Gay

Gay is a term that primarily refers to a homosexual person or the trait of being homosexual. The term was originally used to mean "carefree", "cheerful", or "bright and showy".[1]

The term's use as a reference to homosexuality may date as early as the late 19th century, but its use gradually increased in the mid-20th century.[2] In modern English, gay has come to be used as an adjective, and as a noun, referring to the community, practices and cultures associated with homosexuality. In the 1960s, gay became the word favored by homosexual men to describe their sexual orientation.[3] By the end of the 20th century, the word gay was recommended by major LGBT groups and style guides to describe people attracted to members of the same sex.[4][5]

At about the same time, a new, pejorative use became prevalent in some parts of the world. Among younger speakers, the word has a meaning ranging from derision (e.g., equivalent to rubbish or stupid) to a light-hearted mockery or ridicule (e.g., equivalent to weak, unmanly, or lame). In this use, the word rarely means "homosexual", as it is often used, for example, to refer to an inanimate object or abstract concept of which one disapproves. The extent to which these usages still retain connotations of homosexuality has been debated and harshly criticized.[6][7]

History

Overview

The Great Social Evil, Punch 1857
Cartoon from Punch magazine in 1857 illustrating the use of "gay" as a colloquial euphemism for being a prostitute.[8] One woman says to the other (who looks glum), "How long have you been gay?" The poster on the wall is for La Traviata, an opera about a courtesan.

The word gay arrived in English during the 12th century from Old French gai, most likely deriving ultimately from a Germanic source.[2]

In English, the word's primary meaning was "joyful", "carefree", "bright and showy", and the word was very commonly used with this meaning in speech and literature. For example, the optimistic 1890s are still often referred to as the Gay Nineties. The title of the 1938 French ballet Gaîté Parisienne ("Parisian Gaiety"), which became the 1941 Warner Brothers movie, The Gay Parisian,[9] also illustrates this connotation. It was apparently not until the 20th century that the word began to be used to mean specifically "homosexual", although it had earlier acquired sexual connotations.[2]

The derived abstract noun gaiety remains largely free of sexual connotations and has, in the past, been used in the names of places of entertainment; for example W. B. Yeats heard Oscar Wilde lecture at the Gaiety Theatre in Dublin.[10]

Sexualization

NGramGay
Usage statistics from English books, according to Google Ngram Viewer.

The word may have started to acquire associations of immorality as early as the 14th century, but had certainly acquired them by the 17th.[2] By the late 17th century, it had acquired the specific meaning of "addicted to pleasures and dissipations",[11] an extension of its primary meaning of "carefree" implying "uninhibited by moral constraints". A gay woman was a prostitute, a gay man a womanizer, and a gay house a brothel.[2] The use of gay to mean "homosexual" was often an extension of its application to prostitution: a gay boy was a young man or boy serving male clients.[12]

Similarly, a gay cat was a young male apprenticed to an older hobo, commonly exchanging sex and other services for protection and tutelage.[2] The application to homosexuality was also an extension of the word's sexualized connotation of "carefree and uninhibited", which implied a willingness to disregard conventional or respectable sexual mores. Such usage, documented as early as the 1920s, was likely present before the 20th century,[2] although it was initially more commonly used to imply heterosexually unconstrained lifestyles, as in the once-common phrase "gay Lothario",[13] or in the title of the book and film The Gay Falcon (1941), which concerns a womanizing detective whose first name is "Gay". Similarly, Fred Gilbert and G. H. MacDermott's music hall song of the 1880s, "Charlie Dilke Upset the Milk" – "Master Dilke upset the milk, when taking it home to Chelsea; the papers say that Charlie's gay, rather a wilful wag!" – referred to Sir Charles Dilke's alleged heterosexual impropriety.[14] Giving testimony in court in 1889, the prostitute John Saul stated: "I occasionally do odd-jobs for different gay people."[15]

Well into the mid 20th century a middle-aged bachelor could be described as "gay", indicating that he was unattached and therefore free, without any implication of homosexuality. This usage could apply to women too. The British comic strip Jane, first published in the 1930s, described the adventures of Jane Gay. Far from implying homosexuality, it referred to her free-wheeling lifestyle with plenty of boyfriends (while also punning on Lady Jane Grey).

