LGBT Community: Things to know (Full form, LGBT Pride Month, LGBT Rainbow Flag, LGBTQ, LGBTQIA )

LGBT Community: Things to know (Full form, LGBT Pride Month, LGBT Rainbow Flag, LGBTQ, LGBTQIA )

LGBT stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender. It is an umbrella term and has multiple extensions and versions, such as ‘LGBTQ’ where ‘Q’ stands for Queer or Questioning, ‘LGBTQIA’ where ‘A’ stands for Asexual, and ‘LGBT+’ or ‘LGBTQ+’ or ‘LGBTQIA+’  here ‘+’ represents all other identities. LGBT or any other version or extension of the term is not exhaustive of all the types of gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation an individual can have. The LGBT community celebrates the right of people to have diverse identities and sexualities, with self-affirmation, dignity, and equality, thus Pride.

Let’s dive a little deep into the topic and learn about these different terminologies related to the LGBT Community:

L Lesbian ‘Lesbians’ are women physically or emotionally attracted to women.
G Gay ‘Gay’ refers to men emotionally or physically attracted to men.
B Bisexual ‘Bisexual’ are people who are physically or emotionally attracted to both men and women or people irrespective of their gender.
T Transgender ‘Transgender’ is the term for people who feel that their gender is not what is assigned to them by birth. There are multiple subcategories under the umbrella term Transgender.
Q Queer or Questioning ‘Queer’ is the loose term for all the LGBT+ people. ‘Questioning’ is the term for people who are still exploring and questioning their gender expression, gender identity, or sexual orientation.
I Intersex ‘Intersex’ is the term for people who are born with reproductive or sexual anatomy that cannot be put in the binary identities of male and female.
A Asexual or Ally ‘Asexual’ is the term for the people who experience, no or low level of sexual attraction towards anyone. ‘Ally’ is the term for the straight people who support the LGBT+ community.
+ All other identities ‘+’ Represents all other identities besides LGBTQIA.

 

 What is LGBT Pride?

The term LGBT Pride is used for the promotion of dignity, equality, self-affirmation, and increased visibility of the LGBT community as a group. It opposes the shame, stigma, and taboo associated with the LGBT community and the LGBT rights movements.

The term “Gay Pride” was introduced by Thom Higgins, a gay rights activist in Minnesota in the latter part of the 1970s. Since then the term has been used extensively, and is now popularly used as “LGBT Pride”.

What is the relevance of Annual LGBT+ Pride Month?

The Annual LGBT+ Pride Month celebrations and festivities take place every year in the month of “June”. This is celebrated to honor the Stonewall Rebellion or the Stonewall Uprising, which was a series of demonstrations that took place on June 28th, 1969, after the police raid became violent at the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village.

What is the Pride Flag or LGBT Flag or Rainbow Flag?

LGBT Rainbow 6 Striped Flag.

A Pride Flag is any flag that represents the LGBT+ community or any part of the LGBT+ community. While the Rainbow Flag is one of the Pride Flags that represents all the aspects of the LGBT community. Rainbow Flag was devised by Gilbert Baker and was flown for the first time in San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade celebration on June 25, 1978. The first Rainbow Flag had 8 colors and have undergone several changes since its inception, today the most popular rainbow flag is the one with 6 colored stripes.

RED Life
ORANGE Healing
YELLOW Sunlight
GREEN Nature
BLUE Serenity
VIOLET Spirit

What is “Coming out”?

Coming out is the phrase that is used to represent the act when one discovers and accepts own sexuality and gender identity, after a complicated multi-dimensional exploration of oneself. A few famous examples of Coming outs are Ellen DeGeneres and Ricky Martin. National Coming Out Day is celebrated on October 11th each year, to spread awareness about the LGBT+ community.

Let’s learn about some terminology related to the LGBT+ community:

Sexual orientation The way one feels romantically, sexually, emotionally/spiritually attracted to others.
Sexual attraction A capacity that leads to engagement in physically intimate behavior with another person, experienced in varying degrees (from little-to-none to intense).
Gender expression The display of one’s gender, through a combination of factors like grooming, clothing, social behavior, etc., externally.
Gender identity The perception of one’s gender, and how they label themselves, based on how much they align or don’t align with what they understand their options for gender to be.
Agender A person who sees themselves as existing without gender, or with no (or very little) connection to the traditional system of gender.
Androgyny An expression that has elements of both masculinity and femininity.
Biological sex This is a medical term used to refer to the hormonal and the anatomical characteristics which classify an individual as a male or female or an intersex.
Cisgender When someone’s gender identity and sex assigned at birth corresponds in the expected way.
Cisnormativity The preconceived notion, in individuals and institutions, that everyone is cisgender, and the people with cisgender identities are superior and righter than the people with other identities.
Cissexism Behavior that leads to preferential treatment to cisgender people.
Closeted A person who is not open to others or themselves about their gender and sexual identity.
Demiromantic Very little or no capacity to experience romantic attraction with another person until a strong sexual connection is formed.
Demisexual Limited or no capacity to sexual attraction with someone until a strong romantic connection is formed.
Fluid(ity) Used to describe a sexual identity, or gender identity, that may change or shift overtime on the spectrum of sexual and gender identities.
Transvestite A person who dresses as the binary opposite gender expression for, fun, relaxation, and sexual gratification.

 

Some gender-neutral way of addressing people:

Mx. Gender-neutral honorific, to replace Mr., Ms., Mrs., for people who do not identify them as gender binary.
Ze / Zir Gender-neutral pronouns, to replace His, Hers, He, She, for people who do not identify them as gender binary.

 

The struggle of the LGBT+ community has been continuing for centuries. This article is a novice attempt to educate people and answer frequently asked questions regarding the LGBT+ community. In the upcoming articles, we will learn about the history and the struggles of the LGBT+ community, and explore different resources like movies, books, blogs, and documentaries, to spread awareness about the same.

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