The sexual revolution of post-World War II America changed sexual and gender roles profoundly.
With reports from hundreds of sub-Saharan African locales of male-male sexual relations and from about fifty of female-female sexual relations, it is clear that same-sex sexual relations existed in traditional African societies, though varying in forms and in the degree of public acceptance
In British law, Section 28 of the Local Government Act, enforced from 1988 until 2003, prohibited the promotion of homosexuality and teaching the acceptability of homosexuality as a "pretended family relationship".
The Hijras--men who dress and act like women--have been a presence in India for generations, maintaining a third-gender role that has become institutionalized through tradition.
The dominant ideology among politicized lesbians during the 1970s and 1980s, Lesbian Feminism was based on the premise that lesbianism and feminism were inextricably linked.
Harvey Milk, among the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in the United States, was assassinated in San Francisco's City Hall, making him the American gay liberation movement's most visible martyr.
By the early twentieth-century, YMCAs had become popular havens for men who sought sex with other men.
Compulsory heterosexuality is the assumption that women and men are innately attracted to each other emotionally and sexually and that heterosexuality is universal, a view that leads to an institutional inequality of power that privileges heterosexual males and denigrates women, especially lesbians.
Detail from "Song of Hillary Clinton" by Carl Gopal.
He has mixed his mediums and metaphors to explore sexual relationships (1992) and America's identity in a time of war (2011). In the latter series, "The Assassination of Judy Garland--A Metaphorical Portrait of America," he used the arc of gay icon Judy Garland to explore American politics and characters like Obama, Hillary Clinton, Benyamin Netanyahu, Rahm Emanuel, and Tzipi Livni.
He also uses musicals like South Pacific to comment on the use of drones in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Gopal maintains that "the power of the queer lens can influence [more than] culture wars. It can be a way of reshaping the world by applying queer concepts to tough problems."
His website at www.carlgopal.com includes galleries of paintings from 1991 to the present and also his studio blog posts. Some of his more recent work is featured in "A Star is Born: Metaphorical Portraits of America," an extensive Tikkun Daily blog post.