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Transcript of LGBTQA History
in the United States
Four years after the Civil War ended, Hungarian psychologist Karl-Maria Kertbeny invents the word “homosexual” to describe people attracted to the same sex.
Jane Addams founds Hull House in Chicago, America’s first “settlement house” offering services for the poor. Addams is vital in founding the new profession of “social work.” Professional opportunities begin to expand for women in the late nineteenth century, allowing them to earn their own incomes and live independently, without husbands. Some can then act on their same-sex desires, and the term “Boston marriage” comes to refer to two women who live together for a long period of time, derived from the large numbers of professional women who did so in Boston.
The word “gay” is used for the first time in reference to homosexuals in the publication "Underground" the same year that women win the right to vote.
The Society for Human Rights, America’s first known gay rights organization, is founded in Chicago by Henry Gerber. It publishes the first US publication for homosexuals, called
Friendship and Freedom
. Police and media harassment forces its disbandment in less than a year. Nevertheless, the “Roaring Twenties” sees a new openness toward homosexuality, with queer artists like Langston Hughes and Bessie Smith achieving prominence through the “Harlem Renaissance.” The new “nightlife” of the era includes many “bohemian” clubs welcoming to gay people.
"Well of Loneliness" by Radclyffe Hall published, and all British copies destroyed as “obscene.”
Stock Market Crash brings on Great Depression of the Thirties, where restricted economic opportunities mean a loss of individual freedom for many. This was a major blow to the proliferation of gay culture in the early 20th century.
Marguerite Radclyffe-Hall (1883-1943) was born in
Hampshire and educated at King's College, Cambridge. She published five volumes of poetry and seven novels. THE WELL OF LONELINESS, describing the lesbian 'invert' Stephen, was banned on publication in 1928. Two years later she received the Eichelbergher Humane Award.
Information adapted from Little Brown Book Group
Encyclopedia of Sexual Knowledge illustrates first “sex-change” procedures.
Hitler bans gay and lesbian groups, and burns the Institute of Sexual Science library. The Third Reich would go on to kill many lesbian, gay, transgender, and “deviant” people in the Holocaust. While Jews were made to wear yellow stars, gay men were marked with downward-facing pink triangles; much later, the symbol would be adopted by the gay rights movement. "Asocials" were marked with a black triangle, and lesbians were considered to fall into this category.
“Successful” electric shock therapy treatment of homosexuality reported at American Psychological Association meeting.
New York City “cleans up” in preparation for the World’s Fair, closing most of the city’s best-known gay bars. The clean- up was part of a more general reactionary trend of conservatism in the late 1930s, which stifled the gay life that had grown during the 20s and early 30s in large cities like New York and San Francisco.
Death camps, constructed for the sole purpose of mass executions by means of poison gas, shootings, starvation, disease, and torture, were used by the Nazis to exterminate men, women, children, and infants that they defined "useless" or "dangerous" to their goals. Reports of sadistic torture of homosexuals were widespread at the Lichtenberg concentration camp and the Kolumbia-Haus prison beginning in June 1935. By the end of 1935, thousands of homosexual men had been rounded up and sent to detention centers and prison camps throughout Germany. [Adapted from http://andrejkoymasky.com/ mem/ holocaust/ho04.html]
“Transsexuality” first used. Unlike its modern use, “transsexuality” was actually originally used in reference to homosexuality and bisexuality.
U.S. military, under the influence of the psychiatric establishment, revises codes on homosexual behavior as part of a general revision brought on by World War II. Previously soldiers could only be expelled if witnessed committing “sodomy”; now, being “homosexual” is enough for dismissal. The Army begins asking entering soldiers about their sexual orientations and expelling any recruits or present soldiers who “admit” to their homosexuality, whether or not they have ever acted on these desires. These expulsions are known as “blue discharges” because of the color of the paper on which they are printed. Approximately 100,000 Americans are discharged on this basis over the next 50 years.
First known female-to-male sex change* surgery, on Michael Dillon in Great Britain.
The Kinsey Report by Alfred Kinsey is published. The report increases public awareness of sexual fluidity by showing that homosexual behavior among men is widespread.
