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Introduction

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LGBT (or GLBT) is an initialism that stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. In use since 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 adopted into the mainstream as an umbrella term for use when labeling topics pertaining to sexuality and gender identity. For example, the LGBT Movement Advancement Project termed community centres, which have services specific to those member of the LGBT community, as "LGBT community centers", in a comprehensive studies of such centres around the United States.

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 or organizing use an extended initialism LGBTI. The two acronyms are sometimes combined to form the terms LGBTIQ or LGBT+ to encompass spectrums of sexuality and gender. Other, less common variants also exist, motivated by a desire for inclusivity, including those over twice as long which have prompted criticism.

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The Well of Loneliness is a 1928 lesbian novel by the English author Radclyffe Hall. It follows the life of Stephen Gordon, an Englishwoman from an upper-class family whose "sexual inversion" (that is, homosexuality) is apparent from an early age. She finds love with Mary Llewellyn, whom she meets while serving as an ambulance driver in World War I, but their happiness together is marred by social isolation and rejection, which Hall depicts as having a debilitating effect on inverts. The novel portrays inversion as a natural, God-given state and makes an explicit plea: "Give us also the right to our existence".

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If your marriage needs protecting you need a therapist not an amendment

Credit: Originally from Flickr (Flickr user: stevebott)

T-shirt reading "If your marriage needs protecting you need a therapist not an amendment", at a demonstration following the upholding of California Proposition 8 (2008) in Strauss v. Horton. Image: 30 May 2009, Fresno, California, USA


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Commons-logo.svg See Category:LGBT for more LGBT-related images

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Larry Kramer

Larry Kramer (born 25 June 1935) is an American playwright, author, public health advocate and LGBT rights activist. Kramer began his career rewriting scripts while working for Columbia Pictures, which led him to London, where he worked with United Artists and wrote the screenplay for Women in Love in 1969.

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