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.
Barbara Gittings (left) with partner Kay Lahusen.
On October 1, 2012, Philadelphia marked the beginning of LGBT History Month by dedicating a city center block in honor of Barbara Gittings, the late glbtq activist who resided in the city for thirty years.
As Mike Dunne reports in CBS Philly, a community choir heralded the dedication of the block of Locust Street in Philadelphia's "gayborhood" between 12th and 13th Streets as "Barbara Gittings Way."
Gittings (1932-2007), sometimes known as the "Mother of the LGBT Rights Movement," was instrumental in having homosexuality removed from the American Psychiatric Association's list of mental disorders; founded the New York chapter of the Daughters of Bilitis and edited its magazine, The Ladder; and worked tirelessly within the American Library Association to make materials with glbtq content more accessible to the reading public.
Gittings, along with Frank Kameny, helped steer the American homophile movement toward greater militancy, including the embrace of direct action tactics. She and Kameny organized and participated in early gay rights demonstrations, picketing the White House in 1965 to protest federal employment discrimination and also participating in annual demonstrations on July 4 at Philadelphia's Independence Hall.
The renaming of the block of Locust Street "Barbara Gittings Way" was spearheaded by Malcolm Lazin of Philadelphia's Equality Forum.
"She really stepped forward in 1965, at a moment in time when almost no one was out." Lazin told Dunne. "It was really a remarkably courageous thing that she did. She, like a Rosa Parks, helped to launch a civil rights movement."
As Jen Colletta reported in the Philadelphia Gay News in June, the proposal to name the block Barbara Gittings Way sailed through the Philadelphia City Council when it was proposed by the Equality Forum and sponsored by Councilman Mark Squilla.
"Washington, D.C., has a Frank Kameny Way and San Francisco has a Harvey Milk Plaza, so we thought it was important we in Philadelphia honor Barbara, who we view as the mother of the LGBT civil-rights movement," Lazin told the PGN.
Councilman Squilla was enthiastic about designating the particular block in Gittings' honor. "What better place than right in the Gayborhood? That block of Locust is right in the middle of the Gayborhood and a location that people can really relate to. I thought it seemed like a good fit."
Gittings' longtime partner Kay Lahusen also welcomed the initiative.
"I know Barbara would have been thrilled by this turn of events had she lived to see it," she said. "I'm very grateful to Equality Forum for initiating this idea and especially am happy that this block is in the very heart of the Gayborhood."
In the video below, from the Equality Forum documentary "Our Pioneers," Gittings speaks of her early activism.