What does LGBTQ stand for?

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer

The acronym LGBTQ stands for "lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer." It is a catch-all term used to refer to all members of the non-heteronormative community.

What does non-heteronormative mean?

Heteronormativity is the idea that heterosexuality and assigned, binary gender identities (male and female with no nuance in-between) are the human norm. Non-heteronormative people are those who either a) are not heterosexual, b) do not identify as male or female (or do, but identify with the gender opposite the one they were assigned at birth), or c) both. As LGBTQ people continue gaining acceptance, the idea that heteronormativity is truly a "norm" is breaking down.

What do each of the letters in LGBTQ stand for?

The letters in LGBTQ stand for:

  • Lesbian: A homosexual woman
  • Gay: Any homosexual person
  • Bisexual: Someone attracted to both males and females (as well as those presenting as male or female)
  • Transgender: Someone whose gender identity differs from the sex they were assigned at birth
  • Queer: A catch-all descriptor that describes any non-hetero, non-cisgender person (a non-cisgender person is a person who does not identify with their birth sex)

In the past, the Q in LGBTQ sometimes stood for "questioning," which refers to people who are unsure of their sexual preferences or gender identity. These days, the Q in LGBTQ is largely accepted to mean "queer." However, one of the Qs in the incredibly-lengthy LGBTTQQIAAP acronym stands for questioning.


I'm an ally of the LGBTQ community
A proud moment for the LGBTQ community, from the 2020 Olympics
A proud moment for the LGBTQ community, from the 2020 Olympics

Related Slang


Updated August 4, 2021

LGBTQ definition by

This page explains what the acronym "LGBTQ" means. The definition, example, and related terms listed above have been written and compiled by the team.

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