LGBT History

LGBT History

How Gay Culture Blossomed During the Roaring Twenties

On a Friday night in February 1926, a crowd of some 1,500 packed the Renaissance Casino in New York City’s Harlem neighborhood for the 58th masquerade and civil ball of Hamilton Lodge. Nearly half of those attending the event, reported the New York Age, appeared to be “men of more

The Pink Triangle: From Nazi Label to Symbol of Gay Pride

Before the pink triangle became a worldwide symbol of gay power and pride, it was intended as a badge of shame. In Nazi Germany, a downward-pointing pink triangle was sewn onto the shirts of gay men in concentration camps—to identify and further dehumanize them. It wasn’t until more

Fear of a Gay Batman Brought Batwoman to Life

In the mid-1950s, Batman and Robin comics had a tried-and-true formula: The Dynamic Duo encounter the Joker/Penguin/Catwoman, slug it out with Gotham City’s most fiendish villains, save the day, and retire to stately Wayne Manor for some well-earned down time. That basic rhythm more

Gay Conversion Therapy's Disturbing 19th-Century Origins

In 1899, a German psychiatrist electrified the audience at a conference on hypnosis with a bold claim: He had turned a gay man straight. All it took was 45 hypnosis sessions and a few trips to a brothel, Albert von Schrenck-Notzing bragged. Through hypnosis, he claimed, he had more

The Revolutionary War Hero Who Was Openly Gay

Gay men have always been part of the American military. In an era before gay marriage or open pride, military men fell in love, formed passionate friendships and had same-sex encounters. Due to social and official discrimination, though, most of their stories have gone untold. more

Why MLK's Right-Hand Man Was Nearly Written Out of History

On the morning of August 28, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke to a crowd of more than 200,000 people from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Marking the 100-year anniversary of Lincoln’s delivery of the Gettysburg Address, King hoped to mend the racial fractures within the more

Women Got ‘Married’ Long Before Gay Marriage

In 1880, on the first anniversary of her marriage, author Sarah Orne Jewett penned a romantic poem to her partner. “Do you remember, darling, a year ago today, when we gave ourselves to each other?” she wrote. “We will not take back the promises we made a year ago.” Jewett wasn’t more

How the Mob Helped Establish NYC’s Gay Bar Scene

It was an unlikely partnership. But between New York’s LGBT community in the 1960s being forced to live on the outskirts of society and the Mafia’s disregard for the law, the two made a profitable, if uneasy, match. As the gay community blossomed in New York City in the 1960s, more

How Did the Rainbow Flag Become an LGBT Symbol?

It’s not uncommon to see rainbow flags flying outside of homes and bars, pinned to shirts and on the back of bumpers—all with the universal and proud proclamation that #LoveIsLove. But who created the rainbow flag, and why did it become a symbol of the LGBT community? The rainbow more

Stonewall Riots

The Stonewall Riots, also called the Stonewall Uprising, began in the early hours of June 28, 1969 when New York City police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay club located in Greenwich Village in New York City. The raid sparked a riot among bar patrons and neighborhood residents more

There are many forums that document American history, but few dedicate themselves to documenting LGBT history. These forums might appear as collections of literature, art, or music. However there is one website in particular, which puts all of LGBT culture together, and celebrates LGBT History Month one icon at a time.

LGBT History Month is a website that revolves around its name, which is celebrated October of every year. “LGBT History Month celebrates the achievements of 31 lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender Icons. Each day in October, a new LGBT Icon is featured with a video, bio, bibliography, downloadable images and other resources.” The website also highlights historical information about the LGBT community, among the 31 icons featured during the month itself.

“Rodney Wilson, a Missouri high school teacher, believed a month should be dedicated to the celebration and teaching of gay and lesbian history, and gathered other teachers and community leaders. They selected October because public schools are in session and existing traditions, such as Coming Out Day (October 11), occur that month,” the website explains. LGBT History Month has many supporting organizations. These organizations include the Human Rights Campaign, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the National Education Association, GLAAD, and other national organizations. The Equality Forum also began to coordinate, promote and contribute to LGBT History Month in 2006, which has since helped the website grow and share information. Equality Forum undertakes high-impact initiatives and presents the largest annual national and international LGBT civil rights summit, as well as produces documentary films for LGBT History Month.

