The letters that compose LGBT refer to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender. There are many different terms used to refer to gender and sexual minorities, with LGBT being the most common expression. You will also come across phrases like LGBTQ or LGBT+ which aim to include people who don’t necessarily identify with these labels.
If you’d like to find out more about these different sections of society, check out the following:
“Lesbian” means women who are exclusively attracted to women/woman-aligned non-binary people.
“Gay” mean men who are exclusively attracted to men/man-aligned non-binary people.
“Bisexual” means people who are attracted to the same/similar genders as their own as well as other genders.
“Transgender” or “trans” commonly refers to people whose gender differs from that assigned to them at birth. Trans people can be men, women, or non-binary. Non-binary simply means that they aren’t a binary gender, i.e. not a man or a woman. Trans people can be of any sexual orientation as gender and sexual identity are separate things. (Note: a cisgender person is one who isn’t transgender, i.e. one whose gender aligns with the one assigned to them at birth.)
“Questioning“ is as simple as it sounds – not everyone knows exactly what their sexuality or gender is. It’s perfectly valid to say that you’re not straight, or that you’re not cisgender, but that you don’t really know what label fits you yet. Q Soc is a great place to explore your identity, and you don’t need to feel confined to any label if you don’t want to!
“Queer” is a reclaimed slur that some people use as an identifier. Its appeal comes from its ambiguity, so that one who uses this label doesn’t have to explain the intricacies of their identity. However, it is important to respect people who don’t use this label out of a desire not to be identified as a slur, and to avoid forcing it on them.