For over a decade after Stonewall, a gay man could have sex in New York almost anywhere, anytime, 24/7. Today, in part because of AIDS, very few of those cruising sites still exist. In our desire to acquire civil rights equal to the straight community, we have chosen to assimilate.
In Boston in 1969, homosexuals were everywhere, but the trouble was finding them. I did a lot of walking around Boston on weekend nights trying to do just that. I was in the city as a 19-year-old conscientious objector fulfilling my alternate service work contract in lieu of military service.
I knew the Supreme Court rulings were to be made that day, but nonetheless, I found myself utterly awestruck, which is not easy to come by for this queen! Before calling family, posting to Facebook or tweeting to my fans, I found myself recalling the very first time I went to a gay bar.
They say if you stay in the same place long enough, you get to see everything. So by staying on the same block in Greenwich Village longer than I ever expected, I've seen history being made in front of the Stonewall Inn, not once but twice.
Before the American Psychiatric Association declassified homosexuality as a mental disorder in 1973, aversion therapy was used routinely in hopes that it would prevent or eliminate homosexual behavior.
Pride parades, or "gay liberation protests," as they were first called, have been critical to bringing about LGBT rights all over the world. But we've abandoned their initial purpose as a call for equality. We owe it to ourselves, and to our history, to call upon our rich activist traditions.
In honor of LGBT Pride Month, we wanted to take a little walk down LGBT history lane to explore the origins of Pride, and take a closer look at those electrifying evenings in June when the LGBT community decided to stop hiding and start fighting.
Admittedly, I used to be uncomfortable with Pride parades, and even just Pride in general. My own impressions of these events came from stereotypical images shown throughout mainstream media: pictures of half-naked individuals and extravagant drag queens.
As we await word from the Supreme Court about the future of same-sex marriage, it's increasingly common to hear how allegedly "swift," "unprecedented," and "accelerated" the advance of gay rights has been. This line of argument does an injustice to the depth of LGBTQ history.
ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives has been busy this week clearing a space for Jason Collins in our LGBT Archival Sports collection alongside the likes of Billy Jean King, Martina Navratilova, and John Amechi, among others.
ENDA would protect LGBT Americans from employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The brightening outlook for ENDA comes at a time when we are marking the 60th anniversary of another historic moment for LGBT people. This one, however, was devastating.
The Jewel Box Revue, arguably America's first Gay Community, was a traveling troupe of female impersonators that was originally formed in 1939 and would tour cabaret clubs across America and Canada for decades during a time when being openly gay was a criminal offense often punishable by law.
The name may not ring a bell, but it should. Stormé performed with the legendary Jewel Box Revue and may have been the person who threw the first punch in the Stonewall riots. A gay icon who gave so much to the LGBT community should not be living out her final years in relative obscurity.
On this day in a second-grade classroom in the Midwest, Harvey Milk was on the same stage as Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth and Elizabeth Cady Stanton as an 8-year-old gay boy who has never seen the need for a closet told Milk's story.
It's up to trans* people to be proactive and make certain that our individual and collective voices are heard loud and clear by the public and the media, and that we continue to be written into the record of queer history.
While I knew since before I came out to myself that there are many gay people of faith and many faiths that accept gays, God and religion are not where I turned. Learning about the stories of those LGBT people who had come before me gave me strength.