If you’ve seen the letters LGBT and wonder what they mean we’ve got the answer for you.

What does LGBT stand for?

LGBT is the standard initialism for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community, there are often other letters added to it, including Q (Queer or Questioning) and I (Intersex). It was first grouped in this way during the 1990s.

Sometimes the letters are rearranged to have the G first, Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender. Some places, mainly in the USA, this initialism is more widely used. However, since the ’90s LGBT has become the standardised way of referring to the community after some activists decided that the “gay community” did not accurately reflect everybody who was in it. Q which stands for Questioning or Queer was added in 1996, although is not always used.

ALSO READ: What does the F in LGBTQIF stand for?

There has been much debate on whether more letters should be added, such as Q and I and A (Asexual). Some have suggested that trans and intersex should be grouped together under their own banner as they are gender-related and not sexuality related as LGB are. Although you can get LGB trans and intersex people. Q (Queer) is also problematic for some, as it doesn’t describe a sexuality more an ideology.

The word is also offensive to many in the community.

ALSO READ: What does the I in LGBTQI stand for?

Sexuality has often been defined as homosexual (same-sex attraction), bisexual (both-sex attraction), heterosexual (opposite-sex attraction) and Asexual (no sexual attraction).

Some people in the community find the term clunky and unworkable and a new initialism has been suggested GSM which stands for Gender and Sexual Minorities or GSD Gender and Sexual Diversity.

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In THEGAYUK editorially we use LGBT+ as described in our style guide to encompass a spectrum of other sexualities and gender identities.

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