Fueled by Americans' fear of the "Communist Threat," Senator Joseph McCarthy begins charging that “subversives” have undermined the government and begins a “witch hunt” to get rid of them; this period becomes known as the “McCarthy Era.” A 1950 Senate hearing would reveal that the majority of State Department dismissals are based on accusations of homosexuality, on the grounds that homosexuals could be susceptible to blackmail. Hence, under McCarthyism, the Lavender Scare was closely entwined with the Red Scare.
*This is now referred to more aptly as gender confirmation surgery.
Michael Dillon before and after his sex-change surgery.
The Mattachine Society is founded. One of the oldest homophile organizations in America, Mattachine was a secret society established by a group of gay men in Los Angeles. The society concentrated on promoting the rights of homosexuals.
American Psychiatric Association includes homosexuality under “sociopathic personality disturbance” in its first official Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
Immigrants banned from U.S. if they have “psychopathic personality,” which includes homosexuality.
Newly-elected President Dwight Eisenhower bans employment of gays by the government in Executive Order 10450. Employees of federal, state, and local governments must take “loyalty oaths” to gain employment, swearing (among other things) that they are not homosexuals. These regulations are not repealed until 1975.
Dr. Evelyn Hooker presents a study showing gay men are as well adjusted as straight men, at an American Psychological Association meeting. Her research inspires an evolving attitude towards homosexuality in the psychiatric community.
Gay African-American activist Bayard Rustin visits Montgomery, Alabama in the midst of the famous “bus boycott” led by the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. He instructs King and other activists in the techniques of civil disobedience, which becomes the chief tactic of the black Civil Rights Movement. He later organizes the 1963 March on Washington where King delivers the famous “I Have a Dream” speech.
“Transsexual” coined by Harry Benjamin more closely reflecting the word’s modern usage.
The faculty and staff of the University of California take a loyalty oath.
Illinois becomes first state to get rid of its sodomy law, making consensual same-sex sexual acts legal.
A small group of protesters gather in front of Independence Hall in Philadelphia, marching for gay rights. A number of similar protests, modeled on the Civil Rights marches, occur in New York, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C. during the 60s.
Harry Benjamin, a sexologist and endocrinologist, publishes The Transsexual Phenomenon, which put forward a treatment plan for transgender patients.
First transgender public uprising at San Francisco’s Compton’s Cafeteria. Transgender people riot after police raid a popular all-night hangout. Known as the Compton's Cafeteria riot.
First gay bookstore in the U.S. opens: Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookshop.
“John” becomes “Joan” at John Hopkins Hospital after a circumcision accident; published case widely impacts gender theory.
The American Psychiatric Association moves homosexuality from “sociopathic” category in the DSM to “sexual deviation.”
Betty Friedan warns feminist movement of the “lavender menace” within its ranks.
In June of 1969, a series of riots over police action at The Stonewall Inn, a small, dank, mob-run gay bar in Greenwich Village, New York changed the longtime landscape of homosexuals in society, literally overnight. The riots began when police tried to raid the bar on a busy Friday night. Sylvia Rivera, a Latina transgender woman, resisted the police, emboldening other patrons and passersby on the street to resist the police. These riots are widely acknowledged as the ‘first shot' that ushered in a previously unimagined era of openness, political action, and massive social change. From an era when lesbians and gays were routinely closeted and in fear of losing their jobs, their apartments, their families and even their freedom, these riots—barely covered in the media a the time—were the spark that led to a new militancy and openness in the gay political movement. The name “Stonewall” has itself become almost synonymous with the struggle for gay rights.
Access to community and visibility make bars and restaurants formative sites not only for queer social life but also for political activism. In 1966, members of the Mattachine Society stage a "sip-in" at a West Village bar to protest laws against serving obviously gay patrons, based on the sit-ins in the Civil Rights Movement. Featured in this photo are three members of the New York Mattachine Society at a sip-in at Julius's Bar, New York in April 1966. [Credit: Fred W. McDarrah, Gay Pride: Photographs from Stonewall to Today, Adapted from "Five Ways to Change the World by Jonathan Massey.]
