Legendary queers and our gay past
GLA turns 40
The Gay and Lesbian Alliance in London turns 40 this month. Peter Tatchel remembers what it was like to be queer in those troubled days.
Building a gay sports legacy: The story of Tom Waddell
Often credited as making the biggest contribution to the gay sports movement ever, an Olympian himself, Tom Waddell knew the pressures of competition, but as a gay man, that competition was only half of his battle. His struggle for acceptance has become an inspiration to athletes of all races, nationalities and sexual orientations. His is a story of survival. Read more
Who were Hadrian and Antinous?
The devotion of the Roman emperor Hadrian for his young lover Antinous prompted the creation of a religious cult that lasted some 200 years and inspired countless works of art and literature down through the centuries. Read more
Who was Anna Ruhling?
Anna Ruhling, one of the first feminists to speak in favor of homosexual rights, was also among the earliest activists to come out as a lesbian. Yet for a century after her famous 1904 speech, little was known about her life, until she was identified as Theo Anna Sprungli. Read more
What is the history of The Advocate?
The Advocate – the oldest continuously published U.S. gay periodical still in existence – has chronicled the history and culture of the LGBT community for 40 years.
Who was Amy Lowell?
Amy Lowell, a well-known lesbian poet of the early 20th century, situated herself within a tradition of women extending back to Sappho. "We're a queer lot, we women who write poetry," she opined in "The Sisters" (1925). Read more
Who was John Henry Mackay?
Though he was regarded as an important political philosopher in his day, the work of John Henry Mackay is now largely forgotten, due to his controversial views on individualist anarchism and intergenerational relationships.Read more
What were some milestones for queers on television? (Part 2)
Despite growing pressure from conservatives following the proliferation of LGBT characters in the mid-1970s, the 1980s and 1990s witnessed no shortage of queer television milestones. In 1981, ABC's popular Dynasty introduced Steven Carrington, the first openly bisexual regular character in a dramatic series. Read more
What were some milestones for queers on television? (Part 1)
Television is a major influence on American popular culture, and the evolving presence of LGBT people on the small screen has both reflected and fostered acceptance of gays in mainstream society.
What were some GLBT protests before Stonewall?
The Stonewall riots of June 1969 are often cited as the start of the gay liberation movement, but several GLBT protests occurred during the preceding years, both organized demonstrations and spontaneous bursts of outrage. Read more
What is the history of the National Center for Lesbian Rights?
The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), which celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2007, has spearheaded numerous precedent-setting legal cases that have improved the lives of LGBT people and their families in the USA. Read more
Who was Tom of Finland?
The erotic art of Touko Laaksonen – better known as Tom of Finland – shaped the erotic fantasies of countless gay men and helped redefine the popular image of male homosexuality.
Who was Kiyoshi Kuromiya?
The life of Kiyoshi Kuromiya, a long-time gay rights activist, illustrates the interconnections between the GLBT movement and other liberation struggles of the late 20th century.
Who were Anne Bonny and Mary Read?
Anne Bonny and Mary Read – two 18th-century women pirates – lived lives of adventure on the high seas, and were reputed to be as brave and bloodthirsty as any man.
What is the history of Polari?
Polari – a well-developed form of slang spoken by British gay men in the mid-20th century – fell out of favor with the advent of the gay liberation movement, but has enjoyed a revival in recent years.
Who was Allen Schindler?
The murder of gay sailor Allen Schindler in October 1992 contributed to a national debate in the United States about GLBT people in the military that remains unresolved to this day.
What is the history of ONE Inc.?
ONE Inc., founded in the early 1950s, was at the forefront of the nascent homophile movement, and has played an important role, in America, in preserving GLBT history and culture to the present day. Read more
Who was Vita Sackville-West?
Though author Vita Sackville-West is perhaps best known today for her relationship with Virginia Woolf, in her day she was a successful poet and novelist in her own right. Victoria Sackville-West was born on March 9, 1892, to an aristocratic family in Kent, England. Read more
What is the history of drag balls?
Cross-dressing at social gatherings has long been a prominent feature of GLBT culture and in America, from the 1970s onward, the drag ball community has provided a surrogate family for many black and Latino gay and transgender youth. Read more
Who was Jackie "Moms" Mabley?
African-American comedian Jackie "Moms" Mabley – dubbed "the funniest woman in the world" – was known for her ribald humor about young men, but her personal relationships were often with women. Read more
Who was Reed Erickson?
Though not well known today, female-to-male philanthropist Reed Erickson provided funding for one of the first U.S. gay organizations and some of the earliest services for transgender people. Erickson, originally named Rita, was born October 13, 1917, in El Paso, Texas. Read more
Who was Joseph Beam?
African-American author and activist Joseph Beam secured his place in GLBT literary history as the editor of In the Life, a groundbreaking anthology of works by black same-gender-loving men. Beam was born December 30, 1954, in Philadelphia.
What was Patience and Sarah?
The novel Patience and Sarah, first published in 1969, was a rarity in its day as a lesbian love story in which the protagonists did not come to grief on account of their relationship.
What is the history of gay motorcycle clubs?
Motorcycle culture emerged in the United States in the 1920s and 1930s, often revolving around racing. The popularity of motorcycles grew during World War II, as motorcyclists were regarded as something of a modern-day cavalry.
Who was Adolf Brand?
Because his political views are perceived as inimical to those of the contemporary LGBT movement, Adolf Brand – who, at the turn of the 20th century, started the first-ever homophile journal and the second homosexual/bisexual organization – remains less well known than his contemporary, Magnus Hirschfeld. Read more
Who was Daphne du Maurier?
Bisexual author Daphne du Maurier, best known today through film adaptations of her work, helped define the gothic romance genre of literature. Du Maurier was born May 13, 1907, to an artistic family in London. Read more
What is the history of The Ladder?
For many gay and bisexual women in the 1950s and 1960s, The Ladder, published by the Daughters of Bilitis (DOB), provided their first hint that there were others like themselves.
Who was Chevalier d'Eon?
Chevalier d'Eon, an 18th-century spy and diplomat who inspired sexologist Havelock Ellis to coin the term "eonism" for cross-dressing, was the subject of much speculation about his gender both during his lifetime and in the decades since his death.
Who was Christopher Isherwood?
British author Christopher Isherwood is widely considered a queer cultural icon, and his frank portrayals of homosexuality secured his position as one of the earliest literary voices of the gay liberation era. Read more
Who was Elsa Gidlow?
Writer Elsa Gidlow – dubbed the "Poet Warrior" – is regarded as a lesbian-feminist pioneer, and was an active participant in many of the San Francisco Bay Area's cultural and political movements over the course of nearly six decades. Read more
Who was Truman Capote?
Author Truman Capote, who popularized the genre of creative nonfiction, was as well-known for his open homosexuality and his extravagant social life as he was for his writing. Truman Streckfus Persons was born September 30, 1924, in New Orleans.
What is the history of ILGA?
The International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA), a member organization comprising some 400 GLBT groups in more than 90 countries, is a leading advocate for the rights of gay, lesbian bisexual, transgender, and intersex people worldwide. Read more
Why doesn't San Francisco have gay bathhouses?
The announcement in February 2005 of a case of highly drug-resistant HIV in New York City renewed a debate that began two decades earlier about gay civil liberties and AIDS prevention.