A passage from Gertrude Stein's Miss Furr & Miss Skeene (1922) is possibly the first traceable published use of the word to refer to a homosexual relationship. According to Linda Wagner-Martin (Favored Strangers: Gertrude Stein and her Family, 1995) the portrait "featured the sly repetition of the word gay, used with sexual intent for one of the first times in linguistic history," and Edmund Wilson (1951, quoted by James Mellow in Charmed Circle, 1974) agreed.[16] For example:

They were ... gay, they learned little things that are things in being gay, ... they were quite regularly gay.

— Gertrude Stein, 1922

The word continued to be used with the dominant meaning of "carefree", as evidenced by the title of The Gay Divorcee (1934), a musical film about a heterosexual couple.

Bringing Up Baby (1938) was the first film to use the word gay in apparent reference to homosexuality. In a scene in which Cary Grant's character's clothes have been sent to the cleaners, he is forced to wear a woman's feather-trimmed robe. When another character asks about his robe, he responds, "Because I just went gay all of a sudden!" Since this was a mainstream film at a time, when the use of the word to refer to cross-dressing (and, by extension, homosexuality) would still be unfamiliar to most film-goers, the line can also be interpreted to mean, "I just decided to do something frivolous."[17]

In 1950, the earliest reference found to date for the word gay as a self-described name for homosexuals came from Alfred A. Gross, executive secretary for the George W. Henry Foundation, who said in the June 1950 issue of SIR magazine: "I have yet to meet a happy homosexual. They have a way of describing themselves as gay but the term is a misnomer. Those who are habitues of the bars frequented by others of the kind, are about the saddest people I’ve ever seen."[18]

Shift to specifically homosexual

By the mid-20th century, gay was well established in reference to hedonistic and uninhibited lifestyles[11] and its antonym straight, which had long had connotations of seriousness, respectability, and conventionality, had now acquired specific connotations of heterosexuality.[19] In the case of gay, other connotations of frivolousness and showiness in dress ("gay apparel") led to association with camp and effeminacy. This association no doubt helped the gradual narrowing in scope of the term towards its current dominant meaning, which was at first confined to subcultures. Gay was the preferred term since other terms, such as queer, were felt to be derogatory.[20] Homosexual is perceived as excessively clinical,[21][22][23] since the sexual orientation now commonly referred to as "homosexuality" was at that time a mental illness diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).

In mid-20th century Britain, where male homosexuality was illegal until the Sexual Offences Act 1967, to openly identify someone as homosexual was considered very offensive and an accusation of serious criminal activity. Additionally, none of the words describing any aspect of homosexuality were considered suitable for polite society. Consequently, a number of euphemisms were used to hint at suspected homosexuality. Examples include "sporty" girls and "artistic" boys,[24] all with the stress deliberately on the otherwise completely innocent adjective.

The 1960s marked the transition in the predominant meaning of the word gay from that of "carefree" to the current "homosexual". In the British comedy-drama film Light Up the Sky! (1960), directed by Lewis Gilbert, about the antics of a British Army searchlight squad during World War II, there is a scene in the mess hut where the character played by Benny Hill proposes an after-dinner toast. He begins, "I'd like to propose..." at which point a fellow diner, played by Sidney Tafler, interjects "Who to?", suggesting a proposal of marriage. The Benny Hill character responds, "Not to you for start, you ain't my type". He then adds in mock doubt, "Oh, I don't know, you're rather gay on the quiet."

