LGBTQIA+: People, Gender, Sexuality and Rainbow of Letters

Hindustan Times (New Delhi, India), June 30, 2016 | Go to article overview

LGBTQIA+: People, Gender, Sexuality and Rainbow of Letters


New Delhi, June 30 -- LGBTQIA+, a seemingly disjoint collection of letters, has dominated the landscape of social and legal activism for greater rights for homosexual rights for over two decades now.

From India's public and tumultuous struggle...

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LGBTQIA+, a seemingly disjoint collection of letters, has dominated the landscape of social and legal activism for greater rights for homosexual rights for over two decades now.

From India's public and tumultuous struggle against Section 377 to the landmark judgments legalising same-sex marriages in the United States, the abbreviation has increasingly replaced more esoteric "homosexual" or "gay", even in the mainstream media.

The term started gaining popular currency in the 90s after many complained that previous terms used, such as gay, couldn't represent everyone and left more vulnerable people - such as transgenders - erased from popular memory. But what does this apparent alphabet soup stand for?

L is used to represent Lesbians, women who experience romantic and sexual attraction towards other women.

G stands for Gay, men who are sexually and romantically drawn towards other men.

B denotes Bisexuals, people who experience sexual and romantic attraction towards both men and women.

T connotes Transgender, people who don't identify with the sex they were assigned at birth. These include indigenous communities such as Hijra in India, people who have undergone surgeries to change their identity and others who may not have undergone surgeries - or ever want to - but don't identify with the sex they were given at birth.

Q is for queer, an umbrella term used by anyone on the LGBTQIA+ spectrum and may represent a political consciousness that goes beyond personal life and into social activism, often in solidarity with other social movements such as women, black, Dalit, disabled etc. …

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