LGBT+ or GLBT+ stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, with the plus standing for anyone not included under the main four categories. The term has been used since the 1990s, the term is an adaptation of the initialism LGB, marking the inclusion of transgender individuals in the community. It is the most commonly used term to refer to the community and it is intended to emphasize a diversity of sexuality and gender identity-based cultures. The term can be used to refer to anyone who is not heterosexual or not cisgender, instead of exclusively to individuals who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.
Several other variants of the acronym exist, some of the most popular include:
- LGBTA(+): Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, A-Spec/Agender Spectrum/Abrosexual/Abromantic/Amplusian
- LGBTQ(+): Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queeric/Questioning
- LGBTI(+): Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex
- LGBTQIA(+): Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queeric/Questioning, Intersex, A-Spec/Agender Spectrum/Abrosexual/Abromantic/Amplusian
Many other acronyms that are combination of these. Other, less commonly seen variants may include letters such as "U" for "unsure", "C" for "curious" or "closeted", additional "T" for "transvestic" or "transsex", "TS", "2S", or "2" for "two-spirit", "P" for "polyamorous", "polysexual", "pansexual", "pomosexual" or "pomoromantic", "SA" for "straight allies", "D" for "demigender", "H" for "HIV-affected" or "Hijra", "M" for "multigender", "N" for "non-binary", or an "O" for "other" or "omnisexual".
Initialisms such as LGBTTQQIAAP (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, ally, pansexual) have also resulted, although such initialisms are often criticized for being leaving some individuals out, as well as issues of placement of the letters within the new title, and are also criticized for implying that allies are members of the community (most queer individuals agree that allies are not LGBT+). They are simultaneously criticized for being too confusing and too long to be used in normal speech. This has resulted in individuals attempting to create new acronyms, such as MOGAI (Marginalized Orientations, Gender And Intersex), GSRM (Gender, Sexuality, and Romantic orientation Minorities), QUILTBAG (queer, unsure, intersex, lesbian, transgender, bisexual, asexual/aromantic, gay) and similar terms, however LGBT+ continues to be the most widely recognized term.
Flags have been made over a variation of years, due to updates and changes being made within the community. The original rainbow pride flag dates back to 1978, when it was created by San Francisco-based queer artist Gilbert Baker.
Over the next two years, its design was changed for different reasons. At the time, hot pink was a non-standard color in flag fabric production, and deemed too costly to reproduce. The turquoise and indigo stripes were also dropped in favor of royal blue when organizers of San Francisco’s Gay Freedom Day Parade wanted to split the flag in half to fly across the street and wanted equal stripes on both sides.
The progress pride flag was created in 2018 by Graphic designer Daniel Quasar in order to show progress and inclusion of queer POC and trans POC. Since then more variants of the progress flag have arisen.
The older "ultimate queer flag", or "mega LGBT+ flag" was created by a user going by Adora on January 26th of 2021. On the top, the blue is for transmasculine, the pink is for transfeminine, the white is for any outherine/xenic genders, the intersex flag is for all variants of intersex individuals, while the purple is for transneutral and transandrogynous individuals. On the bottom, it has the multisexual flag for all multisexual identities, the rainbow for any same-gender loving identities, and the last flag is supposed to resemble the a-spec flag for any a-spec identities. The black stripe is for gender non-conformity and pronoun-non conformity, while the design in the middle is supposed to represent POC and sex workers, as red umbrellas are often associated with sex work.
The new "ultimate queer flag" or "mega LGBT+ flag" was created by Anderson (with Adora's approval, as they are from the same system), on June 27th of 2021. The rainbow is for gay, lesbian, vincian, gai, unlabeled, and other queer individuals. The purples and pink at the top of the flag are taken from the varsex pride flag (to be inclusive of both altersex and intersex individuals.) At the bottom of the flag, dark brown represents black individuals, tan represents Asian, indigenous, mixed race, and other POC individuals, and white represents albino individuals, as they face discrimination as well. In the design on the middle of the flag, there are four petals; blue represents transmasculine individuals, pink represents transfeminine individuals, purple represents transneutal and transandrogynous individuals, and yellow represents outherine genders, xenic genders, and cultural genders. On the petals, there are four Ms, each representing something; multisexual identities, multiromantic identities, multigender identities, and movement towards equality. In the middle of the design, green represents aromanticism and aro-spec identities, white represents tertiary attraction, purple represents asexuality and ace-spec identities, and dark grey represents agender/genderless identities, demigender identities, and the act of rejecting conformity (in pronouns, gender expression, societal roles, etc.) The red octagon represents sex workers, as their common symbol is a red umbrella, and the infinity symbol represents polyamory, polygamy, ambiamory, and other forms of ethical non-monogamy.
The "Mixed Inclusion" pride flag by FANDOM user Zer0Rebel4 is comprised of multiple LGBT+ pride flag variations. The colour meanings are, Lavender for intersex variations, rose for ace and aro-spec individuals, magenta for sexuality, red for life, orange for healing, yellow for sunlight, green for nature, aqua for magic, blue for serenity, violet for spirit, dark brown for black queer folks and those who passed in the Stonewall and other riots, brown for other Queer POC and sufferers of HIV/AIDS, sky for trans men and masc/male aligned individuals, pink for trans women and fem/female aligned individuals, and white for non-binary and other queer identities.
The "Harmony" pride flag, (also sometimes known as the "Community" pride flag,) created by Tumblr user PoisonousPastels on February 14th, 2021, aims to achieve representation of all within the LGBT+ community. Unlike most pride flags, this flag is not rectangular. Instead, it opts to have a swallowtail shape. The heart within the center is representative of love, both platonic and romantic. The ring/circle around it represents a unified space where everyone can feel welcome. The empty space of the swallowtail formation represents space for those who are still questioning/figuring out their identity. Individual colors also have their own meanings: Black is for individual experiences, brown is for individuals of color, pink is for community and acceptance. red is for gender non-conformity, orange is for love of the same gender, yellow is for non-binary, intersex, and genderqueer identities, green is for a-spec identities, light blue is for freedom, darker blue is for love of multiple genders, and purple is for spirit.
On June 6th, 2021, the group Intersex Equality Rights UK shared a redesign of the progress pride flag to include the intersex flag. The redesign was done by Valentino Vecchietti, a group member.On October 2nd, 2021, FANDOM user PenInq designed an alternate progress pride flag that was designed with both visual appeal and inclusion in mind. The rainbow portion represents the greater LGBT+ community, the pink, white, and blue is for the trans members of the community, the black circles is for Queer POC, and the Intersex flag is in the center.