By 1963, a new sense of the word gay was known well enough to be used by Albert Ellis in his book The Intelligent Woman's Guide to Man-Hunting. Similarly, Hubert Selby, Jr. in his 1964 novel Last Exit to Brooklyn, could write that a character "took pride in being a homosexual by feeling intellectually and esthetically superior to those (especially women) who weren't gay...."[25] Later examples of the original meaning of the word being used in popular culture include the theme song to the 1960–1966 animated TV series The Flintstones, whereby viewers are assured that they will "have a gay old time." Similarly, the 1966 Herman's Hermits song "No Milk Today", which became a Top 10 hit in the UK and a Top 40 hit in the U.S., included the lyric "No milk today, it was not always so; The company was gay, we'd turn night into day."[26]

In June 1967, the headline of the review of the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album in the British daily newspaper The Times stated, "The Beatles revive hopes of progress in pop music with their gay new LP".[27] Yet in the same year, The Kinks recorded "David Watts".[28] Ostensibly about schoolboy envy, the song also operated as an in-joke, as related in Jon Savage's "The Kinks: The Official Biography", because the song took its name from a homosexual promoter they had encountered who had romantic desires for songwriter Ray Davies' teenage brother; and the lines "he is so gay and fancy free" attest to the ambiguity of the word's meaning at that time, with the second meaning evident only for those in the know.[29] As late as 1970, the first episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show has the demonstrably straight Mary Richards' downstairs neighbor, Phyllis, breezily declaiming that Mary is, at age 30, still "young and gay."

There is little doubt that the homosexual sense is a development of the word's traditional meaning, as described above. It has nevertheless been claimed that gay stands for "Good As You", but there is no evidence for this: it is a backronym created as popular etymology.[30]

Homosexuality

Rainbow flag breeze
The rainbow flag is a symbol of gay pride.

Sexual orientation, identity, behavior

The American Psychological Association defines sexual orientation as "an enduring pattern of emotional, romantic, and/or sexual attractions to men, women, or both sexes," ranging "along a continuum, from exclusive attraction to the other sex to exclusive attraction to the same sex."[31] Sexual orientation can also be "discussed in terms of three categories: heterosexual (having emotional, romantic, or sexual attractions to members of the other sex), gay/lesbian (having emotional, romantic, or sexual attractions to members of one's own sex), and bisexual (having emotional, romantic, or sexual attractions to both men and women)."[31]

According to Rosario, Schrimshaw, Hunter, Braun (2006), "the development of a lesbian, gay, or bisexual (LGB) sexual identity is a complex and often difficult process. Unlike members of other minority groups (e.g., ethnic and racial minorities), most LGB individuals are not raised in a community of similar others from whom they learn about their identity and who reinforce and support that identity. Rather, LGB individuals are often raised in communities that are either ignorant of or openly hostile toward homosexuality."[32]

The British gay rights activist Peter Tatchell has argued that the term gay is merely a cultural expression which reflects the current status of homosexuality within a given society, and claiming that "Queer, gay, homosexual ... in the long view, they are all just temporary identities. One day, we will not need them at all."[33]

If a person engages in sexual activity with a partner of the same sex but does not self-identify as gay, terms such as 'closeted', 'discreet', or 'bi-curious' may apply. Conversely, a person may identify as gay without having had sex with a same-sex partner. Possible choices include identifying as gay socially, while choosing to be celibate, or while anticipating a first homosexual experience. Further, a bisexual person might also identify as "gay" but others may consider gay and bisexual to be mutually exclusive. There are some who are drawn to the same sex but neither engage in sexual activity nor identify as gay; these could have the term asexual applied, even though asexual generally can mean no attraction, or involve heterosexual attraction but no sexual activity.

Terminology

Some reject the term homosexual as an identity-label because they find it too clinical-sounding;[22][23][34] they believe it is too focused on physical acts rather than romance or attraction, or too reminiscent of the era when homosexuality was considered a mental illness. Conversely, some reject the term gay as an identity-label because they perceive the cultural connotations to be undesirable or because of the negative connotations of the slang usage of the word.

Style guides, like the following from the Associated Press, call for gay over homosexual:

Gay: Used to describe men and women attracted to the same sex, though lesbian is the more common term for women. Preferred over homosexual except in clinical contexts or references to sexual activity.[35]

There are those who reject the gay label for reasons other than shame or negative connotations. Writer Alan Bennett[36] and fashion icon André Leon Talley[37] are like others in the fashion and the arts, out and open gay men who reject being labeled gay, finding it too limiting and slotting them into label boxes.