On the one-year anniversary of the first night of the Stonewall Riots, the first Gay Liberation Day March is held in New York City. The first Gay Freedom Day March is held in Los Angeles, and another one takes place in Chicago. These are the precursors to today's Pride Marches in hundreds of cities, and to June as Pride Month.
"Boys in the Band" premieres.
For the first time, an ad appears in the student newspaper with a call to bring together the queer community: "CLOSET QUEENS UNITE!"
Influenced by Dr. Evelyn Hooker's research, the American Psychiatric Association votes to remove homosexuality from its list of "illnesses," ending a century of efforts to "cure" gays by psychologists. (Unfortunately, today certain fringe organizations still try to do this "conversion therapy," but psychology is not behind them. The biggest of them, Exodus International, disbanded in 2013).
"Time" and Newsweek" run "bisexual chic" articles.
Elaine Noble gets sworn in as the first openly gay individual elected to public office, serving in the Massachusetts house of representatives until 1979.
runs the article, "Eight intruders ransack gays' room; Officials suspect student involvement." A full investigation was launched and students found to be involved were suspended, sending the message that Princeton does not tolerate this sort of vandalism.
Renee Richards outed as MTF (Male-to-Female) and barred from a women's tennis tournament.
Go here for more information on Renee Richards: http://espn.go.com/new-york/story/_/id/7057906/30-30-renee-richards-new-york-original
Harvey Milk wins election for a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, becoming the third out American elected to public office, proving that the gay community could unite as a voting block.
"The other aspect of this tape is the business of what should happen if there is an assassination. I cannot prevent some people from feeling angry and frustrated and mad, but I hope they will take that frustration and that madness and instead of demonstrating or anything of that type, I would hope they would take the power and I would hop that five, ten, one hundred, a thousand would rise. I would like to see every gay doctor come out, every gay lawyer, every gay architect come out, stand up and let that world know. That would do more to end prejudice overnight than anybody would imagine. I urge them to do that, urge them to come out. Only that way will we start to achieve our rights."
--Harvey Milk, from a tape recording in 1977 to be played in the event of his assassination. He was shot one year later by Dan White. The court announcement that White was leniently charged with voluntary manslaughter sparked mass rioting known as the White Night Riots. [Quote acquired from http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Harvey_Milk]
Anita Bryant and the "Save Our Children" campaign succeed in repealing Miami law against discrimination based on sexual orientation. The ex-beauty queen came to prominence on a wave of backlash against the time period's gay activism.
White Night Riots -- Dan White's acquittal of first-degree murder and light sentence of 7 years enrages San Francisco's queer community, instigating a riot with thousands marching from the Castro neighborhood to city hall.
First "March on Washington for Gay Rights" draws over 100,000 marchers.
March on Washington
for Lesbian and Gay Rights, 1979
"Boys in the Band" featured a group of explicitly gay men who celebrated their sexuality. This film represented the beginning of a shift away from a long term trend in LGBT Cinema in which queer characters were vilified and often killed before the end of the film.
You can check out "The Boys in the Band" or "The Celluloid Closet" (1995), a documentary on the history of LGBT cinema, from the LGBT Center Library, alongside a wide selection of more contemporary queer-themed movies.
Aaron Fricke takes Paul Guilbert to his high school prom after winning a lawsuit against the school.
1980: The Democratic National Convention expresses its support: "All groups must be protected from discrimination
Ronald Reagan is elected President of the United States. Reagan’s campaign is the first campaign for president in which a religious group, Christian evangelicals, form a voting block for one party. The Moral Majority would thrive during President Reagan’s 8 years in office and would lead a rigorous anti-homosexuality crusade. However, Reagan did not pursue anti-gay witch hunts, and occasionally spoke out against anti-gay legislation.
A new disease appears disproportionately among gay men, earning it the media tag “gay cancer” and the medical name “Gay-Related Immune Deficiency.” Later known as “Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome” (AIDS), this disease sweeps through the gay community and other marginalized groups in American society, in particular drug users, residents of poor urban communities, and people of color. Over 100,000 gay men die in the next decade. The “Moral Majority” decrees that the disease is “God’s punishment for homosexuality,” and the Reagan Administration is extremely slow in its response to this health crisis. President Reagan does not even mention the word AIDS in public until well into his second term in office, several years into the epidemic. Public health officials cite the Administration’s slow rate of response as the central reason for AIDS becoming an epidemic in America.
