GSRM. adj. (neologism / initialism)lgbt-flag-2

Denotation: An acronym/initialism of “Gender, Sexual, and Romantic Minorities” used as a substitute term for LGBTQIA+. “Gender Minorities” refers to non-cisgender individuals, “Sexual Minorities” refers to non-heterosexual individuals, and “Romantic minorities” refers to non-heteroromantic individuals.

Etymology: A term coined as a substitution for LGBTQIA+ due to the latter term’s relative complexity in terms of length and number of identities included. It was created fairly recently, as evinced by its single UrbanDictionary definition having been created in 2013.

Gender” (n.) A borrowing from French gendre (kind, sort), combined with an English element. Classes or categories (typically masculine or feminine, but not necessarily either) into which nouns and pronouns may be divided.

  • (c1390) Hire name, þat was femynyn Of gendre, heo turned in to masculyn. St. Theodora
  • (1612) What is a Gender? A. The difference of Nounes according to the sex..The difference whereby a word is noted to signifie the male, or female, or neither: that is, either hee or shee, or neither of them. J. Brinsley
  • (1819) In the Indian languages, those discriminating words or inflections which we call genders, are not, as with us,..intended to distinguish between male and female beings, but between animate and inanimate things. Trans. Hist. & Lit. Comm. Amer. Philos. Soc.
  • (1978) The major implication for policy of both the feminization of poverty and the..labor-force participation of welfare mothers is that gender cannot be ignored. D. Pearce
  • (2009) The assignment of gender to nouns, irrespective of any direct connection with biology,..can affect people’s view of the world. Christian Sci. Monitor

Sexual” (adj.) A borrowing from Latin sexualis (of, relating to, or arising from the fact or condition of being either male or female). Of or relating to sexuality as a social or cultural phenomenon; characterized by sexual instincts or feelings, or the capacity for these.

  • (1809) The Italians [are characterized] as effeminate, jealous, and lost to every sense of sexual virtue. R. Tyler
  • (1911) Berlin is outbidding Paris in its sexual immorality. Contemp. Rev.
  • (1934) Places where people..obey other sexual taboos. A. Huxley
  • (2003) A more serious community dispute over rules of sexual propriety. L. Peirce

Romantic” (adj.) A borrowing from Latin romanticus (having the nature or qualities of a romance; generally descriptive of a poem), combined with English elements [English romant +IC suffix]. Demonstrating or desirious of love and romance; amorous, loving, affectionate.

  • (1866) A week a go I said to you, ‘Margaret, be my wife.’ It was not very romantically put, I confess; but I’m not a very romantic person. E. Yates
  • (1937) ‘He’s so romantic,’ she smiled, ‘and so impractical. He wrote me sonnets instead of looking for a job.’ Chicago Tribune
  • (2008) Romance, for instance. You could think about what makes each of you feel romantic. Daily Tel.

Minorities” (n.) Partly a borrowing from French minorité and Latin minoritat-, minoritas. A small group of people differing from the rest of the community in ethnic origin, language, religion, etc. 

  • (1837) Though we go for the republican principle of the supremacy of the will of the majority, we acknowledge, in general, a strong sympathy with minorities, and consider that their rights have a high moral claim on the respect and justice of majorities. U.S. Mag. & Democratic Rev.
  • (1951) There are also other factors operating against campaigns of some local civic groups to encourage the hiring of minorities especially in white-collar jobs. Jrnl. Negro Educ.
  • (1996) Twice as many whites as minorities owned them [sc. computers]. F. Popcorn & L. Marigold

Sociolectical Information: This term is used primarily by members of the community it denotes, albeit by a fairly small fraction. It is not yet in widespread use even within its own community.

It exists because the existence of so many disparate and individual genders and sexualities makes it pretty much impossible for the LGBTQIA+ acronym to expand (in a universally recognized, easy-to-remember way) to include all of them. GSRM is a shorter way to acknowledge these identities without necessarily needing to expand.


The LGBTQIA+ currently has many interpretations and definitions of its full length (LGBTQIA? LGBTGIAAP?), with some identities grouped and forgotten under the “+”, and some disregarded entirely. Some people might not know what letters of the acronym stand for (for example, many people do not know that “I” stands for intersex individuals), which has led to the appropriation of certain letters by outside parties – many people believe that the “A” in LGBTQIA+ stands for “Allies”, while in actuality it stands for “Asexual”. GSRM as a term negates the possibility of accidental or appropriation. It also is such that if new identities and orientations arise, it does not have to change. However, the fact that “gender minorities” can be interpreted as including women – even heterosexual/romantic, cisgender women – has led to some controversy.

