The words and definitions used in the LGBT community are ever-evolving and often mean different things to different groups. Proper use of this vocabulary is especially important as language is a powerful tool that can help form connections and foster a deeper understanding of the LGBT community and its allies.
Continuing Bloomberg’s commitment to a diverse and open workplace, and in celebration of Pride month, here’s our version of the LGBT glossary.
Take a moment to learn some new terms, and turn your pride into action.
Bloomberg is proud to be a supporter of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender community.
LGBTA [for Ally: a (typically) straight and/or cisgender (whose gender identity is aligned with the sex assigned to them at birth) person who supports members of the LGBT community.]
LGBTB [for Beyond: while the B in LGBT stands for bisexual, our adaptation of B for beyond is to encourage looking beyond a person’s gender or sexual orientation and see them as a person and colleague.]
LGBTC [for Community: part of Diversity & Inclusion at Bloomberg, the LGBT and Ally Community is a global group committed to fostering a safe and comfortable environment for LGBT employees and their allies.]
LGBTD [for Discretion: LGBT topics can be very personal and sensitive, requiring discretion in the way we behave and speak to prevent others from feeling uncomfortable or disclosing private details.]
LGBTE [for Equality: everyone should be treated with respect and equality whether they are gay, straight, trans, etc…]
LGBTF [for Friend: no matter what your level of understanding in the LGBT issues are, being a friend to those who identify as LGBT and their allies is something we call can do.]
LGBTG [for Gender Identity: the G in LGBT is for Gay, people who are attracted to people of the same gender, which determines their sexual orientation. But we want to bring attention to gender identity as well. An individual’s gender identity is different from their sexual orientation and sexual preference. It is the self-perception of their gender of being male, female, some of both, or neither – this may be different from their biological sex and may not always correspond with their outward appearance.]
LGBTH [for Honest: Bloomberg is committed to providing an accepting and welcoming environment to encourage everyone to bring their honest and authentic selves to the workplace.]
LGBTI [for Intersex: in the past, when a child is born with bodies that do not clearly fit into society’s binary definitions of male and female, many doctors would perform gender-affirming surgeries, before the child was even able to give informed consent. The intersex term allows for an individual to identify with their natural form.]
LGBTJ [for Journey: the process an LGBT individual may go through when they discover their true gender identity and communicating that publically is an emotional, personal and sometimes physical journey, that needs support from their community.]
LGBTK [for Kinsey Scale: Alfred Kinsey is a renowned sociologist, designed the Kinsey Scale to help describe a person’s type of sexual desire. This scale has been used to differentiate between sexual orientation and sexual preference, dissolving the dichotomy created by the bisexual community.]
LGBTL [for Lives: the L in LGBT is for lesbian, women attracted to other women. We also wanted to represent L as lives, because those who identify as LGBT are people with everyday lives just like everyone else, and how they live as an LGBT individual is not a separate lifestyle.]
LGBTM [for Misgender: to misgender someone, especially a transgender person, is to refer them in a way that does not reflect the gender they identify with. The most commonly used gender-neutral pronouns are “ze” (sometimes spelled “zie”) and “hir,” while “they” and “their” are gender-neutral singular pronouns. When in doubt, just kindly ask the individual how they like to be addressed.]
LGBTN [for Now: accepting the LGBT community and advancing equality starts now.]
LGBTO [for Out: the term out describes those who openly identify themselves as LGBT in their private, public, and/or professional lives.]
LGBTP [for Policies: a set of ideas that has been agreed to officially by a group of people, a business organization, a government or a political party. Bloomberg’s commitment to support LGBT employees at the workplace is upheld in our company policies.]
LGBTQ [for Questioning: the process of considering or exploring one’s sexual orientation and/or gender identity. The Q was formerly representing queer, but it is not a universally accepted term in the LGBT community and questioning best used for Q.]
LGBTR [for Respect: it takes a lot of courage for those who identify as LGBT to boldly and confidently express who they are, they deserve the utmost respect.]
LGBTS [for Sexual Orientation: this is the proper scientific term describing one’s emotional, romantic, or sexual feelings of other people, whether they are for the same sex and/or opposite sex. The term “sexual preference” should be avoided as it is deemed offensive, implying that it is a voluntary decision and curable.]
LGBTT [for Transitioning: the T in LGBT is for transgender, and we want to highlight the transition process as well. Bloomberg strives to provide a supportive atmosphere for those in transition, which are the steps a trans person may take to live in the gender with which they identify.]
LGBTU [for Understanding: being able to have an effective dialogue with those who identify as LGBT, are allies or just have different views – starts with a mindset for understanding the other person’s standpoint.]
LGBTV [for Volunteer: get to know your neighbors and colleagues by volunteering in the community for organizations that support LGBT.]
LGBTW [for Worldwide: LGBT impacts people worldwide and in some countries, societies persecute those who are LGBT. But, LGBT policies around the world are changing – track the progress in the Bloomberg QuickTake on Gay Rights.]
LGBTX [for Xenophobia: the fear of people different from oneself, or xenophobia, inhibits progress in an accepting culture.]
LGBTY [for Youth: LGBT issues don’t just impact adults, there are youth who identify as LGBT many are targeted and bullied. Our community plays a role in protecting and supporting LGBT youth.]
LGBTZ [for Zero: when the number of deaths and cases and discrimination is zero is the day our communities can rest and joyfully celebrate inclusion and equality – until then, we have work to do.]