Gay community vs. LGBT community

Starting in the mid-1980s in the United States, a conscious effort was under way, within what was then only called the gay community, to add the term lesbian to the name of all gay organizations that catered to both male and female homosexuals, and to use the terminology of gay and lesbian, or lesbian/gay when referring to that community. So, organizations like the National Gay Task Force became the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. For many ardent feminist lesbians, it was also important that the L come first, lest an L following a G become another symbol of male dominance over women,[38] although other women prefer the usage gay woman. In the 1990s, this was followed by another equally concerted push to include the terminology specifically pointing out the inclusion of bisexual, transgender, intersex, and other people, reflecting the intra-community debate as to whether these other sexual minorities were part of the same human rights movement. Most news organizations have formally adopted variations of this use, following the example and preference of the organizations, as reflected in their press releases and public communications.

Descriptor

Seattle R Place
"R Place" Gay Bar in Seattle, Washington, United States.

The term gay can also be used as an adjective to describe things related to homosexual men, or things which are part of the said culture. For example, the term "gay bar" describes the bar which either caters primarily to a homosexual male clientele, or is otherwise part of homosexual male culture.

Using it to describe an object, such as an item of clothing, suggests that it is particularly flamboyant, often on the verge of being gaudy and garish. This usage predates the association of the term with homosexuality, but has acquired different connotations since the modern usage developed.

Use as a noun

The label gay was originally used purely as an adjective ("he is a gay man" or "he is gay"). The term has also been in use as a noun with the meaning "homosexual man" since the 1970s, most commonly in the plural for an unspecified group, as in "gays are opposed to that policy." This usage is somewhat common in the names of organizations such as Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) and Children of Lesbians And Gays Everywhere (COLAGE). It is sometimes used to refer to individuals, as in "he is a gay" or "two gays were there too," although this may be perceived as derogatory.[39] It was also used for comedic effect by the Little Britain character Dafydd Thomas.

Generalized pejorative use

When used with a derisive attitude (e.g., "that was so gay"), the word gay is pejorative. While retaining its other meanings, its use among young people as a general term of disparagement is common.[6][40] This pejorative usage has its origins in the late 1970s, with the word gaining a pejorative sense by association with the previous meaning: homosexuality was seen as inferior or undesirable.[41] Beginning in the 1980s, and especially in the late 1990s, the usage as a generic insult became common among young people.[6]

This usage of the word has been criticized as homophobic. A 2006 BBC ruling by the Board of Governors over the use of the word in this context by Chris Moyles on his Radio 1 show, "I do not want that one, it's gay," advises "caution on its use" for this reason:

"The word 'gay', in addition to being used to mean 'homosexual' or 'carefree', was often now used to mean 'lame' or 'rubbish'. This is a widespread current usage of the word amongst young people ... The word 'gay' ... need not be offensive ... or homophobic ... The governors said, however, that Moyles was simply keeping up with developments in English usage. ... The committee ... was "familiar with hearing this word in this context." The governors believed that in describing a ring tone as 'gay', the DJ was conveying that he thought it was 'rubbish', rather than 'homosexual'. ... The panel acknowledged however that this use ... in a derogatory sense ... could cause offence in some listeners, and counselled caution on its use.

— BBC Board of Governors[40]

The BBC's ruling was heavily criticised by the Minister for Children, Kevin Brennan, who stated in response that "the casual use of homophobic language by mainstream radio DJs" is:

"too often seen as harmless banter instead of the offensive insult that it really represents. ... To ignore this problem is to collude in it. The blind eye to casual name-calling, looking the other way because it is the easy option, is simply intolerable."[42]

Shortly after the Moyles incident, a campaign against homophobia was launched in Britain under the slogan "homophobia is gay", playing on the double meaning of the word "gay" in youth culture, as well as the popular perception that vocal homophobia is common among closeted homosexuals.[43]

