Many of us have heard of the LGBTQ+ community but not many know what the plus is about. L is for lesbian. G is for gay. B is for bisexual. T is for transgender. Q is for queer (or questioning). After that, the plus sign shouldn’t be needed, right?
Queer is an umbrella term for those who don’t identify as LGBT but are also not heterosexual and/or follow the binary genders. While some people in the community are very proud to say they are ‘queer’, others want a more specific term for who they are. Thus, the plus sign was added as a way to say, “wait, there is more beyond the Q”.
On my blog, I have the category LGBTQIA+. Beyond the Q for queer, I added two more letters. Many more people are starting to add the I and A to the list of letters. I stands for intersex. A is for asexual people. As long as this acronym may seem, I have seen longer. Other identities that are often listed are pansexual (P), two-spirited (2S), allies (A), agender (A), genderqueer (G), and many more. I have also started to see some people including the K for kink, but this is a bit rarely right now. Nevertheless, there is so much more beyond LGBTQ.
Why Aren’t All Letters Represented?
The acronym stands as LGBTQ because they are the more common identities in the community. The plus sign is used to include everyone else. However, there are people who do not believe in some of the other terms. Or, they believe some of the terms to mean the same things as other words. An example of this would be agender and non-binary. Agender is when someone identifies as having no gender while non-binary people consider themselves neither male nor female. While these definitions are very similar, there is a slight difference in the use of gender. Non-binary people do not see themselves as either of the binary genders. Agender people, however, do not see gender at all. Due to the similarities, some people refuse to believe they are two separate terms.
Similar words and the confusion of their differences have led to some people denying their existence within the LGBTQ+ community. This is a major reason as to why I have an LGBTQIA+ category on my blog. Over the month of June (and quite possibly beyond) I will be posting articles about different terminologies within the community. Even though the acronym I use does not contain many other identities, I am a supporter and believer of these other identities.
This also applies to other people who support the LGBTQ+ community. Those who believe and support other identities still use the shorter acronym as it is that: shorter. There is also the fact that new terms come about quite often. To keep adding these identities to the acronym would make it unbelievably long. By adding the plus sign, it allows for the inclusion of other identities, while keeping things short enough to be remembered. After all, that is the whole point of an acronym, to shorten things down.