Originally a pejorative term for gay, now reclaimed by some LGBTQ people. Use with caution; still extremely offensive when used as an epithet and still offensive to many LGBTQ people regardless of intent. Its use may require explanation. Sometimes it is meant as an umbrella term synonymous with the abbreviation LGBT and its variations. However, some people who call themselves queer may do so because they find other labels inaccurate or restrictive, so the abbreviation LGBTQ includes them. And some straight people who identify with LGBTQ culture, such as children of queer parents, call themselves culturally queer.
Refers to a person who identifies as neither male nor female. Some genderqueer people, but not all, also identify as transgender. Not synonymous with agender. Use only when relevant and only when people describe themselves as such or in a quotation when there is a compelling reason to do so.
An advocacy group that describes itself as the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer civil rights organization. Often abbreviated as HRC.
Acceptable only very rarely, such as in quotations if there is a compelling reason to include them, or if writers or story subjects are referring to themselves. Consider using hyphens in place of all but the first letter, or follow your organization’s style guidelines on slurs and profanities.