What does LGBTQ mean? Each Letter Explained

The LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) has a huge spectrum of sexual orientations and gender identities that fail to be represented in just four letters.

With the introduction of LGBTQ, there is a better representation of Queers and people in Questioning present in the community. Even though the abbreviations might be a lot to take in at first, since every letter has a different meaning, it is quite easy to remember once you know the meaning of smaller acronyms.

A record 5.6% of US adults identify as LGBTQ, a poll shows.

What does LGBTQ Stand For?

LGBTQ is an acronym that directly stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, or Questioning.

The term LGBTQ is essentially just an extension of the original term for LGBT, thus, it shares most of its abbreviations with it. The longer-term was introduced to make Queers and people who were Questioning, feel supported in the community.

LGBTQIA+ has 5 categories that represent sexual orientation and 1 which is related to gender identity.

Below I will list out and explain the various sexual orientations and identities that are under LGBTQ.

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Sexual Orientation: 

Sexual preference towards specific or multiple genders is known as Sexual Orientation. It identifies a person’s romantic or sexual attraction to the same or another gender. Some people may have no sexual preferences at all. 

Here are the categories of sexual orientation that have been mentioned under LGBTQ

  1. Lesbian – A woman who is identified by her sexual attraction towards other women and not any other gender.
  2. Gay –  A man who is identified by his sexual attraction towards other men and not any other gender.
  3. Bisexual – Individuals who are romantically or physically attracted to both genders of men and women. Modern bisexuals state that it can be an attraction towards two genders or more.
  4. Questioning – People who are in Questioning are sceptical towards their romantic interests in individuals from other genders. Individuals can be confused if they’re straight and often question their sexuality. Some straight people openly accept that they like exploring their sexuality as they are unsure as to which gender they are attracted to.  
  5. Queer – Queers are people who do not wish to identify themselves as the same tagline that society recognizes them as. They usually refer to themselves as they/them indicating that they do not want to conform to any specific gender. Keep in mind that queers can be bisexual, straight, trans, gay or lesbian.

Gender Identities 

An individual’s ability to have a certain perception of their gender is called gender identity. Gender identities are different from sex or gender as they are not people are assigned at birth but which gender they ‘identify’ themselves to be as. For instance, people who are a different gender from the one which they were born in are called transgender while people who characterize themselves as the same gender are called cisgender.

  1. Transgender – People who are assigned a specific gender at birth but identify themselves as another gender. Transgenders usually wish to live the lifestyle and imitate the characteristics of another gender that they refer to.

LGBTQ Meaning of Each Letter

L – Lesbian

G – Gay

B – Bisexual 

T – Transgender

Q – Queer/Questioning

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