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.
Thanks to his ill-considered television appearances, shockingly dressed on at least one occasion in a Russian Army uniform, former Olympian Johnny Weir has revealed himself as an ignorant and selfish brat. The problem is not that he (like other openly gay and lesbian athletes) is opposed to a boycott of the Sochi Games, but that he has preened in such a way as to dismiss the suffering of glbtq Russians. By appearing in a Russian Army uniform, he signaled that he identified not with the oppressed but with the oppressors. The news that he failed to register on September 1, 2013 for a qualifying event for the U.S. Olympic team probably means that his skating career is over. It is sad that it ends on such a disappointing note.
It was always unlikely that Weir would qualify for the U.S. Olympic team. He finished sixth at the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver and has competed sparingly since then. Still, he indicated that he planned to attempt to make the 2014 team. In retrospect, however, those indications may simply have been either whistling in the dark or a means to keep the media interested in his opinions about the Sochi Olympics.
It is sad that Weir's career ends in self-inflicted disgrace.
Noted for the flamboyance of his skating and presentation, Weir was always a pleasure to watch on the ice. As Linda Rapp observes in her glbtq.com entry on him, "Even though he finished sixth in the 2010 Olympics, he nevertheless established himself as the most exciting figure skater in the world, far more enjoyable to watch than his gold medalist rival Evan Lysacek."
After he finally came out to no one's surprise in his 2011 memoir, Welcome to My World, Weir became something of a gay rights activist. He became a supporter of the Trevor Project, the Elton John AIDS Foundation, and the Human Rights Campaign.
In addition, he spoke out against the selection of Olympic gold medalist gymnast Peter Vidmar as "chef de mission" for the 2012 U. S. Olympic team. After Outsports.com revealed that Vidmar had campaigned in favor of California's Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage in the Golden State, Weir denounced the choice of Vidmar as "disgraceful" and a violation of the Olympic Charter's prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
Indeed, Weir's history of personal flamboyance and political activism made his incoherent and unsophisticated antics concerning the Sochi Games particularly disappointing.
As John Aravosis wrote in Americablog.com, "Through the coverage of the growing international brouhaha over Russia's anti-gay 'propaganda' law and Russia's imminent hosting of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, the media has had a bit of a thing for asking former gay-Olympian Johnny Weir for his opinion on the entire mess. And Weir's answers have been just that, a bit of a mess."
Weir's self-absorption and selfishness were on display most egregiously in his September 6, 2013 appearance on Keith Olbermann's ESPN show.
Of that appearance, Aravosis wrote, "Then, just when you thought Johnny Weir couldn't be a greater idiot than he's already proven himself repeatedly to be, Weir actually has the audacity to claim that the situation gays face in Russia is the same one he faces in New Jersey, because New Jersey doesn't recognize his marriage."
Aravosis continues, "Johnny, the day anti-gay vigilantes kidnap you, beat you, torture you, force you to drink urine, and the American government ignores the crime because they just don't like the fact that you're gay, then we'll talk about the equivalence between Russia's horrific treatment of its gay and trans populace and the fact that Governor Christie can't decide whether he thinks you should be able to get married."
Quite apart from the inanity of his comments, Weir's appearance in a Russian military vividly announced his indifference to the suffering of glbtq Russians.