There are many prominent figures that are featured among the 31 days in October. These icons are all members of the LGBT community. Some of the 2014 icons included Marc Jacobs, Frank Ocean, Lord Byron, and June Jordan. Evident in just four of the 31 names is the diversity of these prominent LGBT figures. From fashion designers to athletes and political leaders to poets, LGBT History Month does an incredible job highlighting the many accomplished members of the LGBT community.

The website also features ideas for students, educators, GSAs, schools and colleges as to how to appropriately celebrate LGBT History Month. This is a crucial aspect to the website because it engages the user and intends to spread the message of the vitality of LGBT history. There is also an area for users to nominate LGBT History Month Icons for the following year, which explains how the icons are chosen. These icons can all be found in the database, which features 279 icons from 2006-2014. The icons can be searched by name, or even tag, such as “Academy Award,” “Chicago,” “Politics,” “Composer,” and more.

George Chauncey, Samuel Knight Professor of American History and Chair of the History Department at Yale University, is featured on the website, explaining the importance of LGBT history. “LGBT History Month sends an important message to our nation’s teachers, school boards, community leaders, and youth about the vital importance of recognizing and exploring the role of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people in American history.” His words resonate with any user who visits the website, because American history cannot be complete without its LGBT contributors.

The importance of LGBT history is apparent in the way LGBT History Month chooses the icons. As a young student wishing to be educated on prominent LGBT figures, there is a name that most everyone can recognize. Being able to feature icons from the 18 th century to present day is crucial in showing how much music, art, literature, political progress, and more have come from members of the LGBT community. The successes of these individuals have shaped American society and history, just as much as they have shaped LGBT history. It is important to understand that without LGBT history, much of American history would not be complete.

LGBTQ History

For all of us, learning an LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum can help us better understand our world and our differences. For LGBTQ students in particular, it can mean feeling safer at school and hearing homophobic and transphobic remarks less frequently, according to GLSEN research. That's why we're sharing the resources below, from an interactive timeline and coloring book to many other classroom resources.

Recognizing these benefits, former GLSEN Chapter leader Rodney Wilson, with the support of GLSEN's founder Kevin Jennings and many others, founded LGBTQ History Month in October 1994. While you can use these resources every October, they're perfect for use all year, so that students see the benefits year round.

A great resource you can use to learn and teach about LGBTQ history is Making Gay History, the critically acclaimed and award-winning podcast that brings LGBTQ history to life through the voices of the people who lived it. Listen to the podcasts below to hear about the lives and legacies of Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, who were participants in the New York Stonewall riots in 1969.



Our mission is to ensure that every member of every school community is valued and respected regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.

Whether you’re LGBTQ+ or an ally, test your knowledge of LGBT history with this quiz:

The Tab’s Pride reporting series is putting a focus on highlighting LGBTQ+ issues and celebrating queer voices across UK campuses.

If you or someone you know has been affected by this story you can contact Switchboard, the LGBTQ+ helpline, on 0300 330 0630 or visit their website. You can also find help through The Mix.

If you’ve got a story you’d like to tell us – whether it’s an incident of homophobia on campus, an experience you’d like to share, or anything you think we should hear, get in touch in confidence by emailing [email protected]

5 thoughts on &ldquo History of LGBTQ+ Representation in Media &rdquo

I think this issue was super important, especially to me growing up as a queer child and watching these tv shows and movie and trying to see myself in older characters. The first examples of openly gay characters were always just side pieces to the plot, where the main character had a friend who happened to be gay and WOW, diversity. On top of this, the idea that all villains are queer-coded is super toxic to our community because it makes having stereotypically gay mannerisms equivalent to being malicious or aggressive. It compiles into subconscious ideas that gays are all like Jafar from Aladdin.

