For many years the more recognizable acronym to group various sexual and gender minorities has been L, G, B, T and Q. However times and attitudes have evolved and with it the language used to discuss sexual orientation and gender identity.

As a result, the established L.G.B.T.Q. abbreviation has acquired a few extra letters and a cluster of ancillary terminology around both sexuality and gender which are simply included using the “+” sign.

Although the community has reclaimed the word “queer” from the bullies and foes who have used it in a derogatory way; as a preferred general descriptor, the “Q” also stands for “Questioning” as a way to be even more inclusive of all the sexual and gender identities and expressions out of the heteronormative norms.

Because the acronym and terminologies can be confusing for many, we have compiled a list of what the umbrella currently includes.

L- Lesbian: A woman who is primarily attracted to women

G- Gay: A man who is primarily attracted to men, sometimes a broad term for individuals primarily attracted to the same sex

B- Bisexual: An individual attracted to people of their own and opposite gender

T- Transgender: A person whose gender identity differs from their assigned sex at birth

T- Transsexual: An outdated term that originated in the medical and psychological communities for people who have permanently changed their gender identity through surgery and hormones

Q- Queer: An umbrella term to be more inclusive of the many identities and variations that make up the LGBTQ+ community

Q- Questioning: The process of exploring and discovering one’s own sexual orientation, gender identity and or gender expression

I- Intersex: An individual whose sexual anatomy or chromosomes do not fit with the traditional markers of “female” and “male”

A- Ally: Typically a non-queer person who supports and advocates for the queer community; an individual within the LGBTQ+ community can be an ally for another member that identifies differently than them

A- Asexual: An individual who generally does not feel sexual desire or attraction to any group of people. It is not the same as celibacy and has many subgroups

P- Pansexual: A person who experiences sexual, romantic, physical and or spiritual attraction to members of all gender identities/expressions, not just people who fir into the standard gender binary

Other terminologies that may be included in the “+” at the end of the acronym include:

2 or 2S- Two-spirited: People who have both a masculine and a feminine spirit.

P- Polyamorous: The practice of or desire for intimate relationships with more than one partner.