Update (4/7): While looking for examples of this term’s usage, I came across a blog post mentioning that part of this term (“sexual minorities”) was coined by Lars Ullerstam. In addition to homosexual individuals, Ullerstam apparently included necrophiliacs, pedophiliacs, rapists, and similarly unfortunate categories into “sexual minorities.” While I was unable to find a copy of Ullerstam’s original text, several reviews of it are available on JSTOR which more than adequately confirm Ullerstam’s thoughts on the subject:

Survival Predictions: The main issue that currently hampers this term from widespread use is the fact that it is almost unknown, even within its own community. If it continues to remain unknown, it will likely pass out of use. However, it is just as likely that – upon greater rates of usage – it may come into common and popular usage due to its brevity and relative lack of complexity.

That being said, even the more commonly used “LGBT” is a term that some people are unfamiliar with. If “GSRM” ever becomes successful, it may take quite a while to do so.


Lexopinions: I find that GSRM is much easier to use than LGBTQIA+ is, and that it is also more inclusive. However, I generally find myself using “LGBT” when talking to others, due to its being much better known.

In terms of inclusion, while “gender minorities” can refer to straight, heteroromantic, cisgender women, I don’t believe that they should be included in a term replacing LGBTQIA+. While these women may experience their own categories of oppression, they do not experience the particular kind of oppression that comes with being a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, and should therefore not have access to this term.

Update (4/7): My recent findings about the origins of the term “sexual minorities” has made me rethink my stance on the appropriateness of this term considerably. The LGBT community – gay men in particular – already face the issue of having their sexual orientation pathologized and considered synonymous with pedophilia; asking them to co-opt a term with such origins is something that no one has the right to ask of them.

Examples of usage:

  • “[Our organization] is working n collaborating with local GSRM groups that have established methods of assisting youth in general, to establish Asexual Youth support if there is none or just make it more accessible.” (Source)
  • “gettin Real Tired of people excluding/bullying aro/ace people from the LGBT community [for lack of a better word. Oh wait, there is! MOGAI or GSRM???].” (Source)
  • “I am doing my best to educate myself on the GSRM community, and have recently come across this debate/fight between to opinions of the transgender community.” (Source)


  1. mguzmanvogele says:

    This is an interesting term. I personally have heard of GSRM, but wasn’t sure what it stood for. I can’t speak for others, but, personally, as a member of the LGBTQIA community, I like the idea of a term that is more inclusive and doesn’t group together people under a “+.” However, I agree that expecting people to learn and adopt a new term anytime soon is overly optimistic. Because of the lack of inclusiveness of “LGBT+” (and the fact that it’s a mouthful) I’ve found myself using “queer” more often to describe the community. However, “queer” has its own baggage since it was formerly used a slur. Most members of the community, myself included, are not comfortable with the use of “queer” by outside members. Which circles back to the initial issue of needing a term to describe the community as a whole. There is a definite need for more inclusive terminology, but I’m not altogether sure that GSRM is the right one. Especially since you mentioned that “sexual minorities” might be an expression tied to pedophilia. Hopefully, in the future, a term will emerge to cover the full spectrum of people who don’t fit the heterosexual, heteroromantic gender binary standard. But, until then, I guess we’ll just have to keep tripping over letters.

  2. lamorris says:

    This is a really interesting post! I personally had never heard of the term “GSRM” before this. However, I do think it could be extremely useful. As our thinking about gender, sexuality, and romance has continued to evolve, the many different variations of the terms starting with “LBGT” have become increasingly long and difficult to say. I think “GSRM” is a good, inclusive term that is much easier to manage, although I wonder if it will succeed since LGBT+ terms have already been so successful. Also, it’s interesting that you mentioned “GSRM” would include cis-gender heterosexual women. That didn’t occur to me at all when I first heard the explanation of the word. I wonder if at this point women should even be called a minority. We are definitely still discriminated against, and we may be minorities in certain fields. However, overall we do make up half the population, so while sexism should definitely be acknowledged and stopped, I’m not sure if the word “minority” accurately represents the situation for women in comparison to other groups referred to as minorities.

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