The LGBT community has
gone through several events in history prior to their existence in today’s
world. Lowie’s essay on The Assiniboine involves a legend about Lesbianism. During
1909, a man went on a walk with his wife and sister. The wife was interested in
the man’s sister, so she seduced her and took her away when the man wasn’t looking.
They went missing, and the man became worried and confused. He ended up finding
them by the sound of a crying infant. He approached the two women and asked who
seduced who. The sister replied with, his wife made her do it. While the baby was
still crying, forgotten and abandoned, and given to these women to nurture. The
man ended up killing the baby and told the women to walk home. While his sister
wasn’t looking the man killed his wife with his blade while his sister ran away
looking for someone to come avenge her death. The sister ended up surviving,
while the wife was left to die because no one cared enough to save her, not
even her close relatives. This shows how drastic measures were for people engaging
in lesbian acts during past times in history.

            During 1901-02 there was two young women who were
friends. The two women were peeling bark in the woods, while two younger kids
spied on them. Sooner or later the women ended up on the ground lying next to
each other after taking off their clothes. The young boys approached these
women and saw the clitoris of one of the women to be poking out “like a
turtle’s penis.” The story ends with one of the women ending up pregnant, then
later giving birth, which ends up looking like “a soft-shell turtle.” This
legend suggests that there might have been some heterosexual male influence to
make things result as they did.

            Legg’s “Berdache and Theories of sexual Inversion,”
written in 1959, was a brief study on Native American sexuality and oppressive
theories on homosexuality. Legg refers to “Inversion” as homosexual behavior
being the reversal (Inversion) of “natural” behavior.  He states what may be considered “normal” in
one society may not be in another ones. His main point suggests that
“masculine” and “feminine” behavior wasn’t considered “natural” in Western
Society by any biological means. Instead, the behavior was culturally
conditioned. Legg was one of the few to point out and discuss a less talked
about phenomenon that the Native Americans had, which was cross-dressing.  Legg’s study brings out a question relating
sexual behavior; “what is the sexual orientation of a tribal leader who marries
and has sexual relations with the berdache?” This relates to labeling one who
commits homosexual acts and becomes an oddball.

            In 1945, during the Holocaust, there was about
3,000-9,000 homosexual deaths. These people were held at Nazi concentration and
death camps until their disappearance. The ones who survived these camps were
forced to spend their lives in a prison cell. Berlin’s first gay bar was opened
in 1945 post WWII. Later that year the first drag ball took place in West
Berlin. In New York City during 1945, the Veterans Benevolent Association was
made possible by four discharged gay veterans. This group formed because of the
injustice gays felt about being handed a blue discharge. It was one of the
first LGBT groups in American history. By 1960, U.S. Air Force reservists, Fannie Mae Clackum and Grace Garner,
were the first people to challenge their discharges for being homosexual. The
ruling turned out to be that there wasn’t enough evidence to prove that they
were lesbian lovers, instead of accepting there was nothing wrong with
them being homosexual.

            During the late 20th century, a lot of LGBT
influence and changes were happening to the community. In 1972 Sweden became
the first country to allow transsexuals a sex change. They provided people with
free hormone therapy. San Francisco was one of the first cities in California
to pass a homo-sexual rights ordinance during 1970, as well as this year being
the first time a LBTQ Pride Parade was held, which was in New York. During this
year was also when one of the oldest LGBT organizations in the U.S. was
established, known today as GLBT Round Table. This group is part of the
American Library Association. They work with library professionals on how to
promote or display LGBT materials, and how to respond to the public in a formal

            In 1984, Berkeley was the first city to open up a program
of domestic partnership health benefits for their city employees. West
Hollywood became the first city council to openly announce that most of their
elected members were either gay or lesbian. “On Our Backs” was one of the first
women-run erotic magazines depicting lesbian erotica for a lesbian audience,
created by Debi Sundahl and Myrana Elana. In 1986, a Homosexual Law Reform Act passed
in New Zealand. This legalized sex between males over the age of sixteen. During
1986 was also when the first openly lesbian couple granted legal in the United
States. A lot of different sexually diverse people and uneven processes helped
shaped the LBTQ community. What these people went through or were put through
explains a lot on how homosexuality came to be. It wasn’t seen ever seen as normal
to be queer but accepted as being different from society’s normality. State and
related institutions such as law and medicine have affected LBTQ people in
certain ways that affect the lives of these people forever.  

