Ancient Times: Cultures such as the Indian, Chinese, Egyptian, Greek and Roman accommodate homosexuality and crossdressing among a minority of its citizens since the earliest recorded times. The castration of homosexual slaves and house servants becomes a custom of the Middle East, and Jewish tribes criminalize homosexual behavior. The Mahabharata of India describes how Arjuna was well-received in the palace of Maharaja Virata while spending one year as a crossdressing transgender. One of the earliest Egyptian pharaohs associated with homosexuality is King Neferkare, who is described having an affair with his top military commander, Sasenet, during the Sixth Dynasty. The custom of castrating homosexual slaves and house servants is established in Ancient Assyria.
Timeline of LGBT history
A Timeline of Gay World History
Although the term is new, discussions about sexuality in general, and same-sex attraction in particular, have occasioned philosophical discussion ranging from Plato's Symposium to contemporary queer theory. Since the history of cultural understandings of same-sex attraction is relevant to the philosophical issues raised by those understandings, it is necessary to review briefly some of the social history of homosexuality. Arising out of this history, at least in the West, is the idea of natural law and some interpretations of that law as forbidding homosexual sex. References to natural law still play an important role in contemporary debates about homosexuality in religion, politics, and even courtrooms. Finally, perhaps the most significant recent social change involving homosexuality is the emergence of the gay liberation movement in the West. In philosophical circles this movement is, in part, represented through a rather diverse group of thinkers who are grouped under the label of queer theory. A central issue raised by queer theory, which will be discussed below, is whether homosexuality, and hence also heterosexuality and bisexuality, is socially constructed or purely driven by biological forces.
The gay rights movement in the United States has seen huge progress in the last century, and especially the last two decades. Laws prohibiting homosexual activity have been struck down; lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals are now allowed to serve openly in the military transgender individuals were allowed to serve openly from until March , when a new ban was put in place. And same-sex couples can now legally get married and adopt children in all 50 states. But it has been a long and bumpy road for gay rights proponents, who are still advocating for employment, housing and transgender rights.
Newly married couple Richard Dowling and Cormac Gollogly kiss after the first same-sex marriage takes place on November 17, , in Clonmel, Ireland. Why are there homosexuals? At first glance, it's a silly, even offensive question—some people are gay, and you'll just have to deal with it.