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
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.
A social role for individuals who crossed or mixed male and female characteristics was one of the most widely distributed institutions of native North America.
The sexual revolution of post-World War II America changed sexual and gender roles profoundly.
Mixed-orientation marriages--those in which one partner is straight and the other is gay or lesbian--often end in divorce, but such an ending is not inevitable.
"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.
Since the late nineteenth century, transgendered people have advocated legal and social reforms that would ameliorate the kinds of oppression and discrimination they suffer.
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.
In an open letter addressed to Olympic competitors and officials, former NBA player John Amaechi, who in 2011 was named an Officer of the British Empire (OBE), has called on them to speak out against injustice in Sochi, reminding them that "it is your responsibility--as much as the quest for gold--to show the world that you understand that sport, especially Olympic sport, IS intrinsically political."
In the letter, published on Amaechi's personal blog, the former athlete says that he is distressed that some of the Olympians "seem to have missed the point of your larger responsibility and embarrassed that some of your sports federations and governing bodies have been complicit in facilitating you abdicating your larger responsibilities to the world beyond sport."
He says that "Reasonable people can argue whether your 'job' is to win medals, to ski, skate, shoot and whatever else you do better than anyone else in the world. But as a former athlete myself, I know that what we do in practice and competition is only one small part of of our job. Many of you are icons in your respective sports, inspirational to a generation of young people who hang on your every tweet, ape your every action and follow your every suggestion."
Hence, he insists, "It is your responsibility as you prepare to go to Sochi to publicly acknowledge that your games happen on the backs of the abuse of migrant workers, the threatening of environmental activists and journalists, the 'disappearance' of [$30 billion] and indeed, in the context of a country that is facilitating and then ignoring the torture of young gay boys and girls."
Referring to the recent calls by, among others, Harvey Fierstein and Stephen Fry, for a boycott of the Winter Games or to relocate them to a country that respects human rights, Amaechi says "I understand the logical, principled stand behind a call for a boycott, but I see it as impractical, politically untenable and if attempted, at best, piecemeal. I have also spoken to several key Russian activists who want the games to go ahead so that the athletes can compete, win and most importantly when they take those podiums--stand for something more than their personal and national glory."
He urges athletes to use the Olympic podium "as a soap box and in the 21st century the ways you can do that are wonderfully creative and varied, but don't fool yourself into thinking, as one athlete I spoke to today, that winning in silence will show your support, that act is an abdication of the most important role any athlete can aspire to have--that of multidimensional exemplar to the world of sport and beyond."
Amaechi observes that had the Olympic charter been observed in the first place, Sochi would never have been awarded the Winter Games.
Amaechi retired from the NBA in 2007. Following his retirement, he earned a Ph.D. in psychology and is now a practicing psychologist.
In the video below, Amaechi discusses his career, coming out, and homophobia and racism in sport.