In a 2013 article published in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence, University of Michigan researchers Michael Woodford, Alex Kulick and Perry Silverschanz, alongside Appalachian State University professor Michael L. Howell, argued that the pejorative use of the word "gay" was a microaggression.[44] Their research found that college-age men were more likely to repeat the word pejoratively if their friends said it, while they were less likely to say it if they had lesbian, gay or bisexual peers.[44]

Parallels in other languages

  • The concept of a "gay identity" and the use of the term gay may not be used or understood the same way in non-Westernised cultures, since modes of sexuality may differ from those prevalent in the West.[45] For example, the term "two spirit" is not interchangeable with "LGBT Native American" or "gay Indian".[46] This term differs from most western, mainstream definitions of sexuality and gender identity in that it is not a self-chosen term of personal sexual or gender "identity"; rather, it is a sacred, spiritual and ceremonial role that is recognized and confirmed by the Elders of the two spirit's ceremonial community.[46][47]
  • The German equivalent for "gay", "schwul", which is etymologically derived from "schwül" (hot, humid), also acquired the pejorative meaning within youth culture.[48]

See also

References

  1. ^ Hobson, Archie (2001). The Oxford Dictionary of Difficult Words (1st ed.). Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0195146738.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Harper, Douglas (2001–2013). "Gay". Online Etymology dictionary.
  3. ^ "Gay". Oxford English Dictionary. Oxford University Press.
  4. ^ "GLAAD Media Reference Guide - Terms To Avoid". GLAAD. 25 October 2016.
  5. ^ "Avoiding Heterosexual Bias in Language". American Psychological Association. Retrieved 14 March 2015. (Reprinted from American Psychologist, Vol 46(9), Sep 1991, 973-974)
  6. ^ a b c Winterman, Denise (18 March 2008). "How 'gay' became children's insult of choice". BBC News. Retrieved 29 May 2013.
  7. ^ "Anti-gay abuse seen to pervade U.S. schools". Archived from the original on 1 March 2007.
  8. ^ "The Great Social Evil". Retrieved 5 September 2012. Punch magazine, Volume 33, 1857, page 390. A stand-alone editorial cartoon, no accompanying article.
  9. ^ xoregos (2 December 1941). "The Gay Parisian (1941)". IMDb.
  10. ^ "Publications". Oscar Wilde Society. 1 November 2008. Retrieved 4 August 2009.
  11. ^ a b "gay, adj., adv., and n. (OED Third Edition)". Oxford English Dictionary. June 2008.
  12. ^ Muzzy, Frank (2005). Gay and Lesbian Washington, D.C. Arcadia Publishing. p. 7. ISBN 978-0738517537.
  13. ^ Brewer, E. Cobham (1898). "Dictionary of Phrase and Fable".
  14. ^ John Major (2012) My Old Man, page 87 and note
  15. ^ Kaplan, Morris (1999). "Who's Afraid Of John Saul? Urban Culture and the Politics of Desire in Late Victorian London". GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies. 5 (3): 267–314. doi:10.1215/10642684-5-3-267.
  16. ^ Martha E. Stone, Sept–Oct 2002. "Who were Miss Furr and Miss Skeene?", The Gay & Lesbian Review Worldwide.
  17. ^ "Bringing Up Baby".
  18. ^ "The Truth About Homosexuals," Sir, June 1950, Sara H. Carleton, New York, p. 57.
  19. ^ Harper, Douglas (2001–2013). "Straight". Online Etymology dictionary.
  20. ^ Howard, Philip (7 June 1976). "A queer use of an inoffensive little word". The Times]. London. p. 12. (subscription required)
  21. ^ "Media Reference Guide - Offensive Terms To Avoid". GLAAD. Retrieved 24 May 2012.
  22. ^ a b "Gay Adjectives vs. Lesbian Nouns". The New Gay. 16 September 2008. Archived from the original on 24 October 2008. Retrieved 4 August 2009.
