An Early Copy of a 19th-Century Gay Rights Essay

John Addington Symonds, whose 1873 essay “A Problem in Greek Ethics” helped lay the foundation for the modern gay rights movement. By Dr. Katherine J. WuScience and Health ReporterThe New York Times With a title like “A Problem in Greek Ethics,” a text might, at first pass, sound like a Socratic snoozefest. But John Addington Symonds’[…]

The Lavender Scare: Civil Rights Violations of Federal Workers, 1940s-1960s

Thousands of gay employees were fired or forced to resign from the federal workforce. Introduction The Red Scare, the congressional witch-hunt against Communists during the early years of the Cold War, is a well-known chapter of American history. A second scare of the same era has been much slower to make its way into public[…]

“Crazy, Noisy, Freaked-Out Dance Music for Weirdos”

The queer legacy of 3909 Sunset Boulevard. “Crazy, noisy, freaked-out dance music for weirdos.” That’s how Carla Bozulich of the band Ethyl Meatplow once described their music. “And don’t forget very sexy.” “Sexy” is a PG euphemism for the early ‘90s crew of former L.A. art-punks whose notorious live performances mixed blistering drum machine alt-disco[…]

A Brief History of LGBTQ+ Social Movements

These movements began as responses to centuries of persecution by church, state, and medical authorities. Social movements, organizing around the acceptance and rights of persons who might today identify as LGBT or queer, began as responses to centuries of persecution by church, state and medical authorities. Where homosexual activity or deviance from established gender roles/dress[…]

Hirschfeld’s Archives: Photographs as Evidence of Gender Identity and Sexuality

Intriguing photographs from sexologists’ archives suggest they could have helped people explore their gender identity and sexuality. Dr Jana Funkereflects on her experiences of discussing sexology and photography with visitors at Wellcome’s Institute of Sexology exhibition. By Dr. Jana Funke / 03.12.2015 Senior Lecturer in Medical Humanities University of Exeter n 1919, German-Jewish sexologist Magnus[…]

The Ladies of Llangollen: A ‘Romantic Friendship’ in the 18th Century

Two 18th-century women, Sarah Ponsonby and Eleanor Butler, are famous for their romantic friendship, which was then a concept helpful for lesbian couples hoping to avoid a scandal. By Sarah Bentley / 03.12.2018 Visitor Experience Assistant Wellcome Collection In her book, ‘The Ladies of Llangollen: A study in romantic friendship’, author Elizabeth Mavor sends the[…]

Gender Fluidity and Sexual Identity in the Medieval and Renaissance Eras

Bible, about 1280–90, Bologna, Italy. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Ms. Ludwig I 11, fol. 248v; National Coming Out Day (NCOD) Logo created and donated by Keith Haring to the Human Rights Campaign. Human sexuality and gender identity are complex topics, and our understanding of each is continually expanding and deepening.    By Dr. Bryan C. Keene (left)[…]

Kurt Freund: The Beginning of the End of ‘Gay Conversion Therapy’ in the 1950s

In the 1950s, many psychiatrists thought that homosexuality could be reformed. Czech psychiatrist Kurt Freund found that it couldn’t – and his discoveries led to a change in the law.      By (left-to-right) Dr. Charlie Williams, Dr. Sarah Marks, and Dr. Daniel Pick / 09.20.2018 Williams: Postdoctoral Researcher, Hidden Persuaders Project Marks: Postdoctoral Researcher, Hidden[…]

Magnus Hirschfeld: Early 20th Century Trans-Rights Activist

Magnus Hirschfeld, on the right, sits with his partner, Tao Li, at the fourth conference of the World League for Sexual Reform in 1932. / Wellcome Images Physician Magnus Hirschfeld advocated for those he called ‘sexual intermediaries.’ His activism began before World War I – and ended only when the Nazis came to power. By Dr. Elizabeth Heineman / 11.09.2018 Professor of[…]

LGBT in Medieval Islam

During the medieval period the Muslim community was rather tolerating and accepting in this regard. By Muzaffar Bhatti / 02.23.2017 Graduate Student in History Royal Holloway, University of London Contrary to popular belief, Islam has not always had a strained relationship with the LGBT community. In fact, during the medieval period the Muslim community was[…]

Same-Sex Marriage in Renaissance Rome

Same-sex unions are an integral part of the long, complex and hotly contested history of marriage.   Interview of Dr. Gary Ferguson by Dr. Katherine Harvey / 01.19.2017 Ferguson: Douglas Huntly Gordon Distinguished Professor, University of Virginia Harvey: Wellcome Trust Research Fellow, Birkbeck, University of London In Same-Sex Marriage in Renaissance Rome: Sexuality, Identity, and[…]

The Hijras of Ancient to Modern India

The uniqueness of Hijras lies not only in their existence beyond social structure but also in Indian society’s historical acceptance of that position. By Sibsankar Mal / 03.29.2018 PhD Candidate in Population Studies Sukumar Sengupta Mahavidyalaya (Keshpur) College Introduction A hijra named Geetu, dancing at a hair shaving ceremony in Delhi / Photo by Whitney[…]

The Men Killed under England’s Buggery Act in the 18th Century

Convictions under the Buggery Act 1533 were punishable by death / British Library, Public Domain Exploring three executions under the Buggery Act during the 1800s, looking at how they were reported in the media of the time.  By Steven Dryden Broadcast Recordings Curator British Library The Buggery Act of 1533, passed by Parliament during the[…]

Do You Remember the Ancient History of HIV/AIDS?

