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This article is about the term LGBT. LGBT_sentence_0

For the history of the movement, see LGBT history. LGBT_sentence_1

For the people, see LGBT community. LGBT_sentence_2

For other topics, see Outline of LGBT topics. LGBT_sentence_3

LGBT, or GLBT, is an initialism that stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. LGBT_sentence_4

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. LGBT_sentence_5

The initialism, as well as some of its common variants, functions as an umbrella term for sexuality and gender identity. LGBT_sentence_6

It may refer to anyone who is non-heterosexual or non-cisgender, instead of exclusively to people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. LGBT_sentence_7

To recognize this inclusion, a popular variant, LGBTQ, adds the letter Q for those who identify as queer or are questioning their sexual identity. LGBT_sentence_8

Those who add intersex people to LGBT groups or organizing may use the extended initialism LGBTI. LGBT_sentence_9

These two initialisms are sometimes combined to form the terms LGBTIQ  or LGBT+ to encompass spectrums of sexuality and gender. LGBT_sentence_10

Other, less common variants also exist, with some being rather extreme in length, resulting in an initialism over twice as long, which has prompted some criticism. LGBT_sentence_11

History of the term LGBT_section_0

Main article: Terminology of homosexuality LGBT_sentence_12

The first widely used term, homosexual, now carries negative connotations in the United States. LGBT_sentence_13

It was replaced by homophile in the 1950s and 1960s, and subsequently gay in the 1970s; the latter term was adopted first by the homosexual community. LGBT_sentence_14

As lesbians forged more public identities, the phrase "gay and lesbian" became more common. LGBT_sentence_15

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. LGBT_sentence_16

As equality was a priority for lesbian feminists, disparity of roles between men and women or butch and femme were viewed as patriarchal. LGBT_sentence_17

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. LGBT_sentence_18

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. LGBT_sentence_19

Bisexual and transgender people also sought recognition as legitimate categories within the larger minority community. LGBT_sentence_20

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. LGBT_sentence_21

Critics 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. LGBT_sentence_22

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. LGBT_sentence_23

LGBTQ activists and artists have created posters to raise consciousness about the issue since the movement began. LGBT_sentence_24

From about 1988, activists began to use the initialism LGBT in the United States. LGBT_sentence_25

Not until the 1990s within the movement did gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people gain equal respect. LGBT_sentence_26

This spurred some organizations to adopt new names, as the GLBT Historical Society did in 1999. LGBT_sentence_27

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. LGBT_sentence_28

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. LGBT_sentence_29

Overall, the use of the term LGBT has, over time, largely aided in bringing otherwise marginalized individuals into the general community. LGBT_sentence_30

Transgender actress Candis Cayne in 2009 described the LGBT community "the last great minority", noting that "We can still be harassed openly" and be "called out on television". LGBT_sentence_31

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. LGBT_sentence_32

However, some people consider queer to be a derogatory term originating in hate speech and reject it, especially among older members of the community. LGBT_sentence_33

Variants LGBT_section_1

General LGBT_section_2

Many variants exist including variations that change the order of the letters; LGBT or GLBT are the most common terms. LGBT_sentence_34

Although identical in meaning, LGBT may have a more feminist connotation than GLBT as it places the "L" (for "lesbian") first. LGBT_sentence_35

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. LGBT_sentence_36

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. LGBT_sentence_37

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. LGBT_sentence_38

Longer initialisms based on LGBT are sometimes referred to as "alphabet soup". LGBT_sentence_39

Variant terms do not typically represent political differences within the community, but arise simply from the preferences of individuals and groups. LGBT_sentence_40

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). LGBT_sentence_41

Some use LGBT+ to mean "LGBT and related communities". LGBT_sentence_42

LGBTQIA is sometimes used and adds "queer, intersex, and asexual" to the basic term. LGBT_sentence_43

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". LGBT_sentence_44

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. LGBT_sentence_45

Some may also add a "P" for "polyamorous", an "H" for "HIV-affected", or an "O" for "other". LGBT_sentence_46

Furthermore, the initialism LGBTIH has seen use in India to encompass the hijra third gender identity and the related subculture. LGBT_sentence_47