Loved this post! I’m really glad that you touched on the “bury your gays” trope because I remember especially how big of a thing that was on teen tv shows maybe 4/5-ish years ago. I’m not sure what you have planned for your next post, but I think it would be really interesting to discuss the fostering of LGBT culture on Broadway, seeing as that is generally considered as a “safe-space” for the community. You could talk about the 2018 revival of “The Boys in the Band” (like you mentioned), and the 2016 revival of “Falsettos” (you can find the full performance on vimeo, I highly reccomend it).

This is such a good blog topic! Ellen is such a good story because she originally was on a sitcom but was not out. Her agent knew but told her it wasn’t a good idea to come out. She wrestled with it for a while before deciding she had to come out publicly. She did and she lost her sitcom. Thankfully years later Ellen started her own talkshow that is so successful! I don’t think I’ve ever met someone who doesn’t love Ellen. Also I think it’s great that she ends every one of her shows with “Be kind to one another.”

Villainy, child abuse and tragic deaths seem like a great way for the established white, male, heterosexual TV producing audience to maintain their stranglehold on their positions, don’t they? Anyways, your writing is really linear and easy to follow, and you communicate your points effectively.

Lgbtq History

A Brief History of the LGBTQ

LGBT history started when the first instances of same sex love and sexuality of ancient civilizations was recorded, involving the history of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in and around the world. The history behind the LGBTQ grasps a lot of stories of strength, struggle, cultures, and communities were considered nonnormative. It is the story of the tragedy that LGBTQ have faced and still facing.

A research by the Gay and Lesbian Vaishnava Association (GALVA) mentions,Homosexuality is as old as the Vedas from around 3102 B.C. Homosexuality was recognized as “tritiya prakriti”, or the third nature. Back in the old third century BC, the Koovagam festival was inherent. It was celebrated as Krishna took form of a woman to marry Arayan just before Mahabharata battle. The festival continues even today and it is one of the largest annual gathering of trans people in India.

The Buggery Act of 1533 was passed during the Parliament reign of Henry VIII, the first in law male homosexuality was targeted for persecution in the UK.It was not until 1861 with the passing of the Offences Against the Person Act that the death penalty was abolished for acts of sodomy instead being made punishable by a minimum of 10 years imprisonment. However, The Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885 went a step further and made any male homosexual act illegal. This legislation was so ambiguously worded that was known as “Blackmailer’s Charter”.

In 1994 the annual observance of LGBT History Month began in the US. LGBT History Month was founded by Rodney Wilson, Missouri high school history teacher. LGBT History Month is a month long celebration that provides role models build community and represent civil rights statement about the contributions of the LGBT community. In Canada and US, it is celebrated in October. In the United Kingdom in February and in Berlin, it is known as Queer History month.

LGBT History Timeline

First known female-to-male sex change surgery, on Michael Dillon in Britain.

A Senate hearing reveals the majority of State Department dismissals are based on accusations of homosexuality Senate approves wide-ranging investigation of homosexuals “and other moral perverts” in national government.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower orders dismissal of all federal employees guilty of “sexual perversion”.

Kinsey report on women’s sexuality, including lesbian behavior, released.

“Transsexual” coined by Harry Benjamin.

American Civil Liberties Union approves a policy statement saying laws against sodomy and federal restrictions on employment of lesbians and gay men are constitutional.

First U.S. gay community center opens, in San Francisco, led by The Society for Individual Rights.

First transgender public uprising at San Francisco’s Compton’s Cafeteria.

The American Psychiatric Association moves homosexuality from “sociopathic” category to “sexual deviation”.

Bi Alliance begins at the University of Minnesota.

National Institute of Mental Health study chaired by Dr. Evelyn Hooker urges decriminalization of private sex acts between consenting adults.

The United Church of Christ Council for Christian Social Action adopted the “Resolution on Homosexuals and the Law.”

