What Does LGBTQIA+ Mean? Explained

The ever-growing LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) community has been diversifying its group so that it can become as inclusive as possible for the people under the big umbrella of the community. 

This means that bigger and better terms that encompass the diversity of the spectrum of LGBTQ are being introduced every day. While LGBT or LGBTQ are probably the most common and shortest ones that are used on a regular basis, there are several modifications that are being brought out every day.

LGBTQIA+ is an acronym that directly stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning, Intersex, Asexual and the + denotes all other non-heterosexual people that can be covered. 

Meaning of LGBTQIA+

Since LGBTQIA+ is essentially just an extension of the original term for LGBT, it shares most of its abbreviations with it. However, the longer expression makes the community feel more inclusive to even those who are not represented in the acronym itself.

As explained before, the word + is an umbrella that can cover all the other existing and new sexual orientations or gender identities. LGBTQIA+ has 5 categories that represent sexual orientation and 2 which are related to gender identity.

Below I will list out the various sexual orientations and identities that are covered under LGBTQIA+ and give a brief explanation about what they are:

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Sexual Orientation: 

The word Sexual Orientation depicts a person’s romantic or sexual attraction to a gender of the same sex or otherwise. Here are the categories of sexual orientation that have been mentioned under LGBTQIA+

  1. Lesbian – A homosexual woman who is not sexually attracted to men. Lesbians are only attracted to other women and no other gender. 
  2. Gay – A homosexual man who is not sexually attracted to other women. Gays are only attracted to men and not any other gender.
  3. Bisexual – People who are romantically attracted to both men and women or more than one gender.
  4. Questioning – People who are unsure of who they wish to form romantic connections with and are still exploring their tastes when it comes to gender attraction are in Questioning.
  5. Queer – People who do not consider themselves to be cisgender or heterosexuals and are attracted to a certain gender. Queers can be straight, gay or bisexual.
  6. Asexual – People who have no sexual desire. These individuals are not sexually attracted to any specific gender, however, they can form relationships or be interested in other people.

Gender Identities 

Gender Identity is the term used to define what an individual perceives to be their gender. People’s identities can correspond to the sex they were born or willingly change later on in life according to what they wish to identify themselves as. 

  1. Transgender – People who choose to change their gender identity later after birth. They willingly want to live the other gender’s lifestyle or have personality traits like the sex opposite to what they were born.
  2. Intersex – Individuals who are born with sex characteristics that may belong to both men and women. Persons who share genitals, chromosomes or gonads to both genders are known as Intersex.

LGBTQIA+ : Meaning of Each Letter

  • L – Lesbian
  • G – Gay
  • B – Bisexual
  • T – Transgender
  • Q – Queer or Questioning
  • I – Intersex
  • A – Asexual
  • + – Other non-heterosexual people

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