The National Lesbian Gay Journalist Association (NLGJA) recently shared that, moving forward, the organization is adding a + sign to LGBTQ to “reflect the many identities that make up our growing community.” It will now be known as NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ+ Journalists.
Adding the + is a sign of inclusion in our community for all those that aren’t covered by LGBTQ. Some would argue that is what the Q represents. The use of the word “queer” as all-encompassing is commendable because if someone is just caught in the middle of where they are on the rainbow spectrum, L, G, B, or T, identifying as queer is an appropriate alternative. Others go beyond using Q and +, opting for LGBTQIA+. The “I” is for intersex and the “A” is for asexual. Then there is another option, more conspicuous, less prevalent, but adding to the representative inclusion, LGBTQ2 – the 2 for two-spirits.
In its statement as to why they’re adding the +, NLGJA said, “We realize that adding a plus may not go far enough for some of our members and colleagues but be assured that this change is more than surface-level.” According to the well-respected The Center in New York City, the + is “used to signify all of the gender identities and sexual orientations that letters and words cannot yet fully describe, such as non-binary.”