Parents & Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) founded.
Berkeley, California becomes first U.S. city to extend domestic partnership benefits to lesbian and gay employees.
The Gay Alliance and the Gay Women of Princeton present a video dance party at the pub on Friday, December 14th. Everyone is invited and the cover charge is $4.
San Francisco Department of Public Health closes the city’s bathhouses in an attempt to curb the “gay cancer” (AIDS) sweeping San Francisco’s gay population. The bathhouses were a popular gathering point for gay men to socialize and have discreet sexual encounters.
First National Bisexual Conference held in San Francisco.
U.S. restrictions against gay immigrants lifted.
The “culture war” against art with gay or lesbian content results in the prosecution of a museum displaying a Robert Mapplethorpe exhibit and the rescinding of National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) grants to three openly lesbian or gay artists.
The Fund for Reunion Inc./Princeton Gay & Lesbian Alumni offer scholarships to students and faculty members engaged in research on topics of gay and lesbian interest.
Bill Clinton is elected to the White House. His views on employment discrimination and gays in the military, while not demonstrably more progressive than other Democratic contenders, place him in stark contrast with George Bush and the Republican Party. Analysis will show that a decided gender gap in favor of Clinton and a first-ever tangible gay voting bloc are decisive in his winning the presidency.
Intersex Society of North America founded. For more information, visit: http://www.isna.org/
President Clinton’s promised lifting of the ban on gays in the military meets with such Congressional and military establishment opposition that he signs the so-called “don’t ask, don’t tell, don’t pursue” compromise. Activists object that the compromise leaves virtually all of the discriminatory practices intact and leads to a greater number of gay and lesbian related discharges.
The third March on Washington draws one million to Washington. Its official title is now bi-inclusive: “March on Washington for Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Rights” (1979 was only “gay”; 1987 was “lesbian and gay”).
Brandon Teena, a 21-year-old trans man, is brutally raped and murdered in Nebraska. His life and death would become the subject of a documentary, The Brandon Teena Story, and the movie Boys Don’t Cry.
First FTM (Female to Male) Conference of the Americas held in San Francisco, California.
President Clinton names Marsha Scott the first-ever White House liaison to the gay and lesbian communities.
The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) passes with overwhelming bipartisan support and President Clinton’s signature. The law keeps married same-sex couples from enjoying federal benefits enjoyed by straight married couples, including insurance benefits for government employees, Social Security survivors' benefits, and the filing of joint tax returns. DOMA is still in place.
The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would have prohibited discrimination in the workplace based on sexual orientation, fails in the Senate by a vote of 50-49. It is the first time a vote on lesbian and gay civil rights comes before the full Senate. ENDA has been introduced in every Congress since 1994 (except the 109th). In 2007, gender identity protections were added to the legislation for the first time. Transgender protection was added in 2009. President George W. Bush threatened to veto the measure. President Barack Obama supports the bill's passage.
Ellen DeGeneres, and her television character Ellen Morgan, come out of the closet.
becomes the first prime time television show to feature an openly gay or lesbian lead character. Right-wing groups call for a boycott of
and ABC, calling the network “anti-family.”
runs for only one more season, casting doubt on America’s readiness for openly gay main characters, but in the same year, a sitcom airs on NBC featuring a gay male lawyer and his best friend and housemate—a straight woman.
Will & Grace
runs for eight seasons and becomes the highest-rated sitcom among adults 18-49, between 2001 and 2005.
Matthew Shepard, a young openly gay man, is savagely beaten and left to die near Laramie, Wyoming. The incident sparks a national debate about hate crime legislation. It would be nearly ten years after Matthew’s death before crimes committed based on sexual orientation and gender identity would be considered hate crimes. The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act passed congress and was signed by President Obama in October, 2009.
Vermont becomes the first U.S. state to legalize civil unions.
Showtime airs the pilot of
Queer as Folk
, a television show following a group of gay friends in Pittsburgh. The show would run for five seasons. Showtime would air
The L Word
in 2004, which featured a group of lesbian friends in Los Angeles.
The L Word
was the first show to explore on the lives of lesbians.
