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.
Lesbian Nuns: Breaking Silence, the book for which Keefe is best known.
Professor and author Rosemary Curb [Keefe], co-editor with Nancy Manahan of one of the bestselling lesbian books of all time, Lesbian Nuns: Breaking Silence, died of complications from lung transplant surgery on May 25, 2012.
As Tracy Baim reports in an obituary in Windy City Times, Lesbian Nuns was both popular and controversial.
The book achieved national attention through media appearances by Curb and Manahan, including a national book tour and a segment of the Phil Donahue Show. Its sales also increased because it was banned by the Roman Catholic Church.
Its publisher, Naiad Press, gained visibility through publishing the book, which went through four printings before the mass distribution and paperback rights were sold to Warner Books in 1986. Lesbian Nuns: Breaking Silence was translated or reissued in Australia, Brazil, English, France, Germany, Holland, Ireland, Italy, and Spain.
It aroused controversy within the lesbian community when Naiad sold syndication rights to Forum, a men's magazine. While Naiad had the legal rights to do so, many feminists criticized the move. Naiad's owners, Barbara Grier and Donna McBride, defended the sale, saying it was one way to get the stories out to more women across the country.
Curb's co-editor Nancy Manahan explained the impact of the book to Windy City Times: "for the first time the word 'lesbian' and the concept of lesbianism was discussed openly on TV, very widely, on radio, in newspapers, in the mainstream, and the gay press, here as well as abroad, because it was published in so many countries," Manahan said. "It really was a silence-breaking book, just like the title said."
Manahan described Curb as "an incredible and remarkable woman."
Curb also edited Amazon All-Stars: Thirteen Lesbian Plays, with Essays and Interviews (1996), which was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award.
After receiving her Ph.D. in English from the University of Arkansas in 1977 Curb taught and held administrative positions at Rollins College until 1992, then at Missouri State University (1993-1999). She served as Dean and Professor of English and Women's Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Superior from 2000 to 2007, when she retired and moved to Albuquerque.
Curb Keefe is survived by her partner Doris Burkemper; her daughter Lisa DeVore; her granddaughter Cheyenne; and a brother.