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.
A promotional image for "Barbara Hammer: The Fearless Frame."
In February 2012, London's Tate Modern presents a major survey of the films of Barbara Hammer. "Barbara Hammer: The Fearless Frame" will include screenings of early, rarely seen Super-8 films, an evening of free expanded cinema performances in the Turbine Hall, an event in response to Hammer's work by artist Emily Roysdon, and several events featuring artists and speakers drawn from across Europe and North America, who testify to the powerful creative community Hammer has inspired.
The survey will be launched with a premiere of Hammer's new short film, Maya Deren's Sink (2011), a tribute to Deren's longstanding influence on the artist.
"Barbara Hammer: The Fearless Frame" opens on February 3, 2012 and concludes on February 26.
Hammer, who was born in Hollywood, California, in 1939, is the most prolific lesbian feminist filmmaker in the history of cinema.
She created her first film in 1967, Schizy, about her own coming-out process. She is best known for her experimental, nonlinear narratives, which are often lyrical and erotic.
As Gary Morris has noted in his glbtq.com entry on her, Hammer "can be said to have constructed, in what she has called her 'alternative autobiographies,' an alternative lesbian gaze."
Her most famous work is probably Nitrate Kisses (1992), which may be seen as an attempt to restore a lost queer history by intermingling images of lesbian and gay male lovemaking with aural and visual collages of concentration camps, the Hollywood Hays Code that banned "perversion," and snippets from what is often regarded as the first queer film made in the United States, Lot in Sodom (1933) by James Watson and Melville Weber.
Here is a brief clip from Nitrate Kisses.
Hammer's films are of crucial importance to a new generation of artists exploring new modes of experimenting with the moving image.