How has the LGBT+ acronym evolved?

LGBT, the most commonly used acronym for the gay and trans community, stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender – but you already know that.

You probably also already know that the acronym has had rather a lot of letters added to it over the years, and that it now reads: LGBTKSWQPEXMGHDABJDKKLDLFSJFSJDNFJNDFJFBJFNFMLDKEEEYRHRHRFKF.

OK, fine, it actually reads: LGBTQQIAAP (plus or minus a letter or two).

Lesbian, gay and bisexual

LGBT has been used since the 1990s after it was adapted from LGB – which stood for lesbian, gay and bisexual. LGB replaced the term gay in reference to the LGBT community in the mid-to-late 1980s.

The L stands for lesbian – aka a woman who is attracted to other women, while the G stands for gay – aka a man who is attracted to other men. The B is for bisexual, so a person (male or female) who is attracted to both men and women.


Pakistani transgender protestors (ASIF HASSAN/AFP/Getty Images)

T, which stands for transgender, was next to gain a place on the acronym.

While the first three letters (LGB) focus on sexual identity, transgender refers to a person whose gender identity is different from the sex on their birth certificate.

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