LGBT, or GLBT, is an initialism that stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. Originating during the 1990s, the term is an adaptation of the initialism LGB, which was used to replace the term gay in reference to the LGBT community beginning in the mid-to-late 1980s. Activists believed that the term gay community did not accurately represent all those to whom it referred.
The initialism has become mainstream as a self-designation; it has been adopted by the majority of sexuality and gender identity-based cultures community centers and media in the United States, as well as some other English-speaking countries. The initialism LGBT is intended to emphasize a diversity of sexuality and gender identity-based cultures. It may be used to refer to anyone who is non-heterosexual or non-cisgender, instead of exclusively to people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. To recognize this inclusion, a popular variant adds the letter Q for those who identify as queer or are questioning their sexual identity; LGBTQ has been recorded since 1996. Those who add intersex people to LGBT groups use an extended initialism LGBTI. Some people combine the two acronyms and use the term LGBTIQ or LGBTQI. Others use LGBT+ to encompass spectrums of sexuality and gender.
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