In 2009, after a dozen years in elective office in Houston, Texas, Annise Parker won election to the mayoralty of the fourth-largest city in the United States, becoming the first open lesbian to lead a major American city.
One of France's leading lesbian theorists and political activists, Geneviève Pastre is a writer and publisher who has made lesbian feminism the root of her political and literary work.
Troy Perry is the founder of the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches, a Protestant denomination devoted to ministering to the spiritual needs of glbtq people.
Philip of Macedon, the father of Alexander the Great, achieved the hegemony of all of Greece before being killed by a young favorite.
As adventurous outsiders, pirates have played an important role in the cultural imagination and have become something of an icon for glbtq people.
A former seven-term member of the Wisconsin Assembly, Mark Pocan easily won election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012.
Businessman and philanthropist Jared Polis became one of only three openly gay members in Congress, and the first openly gay man elected to Congress as a freshman, when he won election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2008.
The story of Pope Joan, who was said to have lived in the ninth century and was thought to have been a woman who lived as a man in order to rise in the Church hierarchy to become Pope John VIII, captured the imaginations of Europeans for hundreds of years.
Virginia Charles Prince has been a pioneer in organizing social and support groups for heterosexually-identified male cross-dressers.
Christine Quinn is the first woman, the first openly gay person, and the first Irish-American to serve as the Speaker of the New York City Council.
The fascinating story of Colonel Alfred Redl, an Austro-Hungarian Army Chief of Counterintelligence who was blackmailed into spying for Russia in the years before World War I, has had a significant legacy for homosexuals.
Throughout his adult life, Cecil Rhodes, one of nineteenth-century Britain's most ambitious imperialists, conducted romantic friendships with younger male associates.
A legendary veteran of the Stonewall Riots, Sylvia Rivera is notable for helping to spark the event that ushered in the modern-day Gay Rights Movement.
Svend Robinson, the first openly gay Canadian Member of Parliament, has championed human rights throughout his long political career.
The Right Reverend Gene Robinson, the first openly gay man to be consecrated a bishop of the Episcopal Church, has earned strong support from members of his diocese, but has become a lightning rod for conservatives within the Anglican Communion.
Ernst Röhm, both an avid supporter of Hitler and the national socialist movement in Germany and a homosexual, was assassinated in 1934, when the German leader "cleansed" the party of homosexuals.
In 2001, Anthony D. Romero became the first Latino and first openly gay man to lead the American Civil Liberties Union, the nation's leading public interest law firm.
An important advocate for the poor and oppressed and one of the most influential women in the world, Eleanor Roosevelt had throughout her life strong attachments to women, some of them probably resulting in sexual intimacy.
Anna Rüling, one of the first German women to publicly acknowledge her lesbianism, also became the first known lesbian activist in 1904.
One of the key African-American civil rights activists of the twentieth century, Bayard Rustin and his legacy have long been obscured because of embarrassment over his homosexuality and early involvement in the Communist Party.
Edward Sagarin, writing as Donald Webster Cory, produced important books that prepared the stage for the gay liberation movement, but under his own name he later attacked the very movement he inspired.
The achievement of Alberto Santos-Dumont, the Brazilian dandy who is regarded by many as the father of modern aviation, may have been minimized in some circles because he was likely homosexual.
José Sarria, a San Francisco singer, drag performer, and activist, exemplified gay pride before the phrase was invented.
Sent to a Nazi concentration camp because of his homosexuality, Pierre Seel remained silent about his ordeal for decades but finally chose to speak out, demanding recognition of the suffering of gay men and advocating for glbtq rights.
Because of his vulnerability as a homosexual, Clay Shaw was falsely accused and tried for the assassination of President John F. Kennedy by New Orleans district attorney Jim Garrison to further the latter's political ambitions.