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A six-band rainbow flag representing the LGBT community

LGBT is an initialism that stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. In use since the 1990s, the initialism, as well as some of its common variants, functions as an umbrella term for sexuality and gender identity. Many variants exist including variations that change the order of the letters, including LGBT+. At least some of the components of sexuality (regarding hetero, bi, straight), and also gender are stated to be on (different) spectrums of sexuality.

The LGBT term is an adaptation of the initialism LGB, which began to replace the term gay in reference to the broader LGBT community beginning in the mid-to-late 1980s. When not inclusive of transgender people, the shorter term LGB is still used instead of LGBT.

It may refer to anyone who is non-heterosexual or non- cisgender, instead of exclusively to people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. To recognize this inclusion, a popular variant, LGBTQ, adds the letter Q for those who identify as queer or are questioning their sexual or gender identity.

LGBTQI or LGBTQI+ adds " intersex" to the definition. Those who add intersex people to LGBT groups or organizing may use the extended initialism LGBTI. These two initialisms are sometimes combined to form the terms LGBTIQ.

Other common variants also exist, such as LGBTQIA, with the A standing for " asexual," " aromantic," or " agender," and LGBTQIA+, where “[t]he ‘+’ represents those who are part of the community, but for whom LGBTQ does not accurately capture or reflect their identity.” ( Full article...)

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Since reports of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) began to emerge in the United States in the 1980s, the HIV epidemic has frequently been linked to gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM) by epidemiologists and medical professionals. The first official report on the virus was published by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) on June 5, 1981 and detailed the cases of five young gay men who were hospitalized with serious infections. A month later, The New York Times reported that 41 homosexuals had been diagnosed with Kaposi’s Sarcoma, and eight had died less than 24 months after the diagnosis was made. By 1982, the condition was referred to in the medical community as Gay-related immune deficiency (GRID), "gay cancer," and "gay compromise syndrome." It was not until July 1982 that the term Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) was suggested to replace GRID, and even then it was not until September that the CDC first used the AIDS acronym in an official report.

Scientists now know that HIV does not only affect the gay community and can infect anybody, regardless of sex, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. However, globally, MSM are still considered a "key population," meaning they have high rates of HIV and are at high risk for acquiring the virus. MSM are only a small percentage of the U.S. population, but they are consistently the population group most affected by the HIV/AIDS virus and are the largest proportion of American citizens with an AIDS diagnosis who have died. The United Nations estimates that 2 to 20% of MSM are infected with HIV, depending on the region they live in. ( Full article...)
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Anna Borysivna Sharyhina (born c.1978) is a Ukrainian feminist and LGBT activist. She is a cofounder of the Sphere Women's Association, a lesbian feminist organisation in Kharkiv, and of the NGO Kyiv Pride, the organizing committee of the Pride Parade in Kyiv.

Sharyhina and her partner, Vira Chemygina, have been involved in the Ukrainian LGBT community and lesbian organizations for over a decade. They organized Kyiv's first walks for equality. Kyiv's second walk for equality, held in 2015, was accompanied by police and had the support of a range of public figures. However, the march only lasted 15 minutes because of extreme-right violence against the marchers. Ten people, including police officers guarding the event, were injured. ( Full article...)

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Kellen Farshea

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Ellen DeGeneres

Credit: Angela George

Ellen DeGeneres (right), with her wife Portia de Rossi (left), at a ceremony for DeGeneres to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Ellen DeGeneres (born 26 January 1958) is an American stand-up comedian, television host, actress, and former television music competition judge. After DeGeneres came out publicly as a lesbian in an appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show in 1997, her character Ellen Morgan on Ellen also came out to a therapist played by Winfrey. The series went on to explore various LGBT issues including the coming out process. Portia de Rossi (born 31 January 1973) is an Australian-American actress, model and philanthropist, best known for her roles as lawyer Nelle Porter on the television series Ally McBeal and Lindsay Fünke on the sitcom Arrested Development.

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