Unitarian Universalist Association becomes first U.S. mainstream religious group to recognize LGB clergy and laity within its ranks and to demand an end to anti-gay discrimination.

The Vatican issues a statement reiterating that homosexuality is a moral aberration.

The Rev. William R. Johnson became the first openly gay minister to be ordained in the United Church of Christ.

“Ithaca Statement on Bisexuality,” by the Quaker Committee of Friends on Bisexuality, is published in “The Advocate” National Bisexual Liberation Group forms in New York.

East Lansing, Michigan, becomes first city to ban anti-gay bias in city hiring.

American Psychiatric Association removes homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses.

The United Church of Christ’s Executive Council adopted “Human Sexuality and Ordination,” which recommended that congregations, Associations and Conferences initiate programs of study and dialogue with regard to the implications (meanings) of human sexuality, and the relationship between ordination and human sexuality.

First state-level openly gay person elected: Elaine Noble of Massachusetts.

Ohio Supreme Court rules that even though homosexuality is legal, the state can refuse to incorporate a gay organization because “the promotion of homosexuality as a valid life style is contrary to the public policy of the state.”

1976 Tales of the City published by the “San Francisco Chronicle,” includes LGB and T characters.

1976 Lynn Ransom of California is one of the first openly lesbian mothers to win custody of her children in court.

1976 San Francisco Bisexual Center opens.

1977 The Rev. Anne Holmes became the first openly lesbian minister to be ordained in the United Church of Christ.

1977 Anita Bryant and Save Our Children succeed in repealing Miami law against discrimination based on sexual orientation.

1977 80% of surveyed Oregon doctors say they would refuse to treat a known homosexual.

1977 Arkansas recriminalizes gay sex after two years without such a law.

1980 First Harry Benjamin Standards produced for therapists working with transgender persons.

1980 Aaron Fricke takes Paul Guilbert to his high school prom after winning a lawsuit against the school.

1980 & 1981 The Executive Council of the UCC adopted the “Equal Employment Opportunity Policy and Revision“, where it affirmed its moral and legal commitment to support and implement a program of Equal Employment Opportunity.

1982 Parents & Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) founded.

1982 Gay Men’s Health Crisis formed.

1983 Congressman Gerry Studds comes out first federal official to come out as gay

1983 The 14th General Synod of the UCC passed these resolutions:

  • “Report of the Task Force for the Study of Human Sexuality.” This resolution urged that attention and support be given to the development of proposals and programs to end sexual violence against men, women and children, regardless of their sexual orientation.
  • “Resolution Recommending Inclusiveness on Association Church and Ministry Committees within the United Church of Christ.”
  • “Resolution in Response to the Concerns of Same-gender Oriented Persons and their Families within the United Church of Christ.”
  • “Resolution on the Institutionalized Homophobia within the United Church of Christ.”

1984 Berkeley (CA) becomes first U.S. city to extend domestic partnership benefits to lesbian and gay employees.

1984 San Francisco Department of Public Health closes the city’s bathhouses.

1985 First school for openly lesbian and gay teenagers opens in New York City (Harvey Milk School).

1985 Rock Hudson comes out, admits he has AIDS.

resolution encourages a policy on nondiscrimination in employment, volunteer service and membership policies with regard to sexual orientation encourages the congregations of the United Church of Christ to adopt a nondiscrimination policy and a Covenant of Openness and Affirmation of persons of lesbian, gay and bisexual orientation within the community of faith.

1987 Second National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights Names Project AIDS Memorial.

1987 What becomes BiNet USA formed.

1987 The 16th General Synod of the UCC passed the “Resolution on the Right to Privacy.” This resolution urges individuals, congregations, Associations and Conferences to work for repeal of current laws which make private consensual sexual behavior a crime.

