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LGBT or GLBT is an initialism that stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. In use since the 1990s, the term is an adaptation of the initialism LGB, which began to replace the term gay in reference to the broader LGBT community beginning in the mid-to-late 1980s.The initialism, as well as some of its common variants, functions as an umbrella term for sexuality and gender identity.
It may refer to anyone who is non-heterosexual or non-cisgender, instead of exclusively to people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. or LGBT+ to encompass spectrums of sexuality and gender. Other common variants also exist, such as LGBTQIA+, with the A standing for "asexual" or "aromantic" or "ally". Longer acronyms, with some being over twice as long as LGBT, have prompted criticism for their length, and the implication that the acronym refers to a single community is also controversial.To recognize this inclusion, a popular variant, LGBTQ, adds the letter Q for those who identify as queer or are questioning their sexual or gender identity. Those who add intersex people to LGBT groups or organizing may use the extended initialism LGBTI. These two initialisms are sometimes combined to form the terms LGBTIQ
The first widely used term, homosexual , now carries negative connotations in the United States. [ dubious ] and subsequently gay in the 1970s; the latter term was adopted first by the homosexual community.It was replaced by homophile in the 1950s and 1960s,
As lesbians forged more public identities, the phrase "gay and lesbian" became more common.A dispute as to whether the primary focus of their political aims should be feminism or gay rights led to the dissolution of some lesbian organizations, including the Daughters of Bilitis, which disbanded in 1970 following disputes over which goal should take precedence. As equality was a priority for lesbian feminists, disparity of roles between men and women or butch and femme were viewed as patriarchal. Lesbian feminists eschewed gender role play that had been pervasive in bars as well as the perceived chauvinism of gay men; many lesbian feminists refused to work with gay men, or take up their causes.
Lesbians who held the essentialist view, that they had been born homosexual and used the descriptor "lesbian" to define sexual attraction, often considered the separatist opinions of lesbian-feminists to be detrimental to the cause of gay rights.Bisexual and transgender people also sought recognition as legitimate categories within the larger minority community.
After the elation of change following group action in the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York City, in the late 1970s and the early 1980s, some gays and lesbians became less accepting of bisexual or transgender people. [ Like whom? ] said that transgender people were acting out stereotypes and bisexuals were simply gay men or lesbian women who were afraid to come out and be honest about their identity. Each community has struggled to develop its own identity including whether, and how, to align with other gender and sexuality-based communities, at times excluding other subgroups; these conflicts continue to this day. LGBTQ activists and artists have created posters to raise consciousness about the issue since the movement began.Critics
From about 1988, activists began to use the initialism LGBT in the United States.Not until the 1990s within the movement did gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people gain equal respect. This spurred some organizations to adopt new names, as the GLBT Historical Society did in 1999. Although the LGBT community has seen much controversy regarding universal acceptance of different member groups (bisexual and transgender individuals, in particular, have sometimes been marginalized by the larger LGBT community), the term LGBT has been a positive symbol of inclusion.
Despite the fact that LGBT does not nominally encompass all individuals in smaller communities (see Variants below), the term is generally accepted to include those not specifically identified in the four-letter initialism.Overall, the use of the term LGBT has, over time, largely aided in bringing otherwise marginalized individuals into the general community. Transgender actress Candis Cayne in 2009 described the LGBT community as "the last great minority", noting that "We can still be harassed openly" and be "called out on television".
In 2016, GLAAD's Media Reference Guide states that LGBTQ is the preferred initialism, being more inclusive of younger members of the communities who embrace queer as a self-descriptor.However, some people consider queer to be a derogatory term originating in hate speech and reject it, especially among older members of the community.
Many variants exist including variations that change the order of the letters; LGBT or GLBT are the most common terms.Although identical in meaning, LGBT may have a more feminist connotation than GLBT as it places the "L" (for "lesbian") first. LGBT may also include additional Qs for "queer" or "questioning" (sometimes abbreviated with a question mark and sometimes used to mean anybody not literally L, G, B or T) producing the variants LGBTQ and LGBTQQ. In the United Kingdom, it is sometimes stylized as LGB&T, whilst the Green Party of England and Wales uses the term LGBTIQ in its manifesto and official publications.
