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.
Psychiatrist and gay rights advocate Dr. Richard A. Isay died on June 28, 2012 in New York City. The cause of death was complications from cancer.
A native of Plattsburg, New York, Isay was born on December 13, 1934. He graduated from Haverford College and the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, completed his residency in psychiatry at Yale, and trained at the Western New England Psychoanalytic Institute.
At the time of his death, Isay was professor of psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College and a faculty member at the Columbia University Center for Psychiatric Training and Research.
As Denise Grady reports in the New York Times, although Isay is now regarded as a pioneer in the struggle to change the way psychiatry regarded homosexuality, he did not come out until he was 40, married, and a father.
Early in his career, homosexuality was regarded as pathological and openly gay professionals were barred from training as analysts at institutions accredited by the American Psychoanalytic Association, the oldest professional group for analysts in the United States and one of the most influential, with many training institutes and affiliated societies.
Dr. Isay himself underwent 10 years of therapy in an attempt to "cure" his homosexuality. In the early 1970s, soon after the analysis ended and he was supposedly "cured," he realized that in fact he was undeniably homosexual. He was also married and the father of two sons.
Even as he lived as a closeted gay man, however, he refused to attempt to "cure" gay patients, knowing that such attempts were futile and dangerous. Instead, he helped gay patients to accept themselves.
Isay also began arguing in professional journals and books that homosexuality was neither an illness nor a matter of arrested development, but a normal variation of human sexuality.
In 1980, he told his wife that he was gay, and he became more open about his sexuality in professional interactions. He and his wife decided to remain married for the sake of their two children. They divorced in 1989 when the children reached adulthood.
Although the American Psychiatric Association stopped classifying homosexuality as a disease in 1973, many members of the American Psychoanalytic Association continued to regard it as an illness and the group continued to discriminate against openly gay analysts.
In 1992, with the support of the American Civil Liberties Union, Isay threatened a lawsuit to force the American Psychoanalytic Association to end its discriminatory practices.
As a result, the association issued a series of statements pledging that it would not discriminate in training, hiring, or promoting analysts. It also formed committees to educate member institutions on its changed policies.
Perhaps the best known of Isay's books are Being Homosexual (1989), Becoming Gay: The Journey to Self-Acceptance (1997), and Commitment and Healing: Gay Men and the Need for Romantic Love (2006).
In 1979, Isay met artist Gordon Harrell, who would become his partner. They did not begin living together until 1989, after Isay and his wife divorced.
Isay and Harrell were married in 2011, at the home of Isay's son Josh.
He is survived by his husband Gordon Harrell, sons David and Joshua Isay, former wife Jane Franzblau, and four grandchildren.