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Learn the ABC’s of LGBTQIA+

In the late 1990's the original L.G.B.T letters were an evolution toward inclusion — an expansion of the language used to represent a disparate group that had often just been called “the gay community.”

Despite their intent, the letters proved to be limiting. Times and attitudes have changed, and the language used to discuss sexual orientation and gender identity has also changed.

What you need to know to grow!

LGBTQIA is an inclusive term that describes a range of sexual orientations and gender identities. The acronym stands for:

L - Lesbian: Lesbians feel romantic and sexual attraction toward other women.

G - Gay: An individual who feels romantic and sexual attraction toward individuals of the same gender. It is often applied to men who are attracted to men but can also be used as an umbrella term for people who are attracted to those of the same gender.

B - BISEXUAL: An individual who feels romantic and sexual attraction toward individuals of the same and different genders.

T - TRANSGENDER: An umbrella term used to describe a range of gender identities that are different from traditional binary definitions. Trans people’s expression of gender differs from their biological sex.

Q - QUEER: An identity term used by the LGBTQIA community. It is used by those who are outside of the heterosexual norm. The term is meant to create a greater sense of inclusivity and belonging.

I - INTERSEX: Intersex people have sex characteristics that do not fall into traditional definitions of male or female.

A - ASEXUAL: Asexual people do not feel sexual attraction

LGBTQIA individuals often experience challenges related to sexual and gender stereotypes and the restrictive social construct of gender. Growing awareness of the challenges faced by the community has made specialized services addressing the unique problems faced by LGBTQ individuals, such as sex education, counseling, and therapy, more commonplace.

IF YOU NEED HELP: The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender National Hotline (1-888-843-4564) and National Suicide Prevention Hotline (1-800-273-8255) provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to the queer community.


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