The order of the letters has not been standardized; in addition to the variations between the positions of the initial "L" or "G", the mentioned, less common letters, if used, may appear in almost any order.Longer initialisms based on LGBT are sometimes referred to as "alphabet soup". Variant terms do not typically represent political differences within the community, but arise simply from the preferences of individuals and groups.
The terms pansexual , omnisexual, fluid and queer-identified are regarded as falling under the umbrella term bisexual (and therefore are considered a part of the bisexual community).
Some use LGBT+ to mean "LGBT and related communities".LGBTQIA is sometimes used and adds "queer, intersex, and asexual" to the basic term. Other variants may have a "U" for "unsure"; a "C" for "curious"; another "T" for "transvestite"; a "TS", or "2" for "two-spirit" persons; or an "SA" for "straight allies". However, the inclusion of straight allies in the LGBT acronym has proven controversial as many straight allies have been accused of using LGBT advocacy to gain popularity and status in recent years, and various LGBT activists have criticised the heteronormative worldview of certain straight allies. Some may also add a "P" for "polyamorous", an "H" for "HIV-affected", or an "O" for "other". Furthermore, the initialism LGBTIH has seen use in India to encompass the hijra third gender identity and the related subculture.
The initialism LGBTTQQIAAP (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, ally, pansexual) has also resulted, although such initialisms are sometimes criticized for being confusing and leaving some people out, as well as issues of placement of the letters within the new title.However, adding the term "allies" to the initialism has sparked controversy, with some seeing the inclusion of "ally" in place of "asexual" as a form of asexual erasure. There is also the acronym QUILTBAG (queer and questioning, unsure, intersex, lesbian, transgender and two-spirit, bisexual, asexual and aromantic, and gay and genderqueer).
Similarly LGBTIQA+ stands for "lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer/questioning, asexual and many other terms (such as non-binary and pansexual)".The + after the "A" may denote a second "A" representing "allies".
In Canada, the community is sometimes identified as LGBTQ2 (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Two Spirit).Depending on the which organization is using the acronym the choice of acronym changes. Businesses and the CBC often simply employ LGBT as a proxy for any longer acronym, private activist groups often employ LGBTQ+, whereas public health providers favour the more inclusive LGBT2Q+ to accommodate twin spirited indigenous peoples. For a time the Pride Toronto organization used the much lengthier acronym LGBTTIQQ2SA, but appears to have dropped this in favour of simpler wording.
The term trans* has been adopted by some groups as a more inclusive alternative to "transgender", where trans (without the asterisk) has been used to describe trans men and trans women, while trans* covers all non-cisgender (genderqueer) identities, including transgender, transsexual, transvestite, genderqueer, genderfluid, non-binary, genderfuck, genderless, agender, non-gendered, third gender, two-spirit, bigender, and trans man and trans woman.Likewise, the term transsexual commonly falls under the umbrella term transgender, but some transsexual people object to this.
When not inclusive of transgender people, the shorter term LGB is used instead of LGBT.
The relationship of intersex to lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans, and queer communities is complex,but intersex people are often added to the LGBT category to create an LGBTI community. Some intersex people prefer the initialism LGBTI, while others would rather that they not be included as part of the term. Emi Koyama describes how inclusion of intersex in LGBTI can fail to address intersex-specific human rights issues, including creating false impressions "that intersex people's rights are protected" by laws protecting LGBT people, and failing to acknowledge that many intersex people are not LGBT. Organisation Intersex International Australia states that some intersex individuals are same sex attracted, and some are heterosexual, but "LGBTI activism has fought for the rights of people who fall outside of expected binary sex and gender norms". Julius Kaggwa of SIPD Uganda has written that, while the gay community "offers us a place of relative safety, it is also oblivious to our specific needs".
Numerous studies have shown higher rates of same sex attraction in intersex people,with a recent Australian study of people born with atypical sex characteristics finding that 52% of respondents were non-heterosexual, thus research on intersex subjects has been used to explore means of preventing homosexuality. As an experience of being born with sex characteristics that do not fit social norms, intersex can be distinguished from transgender, while some intersex people are both intersex and transgender.
