What’s in a Name? The Journey to LGBTQ Real Estate
Twenty-five years ago, if somebody used the expressions LGBTQ real estate or LGBTQ realtor or recommended a website called LGBTQRealEstatePros.com, most people would have reacted with confusion. This would not have been due to intentional disrespect, but rather out of genuine puzzlement – a quarter-century ago, no one was using the acronym LGBTQ, let alone associating it with homeownership and the buying and selling of residential property.
The language journey that brought us to the point in time where LGBTQ real estate or LGBTQ realtor is used without generating bewilderment marks a reflection of how both the wider society has evolved and how the LGBTQ community itself has reconsidered its identity.
Prior to the Stonewall Uprising in 1969, the term “homosexual” was primarily used to identify gay men while lesbian was used to identify women. The term “gay” became more commonplace in the early 1970s, and “gay and lesbian” would become the phrase most often used to refer to non-heterosexual people through the 1970s and 1980s.
By the late 1980s, the acronyms LGB, LGBT and GLBT began to appear. The B and T, of course, referred to bisexual and transgender individuals – both communities had historically been considered separate from the gay and lesbian population, but were now being considered as part of a wider population. GLBT and LGBT were somewhat interchangeable for a while until LGBT gained wider use to become inclusive of the lesbian population.
By the mid-2010s, the acronym expanded further to become LGBTQ, with the Q standing for either “queer” or “questioning.” The embrace of the Q addition was not instant and is still resisted in some quarters – most notably on Wikipedia, where a search for “LGBTQ” takes a reader to a page headlined as “LGBT.” Further additions have included LGBTQIA+ (for Intersex, Asexual and those who don’t identify with the defined categories) and the Canadian acronym LGBTQ2 (the number stands for “two spirit,” a reference to the nation’s indigenous people).
The use of the acronyms has also influenced the reality of a wider community rather than isolated factions living and working separately from each other – and, by extension, from the wider world. Within the real estate world, for example, referring to someone as an “LGBTQ realtor” rather than a “gay realtor” or a “lesbian realtor” provides a full depth of the demographic that is represented within the profession.
The more recent trend for people of all persuasions to highlight their pronouns in business correspondence and social media platforms offers strong evidence of an evolving affirmation of gender identity.
Jeff Berger, the founder of LGBTQRealEstatePros.com says “Where next? How does the community come together as one. Are we fragmented? Personally there are times I think yes we are mistakenly more fragmented, and with this fragmentation comes concerns of broken links and sometimes miscommunications within the community. But that’s life. Tides ebb and flow.
As the LGBTQ community has coalesced over time, their need to be treated as equal participants in the wider socioeconomic society has also become of primary importance. This includes the right of the LGBTQ demographic to pursue the American Dream of homeownership and to transact home sales without the threat of bias or prejudice.
And this is why a platform like LGBTQRealEstatePros.com has become an invaluable tool. Yes, the URL might be a little longish, but the site itself has become the Internet’s most important source for representing LGBTQ realtors and their allies and for enabling buyers and sellers to connect with professionals who will have their best interests in mind. Whatever you call the community as a whole, you can always call on the LGBTQRealEstatePros.com professionals as trusted partners in residential real estate.