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.
Ambassador James "Wally" Brewster.
On November 22, 2013, James "Wally" Brewster was sworn in as U.S. Ambassador to the Dominican Republic by Vice President Joe Biden. Just a few hours later, Brewster married his long time partner, Bob J. Satawake. The ceremony and reception took place at the Hay-Adams Hotel, overlooking the South Lawn of the White House. Ambassador Brewster and his husband have now taken up residence in Santo Domingo. The couple deserves congratulations not only on their wedding but also for their openness, as demonstrated in a video introducing the new Ambassador and his husband to the people of the Dominican Republic.
As I pointed out in a blog on November 15, congratulating Brewster on his confirmation as Ambassador by the U.S. Senate, his nomination to represent the United States as Ambassador to the Dominican Republic is especially interesting inasmuch as the country criminalizes homosexuality and constitutionally bans same-sex marriage.
Moreover, his nomination was greeted with hostility and unvarnished homophobia. In a press conference, the Dominican Republic's highest ranking Catholic official, Cardinal Nicolás de Jesús López Rodríguez, who is currently archbishop of Santo Domingo, referred to Brewster as a "maricón"--a derogatory terms that is usually translated in the U.S. as "faggot."
Another Catholic official, Monseñor Pablo Cedano, an auxiliary bishop of Santo Domingo, issued a veiled threat against the nominee. "I hope he does not arrive in the country because I know if he comes he is going to suffer and will have to leave," Cedano said. He added that it was "a lack of respect" that Obama "sent . . . a person of this kind as an ambassador."
Evangelical Christians were equally inhospitable. Ex-president of the nation's Evangelical Confraternity, Cristobal Cardozo, called the appointment "an insult to good Dominican customs" and said it is inappropriate to send such an ambassador to "a country where homosexual relationships are not approved, neither legally nor morally."
However, these homophobic comments have not deterred Brewster. In a video posted on November 26, 2013 on the U.S. Embassy website, Ambassador Brewster not only introduces himself to the people of the Dominican Republic, but he also introduces his husband.
"My spouse, Bob, and I have traveled the world, from the far reaches of Asia to the stunning coastlines of southern Europe," Brewster says. Then Satawake adds, "But we always return to the beauty of the Dominican Republic."
In the video, Ambassador Brewster also pointedly notes, "My parents taught me that all people deserve respect, dignity, love and opportunity. They also instilled in me a strong belief in God, and the values of love and tolerance. Bob and I bring those beliefs and values with us as we come to the Dominican Republic. We are both thrilled to be coming back to our second home."
Congratulations to the couple on their marriage and on their openness.
Brewster is the fifth openly gay ambassador confirmed this year. The others are Daniel Baer (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe), John Berry (Australia), James Costos (Spain), and Rufus Gifford (Denmark).
In addition to these five recent appointees by President Obama, three other openly gay men have served as U.S. Ambassadors: James C. Hormel, who was appointed Ambassador to Luxembourg by President Bill Clinton in 1999 in a "recess appointment" after the Senate refused to act on his 1997 nomination; Michael E. Guest, who was appointed Ambassador to Romania by President George W. Bush in 2001; and David Huebner, who was appointed Ambassador to New Zealand by President Obama in 2009 and continues to serve in that capacity.
Below is Ambassador Brewster's introductory video.