Past and Present: The Sacred Band – A Legacy of Same-Sex Love from Ancient Thebes

This infantry regiment of 150 male couples defeated the Spartans in open battle. By Dr. James RommJames H. Ottaway Jr. Professor of ClassicsDirector, Classical Studies ProgramBard College Among the many roads leading up to the Supreme Court’s 2015 decision on same-sex marriage, one of the more significant routes passes through Boeotia in central Greece.  This[…]

Images of Same-Sex Love and Courtship in the Ancient Mediterranean

Sex, gender, and relationships were viewed very differently in the ancient world across cultures. Introduction This gallery explores the expression of same-sex love in the ancient Mediterranean through art. The Mediterranean was home to many cultures and societies, each with differing views on gender, sex, and relationships. Art was used to celebrate cultural ideals of love and[…]

Featured Scholar: Michael Bronski and a History of LGBTQIA Activism

Bronski at Harvard University Michael Bronski is Professor of the Practice in Media and Activism in Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality at Harvard University. He has been involved with LGBT politics since 1969 as an activist, organizer, writer, publisher, editor, and independent scholar. Bronski’s latest book, A Queer History of the United States for Young People was published in[…]

Ten LGBTQ Facts from the Ancient World

History, both modern and ancient, tells the stories of many people whose sexuality is downplayed or ignored. Introduction Issues in the modern-day regarding gender identity and civil rights for members of the LGBTQ community are a relatively recent phenomenon as are the terms ‘homosexual’ and ‘heterosexual’. In ancient societies, there was no distinction made between same-sex[…]

The Pros and Cons of Online Dating for the Transgender Community

There are so many reasons why dating sites have been so wholeheartedly embraced by singles from all walks of life. Going online to find people who might be compatible for a relationship is such a convenient way of socializing. But where online dating has been massively beneficial has been in giving marginalized individuals access to[…]

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’[…]

A Farmer, a Gay Naval Surgeon, and Forward Thinking in 1810

A Yorkshire farmer argued in 1810 that homosexuality is innate and should not be punished. The diary entry by Matthew Tomlinson suggests that recognisably modern understandings of homosexuality were being discussed by ordinary people earlier than is commonly thought. Mr Tomlinson was a farmer at Dog House Farm, which is on the site where a[…]

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[…]

The History of ‘Coming Out’, from Secret Gay Code to Popular Political Protest

Where the term comes from and how the meaning has changed. Introduction You probably know what it means to “come out” as gay. You may even have heard the expression used in relation to other kinds of identity, such as being undocumented. But do you know where the term comes from? Or that its meaning[…]

LGBTQ history in the United States since the 18th Century

LGBTQ history in the United States spans the contributions and struggles of individuals as well as the coalitions they’ve built. 18th and 19th Centuries With the establishment of the United States following the American Revolution, such crimes as “sodomy” were considered to be a capital offense in some states, while cross-dressing was considered a felony[…]

How the New York Media Covered the Stonewall Riots

The coverage of Stonewall is a reminder of what’s lost when alternative media outlets wither away. Introduction The Stonewall riots were a six-night series of protests that began in the early morning of June 28, 1969, and centered around the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City. Four days earlier, on June 24,[…]

Exploring the History of ‘Coming Out’

In the 1950s, ‘coming out’ meant acknowledging sexual orientation. Today, the term is used by a broad array of social movements. Introduction You probably know what it means to “come out” as gay. You may even have heard the expression used in relation to other kinds of identity, such as being undocumented. But do you[…]

Dardanella and Peter: What Does Microhistory Offer to the History of Sexuality?

During the past two decades, historians of twentieth-century Britain have delineated the landscape of a “modern sexual and gender regime.” What does a microhistorical approach, based upon the subjective experiences and writings of individuals, offer the history of sex and love in early twentieth-century Britain? This was the central question guiding research following the discovery,[…]

The Lavender Scare and Beyond: Documenting LGBTQ History from the Great Depression to Today

It’s really only in the past three decades that we’ve come to recognize the need to understand the histories of different minority groups. By Dr. Eric GonzabaAssistant Professor of American StudiesCalifornia State University Fullerton The Lavender Scare, a new documentary that will air on PBS on Tuesday, June 18th, documents the systematic firing and discrimination of LGBT people[…]

Edith Abbott and Sophonisba Breckinridge: Partners in Life and Politics in the Early 20th Century

Long before Chasten Buttigieg became a ‘not-so-secret weapon’ in his husband Pete Buttigieg’s presidential campaign, another same-sex couple profoundly reshaped American social policy. Since openly gay South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg announced his bid for the presidency, news outlets have been full of stories about Buttigieg and his husband. By highlighting the novelty of an out[…]

An Overview of the Study of Transgender History

From activist and academic roots, a field takes shape. By Dr. Kritika AgarwalManaging EditorPerspectives On HistoryAmerican Historical Association While in graduate school at the University of California, Berkeley, history department in the 1980s, Susan Stryker wrote a dissertation on the development of Mormon identity and community. Just as she was finishing up her PhD, she[…]