Asexual Visibility and Education Network (AVEN) founded by David Jay. The organization has two distinct goals: creating public acceptance and discussion of asexuality and facilitating the growth of an online asexual community. Since then, AVEN has grown into the world’s largest asexual community. Asexuals have only recently been recognized as part of the LGBT community. To read more: http://www.asexuality.org/wiki/index.php?title=Asexual_history
Massachusetts Supreme Court rules it is unconstitutional to deny marriage to gay and lesbian couples.
The Supreme Court strikes down a Texas law banning private, consensual sex between same-sex adults in the landmark case Lawrence v. Texas. The ruling overturned the 1986 case Bowers v. Hardwick, in which the Court upheld a similar law.
A proposal for an LGBT Center is presented to President Shirley Tilghman by Kris Kersey, Jan Runkle, Jon Hsu '04, members of the LGBT Task Force, Blue Guldal, the President of the Queer Graduate Caucus, and Elise Wright ’83, the LGBT Task Force Alumni Liaison. President Tilghman felt strongly that there should be an LGBT Center on the Princeton campus comparable to the Fields Center, Women's Center, and International Center. She recognized the need for increased support and resources for the LGBT campus community. This news was greeted with great excitement by the entire LGBT community.
Massachusetts legalizes same-sex marriage while eleven other U.S. states ban the practice through public referenda; domestic partnerships are legalized in New Jersey.
the LGBT Student Services office evolves into The LGBT Center, and Debbie Bazarsky (LGBT Student Services Coordinator, 2001-2005), moves into a new role as The LGBT Center Director. The newly constructed LGBT Center opens its doors in March of 2006.
The United States Senate fails to pass the Federal Marriage Amendment despite President Bush’s support for the amendment. The Federal Marriage Amendment would amend the Constitution stipulating that marriage is between a man and a woman for all federal purposes.
New Jersey’s civil unions law comes into effect.
The Obama Administration announces that it will no longer
defend the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in court.
The congressional bill repealing the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) policy goes into effect. The policy was in place for 18 years.
President Barack Obama comes out in favor of gay marriage in a television interview, ending his long personal “evolution” on matter. According to Gallup polls, this is the first year where a tipping point of 50 percent of Americans are in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage.
“My criticism is that [the gay movement] isn’t just asking for civil rights; its asking for recognition and acceptance of an alternative lifestyle which I do not believe society can condone, nor can I.”
--Ronald Reagan during the 1980 presidential campaign
“Whatever else it is, homosexuality is not a contagious disease like the measles. Prevailing scientific opinion is that an individual’s sexuality is determined at a very early age and that a child’s teachers do not really influence this.”
--Ronald Reagan on a ballot initiative in California that would ban gay men and lesbians from teaching in public schools. Reagan did not support the initiative.
In 1990 and 1991, Congress rescinded grants from four performance artists known as the N.E.A. Four. Fleck, Huges, and Miller were openly gay and their work contained gay themes while Finley's defunded work was a feminist performance piece.
Brandon Teena with his girlfriend, Lana
1975 > > > 1997
The "It Gets Better" campaign is founded. It Gets Better is an Internet-based project founded in the United States by Dan Savage and his husband Terry Miller on September 21, 2010, in response to the suicides of teenagers who were bullied because they were gay or because their peers suspected that they were gay. Its goal is to prevent suicide among LGBT youth by having gay adults convey the message that these teens' lives will improve. The project has grown rapidly: over 200 videos were uploaded in the first week, and the project's YouTube channel reached the 650 video limit in the next week. The project is now organized on its own website, the It Gets Better Project, and includes more than 30,000 entries, with more than 40 million views, from people of all sexual orientations, including many celebrities. [Text acquired from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/It_Gets_Better_Project]
The NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt is
an enormous quilt made as a memorial to and celebration of the lives of people who have died of AIDS-related causes. Above is a picture of the quilt spread on the Washington D.C. Mall for the first time in 1987.
Princeton LGBT Center Grand Opening, 2005
You're jealous if I kiss this girl and that,
You think I should be constant to one mouth?
Little you know of my too quenchless drouth:
My sister, I keep faith with love, not lovers.