1988 National Coming Out Day launched.

1989 Jazz musician Billy Tipton dies and is revealed to be FTM.

1990 First National Bisexual Conference held in San Francisco.

1990 Federal Hate Crimes Statistics Act passed first law extending federal recognition of gay men and lesbians.

1991 First Black Lesbian and Gay Pride celebration held in Washington, D.C.

1991 The 18th General Synod of the UCC passed the “Resolution on Virginia Privacy Laws“. This resolution urged the decriminalization of private and non-commercial sexual activity between consenting adults. General Synod also passed the “Resolution on Affirming Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Persons and their Ministries.”

1992 World Health Organization removes homosexuality from its classification of illnesses.

1993 Intersex Society of North America founded.

1993 “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” U.S. military policy adopted.

1993 March on Washington for Lesbian, Gay and Bi Equal Rights and Liberation held.

1993 The 19th General Synod of the UCC also passed the “A Call to End the Ban against Gays and Lesbians in the Military” resolution.

1995 First U.S. conference for FTMs.

1995 President Clinton names the first-ever White House liaison to the gay and lesbian communities.

1996 Congress passes Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), forbidding federal recognition of (and benefits for) married same-sex couples.

1996 The Directorate of the Office of Church in Society of the UCC voted for “Equal Marriage Rights for Same-sex Couples.”

1996 The Board of Directors of the United Church Board for Homeland Ministries of the UCC voted for “Equal Marriage Rights for Same Gender Couples.”

1997 South Africa becomes the first country to enact a constitutional ban outlawing sexual orientation discrimination.

1997 The 21st General Synod of the UCC passed the “Fidelity and Integrity in all Covenanted Relationships” resolution.

1998 Matthew Shepard murdered in Wyoming.

1998 The Executive Council of the UCC called for the “Passage of Hate Crimes Legislation“. In this, they called for immediate passage of the Federal Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 1998 and urged all United Church of Christ members to communicate support for this legislation to their congressional representatives.

1999 Britain bans discrimination against transgender people.

2000 British ban against lesbians and gay men serving in the military is lifted.

2000 Britain outlaws discrimination against lesbians and gay men.

2000 Vermont offers civil unions to same-sex couples.

2002 MTF teenager Gwen Araujo murdered by sex partners, in California.

2003 Massachusetts Supreme Court rules it is unconstitutional to deny marriage to gay and lesbians.

2003 The 24th General Synod of the UCC passed these resolutions:

  • “Affirming the Participation and Ministry of Transgender People within the United Church of Christ and Supporting their Civil and Human Rights”
  • “Reaffirming the United Church of Christ’s Denouncement of Violence Against Lesbian and Gay People and Calling for the Inclusion of Transgender people within that Anti-violence Statement”
  • “The United Church of Christ and the Boy Scouts of America” resolution. This resolution encouraged settings of the church to urge the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America to adopt a membership policy that does not discriminate based on sexual orientation.

2004 In the United Kingdom, transgender people are allowed to change the gender on their birth certificates.

2004 Massachusetts was the first state to legalize same-sex marriage.

2004 The Executive Council of the UCC released a “Call to Action and Invitation to Dialogue on Marriage” during their April meeting.

2005 New Zealand first country to outlaw employment discrimination and hate crimes on the basis of gender identity.

2005 “Equal Marriage Rights for All” resolution passed by the 25th General Synod of the UCC.

2006 Bishop Ronald Warren of the Southeastern Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) filed formal charges against ELCA pastor, Rev. Bradley Schmeling, because of his committed relationship with Rev. Darin Easler.

2007 The US House decided to divide the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) into two pieces of legislation – one focusing on sexual orientation and the other on gender identity. ENDA would ban employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

2008 15-year-old Lawrence King was shot and killed, a day after a verbal exchange with 14-year-old Brandon McInerney and his friends. King, an eighth-grader who identified as gay and occasionally wore makeup, high heels and other feminine attire to E. O. Green Junior High School, was shot in the head while in class at school.

2008 Rally at National Center for Transgender Equality Lobby Day to end transgender discrimination.

2008 The UCC Florida Conference passed a resolution at its annual meeting in opposition to a proposed constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

2008 California Supreme Court overturns ban on same-sex marriage gay-marriage opponents bid to get proposed amendment on ballot.