The initialisms LGBT or GLBT are not agreed to by everyone that they encompass.For example, some argue that transgender and transsexual causes are not the same as that of lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) people. This argument centers on the idea that being transgender or transsexual have to do more with gender identity, or a person's understanding of being or not being a man or a woman irrespective of their sexual orientation. LGB issues can be seen as a matter of sexual orientation or attraction. These distinctions have been made in the context of political action in which LGB goals, such as same-sex marriage legislation and human rights work (which may not include transgender and intersex people), may be perceived to differ from transgender and transsexual goals.
A belief in "lesbian & gay separatism" (not to be confused with the related "lesbian separatism"), holds that lesbians and gay men form (or should form) a community distinct and separate from other groups normally included in the LGBTQ sphere.While not always appearing of sufficient number or organization to be called a movement, separatists are a significant, vocal, and active element within many parts of the LGBT community. In some cases separatists will deny the existence or right to equality of bisexual orientations and of transsexuality, sometimes leading public biphobia and transphobia. In contrasts to separatists, Peter Tatchell of the LGBT human rights group OutRage! argues that to separate the transgender movement from the LGB would be "political madness", stating that:
Queers are, like transgender people, gender deviant. We don't conform to traditional heterosexist assumptions of male and female behaviour, in that we have sexual and emotional relationships with the same sex. We should celebrate our discordance with mainstream straight norms.[...]
The portrayal of an all-encompassing "LGBT community" or "LGB community" is also disliked by some lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.Some do not subscribe to or approve of the political and social solidarity, and visibility and human rights campaigning that normally goes with it including gay pride marches and events. Some of them believe that grouping together people with non-heterosexual orientations perpetuates the myth that being gay/lesbian/bi/asexual/pansexual/etc. makes a person deficiently different from other people. These people are often less visible compared to more mainstream gay or LGBT activists. Since this faction is difficult to distinguish from the heterosexual majority, it is common for people to assume all LGBT people support LGBT liberation and the visibility of LGBT people in society, including the right to live one's life in a different way from the majority. In the 1996 book Anti-Gay, a collection of essays edited by Mark Simpson, the concept of a 'one-size-fits-all' identity based on LGBT stereotypes is criticized for suppressing the individuality of LGBT people.
Writing in the BBC News Magazine in 2014, Julie Bindel questions whether the various gender groupings now, "bracketed together" ... "share the same issues, values and goals?" Bindel refers to a number of possible new initialisms for differing combinations and concludes that it may be time for the alliances to be reformed or finally go "our separate ways".In 2015, the slogan "Drop the T" was coined to encourage LGBT organizations to stop support of transgender people; while receiving support from some feminists as well as transgender individuals, the campaign has been widely condemned by many LGBT groups as transphobic.
In December 29, 2020, the Women's Liberation Front, an organisation noted for its opposition to transgender rights legislation,published a media style guide, in part as a response to the Trans Journalists Association's guide having been adopted by the Society of Professional Journalists. Amongst other advice, the style guide recommended avoiding the term "LGBT" unless discussing topics relevant to "trans-identified individuals" as well as "lesbians, gays [and] bisexuals".
Many people have looked for a generic term to replace the numerous existing initialisms.Words such as queer (an umbrella term for sexual and gender minorities that are not heterosexual, or gender-binary) and rainbow have been tried, but most have not been widely adopted. Queer has many negative connotations to older people who remember the word as a taunt and insult and such (negative) usage of the term continues. Many younger people also understand queer to be more politically charged than LGBT.
SGM, or GSM,an abbreviation for Sexual and Gender Minorities, has gained particular currency in government, academia, and medicine. It has been adopted by the National Institutes of Health; the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services; and the UCLA Williams Institute, which studies SGM law and policy. Duke University and the University of California San Francisco both have prominent Sexual and Gender Minority health programs. An NIH paper recommends the term SGM because it is inclusive of "those who may not self-identify as LGBT … or those who have a specific medical condition affecting reproductive development," a publication from the White House Office of Management and Budget explains that "We believe that SGM is more inclusive, because it includes persons not specifically referenced by the identities listed in LGBT," and a UK government paper favors SGM because initials like LGBTIQ+ stand for terms that, especially outside the Global North, are "not necessarily inclusive of local understandings and terms used to describe sexual and gender minorities." An example of usage outside the Global North is the Constitution of Nepal, which identifies "gender and sexual minorities" as a protected class.