Life laid a flaming finger on my heart,
Gave me an electric golden thread,
Pointed to a pile of beads and said:
Link me one more glorious than the rest.
Love's the thread, my sister, you a bead,
An ivory one, you are so delicate.
Those first burned ash-grey--far too passionate.
Further on the colors mount and sing.
When the last bead's painted with the last design
And slipped upon the thread, I'll tie it: so;
Then smiling quietly I'll turn and go
While vain Life boasts her latest ornament.
by Elsa Gidlow
Elsa Gidlow (1898-1986) published "On a Grey Thread," the first volume of openly lesbian love poetry in the United States, in 1923. [Obtained from Allpoetry.com]
In 1954, newscaster Edward R. Murrow conducts an investigation of Senator McCarthy's hearings on "See It Now," his weekly television show. His on-camera investigation reveals to the American public the ludicrous, fear-mongering nature of the hearings. This marks the beginning of the Senator's downfall. For more information, feel free to watch this clip from the end of the "See It Now" episode.
HOMOPHILE: an alternative word for gay or homosexual. The word "homophile" was especially popular in gay communities in the 1950s and 1960s.
Clips from Crayton Robey's 2009 documentary, "Making the Boys"
Professional MTF Tennis Player, Renee Richards
Full Audio Recording of the Last Words of Harvey Milk
The Downfall of Anita Bryant
You can check out the whole video or just watch the first minute and a half.
“The crowd receded. As I laid my head on Paul’s shoulder, I saw a few students start to stare at us. I closed my eyes and listened to the music [Bob Seger's "We've Got Tonight"], my thoughts wandering over the events of the evening. When the song ended, I opened my eyes. A large crowd of students had formed a ring around us. Probably most of them had never seen two happy men embracing in a slow dance.”
–Aaron Fricke in a 1983 essay
NAMES Project memorial quilt for AIDS victims launched.
In Bowers v. Hardwick, the U.S. Supreme Court upholds Georgia law forbidding “certain sex acts,” ruling that the constitutional right to privacy does not extend to homosexual relations, but does not state whether the law could be enforced against heterosexuals.
ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) is formed. Using direct action civil disobedience techniques, this group spreads nationwide and, through its protests, forces the government to take substantial action to fight AIDS for the first time.
Five hundred thousand attend the second March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, which displays the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt for the first time.
Michael Cadden, an openly gay professor, teaches Princeton's first undergraduate LGBT course, "Sexuality and Textuality: Speaking the Unspeakable."
National Coming Out Day launched (October 11). To read more, visit: http://www.hrc.org/resources/entry/the-history-of-coming-out.
The office of the Dean of the Chapel (now the Office of Religious Life) and the Dean of Student Life (now the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students) hires graduate students to help organize LGBT student activities. Princeton becomes the seventh university in the country to create an LGBT coordinator position.
President Bill Clinton explaining the new "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.
Clips from the 1993 March on Washington for Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Equal Rights and Liberation.
President Clinton signs the Defense of Marriage Act into law in 1996.
This infamous episode of
where Ellen Morgan comes out of the closet was titled "The Puppy Episode" in order to keep the plot from leaking before the episode aired. The title was based on a producer's suggestion that the character get a puppy if she wasn't going to get a boyfriend.
For more information on Clinton's appointment, read: http://www.nytimes.com/1995/06/14/us/clinton-names-first-liaison-to-gay-and-lesbian-groups.html
For more information on the first FTM Conference, read: http://www.black-rose.com/cuiru/archive/2-1/ftm-jordy.html
"Young and Asexual" from MTVNews.com
Same-sex marriage refers to a legally recognized marriage between two spouses of the same gender. Generally, same-sex spouses have the same rights and benefits (at the state level) as legally married opposite-sex couples, including tax relief, emergency medical decision-making power, access to domestic relations laws, state spousal benefits (including workers' compensation,) inheritance rights and spousal testimonial privilege.
The most significant difference between same-sex marriage and traditional marriage is that only marriage offers federal benefits and protections to spouses. Federal areas affecting include Social Security benefits, veterans' benefits, health insurance, Medicaid, hospital visitation, estate taxes, retirement savings, pensions, family leave, and immigration law. For example, a woman whose health insurance covers her female partner must pay federal taxes on the total employer cost for that insurance.
