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LGBTQ Community: Full Form and Meaning

progressive rainbow flag of lgbtqi community
Samyak Lalit
Samyak Lalit | September 19, 2021 (Last update: September 19, 2021)

Samyak Lalit is an author and disability rights activist. He is a polio survivor and the founder of projects like Kavita Kosh, Gadya Kosh, TechWelkin, WeCapable, Dashamlav and Viklangta Dot Com. Website:

The collective term LGBTQ refers to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer people. LGBTQ community is the group of people who identify themselves to be either Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender or Queer. This community is often found to be discriminated against throughout the world. The LGBTQ movement aims to secure human rights for all the members of the community. Let’s understand sexual and gender identities that are included under this umbrella term.

Meaning of LGBTQ

Meaning of LGBTQI
InitialFull FormMeaning
LLesbianLesbian refers to a homosexual woman (i.e. a woman who has sexual attraction towards another woman)
GGayGay refers to a homosexual man (i.e. a man who has sexual attraction towards another man)
BBisexualBisexual refers to those individuals who have sexual attraction towards both men and women.
TTransgenderTransgenders are those individuals who identify themselves with a different sexual identity than what was assigned to them at birth. In contrast, Cisgenders are the people whose sexual identity matched the one that was assigned to them at birth.
QQueer or QuestioningThe term Queer refers to those individuals who are not heterosexual OR are not cisgender. The Questioning people are those who question their sexual identity.
IIntersexualThese are the people who are born with characteristics that do not fit the binary notions of male or female bodies. Words like eunuchs, hijra, kinnar are often used to describe people in this group. These words do not have universal acceptance and often found to be offending. In some countries, intersexual people have been legally recognized as the third gender.
AAsexualAsexual are those people who do not feel sexual attraction towards any gender.

More Terms and Criticism

As the above table shows, in this context, there are many acronym terms in use; including LGBT, LGBTQ, LGBTQI and LGBTQIA. All these terms attempt to provide a single identity to individuals who have atypical sexual or gender identity. But these are not only terms in use. Attempts are being made around the world to come up with a universally acceptable term. Some of the other other umbrella terms used for the LGBTQIA communities are:

  • SGM (or GSM): Sexual and Gender Minorities
  • MSGI: Minority Sexual and Gender Identities
  • GSRM: Gender, Sexual, and Romantic Minorities
  • Rainbow

One of the main criticism of the umbrella term LGBTQIA is that the Transgender and Intersexual (TI) people feel that their issues are very different from that of the LGB people. While the TI community is characterize by atypical gender identity, the people in LGB community have atypical sexual orientation. The LGB community’s primary goals are to secure same-sex marriage laws and human rights, however, the TI community’s goals may be different as their issues are different.

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