  23. ^ a b James Martin (4 November 2000). "The Church and the Homosexual Priest". America The National Catholic Weekly Magazine. Retrieved 4 August 2009.
  24. ^ Cocks, H. A. "'Sporty' Girls and 'Artistic' Boys: Friendship, Illicit Sex, and the British 'Companionship' Advertisement, 1913–1928", Journal of the History of Sexuality – Volume 11, Number 3, July 2002, pp. 457–482.
  25. ^ Selby, Jr., Hubert "Last Exit To Brooklyn" NY: Grove Press, 1988 p. 23 copyright 1964
  26. ^ "The Lyrics Library – Herman's Hermits – No Milk Today".
  27. ^ "The Beatles revive hopes of progress in pop music with their gay new LP". The Times. London. 2 June 2007. Retrieved 3 May 2010. (subscription required)
  28. ^ "Kinks Song List". Kindakinks.net. Retrieved 24 May 2012.
  29. ^ Savage, Jon "The Kinks: The Official Biography" London: Faber and Faber, 1984 pp. 94–96
  30. ^ "Global Oneness Encyclopedia: Gay". Archived from the original on 23 October 2010.
  31. ^ a b "What causes a person to have a particular sexual orientation?". APA. Retrieved 24 May 2012.
  32. ^ Rosario, M.; Schrimshaw, E.; Hunter, J.; Braun, L. (2006). "Sexual identity development among lesbian, gay, and bisexual youths: Consistency and change over time". Journal of Sex Research. 43 (1): 46–58. doi:10.1080/00224490609552298. PMC 3215279. PMID 16817067.
  33. ^ Tatchell, Peter (27 November 2006). "Just a phase". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 3 May 2010.
  34. ^ "AIDS and Gay Catholic Priests: Implications of the Kansas City Star Report" (PDF). Archived from the original on 28 May 2011.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  35. ^ "GLAAD Media Reference Guide" (PDF).
  36. ^ "Alan Bennett rejected 'gay label'". 6 May 2014 – via www.bbc.com.
  37. ^ Sieczkowski, Cavan (12 August 2013). "Vogue's André Leon Talley Rejects 'Gay' Label, Admits To 'Very Gay Experiences'". HuffPost.
  38. ^ Lesbian Ethics, pp. 13–21.
  39. ^ Editors of the American Heritage Dictionaries (1996). The American Heritage Book of English Usage. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 197. ISBN 978-0547563213. Retrieved 30 July 2016.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  40. ^ a b Sherwin, Adam (6 June 2006). "Gay means rubbish, says BBC". The Times. London. Retrieved 3 May 2010. (subscription required)
  41. ^ "Many heterosexual college males say 'That's so gay,' but why? | University of Michigan News". ns.umich.edu. Retrieved 23 May 2017.
  42. ^ Grew, Tony. "BBC's attitude to homophobic language 'damages children'". Pink News. London. Retrieved 4 March 2009.
  43. ^ "Young Liberal Democrats launch 'homophobia is gay' campaign". Pink News. 2006.
  44. ^ a b Howell, Michael L.; Kulick, Alex; Silverschanz, Perry; Woodford, Michael R. (January 2013). ""That's so Gay" Heterosexual Male Undergraduates and the Perpetuation of Sexual Orientation Microagressions on Campus". Journal of Interpersonal Violence. 28 (2): 416–435. doi:10.1177/0886260512454719. PMID 22929342. Retrieved 21 August 2016.
  45. ^ Masculinity for boys: A guide for peer educators; Published by UNESCO, New Delhi, Page: 102, Page: 62
  46. ^ a b Leland, John (8 October 2006). "A Spirit of Belonging, Inside and Out". The New York Times. Retrieved 13 December 2018. 'The elders will tell you the difference between a gay Indian and a Two-Spirit'...underscoring the idea that simply being gay and Indian does not make someone a Two-Spirit.
  47. ^ Estrada, Gabriel S. (2011). "Two Spirits, Nádleeh, and LGBTQ2 Navajo Gaze". American Indian Culture and Research Journal. UCLA American Indian Studies Center. 35 (4): 167–190. doi:10.17953/aicr.35.4.x500172017344j30. (subscription required)
  48. ^ Robert Sedlaczek, Roberta Baron: leet & leiwand. Das Lexikon der Jugendsprache, Echomedia, 2006, ISBN 3-901761-49-7

