Over ten years ago, the only acronym L, G, B and T was used to increase inclusion and acceptance for the LGBTQIA+ community. The acronym was also used to be more forward towards inclusion, whilst representing the different elements of the so-called “gay community”. The letters refer to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender. However, more recently, additional letters have been added. Nowadays, LGBTQIA+ is the new acronym used to represent the LGBTQIA+ community, but what does it mean?
The LGBTQIA+ Meaning
L = Lesbian
G = Gay
B = Bisexual
T = Transgender
Q = Questioning or Queer
I = Intersex
A = Ally or Asexual
+ = Some people also tend to add a “+” at the end of the letters in order to be more inclusive to the wider communities.
LGB = Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual
So, LGB (Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual) refers to a persons sexuality. Whether they are attracted to the same-sex or are attracted to all genders, this first three letters identity. Transgender refers to someone who identifies as a gender different from that at birth.
Q = Questioning / Queer
The next letter is Q. This stands for either questioning or queer. Questioning refers to someone who is unsure of their sexuality or identity. They don’t identify as any of the previous 4 letters (LGBT), so instead Q is for them.
Alternatively, Q could mean queer. During the Stonewell times, Queer was an offensive name to call the gay community, however nowadays, the term has been reclaimed by typically the younger generation who don’t identify with traditional categories around gender identity and sexual orientation.
I = Intersex
With regards to I, according to the Intersex Society of North America, intersex is when a person is “born with a reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn’t seem to fit the typical definitions of female or male”. From research, experts believe that 0.05 to 1.7% of the world population are born with “intersex traits” For example, their genitals or reproductive organs are not considered ‘standard’.
A = Ally or Asexual
Last but not least, A. The final letter stands for Ally or Asexual. An ally is anyone who supports the LGBTQIA+ community. Support may be through education, promoting awareness, supporting LGBTQIA+ communities or attending Pride Events. Allies can be Heterosexual, Lesbian, Gay or Bisexual, it is not about their sexuality, identity or gender. Being an Ally is about support and acceptance.
Alternatively, asexual (or ace) is said to be someone who does not experience sexual attraction to any gender. This is not to say that some asexual people do not have loving long term relationships, they just don’t want to have sex with their partner. That being said, some asexual’s are just happier on their own and they respond to attraction in a different way.
Why do we need Understanding?
It is always good practice to be aware and understand all aspects of sexuality and gender. This will ensure you are prepared socially for interacting with people who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, or any other part of the wider community. We strongly believe that education and awareness is key for acceptance.
The categorization of sexuality and identity is becoming more popular across the world. In a recent article by The New York Times, they highlighted a by-no-means inclusive list of vocabulary. These included Pansexual, Demisexual and Graysexual. It is highly likely even members of the Pride Community do not fully understand what every term means. However, this brings back to the point about education and awareness. By understanding someone’s sexuality and identity, you will be able to build and grow a better social relationship with them.
How we can Help @ Pride Events UK
At Pride Events, we pride ourselves on being inclusive and accepting all sexualities, identities and genders. We fully support Pride Organisers across the UK for their upcoming Pride Events.
If you are organising an event in your local area and would like us to be involved, contact us for more information. We offer sponsorship, marketing support, project management, publicity, contacts, as well as a wealth of experience.