LGBT History Lesson

June is Pride month – a great time to learn about the history of LGBTQ people throughout time!

Did you know that in the beginning of recorded history, LGBT individuals were accepted and celebrated? It wasn’t until the mid-1300s that there was recorded widespread hostility toward folks that identified as LGBTQ. Here’s a round-up of historical events.

2450 BCE:     The first documentation of a same-sex couple was recorded in Egypt when Khnumhotep and Niankhkhnum were buried together in a tomb with paintings that depicted them embracing and kissing.

27 BCE:         During the Roman Empire, same-sex marriage was common and largely accepted.

630 CE:          Sappho, a popular lesbian poet in Greece, focused her poetry on being a woman who loved other women.

1322:             Kalonymus ben Kalonymus wrote a poem called “On Becoming a Woman” which is considered the first exploration of trans-identity.

1347:             A trans female was killed for participating in homosexual behavior. She had left her hometown to live as a women in another city and lived as a trans woman for seven years before her murder.

1432:             Leonardo da Vinci, the famous painter, was taken to court with three other men to fight charges of sodomy. They were acquitted.

1502:             Famous painter, Sandro Botticelli, who had worked on the Sistine Chapel, was charged with sodomy.

1868:             Herculine Barbin an intersex person living in France who wrote some of the earliest records of intersex identity died. Her birthday, November 8, is now celebrated as Intersex Day of Remembrance.

1884:             Eleanor Roosevelt, the longest-serving first lady and notable human rights activist, was born. She had romantic relationships with women throughout her life.

1924:             Henry Gerber formed the first gay activist group in the United States, called the Society of Human Rights. Although this group was quickly shut down, it was an important start in the gay rights movement.

1931:             The first gender affirmation surgery took place in Berlin.

1961:             Illinois was the first state to decriminalize homosexuality.

1963:             The first gay rights demonstration in the United States took place at the Whitehall Induction Center in New York. The protest was around discrimination of gay people in the military.

1969:             The modern LGBT movement began with the police raid of the Stonewall Inn in New York. The raid was followed by a four day long struggle between the police and the LGBT community. Many of these LGBT people were transgender, young, or people of color.

1970:             The first Gay Liberation Day march was held in New York City.

1973:             Homosexuality was removed as an official psychiatric disorder. The American Psychiatric Association also pushed for the repeal of discriminatory laws against LGBT people.

1977:             Harvey Milk was elected to be on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, making him the first openly gay person to be elected to public office.

1978:             The first rainbow flag, created by Gilbert Baker, was used at San Francisco pride celebration.

1989:             Denmark became the first country in the world to legalize same sex unions.

1996:             Kelli Peterson founded the first Gay-Straight Alliance club in Salt Lake City.

1997:             Ellen DeGeneres became the first lesbian or gay lead character on a TV show.

2000:             Vermont became the first stat to legalize same-sex unions.

2004:             San Francisco became the first city to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

2013:             The United States federally recognized same-sex marriages.

2015:             The US Supreme Court ruled in Obergefell v.  Hodges that all states must legalize same-sex marriage.

This pride month, remember to be proud of how far LGBT rights have come in the United States but remember how much there is left to do. Think about ways to be proud of who you are, be an ally, and support rights for all! Check out more LGBT history and LGBT rights.