"Rainbow" has connotations that recall hippies, New Age movements, and groups such as the Rainbow Family or Jesse Jackson's Rainbow/PUSH Coalition. SGL ("same gender loving") is sometimes favored among gay male African Americans as a way of distinguishing themselves from what they regard as white-dominated LGBT communities.
Some people advocate the term "minority sexual and gender identities" (MSGI, coined in 2000), so as to explicitly include all people who are not cisgender and heterosexual; or gender, sexual, and romantic minorities (GSRM), which is more explicitly inclusive of minority romantic orientations and polyamory; but those have not been widely adopted either.Other rare umbrella terms are Gender and Sexual Diversities (GSD), MOGII (Marginalized Orientations, Gender Identities, and Intersex) and MOGAI (Marginalized Orientations, Gender Alignments and Intersex).
In public health settings, MSM ("men who have sex with men") is clinically used to describe men who have sex with other men without referring to their sexual orientation, with WSW ("women who have sex with women") also used as an analogous term.
Various flags represent specific identities within the LGBT movement, from sexual or romantic orientations, to gender identities or expressions, to sexual characteristics.
That "A" is not for allies[,] [t]hat "A" is for asexuals. [...] Much like bisexuality, asexuality suffers from erasure.
human studies of the effects of altering the prenatal hormonal milieu by the administration of exogenous hormones lend support to a prenatal hormone theory that implicates both androgens and estrogens in the development of gender preference ... it is likely that prenatal hormone variations may be only one among several factors influencing the development of sexual orientation
To try and separate the LGB from the T, and from women, is political madness. Queers are, like transgender people, gender deviant. We don't conform to traditional heterosexist assumptions of male and female behaviour, in that we have sexual and emotional relationships with the same sex. We should celebrate our discordance with mainstream straight norms. The right to be different is a fundamental human right. The idea that we should conform to straight expectations is demeaning and insulting.
Queer is an umbrella term for sexual and gender minorities who are not heterosexual or are not cisgender. Originally meaning "strange" or "peculiar", queer came to be used pejoratively against those with same-sex desires or relationships in the late 19th century. Beginning in the late 1980s, queer activists, such as the members of Queer Nation, began to reclaim the word as a deliberately provocative and politically radical alternative to the more assimilationist branches of the LGBT community.
A cisgender person is a person whose gender identity matches their sex assigned at birth. For example, someone who identifies as a woman and was identified as female at birth is a cisgender woman. The word cisgender is the antonym of transgender. The prefix cis- is not an acronym or abbreviation of another word; it is derived from Latin and the word cissexual was invented in the 1990s from the German zissexuell.
The LGBT community is a loosely defined grouping of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, LGBT organizations, and subcultures, united by a common culture and social movements. These communities generally celebrate pride, diversity, individuality, and sexuality. LGBT activists and sociologists see LGBT community-building as a counterweight to heterosexism, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, sexualism, and conformist pressures that exist in the larger society. The term pride or sometimes gay pride expresses the LGBT community's identity and collective strength; pride parades provide both a prime example of the use and a demonstration of the general meaning of the term. The LGBT community is diverse in political affiliation. Not all people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender consider themselves part of the LGBT community.
Queer studies, sexual diversity studies, or LGBT studies is the study of issues relating to sexual orientation and gender identity usually focusing on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, gender dysphoria, asexual, queer, questioning, intersex people and cultures.
Heteronormativity is the belief that heterosexuality is the default, preferred, or normal mode of sexual orientation. It assumes the gender binary and that sexual and marital relations are most fitting between people of opposite sex. A heteronormative view therefore involves alignment of biological sex, sexuality, gender identity and gender roles. Heteronormativity is often linked to heterosexism and homophobia. The effects of societal heteronormativity on lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals can be examined as heterosexual or "straight" privilege.