While the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) allows each state to choose whether or not to recognize a same-sex union that is recognized in another state, same-sex marriage is not federally protected and has not yet been fully tested in the courts.
Civil unions were first legal in 1999 in the state of Vermont as a means to provide the same state benefits, civil rights, and protections of the law to same-sex couples as married couples. Civil unions are therefore often sought after by same-sex couples who live in states which do not recognize same-sex marriage.
Civil union benefits vary among the handful of states that allow same-sex civil unions and may include benefits relating to title, tenure, wrongful death, loss of consortium, adoption, group health insurance, emergency care, property ownership, and tort actions under contracts.
Similar to civil unions, domestic partnerships are a form of relationship that gives limited state rights to both same-sex and opposite-sex couples who live together but wishes to remain unmarried or prohibited by law. Unlike civil unions, however, which are only legal in a handful of states, domestic partnerships are offered at either the state or city level, such as in New York and San Francisco. In addition, couples in domestic partnerships may receive domestic partner benefits at companies or organizations - such as employment benefits -- depending on the state. [Same-Sex Marriage, Civil Unions, and Domestic Partnerships definitions acquired from FindLaw.com.]
President Obama comes out in favor of gay marriage in a television interview on March 9, 2012.
For a full list of advances the Obama Administration has made for LGBT people, read: http://www.hrc.org/resources/entry/obama-administration-policy-and-legislative-advancements-on-behalf-of-lgbt.
Out MSNBC television host Rachel Maddow discusses the policy implications of the Obama Administration's new DOMA stance with University of Pennsylvania law professor Tobias Wolff.
New York Gay Pride Parade, 2011
"I cannot prevent anyone from getting angry, or mad, or frustrated. I can only hope that they'll turn that anger and frustration and madness into something positive, so that two, three, four, five hundred will step forward, so the gay doctors will come out, the gay lawyers, the gay judges, gay bankers, gay architects ... I hope that every professional gay will say 'enough', come forward and tell everybody, wear a sign, let the world know. Maybe that will help." --Harvey Milk, 1978
Safe Schools Coalition: A living Memory LGBT History Timeline
PFLAG: LGBT History in the United States: A Timeline
This is a timeline of recent lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual history. This timeline focuses on major events during recent history within the United States. P“LGBTQIA History” has been compiled by the Princeton University LGBT Center for use in the LGBT Peer Education Program. The LGBT Peer Education Program is sponsored by the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate as part of the Residential Education Program.
This Prezi is a multimedia timeline with text, photos, and videos. You can move back and forth through the timeline by using the arrows on the bottom right-hand corner of the screen or by using the arrows on your keyboard. And you are encouraged to explore the videos by clicking to play. This timeline takes about 1 hour to complete, and viewers can exit and enter it at any time. Please be advised that it is by no means exhaustive, and that there is much more wonderful LGBTQIA history in the US and internationally to explore beyond this timeline.
Originally Created: July 2012
Updated: July 2014
[Definition acquired from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homophile]
A social construct based on a group of emotional and psychological characteristics that classify an individual as feminine, masculine, androgynous, or other.
A term used historically and within the medical field to identify genetic/biological/hormonal/physical characteristics, including genitalia, which are used to classify an individual as female, male, or intersex.
Trans (also transgender):
A term used to describe those who transgress social gender norms; often used as an umbrella term to mean those who defy rigid binary gender constructions, and who express or present a breaking and/or blurring of culturally prevalent/stereotypical gender roles.
An individual who experiences intense, persistent, long-term discomfort with their body and self-image due to the belief that their assigned gender is inappropriate. This individual may then take steps to adapt or change their body, gender role and gender expression in order to achieve congruence with their gender identity, (what they believe their true gender to be). Such steps may, but don't necessarily, include cross-living, hormone use, surgery, and/or other body modification.
[The above definitions were acquired from the National Center for Transgender Equality.]
FTM (also female-to-male, F2M):
A term used to identify a person who was assigned a female gender at birth or is female-bodies, and who identifies as male, lives as a man, or identifies as masculine.
