LGBT or GLBT is an initialism that stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. In use since the 1990s, the term is an adaptation of the initialism LGB, which began to replace the term gay in reference to the broader LGBT community beginning in the mid-to-late 1980s.[1] The initialism, as well as some of its common variants, functions as an umbrella term for sexuality and gender identity.[2]

A six-band rainbow flag representing the LGBT community

It may refer to anyone who is non-heterosexual or non-cisgender, instead of exclusively to people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.[3] To recognize this inclusion, a popular variant, LGBTQ, adds the letter Q for those who identify as queer or are questioning their sexual or gender identity.[4] Those who add intersex people to LGBT groups or organizing may use the extended initialism LGBTI.[5][6] These two initialisms are sometimes combined to form the terms LGBTIQ[7] or LGBT+ to encompass spectrums of sexuality and gender.[8] Other common variants also exist, such as LGBTQIA+,[9] with the A standing for "asexual", "aromantic" or "agender".[10] Longer acronyms have prompted criticism for their length,[11][12][13] and the implication that the acronym refers to a single community is also controversial.[14]