As the LGBT community continually expands to become more inclusive, so does the way we talk about it. GLAAD has released the tenth edition of its style guide, a language guide for journalists and the media, and it's asking the term "LGBT" to be replaced by "LGBTQ." The "Q" represents queer.
“On one level, it is just adding another letter,” says Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD’s president and CEO, per Time. “But really it is bringing a whole new definition to the way we describe ourselves. It’s the start of a bigger shift.”
The term "queer" has existed in the past, but it often had the connotation of meaning strange or weird. Now, the word can mean any identity that isn’t straight and cisgender. “I see it as much more encompassing,” says Jeremy Charneco-Sullivan, a teacher in Missouri. “I’ve grown to see the community as one united force.” In Sullivan's case, he uses the word queer instead of gay.
Of course, LGBTQ is still not the most inclusive term. For instance, LGBTQQIA stands for: lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex and asexual (or allies). GLAAD hopes that this is a first step in helping change the current norms. “It’s time,” says Ellis. “It’s the direction of the future.”
Read the entire style guide here.