It is an acronym that refers to a diverse range of gender and sexual identities present in our world today. Like the community, the LGBTQ+ acronyms and definitions are always growing and changing. This growth is indicative of the increasing inclusivity of variance of gender, sexuality, and identity within the community.
L – Lesbians: women who have relationships with women.
G – Gay refers to a man who is attracted to other men; this term is also used for anyone who is attracted to another person with the same gender identity.
B – Bisexual refers to a person who is attracted to both men and women.
T – Transsexual/Transgender refers to a person whose gender identity (the sense of gender that every person feels inside) or gender expression is different from the sex that was assigned to them at birth.
Q – Queer: An umbrella term sometimes used to refer to a person whose attraction and/or identity goes beyond the traditional definitions associated with sexual orientation and gender identity. Different people use this term to mean different things.
Questioning refers to a person who is questioning their sexual orientation or gender identity.
I – Intersex refers to a person whose sexual anatomy or chromosomes do not fit with the traditional markers of “female” or “male”.
A: Asexual (those who do not feel sexual attraction to any people).
P– Pansexual refers to a person who is sexually or emotionally attracted to people of any sex or gender identity.
No – Non-binary (no gender).
A – Ally: a person who identifies as straight but supports people in the LGBTQIAPN+ community.
2S – Two-Spirits: A tradition in many First Nations that considers sexual minorities to have both male and female spirits.
A – Asexual/Ace refers to a person who does not identify with any sexual orientation.
Some are historical terms that are coming back in vogue, others are words that were once disrespectful but are now in use again, and still, others are new to better signify the diversity within the queer community. The best-known LGBT acronyms were introduced in the mid-1980s to unify the community and move away from the often pejorative “gay” (among other terms).
As the understanding, recognition, and inclusion of diverse sexual and gender identities and expressions in society has grown, so has the acronym. Although transgender individuals have always existed, the term was introduced in the 1960s and has become associated with the acronym. In addition to queer, Q also used to stand for questioning, to acknowledge those who want to explore their gender or sexual identity. This dual definition points to a larger, ongoing discussion about the meaning of personal identity.
The plus sign refers to a variety of gender and sexual identities and expressions. The acronym has its critics, especially among those who argue that no term can ever cover the entire spectrum and a person’s lived experience. Thus, “No term is perfect or perfectly inclusive. The beauty of individuality is that self-expression and personal and romantic choices can manifest themselves in a variety of ways.” (Committee of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine 2020).
See more resources
Transstudent. Retrieved January 5, 2023, from https://transstudent.org/about/definitions/
LGBTQIAPN+: understand the acronym and its importance for representation – Portugal Posts. Retrieved January 5, 2023, from https://portugal.postsen.com/health/27950/LGBTQIAPN–understand-the-acronym-and-its-importance-for-representation.html
What does LGBTQIAPN+ mean in COMMUNITY – Onlineabbreviations. Retrieved January 5, 2023, from https://onlineabbreviations.com/abbreviation/1156483
Amherst College. Retrieved January 5, 2023, from https://www.amherst.edu/campuslife/our-community/queer-resource-center/terms-definitions
From LGBT to LGBTQIA+: The evolving recognition of identity – National Geographics. Retrieved January 5, 2023, from https://www.nationalgeographic.com/history/article/from-lgbt-to-lgbtqia-the-evolving-recognition-of-identity
Is It LGBT or LGBTQ? Acronyms Explained. – The True United Colors. Retrieved January 5, 2023, from https://truecolorsunited.org/2018/02/22/lgbt-lgbtq-acronyms-explained/
Defining LGBTQIA+ – The Gay Center. Retrieved January 5, 2023, from https://gaycenter.org/about/lgbtq/
The Guide to LGBTQ Acronyms: Is it LGBT or LGBTQ+ or LGBTQIA+? Retrieved January 5, 2023, from https://thecentercv.org/blog/the-guide-to-lgbtq-acronyms-is-it-lgbt-or-lgbtq-or-lgbtqia/