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Who is the creator of Lgbtq?

There is no single creator or founder of the LGBTQ community. The acronym LGBTQ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning. This term encompasses people whose sexual orientations and/or gender identities differ from the heterosexual and cisgender majority. The LGBTQ community and rights movement has its roots in the early 20th century, but it really began to take shape and gain momentum in the 1960s. Since then, activists, leaders, and everyday LGBTQ people have fought for equal rights and social acceptance. Let’s take a closer look at the origins and evolution of the LGBTQ community.

Early LGBTQ History

While the modern LGBTQ rights movement developed in the 20th century, people who engaged in same-sex relationships or did not conform to gender norms existed throughout history. Here are some key events in early LGBTQ history:

  • 2450 BCE – Khnumhotep and Niankhkhnum were ancient Egyptian male royal servants who were likely in a same-sex relationship. Their joint tomb contains inscriptions calling them “united in life and united in death.”
  • 470-390 BCE – Sappho was a Greek poet from the island of Lesbos. Much of her romantic poetry was addressed to women, giving rise to the term lesbian.
  • 100-165 CE – Emperor Hadrian of Rome had an influential relationship with a young man named Antinous. After Antinous drowned, Hadrian declared him a god.
  • 1533 CE – Queen Christina of Sweden renounced the throne to pursue her relationship with a woman, Ebba Sparre.

So while same-sex love and gender variance have occurred through the ages, those involved were generally isolated or met with societal disapproval. It was not until the late 1800s and early 1900s that the first organized LGBTQ rights groups began to form.

Early LGBTQ Rights Groups

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, LGBTQ people began to connect and organize more visibly. Some key early LGBTQ rights organizations included:

Group Year Founded Significance
Scientific-Humanitarian Committee 1897 First documented LGBTQ rights organization, based in Germany
Carpenter-Ehlers Circle 1908 First lesbian rights organization, formed in England
Chicago Society for Human Rights 1924 First recognized gay rights organization in the United States
Mattachine Society 1950 Early “homophile” organization in USA; advocated for gay rights
Daughters of Bilitis 1955 Lesbian counterpart to Mattachine Society

These pioneering groups laid the foundation for the LGBTQ rights movement in the later 20th century. They helped foster community and called for an end to discrimination.

The 1960s-1980s

The 1960s through the 1980s marked a period of major development and mobilization for the LGBTQ community. Some key events included:

  • 1962 – Illinois becomes the first U.S. state to decriminalize homosexual acts between consenting adults in private.
  • 1969 – The Stonewall Riots occur in New York City after police raid the Stonewall Inn gay club. This galvanizes the gay liberation movement nationwide.
  • 1973 – In a milestone court decision, the American Psychiatric Association removes homosexuality from its list of mental disorders.
  • 1979 – First national LGBTQ march on Washington D.C. draws over 100,000 demonstrators.
  • 1981 – The New York Times publishes its first article using the word “gay” to refer to homosexuality.
  • 1982 – Wisconsin becomes the first U.S. state to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation.
  • 1987 – Activist Cleve Jones creates the first panel of the AIDS Memorial Quilt to honor lives lost to AIDS.

This era saw LGBTQ people gain visibility and fight back against discrimination. Gay neighborhoods like the Castro in San Francisco became havens and sites of resistance. AIDS also devastated the community and galvanized further organizing and activism.

LGBTQ Movement Post-1990

From the 1990s onward, the LGBTQ rights movement continued making strides, with some major victories:

  • 1993 – Hawaii’s Supreme Court rules that denying same-sex couples the right to marry is discriminatory.
  • 2000 – Vermont becomes the first state to legalize civil unions between same-sex partners.
  • 2003 – The U.S. Supreme Court strikes down sodomy laws in Lawrence v. Texas, decriminalizing same-sex sexual activity.
  • 2009 – President Obama signs the Matthew Shepard Act, expanding federal hate crimes law to include gender identity and sexual orientation.
  • 2011 – The U.S. military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy officially ends, allowing openly LGBTQ people to serve.
  • 2015 – In a landmark decision, the U.S. Supreme Court legalizes same-sex marriage nationwide.
  • 2020 – The Supreme Court rules that LGBTQ people are protected from job discrimination under the Civil Rights Act.

Steady progress has been made, though much work remains in achieving full equality. Transgender rights have become a recent focus of activists. Despite the gains, LGBTQ people still face disproportionate rates of violence, homelessness, workplace discrimination and health disparities. Continued advocacy is needed to address these inequities.

Key LGBTQ Pioneers and Leaders

While no single person can be said to have created the LGBTQ community, there are many notable pioneers and leaders who have powerfully impacted it. Here are just a few:

Person Significance
Harvey Milk First openly gay elected official in California; championed gay rights politically
Marsha P. Johnson Transgender activist who was a leader in the Stonewall Riots
Audre Lorde Influential lesbian poet and feminist who explored LGBTQ and racial identity
Larry Kramer Prominent AIDS activist who founded the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP)
Sylvia Rivera Transgender activist who fought for rights of transgender people of color
Ellen DeGeneres Groundbreaking lesbian comedian and TV host who impacted LGBTQ visibility

Through writing, activism, art and politics, individuals like these transformed public awareness and advanced LGBTQ equality over the decades.

Evolution of the Acronym

The acronym LGBTQ has evolved over time as awareness has grown. Here’s a look at how it expanded:

  • Late 1980s: LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender)
  • Late 1990s: LGBTQ (with Q for queer or questioning)
  • 2000s: LGBTQIA (with I for intersex and A for allies or asexual)
  • 2010s: LGBTQIA+ (with + representing the ever-expanding spectrum)

The acronym continues to grow as more gender identities gain recognition. But at its core, it affirms the spectrum of sexuality and gender that exists beyond rigid societal norms.


In summary, there is no single founder of the LGBTQ community. It developed organically over many decades through the courage and visibility of countless individuals who dared to live openly and authentically. Seeking acceptance and equality, LGBTQ people have formed a vibrant community and movement that continues to evolve today. The LGBTQ rights struggle has achieved significant victories, thanks to the work of pioneers, leaders, activists, and everyday community members. While ongoing advocacy remains vital, the LGBTQ community has shown remarkable resilience and determination in fighting for its rightful place in society.