This article strives to provide an informative and empowering overview of the LGBTQIA+ community. It aims to help readers understand what each letter of the acronym stands for, to let them better understand what being LGBTQIA+ means.

What Does LGBTQIA+ Mean?
Before we dive into exploring each letter-case, it’s important to understand the basics of this acronym. LGBTQIA+ stands for: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual, and Additional (or “plus”). This acronym is intended to be inclusive of the diverse gender and sexual identities, orientations, and expressions that exist outside of social norms.

Lesbian
The “L” stands for “Lesbian”, which refers to someone who is attracted to women. Lesbians can come from any race, religion, or background and may or may not express their attraction in traditional ways.

Gay
The “G” stands for “Gay”, and it typically refers to someone who is attracted to people of the same gender. While gay people may also be attracted to others of a different gender, traditionally, the term gay has been used primarily by people who are attracted to the same sex.

Bisexual
The “B” stands for “Bisexual”, and it is used to refer to people who experience attraction to two or more genders. It is important to note that “bisexual” does not equal “50–50” as some people may experience different levels of attraction to different genders.

Transgender
The “T” stands for “Transgender”, which is an umbrella term that refers to people who do not identify with their assigned gender at birth. Common transgender labels include non-binary, genderqueer, genderfluid, and agender.

Queer
The “Q” stands for “Queer”, which is an inclusive term for people who do not conform to or identify with traditional binary gender identities/structures. For some, queer is a reclaimed slur used as a statement of pride, an umbrella term for all gender and sexual identities, or a political ideology.

Intersex
The “I” stands for “Intersex”, which is a term used to describe someone whose anatomy and/or chromosomes don’t fully fit into the typically-recognized categories of male or female. This is different from transgender; someone who is intersex is born with bodies that are neither fully male nor female, while a transgender person may identify with a gender different than the one they were born with.

Asexual
The “A” stands for “Asexual”, which is used to describe someone who doesn’t experience romantic or sexual attraction. It is important to note that asexual people can still engage in sexual activity and can still experience other forms of attraction, such as aesthetic, platonic, intellectual, or sensual.

Additional (or “Plus”)
The “plus” stands for additional genders, sexualities, orientations, identities, and/or expressions that exist outside of the other categories mentioned. It can be used to include various identities and orientations, such as demisexual, pansexual, and hypersexual.

It is important to note that these definitions are not exhaustive and are always evolving as people understand, embrace, and define their own identities. Everyone’s identity is unique, and this article is just one piece of a complex and beautiful puzzle. We hope readers have gained a better understanding of the LGBTQIA+ acronym, and of the diverse range of identities that fall under it.