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Acceptable in all references for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender or for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer and/ or questioning.

It may be tempting for journalists to refer to the LGBT community. In reality, it is a broad and sometimes loosely bound group of communities comprising people from all races, religions, cultures and walks of life.

Referring to LGBT or LGBTQ people is usually more accurate than defining it as one community.

There is not universal agreement on a name. Just LGBT leaves out many people who define their sexual orientation or gender identity in ways that may be similar to but not the same as lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people.

Some alternatives exist but may be cumbersome or unfamiliar to general audiences and could require explanation. LGBTQ includes people who identify as queer or who are questioning their sexual orientation; LGBTQIA includes intersex and asexual people.

Organizations sometimes go with LGBT+ to make sure everyone is included.

The current recommendation of NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists is LGBTQ — as the organization’s name indicates — but writers and organizations should decide for themselves, based on their audience, whether more or less specificity is needed.

Updated December 2020