            During the 1900s-1940 there was only a few openly gay
European men living in the U.S. The law came into place during these times when
acts involving anal sex were prohibited by a statue passed in 1563 during Queen
Elizabeth I term. This law came into effect in the English colonies in the U.S.
These sexual practices were referred to as crimes against nature. All acts were
usually relating to be homosexual practices, such as fellatio, bestiality,
incest, necrophilia, and miscegenation. The main term used to refer to homosexual
acts was “sodomy.” Engaging in sodomy often lead to prison time, fines, and
hard labor. Police raids against homosexuals were highly common during the 20th
century. Certain people in the LGBT community have strived to bring possibilities
to the table. During these times, Walt Whitman was an influential poet, who was
said to have been gay or bisexual. His poems were filled with love and

            During the year 1947 to 1961, there was a purge going on
that involved civilians losing their job for no other reason besides their
sexual orientation. Over 5,000 homosexual civilians lost their job and
thousands were rejected from the employment process due to their sexual
orientation. The “Lavender Scare” were times when the terms “homosexual” and “pervert”
became known as “Communist” and “traitor.” People who were lesbian, gay, bisexual,
or Trans, etc. were automatically seen as a threat to the national security. This
brought attention to LBTQ people from all over, including courts, statehouse, and
the media. State departments produced these people as minorities of the U.S. by
disowning them due to “security reasons.” Firing people because of their sexual
preference was highly supported by President Eisenhower. He was the one to set “sexual
perversion” as a ground for dismissing people under federal security laws.

            Harry Hay was the guy who founded The Mattachine Foundation
in 1950. This group was formed by Hay along with 7 gay men. They shared their
experiences as gay men which lead to fully discover what it really means to be
homosexual. They were able to build programs for cultural and political liberation.
The group provided discussion sessions for both lesbian and gay people to openly
express how they feel or think without being misinterpreted. These meetings
grew larger by the year, until thousands were attending all over California. Their
importance was to bring the community together and for all gay people to
challenge anti-gay discrimination laws.  

            In 1980, laws regarding sodomy were abolished by the New
York Court of Appeals. There were few appellants who were part of this case.
These people appealed their convictions and fought for their rights to engage
in any form of sexual activity they preferred. Sodomy laws went against their
rights they had as civilians. The court’s ruling stated that these acts of
sexual behavior didn’t interfere with people lives nor did they showcase any
sort of threats to others, further ruling that private engagement in sexual
activity between adults and was consensual, was not considered unlawful.

            The Human Rights Campaign founded by Steve Endean during
1980, was one of the largest LBTQ civil rights activist groups. Endean was the
first gay and lesbian influencer in Minnesota during these times. The campaign
focused on expanding rights for LGBT people, especially for their marriage
rights, anti-discrimination, and hate crimes. This organization was successful for
providing public education and welfare for people of all sexual orientations
and gender. This campaign provided resources for people coming out of the
closet and how to address workplace issues when relating to their sexual orientations
as a problem. Guidance and support is offered to whomever maybe be in need and
needs someone to understand where they’re coming from. Their health issues
mainly focused on the HIV/AIDS epidemic. They have helped with addressing
discrimination in health care environments for LGBT patients, and families. The
possibilities and outcomes for freedom for the LGBTQ community have gone a long
way. Events taking place earlier in history that changed the way we look at
people in today’s world.