What does GLBT stand for?

Gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender

GLBT is a short form that stands for “gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender.” It’s just another way of saying LGBT, which is the acronym we see more often. The order of the letters changed around the 1980s and 90s, during a time when AIDS was a major health crisis.

During this crisis, according to an article on Medium titled “GLBT? LGBT? LGBTQIA+? What’s in a Name?,” the lesbian community stepped up. They cared for their sick gay friends and took on leadership roles in the community. Because of the work done by these women, gay men began to recognize their contributions.

By the late 1990s, the name of “gay community centers” started to change. They became “lesbian and gay community centers,” reflecting the important role that lesbians had played. This is also when the “G” and the “L” in the standard acronym started to switch places.

Today, you’ll find that older people and organizations in the GLBT community still use this term. For instance, the GLBT Historical Society still uses GLBT in its name, even though it also uses LGBTQ in many of its articles and other online materials.

Example for using ‘GLBT’ in a conversation

Hey, have you heard of GLBT?

Yeah, it stands for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender.

That’s right! It’s a variation of the more commonly used LGBT acronym.

I think it changed in the 80s and 90s during the HIV/AIDS crisis.