2009 The General Synod of the UCC has joined an Amicus Curiae brief (friend of the court brief) with both California-Nevada Conferences, the California Council of Churches and others in support of the petitioners claiming that Prop 8 should be ruled invalid.

2009 The Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act / Matthew Shepard Act (LLEHCPA) was introduced in the 111th Congress in the House and in the Senate.

2009 “Affirming Diversity/Multi-Cultural Education in the Public Schools” resolution passed by the 27th General Synod of the UCC. This resolution urges churches to assist public school efforts to protect children and help them understand people of other races and sexual orientation.

2009 The House of Representatives passed Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act / Matthew Shepard Act (LLEHCPA) (H.R. 1913) by a vote of 249-175.

2009 A fully inclusive version of ENDA (H.R. 3017) was introduced in the House as well as the Senate.

2009 The Commonwealth of Massachusetts sued the US government over the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which was enacted in 1996.

2010 In Washington, D.C., Mayor Adrian Fenty signed into law the Religious Freedom & Civil Marriage Equality Amendment Act of 2009, and marriage licenses became available on March 3, 2010. This amendment act allows same-sex couples to marry in the city itself.

2010 Maryland’s Attorney General declared that although Maryland does not issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, the state is able to provide marriage rights and benefits to same-sex couples married outside of Maryland.

2010 Prop 8 ruled unconstitutional by Judge Vaughn R. Walker. His decision declared that Prop 8 violates both the due process and equal protection provisions of the U.S. Constitution, the first time the ban on gay marriage has been ruled unconstitutional under the U.S. Constitution.

2010 The UCC Coalition for LGBT Concerns expanded its criteria for new Open and Affirming (ONA) Statements to include gender identity and gender expression effective July 14, 2010.

LGBTQ History

Gender, love, sexuality, and desire are among the most complicated areas of human history. Always varied, often hidden, and never static, LGBTQ+ stories are found across NMAH collections.

Our collections span centuries and include objects related to protest and politics, medicine and psychology, love and marriage, sports and entertainment, and more. Sometimes, curators and archivists collected objects for a specific reason that later turned out to have LGBTQ+ connections. For example, the numismatics collection has coins that were collected decades ago with the likenesses of emperors and royalty, such as Queen Christina of Sweden, who expressed same-sex attraction. Identities, terms, and definitions related to sexual orientation and gender identity have been in flux as long as there have been humans. The museum is continually adding to and mining our existing resources in order to better understand evolving and overlapping identities such as lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, queer, transsexual, transvestite, mahu, homosexual, fluid, invert, urning, third sex, two sex, gender-bender, sapphist, hijra, friend of Dorothy, drag queen/king, and many other experiences.

The “Illegal to be You: Gay History Beyond Stonewall” display opened at the museum June 20, 2019, along with a companion Smithsonian Channel episode, “Beyond Stonewall.” The display can be seen through July 6, 2021.

The resources gathered on this page offer a path into the museum's efforts in finding that past and making sense of it.



Welcome to Houston LGBT History, which embodies my gay agenda of getting our history online. My approach is to compile information on many aspects of our culture, culled from our publications and coupled with photos and videos when available, and lots more.

And there's quite a bit of history items from Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth and San Antonio. and the rest of Texas and beyond on these pages. I just can't help myself.

Mary's Naturally
During 1982 Pride Parade - photo by JD Doyle (copyright)

This site is part of the JD Doyle Archives which has been approved by the IRS for 501c3 non-profit status, so all donations are tax deductible. If you enjoy my site, please consider a small donation. The site has a huge amount of PDF files and graphics, and well, it's an expensive site, requiring a large dedicated server. If you're moved to help share and preserve our culture's history It would be very appreciated. - JD Doyle

JD Doyle, photo/ Alex Rosa,
OutSmart Magazine /10/20

Caution: I've been told that visiting my site can be like
falling into a rabbit hole

Additions are added
often, so please
check back, and
see the
"What's New"

Site Launched

Pages for this site began in May 2013, as part of my website Queer Music Heritage. that really wasn't logical, but I already had that site. when it got too big it jumped to its own site

A note about the Google search engine: it is set to simultaneously search all three of my major sites this one, along with Texas Obituary Project and Queer Music Heritage, and also The Banner Project site.

