- History & Culture
From LGBT to LGBTQIA+: The evolving recognition of identity
As society’s understanding of diverse sexual identities and gender expressions has grown more inclusive, so has the acronym used to describe them.
October is LGBT History Month. Or, as some might say, LGBTQ History Month. Or even LGBTQIA+ History Month.
The terms for the community of people that encompasses people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual are as broad as that community itself: As society’s understanding, recognition, and inclusion of diverse sexual identities and gender expressions has grown, so has its acronym.
(Subscriber exclusive: Read our January 2017 issue dedicated to the shifting landscape of gender.)
Here’s a look at how that evolution has happened—and why it’s all but certain the term will continue to change.
Out of all the letters in the acronym LGBTQ, the L was the first to come into existence. For centuries, the word