individuals are persons born with many sexual characteristics, including genitals, gonads, or chromosome patterns that do not fit typical binary notions of female or male bodies.
  • Asexual/Ally/Agender: Individuals recognized as asexual or ally encounter slight or no sexual interest in others. Asexual people, or “agender,” mostly identify someplace on a range that includes their spiritual, romantic, and emotional attraction to other people. 

Importance of The LGBTQ Community

The LGBT community is a community where all individuals who are not cisgender, i.e. being the gender assigned at birth and heterosexual, are welcomed. The LGBTQ community faces a lot of hatred, discrimination, and bullying. So, therefore, it is a community to feel satisfied as yourself. It is a community where individuals are different yet similar.

The LGBTQ community naturally celebrates sexuality, individuality, diversity, and pride. LGBTQ sociologists and activists witness the LGBTQ community-building as a counterweight to sexualism, biphobia, transphobia, homophobia, heterosexism, and conformist pressures in the larger civilized community. 


  • What are the commonly used acronyms and variations for LGBTQ?

L represents lesbian, G represents gay, B represents Bisexual and Q stands for Queer. These acronyms make up the term ‘LGBTQ’’. 

  • What is an AFGE Pride Ally?

An ally is someone who supports equality and rights for LGBTQ+ persons. AFGE Pride is a nationwide agenda planned to help the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning, and other sexualities within the pride community. 

  • Who is a two-spirit person?

A two-spirit person is a person whose gender identity varies from the sex on their birth certificate.

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