LGBT is an initialism that means lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. It refers to the community of people who are not heterosexual, which means to be attracted to the other gender, or cisgender, which means to identify as the gender you were born as. It has been taken up by many sexuality and gender identity-related community centers.
History[change | change source]
The word "homosexual" started being used in America to describe sexual orientations that were not heterosexual. However, this word began to have bad connotations, as many people thought that it sounded like a condition or mental illness, and therefore the word "homophile" was used instead. After that, the word "gay" replaced the word "homophile" in the 1970s.
As lesbians became more public about their sexuality in the 1970s, the group of words "gay and lesbian" was often used, and a phase of lesbian feminism started. This meant that certain lesbian feminist groups separated because did not have knowledge of if they should put feminism or LGBT rights first.
Lesbian feminists viewed the separation between "butch" and "femme" in mainstream gay (male) culture of the time in the same way that they viewed the separation in society over gender roles between men and women. They saw these ideas as patriarchal and did not want to join the mainstream gay rights movement because of what they saw as the chauvinism of gay men, and refused to take up their cause. Many lesbians who were not lesbian feminists saw this as not giving help to the gay rights movement.
This was followed by many bisexual and transgender people wanting to be seen as respected groups in the LGBT community. Before gender reassignment surgery was massively improved in later years, transgender people had a hard time being accepted. Still, they fought for their rights, and were greatly boosted when plastic surgery and hormone surgery helped them to be accepted as the gender they identify with.
After the Stonewall riots, there was a change in points of view among the gay and lesbian community. Many gays and lesbians became less accepting of bisexual and transgender persons in general. Many gays and lesbians thought that transgender people were acting out stereotypes and that bisexuals were actually gay, but in too much fear to "come out of the closet". This separation still exists today, and it only became common to speak of all members of the LGBT community with equal respect in the trouble for LGBT rights in the late 1990s.
Acceptance of LGBT people[change | change source]
Some people who are LGBT may not "come out", as they may be a target of discrimination or prejudice, such as homophobia or transphobia. Many countries have discriminatory laws against LGBT people, some even giving out the death penalty for being gay or bisexual.
Different forms of the acronym[change | change source]
Shortening of the term[change | change source]
Other letters[change | change source]
- Queer or Questioning—added to the acronym to make it more inclusive.
- Intersex—recorded use in the acronym since 1999. (This acronym is used in all parts of "The Activist's Guide" of the Yogyakarta Principles in Action.)
- Asexual, Aromantic or Agender
- Polyamorous or Pansexual— however, "pansexual" is often thought of as being a category of "bisexuality", as well as the terms "omnisexual" and "fluid".
- Hijra—the acronym LGBTIH has seen use in India, in order to join the traditional Indian hijra third gender identity and the related subculture.
Not everyone is in agreement what should or should not be covered in the acronym, or which order the letters should go in.
Different terms[change | change source]
- The group of words gender and sexual diversity (GSD) has been shown as a different option to LGBT by some, as it is seen as more inclusive and less limiting.
- SGL (same-gender loving) is sometimes used among gay male African Americans as a way of distinguishing themselves from what they think of as white LGBT groups of persons.
- MSM (men who have sex with men) is used to describe men who have sex with other men without having relation to their sexual orientation, often in a medical context.
- WSW (women who have sex with women) is the opposite of MSM. It includes all women who have sex with women.
- AMAB (assigned male at birth) is used to describe people who were assigned the male sex at birth.
- AFAB (assigned female at birth) is used to describe people who were assigned the female sex at birth.
- AIAB (assigned intersex at birth) is used to describe people who were assigned intersex at birth.
- MOGAI (marginalized orientations and gender alignments or identities and intersex) is a term somebody can use instead of using the term LGBT. MOGAI treats the idea of gender modality as more important than these other words do. It is an umbrella term because it is about many different kinds of people: A gay man and a trans woman, for example, are both MOGAI.
Related pages[change | change source]
- Declaration of Montreal
- LGBT community
- Non-binary gender
- Rainbow flag (LGBT)
References[change | change source]
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The A in LGBTQIA+ stands for asexual, aromantic, and agender[…]
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Other websites[change | change source]
- GLBTQ Archived 2005-03-17 at the Wayback Machine — Gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer encyclopaedia
- Directory of U.S. and international LGBT Community Centres
- American Psychological Association's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Concerns Office