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LGBT (or GLBT) is an initialism referring collectively to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. In use since the 1990s, the term “LGBT” is an adaptation of the initialism “LGB” which itself started replacing the phrase “gay community” which many within LGBT communities felt did not represent accurately all those to whom it referred. In modern usage, the term LGBT is intended to emphasize a diversity of "sexuality and gender identity‐based cultures" and is sometimes used to refer to anyone who is non‐heterosexual instead of exclusively to people who are homosexual, bisexual, or transgender. To recognize this inclusion, a popular variant adds the letter Q for queer and questioning (e.g., “LGBTQ”) for those not explicitly denoted by LGBT, such as pansexuality, intersex, etc.

The acronym has become mainstream as a self-designation and has been adopted by the majority of LGBT community centers and LGBT media in many English‐speaking countries.

The initialisms are not agreeable to everyone that they literally encompass. On the one hand, some intersex people want to be included in LGBT groups and would prefer the term “LGBTI”. On the other hand, some individuals of one group may feel no relation to the individuals in other groups denoted and find such persistent comparisons offensive. Some argue that transgender and transsexual causes are not the same as that of LGB people. A correlate to these ideas is evident in the belief of “lesbian & gay separatism,” which holds that lesbians and gay men should form a community distinct and separate from other groups normally included. Other people also do not care for the term as they feel the lettering comes across as being too politically correct, an attempt to categorize various groups of people into one grey area, and that it implies that the issues and priorities of the main groups represented are given equal consideration.
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