MTF (also male-to-female, M2F):
A term used to identify a person assigned a male gender at birth or is male-bodied, and who identifies as a female, lives as a woman, or identifies as feminine.
A term which is used by some people who may or may not fit on the spectrum of trans, or be labeled as trans, but who identify their gender and sexual orientation to be outside of the binary gender system, or culturally proscribed gender roles.
[The above definitions were acquired from the National Center for Transgender Equality.]
[Picture given by the Princeton LGBT Center.]
[Quote acquired from https://talkaboutequality.wordpress.com/tag/aaron-fricke/]
Reagan quotes acquired from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domestic_policy_of_the_Ronald_Reagan_administration#LGBT_Rights
[Quote acquired from http://gay-constellations.tumblr.com/post/5747267297/i-cannot-prevent-anyone-from-getting-angry-or]
In 2011, the documentary (A)sexual comes out.
It is available for viewing on Netflix.
For an interactive version of this map with a detailed, state-by-state analysis, visit this link from Mother Jones: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/05/gay-marriage-states-legal-map
For more information on LGBTQ media milestones, check out: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/13/lgbt-milestones-in-pop-culture_n_3429832.html
Slide last updated: July 2014
Shortly after she was omitted from 2014's
list of influential people, Laverne Cox becomes the first transgender individual featured on the history-making cover of
. The issue includes an extensive interview with the transgender rights advocate and
Orange Is the New Black
Just a few days later, Cox becomes the first transgender individual to be nominated for an Emmy award, for her portrayal of Sophia Burset on
interview here: http://time.com/132769/transgender-orange-is-the-new-black-laverne-cox-interview/
Read a follow-up with Cox on her Emmy nomination and why it matters: http://time.com/2973497/laverne-cox-emmy/
National and Global Policy
For the interactive version of this infographic with a country-by-country breakdown on rights, visit this page by
Movement Advancement Project (MAP) aims to usher in equality for the LGBT community using their Logic Model diagram. On their website, they write that this process includes "educating and influencing external change agents, such as policymakers and media, while simultaneously strengthening the LGBT movement." http://www.lgbtmap.org/about-map/our-work-and-mission
A sign advertising World Pride in 2014.
Other International LGBTQIA Resources:
-ILGA - http://ilga.org/
-IGLHRC - https://iglhrc.org/
-The Council for Global Equality - http://www.globalequality.org/
Every Voice: A Princeton University Conference for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender & Ally Alumni
For a complete overview of the conference, visit: https://alumni.princeton.edu/lgbt
See this article from The Wire if you are interested in why some people critique the IGB campaign's strategies: http://www.thewire.com/national/2010/10/critiquing-it-gets-better-project-for-gay-teens/22739/
And see this article from HuffPo for context on the controversy that surrounds Dan Savage and accusations that he is biphobic and transphobic: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/02/dan-savage-glitterbombed-oregon-transphobia-_n_1071627.html
May 10th, 2014:
Michael Sam is drafted by the St. Louis Rams as the 249th overall choice in the 2014 NFL draft, making him the first openly gay football player drafted in the history of the league. He was met with pushback from some corners, but also enormous celebration, as he received the news beside friends, family, and his boyfriend.
July 21st, 2014:
President Obama grants employment protection to transgender and gay federal government employees, as well as to workers in its contracting agencies. He gives in and does this by executive order, after deciding not to wait any longer for the GOP-controlled House to move ENDA forward (ENDA was already approved in the Senate in 2013 with bipartisan support). Religious groups with federal contracts will not be allowed to consider sexual orientation or gender identity in hiring or firing decisions.
Read the Daily Princetonian's coverage of the conference: http://www.princeton.edu/main/news/archive/S36/61/20M32/index.xml
"I don't think people who aren't LGBT can quite imagine what it feels like to hear the lyrics of 'Old Nassau' and feel both inside and outside of the University's anthem...to wonder whether your voice is part of the 'every' to which it gestures."
--Jill Dolan, Head of the Gender and Sexuality Studies Department
April 11-13 of 2013
, more than 550 alumni and their guests joined together on campus for lectures, performances, conversations, and social events.
A 1973 article on the Gay Alliance of Princeton (GAP)