LGBTQIA+ is an acronym that stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual and more.

What is the meaning of LGBTQIA+?

LGBTQIA+ is an acronym that includes a wide range of gender identities and sexual orientations. Its origin can be traced back to the 1990s and the term LGBT that stands for Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual. In the early 21st century awareness and understanding of gender and sexual diversity increased and so the acronym expanded to LGBTQIA for the purpose of including more identities. 

Even though the acronym seems to be ever evolving, it has received a fair share of criticism from critics who argue that no term can ever truly encompass the whole spectrum of gender identities. In recent years, people have started adding a plus sign as a way to cover identities not yet included or identified.

Who does LGBTQIA+ stand for?

The LGBTQIA+ abbreviation represents at least seven different gender identities and sexual orientations:

The meaning of LGBTQQIP2SA

The plus in LGBTQIA stands for other gender identities and sexual orientations not covered in the letters. Recently, a new acronym has started to gain traction within the LGBTQIA+ communities and that is LGBTQQIP2SA. 

This is a combination that means to represent all identities within the queer community, specifically Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Pansexual, Two-Spirited, and Asexual.

Challenges within the LGBTQIA+ communities

Individuals from the LGBTQIA+ communities are often the subject of discrimination and prejudice based on stereotypes and the traditional social construct of gender identity. As a minority group, these communities face a number of unique challenges, including:

Building an inclusive workplace culture for LGBTQIA+ 

Building an inclusive workplace culture requires organizations to ensure equity for all workers, including employees who are members of the LGBTQIA communities. According to a study by McKinsey & Co, LGBTQ+ women are more than twice as likely to feel inhibited from talking about their lives outside work than cisgender women. The same study also found that LGBTQ+ men feel the pressure to perform harder in order to prove their competence. 

Going from policy to practice

A written policy alone isn’t enough to bring about changes in the workplace. It is important that organizations actively promote a culture of diversity at every level. This calls for consistent efforts that go beyond internal codes of conduct.

Here are some key steps:


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