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. LGBT_sentence_48

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. LGBT_sentence_49

There is also the acronym QUILTBAG (queer and questioning, unsure, intersex, lesbian, transgender and two-spirit, bisexual, asexual and aromantic, and gay and genderqueer). LGBT_sentence_50

Similarly LGBTIQA+ stands for "lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer/questioning, asexual and many other terms (such as non-binary and pansexual)". LGBT_sentence_51

The + after the "A" may denote a second "A" representing "allies". LGBT_sentence_52

In Canada, the community is sometimes identified as LGBTQ2 (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Two Spirit). LGBT_sentence_53

Depending on the which organization is using the acronym the choice of acronym changes. LGBT_sentence_54

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. LGBT_sentence_55

For a time the Pride Toronto organization used the much lengthier acronym LGBTTIQQ2SA, but appears to have dropped this in favour of simpler wording. LGBT_sentence_56

Transgender inclusion LGBT_section_3

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. LGBT_sentence_57

Likewise, the term transsexual commonly falls under the umbrella term transgender, but some transsexual people object to this. LGBT_sentence_58

When not inclusive of transgender people, the shorter term LGB is used instead of LGBT. LGBT_sentence_59

Intersex inclusion LGBT_section_4

Main article: Intersex and LGBT LGBT_sentence_60

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. LGBT_sentence_61

Some intersex people prefer the initialism LGBTI, while others would rather that they not be included as part of the term. LGBT_sentence_62

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. LGBT_sentence_63

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". LGBT_sentence_64

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". LGBT_sentence_65

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. LGBT_sentence_66

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. LGBT_sentence_67

Criticism of the term LGBT_section_5

The initialisms LGBT or GLBT are not agreed to by everyone that they encompass. LGBT_sentence_68

For example, some argue that transgender and transsexual causes are not the same as that of lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) people. LGBT_sentence_69

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. LGBT_sentence_70

LGB issues can be seen as a matter of sexual orientation or attraction. LGBT_sentence_71

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. LGBT_sentence_72

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. LGBT_sentence_73

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. LGBT_sentence_74

In some cases separatists will deny the existence or right to equality of bisexual orientations and of transsexuality, sometimes leading public biphobia and transphobia. LGBT_sentence_75

In contrasts to separatists, Peter Tatchell of the LGBT human rights group OutRage! LGBT_sentence_76

argues that to separate the transgender movement from the LGB would be "political madness", stating that: LGBT_sentence_77

The portrayal of an all-encompassing "LGBT community" or "LGB community" is also disliked by some lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. LGBT_sentence_78

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. LGBT_sentence_79

Some of them believe that grouping together people with non-heterosexual orientations perpetuates the myth that being gay/lesbian/bi/asexual/pansexual/etc. LGBT_sentence_80

makes a person deficiently different from other people. LGBT_sentence_81

These people are often less visible compared to more mainstream gay or LGBT activists. LGBT_sentence_82

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. LGBT_sentence_83

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. LGBT_sentence_84

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?" LGBT_sentence_85

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". LGBT_sentence_86

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. LGBT_sentence_87

Alternative terms LGBT_section_6

Many people have looked for a generic term to replace the numerous existing initialisms. LGBT_sentence_88

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. LGBT_sentence_89

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. LGBT_sentence_90

Many younger people also understand queer to be more politically charged than LGBT. LGBT_sentence_91

"Rainbow" has connotations that recall hippies, New Age movements, and groups such as the Rainbow Family or Jesse Jackson's Rainbow/PUSH Coalition. LGBT_sentence_92

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. LGBT_sentence_93

SGM, an abbreviation for Sexual and Gender Minorities, has gained particular currency in government, academia, and medicine. LGBT_sentence_94

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. LGBT_sentence_95

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," while 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." LGBT_sentence_96

An example of usage outside the Global North is the Constitution of Nepal, which identifies "gender and sexual minorities" as a protected class. LGBT_sentence_97

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. LGBT_sentence_98

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). LGBT_sentence_99

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. LGBT_sentence_100

See also LGBT_section_7

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