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.
Kirk Murphy as a boy.
The family of Kirk Murphy, who as a four-year-old effeminate boy was subjected to reparative therapy at UCLA in the early 1970s and who later committed suicide, has issued a statement thanking Governor Jerry Brown and the California legislature for banning sexual orientation conversion therapy for minors in the golden state.
Maris Ehlers, the younger sister of Kirk Murphy, worked with Jim Burroway of BoxTurtleBulletin on bringing to light the tragic story of her brother in his investigation into the "Sissy Boy Experiments" conducted at UCLA in the 1970s.
Published in June 2011, Burroway's investigation, entitled "What Are Little Boys Made Of?", excavates the real story of Murphy, who committed suicide in 2003 at the age of 38. Far from having been "cured" of homosexuality as reparative therapists claimed, Murphy was tormented by the treatment he received as a child. A homosexual who was never able to form a lasting relationship with anyone, Murphy suffered depression and anxiety as a result of his experience.
In her statement issued on October 1, 2012, which may be found here, Ehlers writes: "I'm sure so many of you have wondered why we would have come forward and share such a painful story about our family in such a public way. It wasn't fun, it wasn't pleasant and it wasn't easy. It was gut wrenching, life-changing and terrifying to feel so vulnerable and exposed, and to put ourselves and those we love out in public to be judged."
"However, once we knew what had actually happened to our brother in those therapy rooms so long ago at UCLA, what had actually been done to the core of his soul, it was worse than when we actually lost him to suicide in 2003. It was far worse, because once we knew, we realized why, and that was almost more than we could bear. We knew his story had to be told, even at the expense of our own 'comfortable' lives, in the hopes that people would wake up and realize that the soul crushing things that had been done to him are still being done to children today, and he deserved to have us acknowledge what he endured, what was done, and how it affected his entire life."
"Our dream was that reparative therapy would be banned, but it seemed impossible. Today, however, that dream became a reality, even if only in California, and it means that youth that identify as LGBT have a layer of protection, in a world where they often have very little. Our goal must be that this law spread to every state in the union and beyond."
"Thank you to Governor Jerry Brown, for signing the law and making it official. Thank you to Senator Ted Lieu for authoring the bill, and for telling Kirk's story to the California senate."
Elhlers concludes, "Today is truly a day in which I feel that Kirk's life not only lives on, but that his life has now been used for good, to help save the lives of kids 'just like him,' instead of being used to torture, hurt and harm kids 'just like him.'"
The story of Kirk Murphy not only exposes the fraudulent claims of quacks who profess to cure homosexuality, but it also illustrates the lasting damage done by such therapy.
Burroway's investigation was the inspiration for a three-segment story featured on Anderson Cooper 360, called "Sissy Boy Experiments." Fittingly, both Burroway's investigative reporting and Cooper's broadcast were honored earlier this year with awards from the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association.
In the videos below Cooper reports on the "Sissy Boy Experiments."
In the following video, Jim Burroway discusses the case of Kirk Murphy and the reparative therapy movement with Anderson Cooper.