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Thursday, September 12, 2024

Where is the “Q” in LGBT+?

When referencing lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and other sexual and gender minorities, you may have seen a lot of letters to represent the community, like LGBT, LGBTQ or LGBTQIAA+. Given the variation, we, at CMSS, want to be very intentional about the language that we use. As an organization that serves older adults, we know how important it is that we center the voices of those that we serve. So, when we created the GOLD program (GLBT+ Older Adults Leading Initiatives to Drive Change), we involved our community members in the planning process. What we learned is that despite the fact that many younger individuals have reclaimed the word, “queer,” as an identity, it was historically used as a derogatory slur. For this reason, many LGBT older adults still connect the word to this discrimination and trauma. There are, however, some older adults that personally identify as queer and may feel excluded by the omission of “Q.” Therefore, in order to be sensitive to those who are triggered while also including those who identify as queer, CMSS has chosen to use the acronym LGBT+, with the “+” representing inclusivity of all sexual and gender diversity. While this is our current language, we recognize that feelings around this word may change over time, and we are committed to doing the work and evolving with our community.

We appreciate you being a part of our journey. 

Katie Fasullo, DNP, RN, GERO-BC

Corporate Director of Population Health and Health Equity

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