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.
On April 20, the National Day of Silence was observed in hundreds of schools across the country to protest the bullying and harassment of glbtq students. Now sponsored by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), the observance seeks to highlight the need for action to end bullying based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression in the nation's schools. A highlight of the 2012 observance was President Obama's endorsement of both the Safe Schools Improvement Act and the Student Non-Discrimination Act
The genesis of the Day of Silence was a class project at the University of Virginia in 1996. Assigned to create a non-violent protest event, students devised the Day of Silence to call attention to the situation of glbtq youth who are silent about their sexual orientation because of fear of harassment from classmates and lack of support from instructors and administrators.
The organizers of the original Day of Silence recognized the value of their endeavor and reached out to other colleges across the country: in 1997 the Day of Silence was observed at almost one hundred colleges and universities.
In 2001 GLSEN assumed the task of organizing the Day of Silence nationwide and expanding it to include students at high schools and middle schools. The need for awareness of the problems of glbtq teens is particularly acute: a survey conducted by GLSEN in 2005 revealed that eighty percent of glbtq students had suffered harassment at school and that over thirty percent had absented themselves for at least a day because of fear for their own safety.
Various accommodations are made for the Day of Silence. In some schools, students remain silent all day; in others, they participate in class but maintain silence during lunch hours. Students often carry cards explaining why they are not speaking.
At the end of the school day, some schools hold a "Breaking the Silence" event at which participants and others have the opportunity to reflect on their experiences. Glbtq students can express themselves in a safe environment, and potential allies can ask questions and learn valuable lessons about the terrible harm caused by prejudice, harassment, and bullying.
In 2012, the Day of Silence was observed at the White House by screening Lee Hirsch's film Bully, which documents peer-to-peer bullying in schools across the country.
Soon after the film was shown to an audience of activists, the White House announced that "The President . . . is proud to support the Student Non-Discrimination Act, introduced by Senator [Al] Franken and Congressman [Jared] Polis, and the Safe Schools Improvement Act, introduced by Senator [Bob] Casey and Congresswoman Linda Sanchez. These bills will help ensure that all students are safe and healthy and can learn in environments free from discrimination, bullying, and harassment."
Following are some videos in which students explain the Day of Silence.
Below is a trailer for the documentary Bully.