The confrontations between police and demonstrators at the Stonewall Inn in New York City the weekend of June 27-29, 1969 mark the beginning of the modern glbtq movement for equal rights.
Formed soon after the Stonewall Riots of 1969, the short-lived but influential Gay Liberation Front brought a new militancy to the movement that became known as gay liberation.
The sexual revolution of post-World War II America changed sexual and gender roles profoundly.
"Leather" is a blanket term for a large array of sexual preferences, identities, relationship structures, and social organizations loosely tied together by the thread of what is conventionally understood as sadomasochistic sex.
Although best known for her crusade for women's suffrage, Susan B. Anthony spoke out on a range of feminist issues.
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
Androgyny, a psychological blending of gender traits, has long been embraced by strong women, soft men, members of queer communities, and others who do not easily fit into traditionally defined gender categories.
A cultural crossroads between Asia and Europe, Russia has a long, rich, and often violent heritage of varied influences and stark confrontations in regard to its patterns of same-sex love.
Congratulations to Pamela Raintree, a transgender woman who brilliantly challenged a homophobic councilman in Shreveport, Louisiana on January 14, 2014. The confrontation came after the councilman attempted to repeal an anti-discrimination ordinance and it offers a wonderful example of how to deal with religious-based homophobia.
Shreveport, Louisiana has a reputation as one of the most conservative cities in the country. Located in north Louisiana, near the Texas border, the city is overwhelmingly Southern Baptist and Republican. However, there has lately been some movement toward a greater inclusiveness, perhaps inspired by the city's attempt to attract lucrative film projects.
To burnish its new image as a more accepting and diverse community, Shreveport recently adopted a "fairness" ordinance that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
The adoption of the ordinance makes Shreveport only the second city in Louisiana--after New Orleans--to enact protections for its glbtq citizens. Whereas New Orleans adopted a nondiscrimination ordinance providing protections on the basis of sexual orientation in 1991 and on the basis of gender identity in 1998, attempts to adopt similar ordinances in Baton Rouge and Lafayette have repeatedly failed.
The ordinance, sponsored by a pro-glbtq coalition known as "Be Fair Shreveport," was passed by the City Council in December on a 6-1 vote.
Despite the overwhelming vote, City Councilman Ron Webb, the lone dissenter, did not give up. Instead, he threatened a referendum on the measure and attempted to repeal it. He told his colleagues that "The Bible tells you homosexuals are an abomination," and proudly stated that he does not socialize with glbtq people.
At the City Council meeting on January 14, when Councilman Webb's proposal was to be considered, dozens of people registered to speak out against it.
Among them was Pamela Raintree, a transgender woman who was not afraid to confront the Councilman on his own terms.
Holding a stone in her hand, Ms. Raintree quoted the passage that Webb had cited at the previous council meeting and asked if he had the courage of his convictions.
"Leviticus 20:13 states, 'If a man also lie with mankind as he lieth with a woman, they shall surely put him to death,'" Raintree began, and--evoking Jesus's injunction, "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone," added "I brought the first stone, Mr. Webb, in case that your Bible talk isn't just a smoke screen for personal prejudices."
Webb withdrew his repeal measure just minutes later, without calling for a vote.
The brilliance of Pamela Raintree's confrontation is that it turns the table on bigots who use the Bible to attack others and raises the crucial question of whether their "Bible talk" isn't just a smokescreen for their personal prejudices.
Thanks to the Advocate for calling attention to the video below and thanks to Pamela Raintree for so powerfully calling out the hypocrisy of Shreveport Councilman Ron Webb.