LGBT is an acronym that stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender. In other interpretations it reads: Love, Grace, Beauty, and Truth. These terms describe the various groups within the gay community.

At its inception the LGBT acronym was applied to homosexuals. It was used as an attempt to draw attention to issues which related to gay women, or lesbians, and is therefore listed first in the acronym.

Early on, people who identified as bisexual or transgender were traditionally left out of research studies and health initiatives, and as a result were often not represented. . However, it is now considered standard practice to include these two groups in the LGBT community. .

The aim of LGBT campaigns is to emphasize a diversity of sexuality and gender identity-based cultures. It is often used to refer to anyone who is non-heterosexual or non-cisgender instead of exclusively focusing on people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.

Did you know that LGBT also stand for “love, grace, beauty, and truth”. If you want to know more about this click here to read Stephanie Mott´s article posted on Huffpost Gay Voices.

1. Definition of Terms

Gay  This term has traditionally been used to represent a diverse group or people who are attracted to people of the same gender or are in a relationship with someone of the same gender.

It is important to recognize, however, that different groups within the gay community exist, and that the term “gay” is not all-inclusive. For example, transsexuals and some people who identify as bisexual do not consider themselves to be gay.

Men who have had relationships with other men do not always identify themselves as gay. There is also a tremendous ethnic diversity among lesbian, gay, and bisexual communities which contributes to the different perceptions of the term “gay.”

Heterosexual or StraightThese terms refer to people whose sexual and romantic feelings are mostly for the opposite gender: Men who are attracted to women, and women who are attracted to men.

Homosexuality – Romantic attraction, sexual attraction or sexual behavior between members of the same sex or gender; Men who are attracted to men and women who are attracted to women.

Lesbian – A female who experiences romantic love or sexual attraction to other females.

Bisexual/Bi – A person that has romantic or sexual attraction, or sexual behavior towards both males and females.

Transgender – This is an umbrella term that encompasses a diversity of gender expression including drag queens and kings, bi-genders, cross-dressers, transgenderists, and transsexuals.

Transvestite – A person who on occasion wears clothes traditionally worn by and associated with the opposite sex; typically a male who cross-dresses occasionally by habit or compulsion.

Transsexual – A person who feels that their anatomical sex does not match the gender with which they identify.

Bi-gender – Refers to people who define themselves as having the behavioral, cultural or psychological characteristics associated with both the male and female genders.

Transgenderist – Describes someone who is gender variant or transgresses gender norms as part of their lifestyle or identity.

2. History

The history of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people and culture around the world dates back to the first recorded instances of same-sex love and sexuality of ancient civilizations. During this time it survived many centuries of persecution—during which time it resulted in shame, suppression, and secrecy. It is only recently that it has been pursued and interwoven into historical narrative.

In 1994 the annual observance of LGBT History Month began in the United States, and it has since been picked up in other countries. They cover the history of the people, LGBT rights and related civil rights movements. It is observed during October in the United States, to include National Coming Out Day on October 11th.

In the United Kingdom, it is observed during February, to coincide with a major celebration of the 2005 abolition of Section 28, which had prohibited schools from discussing LGBT issues or counseling and questioning LGBT youth.

The information compiled in this article was obtained from the following sources:

Encyclopedia Britannica