How Did We Arrive at GLBTQ?

GLBTQ is an umbrella term that can be found in magazines, on television, and political arenas. In the GLBTQ acronym, each letter stands for individual groups of sexual orientations – gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer.

So, how did our community become known as GLBTQ and why do we prefer it this way? UNM Truman is sharing 10 things you may not know about the GLBTQ acronym.

  1. There are more letters than you think

If you can believe it, GLBTQ is actually a shortened version of an official acronym. Officially, GLBTQ is the LGBTQQIP2SAA community. Or, the Lesbian, Gay, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Pansexual, Two-Spirit (2S), Asexual, and Allies community.

  1. The order of the letters change

Both lesbians and gay men continue to argue over which letter goes first. The order of the letter truly depends on the community, but it does not constitute a pecking order.

  1. It gives everyone a voice

For a long time, you were either gay or straight. As many of us know, sexuality is not that simple. Instead of being referred to as “the gay community,” we chose to use an acronym that represents the diversity of sexual orientation.

  1. It references the complexity of sexuality

The longhand version says it loud and clear: sexual orientation is complicated and can’t be boiled down to hetero or homosexual. GLBTQ does not require you to be simply one letter. You can be queer and a lesbian, transgender and bisexual. Whatever works!

  1. The Q can mean two things

In the 80’s, our community took back the term “queer” and repurposed it as a form of empowerment. Before that, it was a vulgar term, used to insult and demean people with different sexual orientations. For the most part, the Q in GLBTQ references the word queer in the empowered sense. But, it is also used to reference “questioning,” for those uncertain about their sexual orientation.

At UNM Truman, we are proud to support our GLBTQ community in any way we can. In addition to our medical services for HIV positive individuals, we are active participants at Pride and are engaged in community health events that help our GLBTQ community. Contact us today to see what we have coming up!