The planet Mercury is a symbol used by the transgendered community. The sign for Mercury is a crescent shape and a cross, which represents the male and female principles in harmony in an individual. Additionally, the god Mercury fathered Hermaphroditus, who had both male and female sex organs.
The labrys, a double-edged hatchet or axe, is a symbol of strength and unity for the lesbian community. Demeter, the Goddess of Earth, is said to have used a labrys as her scepter, especially in religious ceremonies.
In 1987, Delta Airlines apologized for arguing in plane crash litigation that it should pay less in compensation for the life of a gay passenger than for a heterosexual one because he may have had AIDS.
Records of same-sex relationships have been found in nearly every culture throughout history with varying degrees of acceptance.
The number of gays and lesbians in the U.S. is estimated to be approximately 8.8 million.
No research has conclusively proven what causes homosexuality, heterosexuality, or bisexuality.
Scientists estimate that approximately 5% of the total human population worldwide has a homosexual orientation.
Historians note that in some cultures, homosexual behavior was not viewed as effeminate but as evidence of a man’s masculinity. Examples include the Celtic and Greek cultures.
Approximately 1 million children in the U.S. are being raised by same-sex couples.
In 1982, the Gay Related Immune Disorder (GRID) was renamed Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).
The state with the most gay couples is California, with approximately 92,138. The state with the least gay couples in North Dakota, with approximately 703 couples.
The U.S. state/district with the highest concentration of gay couples is Washington, D.C. (1.29%). The lowest concentration of gay couples is found in North and South Dakota (0.22% each).
The three U.S. cities that have the most gay couples are New York City (47,000), Los Angeles (12,000), and Chicago (10,000). The major metropolitan cities with the highest LGBT concentration are San Francisco 15.4%, Seattle 12.9%, and Atlanta 12.8%.
An estimated 1 million lesbians and gays are military veterans.
An estimated 1% of the population in America is confirmed as transsexuals.
Approximately one in three gay men prefer to not engage in anal sex.
In some American Indian cultures, having a same-sex attraction was called being Two-Spirited. The tribe honored such people as having special gifts and being especially blessed.
Gay teen suicides are more common in politically conservative regions.
Gay people tend to be left-handed much more often than heterosexuals.
Gay or lesbian teens are 50% more likely to use alcohol and three times more likely to use marijuana than heterosexual teens. They are also more likely to be homeless.
There is some evidence that increased levels of steroids in the womb increases the chances that a girl will be a lesbian.
Some researchers have asked, if the main motivation of all species is to pass genes on to future generations, and gay men produce 80% fewer offspring than straight men, why would a gay gene not have been wiped out? Explanations include that homosexuality is caused by a virus or that female relatives of gay men are more fertile to compensate.
Homosexuality has been recorded in China since ancient times and has often been referred to as “the cut sleeve” and “pleasures of the bitten peach.”
Scholars speculate that the growing acceptance of homosexuality in China is due to China’s “one-child” policy. Additionally, unlike the United States and Europe, which are predominantly Christian, and Southeast Asia, which is predominately Muslim, China has no dominant religion to fuel debates against homosexuality. Furthermore, researchers believe that homophobia in China is simply a European import.
Researchers have found that the length of a lesbian’s index finger in relation to the ring finger is closer to the male ratio than straight females. Men tend to have shorter index fingers in relation to their ring fingers; in women, the lengths are about the same.
Canadian researchers have documented what they call the “big-brother effect,” which postulates that a male with older brothers is three times more likely to be gay than a boy with no older brothers. They argue that this may be a result of the complex association among hormones, antigens, and a mother’s immune system.
Studies have shown that gay men have more feminized patterns for certain cognitive tasks, such as spatial perception and remembering where objects are placed. Studies have also shown masculinized results for lesbians in inner-ear functions and eye-blinking reactions to loud noises.
identical twin boys Genetics and environment both play a role in determining homosexuality
If one identical twin is gay, the other has about a 20-50% chance of being gay. Because it is not 100%, scientists speculate that homosexuality is a result of the interplay of environmental factors (e.g., surge of hormones in the womb, a virus, etc.) and genetics.