Elvert Barnes Photography/Flickr By Ian Lekus / 11.26.2015 How do I teach the history of HIV/AIDS to today’s students? I find myself pondering this question, trying to figure out how to convey the dramatic story of a catastrophic, culturally charged epidemic (one that has claimed nearly 40 million lives) to students for whom HIV has[…]

Pending Executive Order Legalizes Discrimination Disguised as ‘Religious Freedom’

“By even considering this discriminatory order he has broken his promise to be a president for all Americans,” says Human Rights Campaign. (Photo: @HRC) ‘Nothing could be more un-American’ than order protecting those with a religious objection to same-sex marriage, transgender people, and reproductive rights. By Deirdre Fulton / 05.03.2017 Rights groups protested outside the[…]

How The Religious Right Made Life More Difficult & Dangerous For World’s LGBT People In 2016

By Peter Montgomery / 12.28.2016 U.S.-based Religious Right groups have a long track record of collaborating with their counterparts in other countries to restrict women’s health choices and make life harder and more dangerous for LGBT people around the world. This year was an especially active one in this global human rights struggle. U.S. Religious[…]

Perkins Asks Trump to “Ferret Out” LGBT Supporters in State Department – Trump Calls the Request ‘Absurd’

By Stephen D. Foster, Jr. / 12.18.2016 Conservatives apparently want a witch hunt in every government department. Earlier this month, Donald Trump’s transition team demanded that the Energy Department give them a list of names of employees who study climate change and the labs used to research it. It is assumed that Trump’s team wanted[…]

Rick Scarborough: Gay Marriage Has Made It Illegal For Christians To Serve As Federal Judges

Pastor Rick Scarborough By Kyle Mantyla / 10.06.2016 Vision America’s Rick Scarborough appeared on the American Pastors Network’s “Stand In The Gap” radio program earlier this week to discuss his effort to encourage pastors to mobilize their congregations to vote and declared that, thanks to the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling last year, Christians are[…]

Hateful Arizona Pastor Deported From Botswana After Saying Gays Should Be ‘Stoned to Death’ (VIDEO)

By John Prager / 09.20.2016 Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just kick bigots out of our country? Well, that’s exactly what happened when anti-gay Arizona pastor Stephen Anderson stopped by Botswana for a visit and decided to preach hate. Anderson’s road to Botswana was an eventful one, with the United Kingdom banning him from so[…]

Sacramento Baptist Preacher Praises Orlando Gay Nightclub Attack, Says Orlando Safer and Calls for More Death

Pastor Roger Jimenez, Verity Baptist Church From Angela Musallam at CBS Sacramento / 06.13.2016: A Sacramento Baptist preacher’s sermon praising attack on an Orlando nightclub that killed 50 people has the local LGBT community outraged. Recordings of the sermon by Pastor Roger Jimenez surfaced under the Verity Baptist Church’s YouTube account. “Are you sad that 50[…]

Sandy Rios: Transgender Rights Will ‘Mainstream Pedophilia’ And ‘Create Chaos’

American Family Association official and radio host Sandy Rios By Brian Tashman / 05.25.2016 American Family Association official Sandy Rios spoke today with Andrea Lafferty of the Traditional Values Coalition about how the two Religious Right groups are fighting efforts in government and the business community to allow transgender people to access the facilities of[…]

Franklin Graham Wants to Know if You’ll Take a Bullet Fighting Transgender Rights – More Martyr Speak

By Matthew A. McIntosh / 05.16.2016 Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Franklin Graham, son to evangelist Billy Graham and heir to his empire, posted on Facebook yesterday about transgender rights and exhorted his followers to stand firm in their defense of bathrooms. Of course, he’s exalting them to “Godliness” and saying that they must contest as a unified[…]

Yet Another Pastor Who Rails about Gay ‘Sin’ Arrested for Child Porn (SEVENTY Counts)

Pastor David Reynolds, Cornerstone Bible Fellowship Church By Randa Morris / 05.15.2016 On May 9, Pastor David Reynolds, formerly of Cornerstone Bible Fellowship Church in Sherwood, Arkansas, was arrested on 70 counts of child pornography. According to the Sherwood Police Department, Reynolds’ arrest followed a lengthy investigation which began with a tip to the National[…]

North Carolina Man (Not Transgender) Charged with Taking Pics of Little Boy Using Bathroom

Seattle SEA-TAC Airport Transit / Wikimedia Commons By Matthew A. McIntosh / 04.30.2016 Brewminate Editor-in-Chief A man from North Carolina, Joshua Gitlin, was arrested by Seattle police after being caught by an 8-year-old boy’s father taking a picture of the boy in an adjacent stall in the bathroom by raising his phone above the stall.[…]