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Out Leadership will now use the term “LGBT+” to describe the community of which we’re a part and that we serve, globally. We’ve shifted from the term we previously used, “LGBT,” for a few important reasons.
Increasingly, more and more stakeholders in our community describe their identity as something other than Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender – including Intersex, Asexual, and Queer – and we wanted to find a new term that would embrace this diversity. Historically, our community has taken a big-tent approach to including new people and different identities – with the drawback that the acronym used to describe us collectively has tended towards becoming “Alphabet Soup.”
In our engagement with senior executives, we always seek ways to elegantly express complex ideas – such as the growing diversity of the global community united around difference in sexual orientation and gender.
One thing I’ve noticed in my travels is that the term “LGBT” has come to mean more than its individual letters. You’ll hear people speaking Cantonese or Spanish using it to describe our community. We also wanted to make sure that the term we use maintains that clarity across language borders.
We believe that LGBT+ is an effective solution to the real and pressing need to find a term that more accurately reflects the growing diversity of our community, while remaining simple and clear. We also like the positivity inherent in the use of the “plus” symbol, and the new meaning the term builds into our long-term slogan: LGBT+Progress.
As our community strives to embrace more difference, we think LGBT+ will stand the test – for Out Leadership. As your companies navigate these questions, we’re happy to share our thought process with you. Thank you for your leadership.