While we have talked about 377, and how and what homosexuality means in India. But what does LGBTIA stand for?

Let’s Talk About It.

LGBT is the general term used universally when referring to the community. But what exactly does it stand for? LGBT can also be written as GLBT, with the letters standing for L is Lesbian, G is Gay, B is for Bisexual, and T is Transsexual.

And while these may not be the only possible acronyms, these are the globally used terms for the community. Some of the various acronyms have twice the number of letters to encompass spectrums of sexuality and gender. And this puts it in the spotlight for a lot of backlash and criticism.

While unfortunately it is a norm right now, how did this hate start?

Homophobia Is Gay

It all started out with the term homosexual, which originally was meant in a negative way. It then moved on to homophile in the 50s and the 60s, and then eventually settled on Gay. Which was adopted by the community first.

While most criticism is by cis-males and females, some of the criticism is by the people from the community itself. Most of which revolves around the acronym used by them. Many of them believe that Transsexual and Transgender don’t exactly go along with the rest: L(Lesbian), G(Gay), and B(Bisexual). While the rest are sexuality, transgender/ transsexual is gender and not sexual preference.

While other problems include the over-all image of the LGBT community. Most people don’t enjoy being a part of the community solely because of all the political and social solidarity, and visibility and human rights campaigning that goes with it including gay pride marches and events. Their argument being that grouping people within the community perpetuates the myth that being gay/lesbian/bi/asexual/pansexual/etc. makes a person different from the others.

Apart from this, there is a lot of toxicity that surrounds the community externally as well as internally. While the L and G are straightforward, many fail to or don’t want to understand what the rest stands for. Bisexuality includes a lot of terms within it like pansexual, omnisexual, fluid, and queer-identified. Due to which many believe that if anybody identifies with any of the above, their either greedy or can’t make up their mind.

Not A Smooth Transition

The term “transgender” is categorized as trans*, where trans (without the asterisk) is used to refer to trans men and trans women. While trans* covers non-cis identities like transgender, transvestite, transsexual, genderfluid, genderqueer, genderfuck, nonbinary, genderless, agender, non-gendered, third gender, two spirit, bigender, trans men, and trans women.

Often, the community isn’t inclusive of this community using LGB instead of LGBT.

Multiple trans people get picked on for being themselves, with people refusing to use their preferred pronouns while failing to understand what their transition meant to them. Another common misconception many have is that everyone in the community knows or understands each other. But that is far from the truth.

Haters Gonna Hate

The initialism LGBTTQQIAAP (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, ally, pansexual) is one of the longer used terms that got criticized for being confusing and leaving multiple people out. One of the concerns being that the use of “allies” is leading to asexual erasure, replacing it in the process. While most just don’t like the placement of the letters within the new title.

Another version is QUILTBAG (queer and questioning, intersex, lesbian, transgender and two-spirit, bisexual, asexual and ally, and gay and genderqueer.) But the longest has been LGBTTIQQ2SA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, intersex, queer, questioning, two-spirit, asexual and ally.) which was used at Pride Toronto, but they eventually dropped it in favour of simpler wording.

With many people still clueless about what the community stands for (few being from the community themselves), we can only hope that more effort is made to understand what the community truly stands for.

If you want to reach out to someone and/or find out more about the community; look at this list of links for organisations and initiatives:

Acceptance is the final part of my Section #377 series. Check out The Humble Beginnings of Section 377, and No Homo, Bro! here.

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