What does LGBTQIA+ mean?

You might have heard people talk about being gay or lesbian before, or mentioning groups like LGBTQIA+. These words are about sexuality (who you are attracted to) and identity (who you are). So when we use these words, we are talking about something very personal and important to someone.

LGBTQIA+ stands for…

Lesbian: This is a female who is attracted to females.

Gay: This is a male who is attracted to males.

Bisexual: This is when someone can be attracted to both males and females.

Transgender: This is when someone’s gender identity (feeling like a male or a female inside) does not match their physical body’s sex (their male or female body parts).

Queer or Questioning: “Queer” is a word sometimes used by people who don’t fit into society’s ideas of sex and attraction, so it can mean many different things. Some people don’t like the word, since it has often been used to hurt people. “Questioning” means that someone is still figuring out their sexuality.

Intersex: This is when someone has some male and some female body parts or hormones.

Asexual: This is when someone doesn’t feel sexually attracted to others.

The + is a way to include all identities and sexualities who don’t fit into these labels.

A person’s sexuality and identity is their own business, and we’re allowed to talk about our own sexuality as much or as little as we want to. It’s important to respect other people’s sexuality and identity – the South African Constitution says we should not treat people differently because of their sexuality.

To see how the South African government is working for the health of LGBTQIA+ people, take a look at the South African National LGBTI HIV Framework. For more on relationships and the people in your life, check out other articles in our Connecting section.


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B-Wise User Anonymous 29 September 2017 18:58

Pls email in engels the definition of LBSTI

B-Wise Expert Expert 3 October 2017 12:40

 Hi Anonymous. Unfortunately we could not find the definition of the abbreviation “LBSTI.” You might be looking for the definition for the commonly used abbreviation LGBTIQ, which stands for:

Lesbian - a female who is attracted to females.
Gay - a male who is attracted to males.
Bisexual - someone who is attracted to both males and females.

Transgender - someone’s gender identity (feeling like a male or a female inside) does not match their physical body’s sex (their male or female body parts).
Intersex - when someone has some male and some female body parts or hormones.
Queer or Questioning - “Queer” is a word sometimes used by people who don’t fit into society’s ideas of sex and attraction. “Questioning” means that someone is still figuring out their sexuality or gender identity.

You can read more about LGBTIQ in our article “What does LGBTIQ mean?” 



B-Wise User Anonymous 15 August 2017 14:00

Happy to know, as i did not know axactly what dies LG...means

B-Wise Expert Expert 20 April 2018 10:41

Hi, thank you for your question. The LG in LGBTIQ is L=Lesbian, G=Gay.

For more information you can read our article on What does LGBTIQ mean?