What Does LGBTQIA+ Stand For? Full Acronym Explained

Abbreviations and acronyms are all around us. However, for some acronyms, breaking down what the individual letters mean is harder than you think. LGBTQIA+ is an inclusive acronym used by the LGBTQIA+ community. Explore how each different letter breaks down, and the diverse meaning found in the LGBTQIA+ acronym.

LGBTQIA+ acronymLGBTQIA+ acronym

What Does LGBTQIA+ Stand For?

The acronym LGBTQIA+ is an ever growing and evolving acronym. It is an inclusive term covering people of all genders and sexualities, such as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, queer, intersex, asexual, pansexual, and allies. Since this is not one group but several different groups, it’s important to examine what each different letter stands for. 

Meaning of LGB

The first three letters of LGBTQIA+ deal with sexual identity. LGB can be broken down into lesbian, gay, and bisexual. Explore the meanings of these different terms. 

  • lesbian - term for women sexually and affectionately oriented toward other women. However, the term can also be used by non-binary individuals, especially those that are attracted to women or feel connected to womanhood

  • gay - homosexual person or those attracted to same gender

  • bisexual - those that are sexually and affectionately attracted both to men and women

The T Defined

The T in LGBTQIA+ can have several different meanings, but typically deals with gender identity. Some words have fallen out of favor or their meanings are slightly different depending on the person. 

  • trans - an inclusive term for transgender, non-conforming, and non-binary individuals

  • transsexual - can mean someone transitioning from one sex to another using surgery or medical treatments. However, this term has fallen out of favor for trans or transgender. 

  • transgender - term for someone that identifies as a different gender than what was assigned on their birth certificate

What Does QIA Mean

QIA stands for questioning/queer, intersex, and asexual. Dive into the meanings of these letters in the acronym. 

  • questioning - when a person is exploring their sexuality, gender identity, and gender expression

  • queer - this term can have various definitions but can be seen as an inclusive term or as a unique celebration of not molding to social norms

  • intersex - this word can have various meanings; it’s used for individuals that don’t fit into specific gender norms of woman or man; it can also be used for those with reproductive anatomy that isn’t typical

  • asexual - use for those that don’t feel sexual attraction to either sex or that don’t feel romantic attraction in the typical way

LGBTQIA+ Meaning

To be inclusive to everyone, the LGBTQ full acronym has changed to add the plus at the end. This works to allow the acronym to cover new subsects of the community like: 

  • ally - a term for individuals that support and rally the cause even though they don’t identify within the community

  • pansexual/omnisexual - similar to bisexual, this describes individuals with desire for all genders and sexes

  • androgynous - describes those with both male and female traits

  • genderqueer - a gender term used for those with no, both, or a combination of genders

  • two-spirit - typically used by Native Americans to describe a third gender 

  • demisexual - describes someone that requires an emotional bond to form a sexual attraction 

  • polyamorous - term for those open to multiple consensual romantic or sexual relationships at one time. 

While this works to cover some of the different initials in LGBTQIA+, it is far from an all-inclusive list. New terms can be added under the “umbrella” of the plus at the end of the acronym. 

Defining LGBTQIA+ Acronym

In most circles, LGBTQIA+ means lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, intersex, and asexual. However, the plus allows the term to cover all different subsects like allies, pansexual, androgynous, and polyamorous. Keep your exploration of acronyms going by looking at a list of common acronyms.

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