What is LGBTQIAP2? The queer term which also includes pansexual, asexual, intersexual and two spirit

Most of us are aware that LGBT stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender – but for some, the term is gradually expanding to include other identities and orientations.

The term LGBTQIAP2 stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, pansexual and Two Spirit.

In the 1980s, the acronym LGBT arose after activist groups campaigned for an inclusive description for non-straight and transgender people.

Over time, it has grown to recognise and include other sexual and gender orientations. For some people, though, the grouping together of lots of identities can be problematic.

Eleanor Formby, an academic at Sheffield Hallam University has criticised the use of the word “community” to describe LGBT people, arguing it is not suitable “for such a diverse group.”

To understand exactly what LGBTQIAP2 means, let’s break it down.

What does the term “queer” mean?

In the past, the term “queer” was used pejoratively in reference to LGBT+ people as the word originally meant “strange” or “odd”, but the meaning has changed in recent years.

Stonewall’s glossary of terminology explains that the word has now been reclaimed by LGBT+ people who “do not identify with the traditional categories around gender identity and sexual orientation.”

The term queer is sometimes preferred as it is ambiguous, and although it is now widely recognised as the most inclusive word for our community, it may still be viewed as derogatory to some.


People hold up an asexual pride flag (Flickr/trollhare)


Intersex is a term used to describe someone who may have the “biological attributes of both sexes” or “whose biological attributes do not fit with societal assumptions about what constitutes as male or female,” Stonewall explains.

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