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.
We have previously congratulated eight openly gay or lesbian Olympic medalists, here and here. We now congratulate two more medalists: Lisa Raymond, who won a bronze medal in mixed doubles tennis; and Seimone Augustus, who won a gold medal as a member of the dominant U.S. Women's basketball team.
Seimone Augustus was an outstanding college basketball player for LSU and was a no. 1 WNBA draft pick. She plays for the Minnesota Lynx in the WNBA, as well as for Moscow in the WBC. After overcoming a number of health problems, she led the Lynx to the 2011 WNBA championship and earned Most Valuable Player honors in the process. She helped make the American National team one of the most powerful in the history of women's basketball Olympic competition.
In May, she told Michelle Garcia of The Advocate that she and her girlfriend of five years, LaTaya Varner, are planning to marry this summer.
Lisa Raymond has achieved notable success as a doubles player. She has won 73 doubles titles in all, including 11 Grand Slam titles: 6 in women's doubles and 5 in mixed doubles. With partner Mike Bryan, with whom she also won the Wimbledon mixed doubles championship in 2012, she won the bronze medal in mixed doubles at the London 2012 Olympics.
As Cyd Zeigler observed on SBNation, "If Team Gay was a country, it would have finished 31st overall with seven medals, tied with Mexico, Ethiopia and Georgia. They would have beaten the medal count of such countries as Jamaica, Ireland, Argentina and India. They would have finished 21st overall for most golds (four), tied with Iran, Jamaica, Czech Republic and Korea."
There were, of course, many more glbtq Olympians than the 23 who were openly gay or lesbian, and many of the ones who are not publicly out may also have medaled. Still, the fact that ten of the 23 openly gay or lesbian Olympians medaled is amazing. It speaks admirably not only of their high level of accomplishment in their diverse sports, but also of their self-confidence and honesty.
The WNBA video below profiles Siemone Augustus.
The video below offers highlights from Lisa Raymond and Mike Bryan's mixed doubles victory at Wimbledon.