Editor’s Note: it seems as if we here at SFGN could not get our initialism’s straight. Then again, we pride ourselves on not getting things straight – most of the time! Sadly the piece was edited and printed with the current acronym where the outdated acronym was intended for the piece to make our readers laugh! Yet, does this accident suggest we should skip the initials and revert back to “gay community?” Leave your comments below!
When deciding upon a singular appropriate format to use here at SFGN there was some debate over which was more apropos, LGBT or GLBT. While you might think the terms are interchangeable, think again.
According to Wikipedia, “LGBT (or GLBT) is an initialism referring collectively to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.”
However, when both forms were entered into Google the more accepted choice was LGBT. It brought back 25 million responses as opposed to GLBT, which brought back just-under 3 million.
The gay community is familiar with LGBT and GLBT but these are not the only options. There is LGBTQ, with a “Q” or “QQ” for queer and questioning. If you wish to be snazzy you can write it as “LGBTQ?”.
The use of initials began in the mid-1990s, when use of the term “gay community” was deemed old-fashioned and dropped in favor of GLB. Then ultimately a T was added for transgender individuals, which was seen as more inclusive.
Trevor Thomas, of the Human Rights Campaign, is their Deputy Communications Director. He says the standard, accepted format, LGBT replaced GLBT at the HRC in conjunction with the AP—Associated Press—roughly two years ago.
“We witnessed the community as a whole moving towards that initialism. Because the AP and associated media had gone on ahead with LGBT and since we have to speak with the media every day, this played a factor with the rest of the community adopting the acronym and pushing it forward as a brand,” said Thomas who has been with the HRC since 2007.
However, he does not think it’s impossible for the current format to change again. “I think the HRC will move forward with the community,” Thomas said enjoying the tongue-in-cheek nature of the interview. “Diversity, after all is the bright spot of the LGBT community.”
Gay youth, for instance, have a broad group describing themselves as gender-queer. Some teenage bloggers describe themselves as hetero-challenged. In the case of transgender or androgynous individuals, gender-fluid is a popular adjective.
Last Friday at the opening of The Pride Center at Equality Park—which has not placed LGBT in its name—proclamations and letters of good wishes were read from various activists and politicians. Rather than use any initials, each speaker articulated the full breadth of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender, to be politically correct, of course. They could have cut 20 minutes off their speeches had they just used GLBT, wait, make that LGBT.
Beginning today, at SFGN—another initialism—we will proudly use LGBT, with the occasional “?” thrown in for excitement and BLT thrown in for lunch.