Labels, acronyms, gender pronouns, and symbols
LGBT or LGBTQIAABAACG
The initials LGBT stand for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender or transsexual are intended to emphasise inclusion and a diversity of sexuality and gender identity-based cultures. Or, to put it another way, anyone who is not straight (heterosexual).
The term LGBT is an update of LGB (lesbian, gay and bisexual) and usually the preferred term when referring to our community (though there is also disagreement by LGBT people about this). Before we were called gay, the term homosexual was, and to some extent still is, used. Before that, we called pansies, queers, and deviants, for example.
More recently, the letter 'Q' is sometimes added for those who identify as queer or those who are questioning their sexuality. People also define themselves as intersex or asexual so we need to add an 'I' and an 'A'.
This is perfectly understandable though we are running the risk of becoming LGBTQ, or LGBTQIA, or is it LGBTIQA? And what about our gay rights allies, should it then be LGBTQIAA? And how do we include those who define themselves as bigender, androgyne, agender, cisgender. and genderqueer.
Also, we should not forget that the LGBT+ community was devastated by the HIV and AIDS epidemic in the 1980s and 1990s and we are still vulnerable to HIV stigma, even in the 21st century; so, some see the plus at the end of LGBTQIA+ to signify support and acceptance of those who live with HIV.
Whatever you choose to use, the evolution of LGBT with all its colours of the rainbow is perhaps simply a reflection of the millions of people that make up our multi faceted community - some wanting, others demanding, inclusion.
There's no one fixed choice or single option and that's surely a good thing as our community changes and grows, "staying at the forefront of the unique diversity that lies within." *
LGBT Myths Debunked | BuzzFeedYellow | 14 Jun 2015 | 2m10s
16 LGBT Coming Out Secrets | Buzz Feed Yellow | 7 Jul 2014 | 1m59s
History of LGBT Characters at DC | DC Entertainment | 5 Jun 2015 | 7m16s
Moment Obama Heckled at LGBT Reception | BBC News | 25 Jun 2015 | 2m26s