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.
Still from the award-winning film Maurice (1987) for which Robbins wrote the score.
Oscar-nominated composer Richard Robbins died on November 7, 2012 at his home in Rhinebeck, N.Y. of Parkinson's disease. The American composer, pianist, and musicologist was best known for the scores he wrote for Merchant-Ivory films, including Howards End (1992) and The Remains of the Day (1993), both of which earned him Academy Award nominations. His score for A Room with a View (1985) won him a British Academy Award.
Robbins was born December 4, 1940, in South Weymouth, Massachusetts. He began playing the piano at the age of 5. He graduated from the New England Conservatory in Boston.
As Rebecca Trounson reports in the Los Angeles Times, Robbins created the score for nearly every Merchant-Ivory film from The Europeans in 1979 to The White Countess in 2005.
The long collaboration with director James Ivory and producer Ismail Merchant came about as a result of his friendship with Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, the novelist and screenwriting collaborator of Merchant and Ivory. He met her in 1976, when he began teaching piano to Jhabvala's youngest daughter.
Of their initial meeting, Ivory said Robbins "liked us and we liked him, and then he gradually became a composer. I don't think that was something he ever thought he'd be doing, writing film music, but what happened to him was what happened to me and to Ruth: Ismail just kind of assigned us our roles and that was that."
Ivory added, "I think the more Dick did, the more he realized he could do. And soon, he was writing really wonderful original music."
He concluded, "I always felt that if anything happened to him and we didn't have his music, then it really wouldn't be a Merchant Ivory film. His music was integral to our films."
Robbins typically combined lavish orchestrations with synthesized minimalist cues to evoke the dramatic complexity of each film and the psychology of its characters.
Robbins's work embraced a wide range of music and musical styles, from opera to jazz. His romantic, lushly orchestrated music for Maurice (1987), which won an award at the Venice Film Festival, was quite different from the melancholic score he wrote for The Remains of the Day, for example.
He was responsible for choosing and supervising all the music for the films he worked on, from the pop songs for Slaves of New York (1989) to the Puccini aria "O mio babbino caro" for A Room With a View (1985).
Robbins is survived by his long-time partner, painter Michael T. Schell. In 1994, the couple collaborated on Via Crucis, a musical and visual collage representing the Stations of the Cross.
In addition to Schell, survivors include Robbins's brothers Donald, William, John, and Peter Robbins and several nieces and nephews.
The clip below presents the music from the end titles of Maurice, the Merchant-Ivory film based on E. M. Forster's novel of homosexual awakening and love.