One of the earliest recorded accounts of bisexuality in America was by Spanish explorer Álvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca who, in the early sixteenth century, mentions “effeminate” Indians in Florida who “go about dressed as women and do women’s tasks.
In 1629, the Virginia Court recorded the first instance of gender ambiguity among the American colonists. A servant named Thomas/Thomasine Hall is officially declared by the governor to be both “a man and a woman” and ordered to wear articles of each sex’s clothing.
Nicholas Biddle, a member of the Lewis and Clark expeditions, recorded that “among Minitarees [Indians], if a boy shows any symptom of effeminacy or girlish inclinations, he is put among the girls, dressed in their way, brought up with them, and sometimes married to men . . . the French called them Birdashes.
As of 2010, gay marriage is legal in New York, Iowa, Vermont, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. California, New Jersey, Nevada, Washington, Oregon, and Washington, D.C., offer same-sex partners benefits similar to those offered to married couples.
Same-sex marriage is legal in Belgium, Spain, Canada, South Africa, Norway, the Netherlands, Sweden, Portugal, Iceland, and Argentina. In Mexico, same-sex marriage is legal but performed only in Mexico City.
In 1860, Walt Whitman published the homoerotic Leaves of Grass, which later inspired numerous gay poets.
The first U.S. novel to touch on the subject of homosexuality is Bayard Taylor’s 1870 Joseph and His Friend.
The Society for Human Rights in Illinois was founded in 1924 and is believed to be the first homosexual organization in the United States. It lasted just a few months but published two issues of Friendship and Freedom, the first gay liberation magazine in the country.
The first published piece about homosexuality by an African American writer is the short story “Smoke, Lilies and Jade” by Bruce Nugent.
The Drag, written and produced by Mae West, is the first play with gay male content to be produced in the United States.
In 1930, Hollywood studios enacted the Motion Picture Production Code, prohibiting all references to homosexuality or “sexual perversion” in the movies. It was strengthened in 1934 under pressure from the Catholic-led Legion for Decency. It remained in effect until the 1960s.
The first U.S. lesbian magazine was titled Vice Versa and was written by the pseudonymous Lisa Ben (an anagram for “lesbian”).
In 1948, the Kinsey Institute published its groundbreaking study of sexual behavior in American men. Kinsey’s research helped foster a sense of community and self-acceptance among homosexuals.
congress From 1952 to 1990, homosexual foreigners were banned from entering the U.S.
In 1952, the Unites States Congress enacted a law banning lesbians and gay foreigners from entering the country. The law was on the books until it was repealed in 1990.
The first lesbian organization in the United States was formed in 1955. Called the Daughters of Bilitis, it was founded in San Francisco by Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon.
In 1961, Illinois became the first state to abolish its laws against consensual homosexual sex.
The Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookshop was founded in 1967 in New York City and was the first gay bookstore in the world.
In 1968, Dr. John Money performed the first complete male-to-female sex-change operation in the United States at Johns Hopkins University.
The 1969, Time magazine’s “The Homosexual in America” was the first cover story on gay rights in a national magazine.
The first lesbian/feminist bookstore in the U.S. was the Amazon Bookstore Cooperative (now known as True Colors Bookstore), which opened in Minneapolis in 1970.
In 1972, William Johnson became the first openly gay man to be ordained as a minister by a major religious denomination, the United Church of Christ, in California.
In 1973, the American Psychiatric Association decided that homosexuality should no longer be classified as a mental disorder. Also the same year, the American Bar Association passed a resolution recommending the repeal of all state sodomy laws.
In 1974, Elaine Noble became the first openly gay elected official in the United States when she was elected to the Massachusetts state legislature.