And, a tip for using a search engine. it may send you to one of the hundreds of pdf files of publications in my archive, but it won't direct you to what page of the pub. (on Windows) try this. when you have the search result on the screen clicking "control-F" will bring up another search field (on my pc in the lower left) where you can repeat your search to (most of the time) hone it down a little.

And, this is a bit unusual, I am providing a second search engine. It and the Google search at the top of the page have pros and cons. The Google search does all my sites at once, but is limited to 100 hits. The search engine below is only for this site and does not have a limit on hits, though it does show a few ads.

Use and Reproduction: Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner. All copyrighted materials included on this website are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the use of copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. For more information go to:

Appearance on this site in no way indicates a person's sexual orientation.

Digitizing Help? Ask the Library of Congress. Click Here.

And AT THIS LINK is an excellent video talk about Archival Estate Planning,
from the SF GLBT Historical Society. Of course I hope you consider MY Archives.

LGBTQ History and Why It Matters

For more ideas and guidance on how to incorporate LGBTQ+ voices and history into your teaching, view our on-demand webinar, Bringing LGBTQ Upstanders into Your Classroom: A Conversation with Eric Marcus.

Essential Questions

How can the way that history is taught and remembered create or reinforce “in” groups and “out” groups in a society?


While many students have heard about some events in LGBTQ history (such as the Stonewall Riots or the activism, political career, and assassination of Harvey Milk in San Francisco), many significant people and events in the history of the LGBTQ rights movement are often underrepresented in textbooks and K-12 curricula. In this lesson, students will learn about LGBTQ history spanning from the Roman Empire to the year 2016 by participating in a human timeline activity. The activity uses resources created by GLSEN, a national organization dedicated to ensuring that all lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) students have access to a safe and affirming school environment where they can learn and grow.

By examining the broader sweep of LGBTQ history, this lesson helps students put people and events into more meaningful context. This lesson also gives students the opportunity to consider whose experiences are included in the history taught in schools, whose are often left out, and how that may reflect and perpetuate the “in” groups and “out” groups in our society. Over the course of this lesson, students will practice important skills such as summarizing, inferencing, and presenting material orally as they learn about LGBTQ history and reflect on how that history is represented in their textbooks and curricula.


Teaching Strategies:


Reflect on the Stories Included in History and Literature Classes

  • Tell students that in this lesson they will be learning about LGBTQ history but first, they will reflect in their journals on whose stories are represented in their social studies and literature classes, whose stories are oftentimes left out, and how that exclusion might impact the identities and experiences of individuals in those groups.
  • Ask students to create a pie chart in their journals that represents, in their experience, the groups of people whose stories are represented in their history and literature books and classes, and the percentage of time devoted to each group. You can let students define the groups themselves, or you might name some specific groups (such as African Americans, Latin Americans, LGBTQ, and white Americans in an American history course) to get them started.
  • Underneath their pie charts, ask students to respond to the following questions in their journals:
    • What conclusions about your social studies and literature curriculum can you make based on your pie chart?
    • What questions does your pie chart raise for you?

    Tell students that they will be making a Human Timeline of significant events in LGBTQ history. After distributing one GLSEN LGBTQ history card to each student, ask them to respond to the following prompts in their journals before you begin the human timeline:

    • Summarize your event in your own words.
    • What do you already know about your event? (Skip to the next question if this event is entirely new to you.)
    • What do you want to know about your event that is not included on your card?

    Ask students to return to their seats and distribute the GLSEN LGBTQ History Timeline handout to the class. Students might read through the timeline on their own or with a partner. To encourage active reading, ask the students to annotate for the following information:

    Watch the video: Russians react to LGBT flag on US embassy