Non-heterosexual is a word for a sexual orientation or sexual identity that is not heterosexual. The term helps define the "concept of what is the norm and how a particular group is different from that norm". Non-heterosexual is used in feminist and gender studies fields as well as general academic literature to help differentiate between sexual identities chosen, prescribed and simply assumed, with varying understanding of implications of those sexual identities. The term is similar to queer, though less politically charged and more clinical; queer generally refers to being non-normative and non-heterosexual. Some view the term as being contentious and pejorative as it "labels people against the perceived norm of heterosexuality, thus reinforcing heteronormativity". Still others say non-heterosexual is the only term useful to maintaining coherence in research and suggest it "highlights a shortcoming in our language around sexual identity"; for instance, its use can enable bisexual erasure.
LGBT culture is a culture shared by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer individuals. It is sometimes referred to as queer culture, while the term gay culture may be used to mean "LGBT culture" or to refer specifically to homosexual culture.
A sexual minority is a group whose sexual identity, orientation or practices differ from the majority of the surrounding society. Primarily used to refer to LGB or non-heterosexual individuals, it can also refer to transgender, non-binary or intersex individuals.
A pride flag is any flag that represents a segment or part of the LGBT community. Pride in this case refers to the notion of gay pride. The rainbow flag is the most widely used LGBT flag and LGBT symbol in general. There are derivations of the rainbow flag that are used to focus attention on specific similar-interest groups within the community. There are also some pride flags that are not exclusively related to LGBT matters, such as the polyamory flag. The terms LGBT flags and queer flags are often used interchangeably.
The LGBT community has adopted certain symbols for self-identification to demonstrate unity, pride, shared values, and allegiance to one another. LGBT symbols communicate ideas, concepts, and identity both within their communities and to mainstream culture. The two most-recognized international LGBT symbols are the pink triangle and the rainbow flag.
The questioning of one's sexual orientation, sexual identity, gender, or all three is a process of exploration by people who may be unsure, still exploring, or concerned about applying a social label to themselves for various reasons. The letter "Q" is sometimes added to the end of the acronym LGBT ; the "Q" can refer to either queer or questioning.
LGBT movements in the United States comprise an interwoven history of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and allied movements in the United States of America, beginning in the early 20th century and influential in achieving social progress for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and transsexual people.
A trans woman is a woman who was assigned male at birth. Trans women may experience gender dysphoria and may transition; this process commonly includes hormone replacement therapy and sometimes sex reassignment surgery, which can bring relief and resolve feelings of gender dysphoria. Trans women may be heterosexual, bisexual, homosexual, asexual, or identify with other terms.
The following outline offers an overview and guide to LGBT topics.
LGBTQ ageing addresses issues and concerns related to the ageing of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. Older LGBT people are marginalised by: a) younger LGBT people, because of ageism; and b) by older age social networks because of homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, heteronormativity, heterosexism, prejudice and discrimination towards LGBT people.
Intersex people are born with sex characteristics that "do not fit the typical definitions for male or female bodies". They are substantially more likely to identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) than the non-intersex population, with an estimated 52% identifying as non-heterosexual and 8.5% to 20% experiencing gender dysphoria. Although many intersex people are heterosexual and cisgender, this overlap and "shared experiences of harm arising from dominant societal sex and gender norms" has led to intersex people often being included under the LGBT umbrella, with the acronym sometimes expanded to LGBTI. However, some intersex activists and organisations have criticised this inclusion as distracting from intersex-specific issues such as involuntary medical interventions.
Gender and sexual diversity (GSD), or simply sexual diversity, refers to all the diversities of sex characteristics, sexual orientations and gender identities, without the need to specify each of the identities, behaviors, or characteristics that form this plurality.
LGBT psychology is a field of psychology surrounding the lives of LGBT individuals, in particular the diverse range of psychological perspectives and experiences of these individuals. It covers different aspects such as identity development including the 'coming out' process, parenting and family practices and supports for LGBT individuals, as well as issues of prejudice and discrimination involving the LGBT community.
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