Further reading

External links

Alcohol by volume

Alcohol by volume (abbreviated as ABV, abv, or alc/vol) is a standard measure of how much alcohol (ethanol) is contained in a given volume of an alcoholic beverage (expressed as a volume percent). It is defined as the number of millilitres (mL) of pure ethanol present in 100 mL (3.4 fl. oz) of solution at 20 °C (68 °F). The number of millilitres of pure ethanol is the mass of the ethanol divided by its density at 20 °C, which is 0.78924 g/mL (105.3 fl oz/gallon). The ABV standard is used worldwide. The International Organization of Legal Metrology has tables of density of water–ethanol mixtures at different concentrations and temperatures.

Yager l 100%

In some countries, e.g. France, alcohol by volume is often referred to as degrees Gay-Lussac (after the French chemist Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac), although there is a slight difference since the Gay-Lussac convention uses the International Standard Atmosphere value for temperature, 15 °C (59 °F).

Anal sex

Anal sex or anal intercourse is generally the insertion and thrusting of the erect penis into a person's anus, or anus and rectum, for sexual pleasure. Other forms of anal sex include fingering, the use of sex toys for anal penetration, oral sex performed on the anus (anilingus), and pegging. Although anal sex most commonly means penile–anal penetration, sources sometimes use anal intercourse to exclusively denote penile–anal penetration, and anal sex to denote any form of anal sexual activity, especially between pairings as opposed to anal masturbation.While anal sex is commonly associated with male homosexuality, research shows that not all gay males engage in anal sex and that it is not uncommon in heterosexual relationships. Types of anal sex can also be a part of lesbian sexual practices. People may experience pleasure from anal sex by stimulation of the anal nerve endings, and orgasm may be achieved through anal penetration – by indirect stimulation of the prostate in men, indirect stimulation of the clitoris or an area of the vagina (sometimes called the G-spot) in women, and other sensory nerves (especially the pudendal nerve). However, people may also find anal sex painful, sometimes extremely so, which may be primarily due to psychological factors in some cases.As with most forms of sexual activity, anal sex participants risk contracting sexually transmitted infections (STIs/STDs). Anal sex is considered a high-risk sexual practice because of the vulnerability of the anus and rectum. The anal and rectal tissues are delicate and do not provide lubrication like the vagina does, so they can easily tear and permit disease transmission, especially if a personal lubricant is not used. Anal sex without protection of a condom is considered the riskiest form of sexual activity, and therefore health authorities such as the World Health Organization (WHO) recommend safe sex practices for anal sex.Strong views are often expressed about anal sex. It is controversial in various cultures, especially with regard to religious prohibitions. This is commonly due to prohibitions against anal sex among males or teachings about the procreative purpose of sexual activity. It may be considered taboo or unnatural, and is a criminal offense in some countries, punishable by corporal or capital punishment. By contrast, people also see anal sex as a natural and valid form of sexual activity that may be as fulfilling as other desired sexual expressions, and as an enhancing or primary element of their sex lives.

Coming out

Coming out of the closet, often shortened to coming out, is a metaphor for LGBT people's self-disclosure of their sexual orientation or of their gender identity. The term coming out can also be used in various non-LGBT applications (e.g. atheists).

Framed and debated as a privacy issue, coming out of the closet is described and experienced variously as a psychological process or journey; decision-making or risk-taking; a strategy or plan; a mass or public event; a speech act and a matter of personal identity; a rite of passage; liberation or emancipation from oppression; an ordeal; a means toward feeling gay pride instead of shame and social stigma; or even career suicide. Author Steven Seidman writes that "it is the power of the closet to shape the core of an individual's life that has made homosexuality into a significant personal, social, and political drama in twentieth-century America".American gender theorist Judith Butler argues that the process of "coming out" does not free gay people from oppression. Although they may feel free to act as themselves, the opacity involved in entering a non-heterosexual territory insinuates judgment upon their identity, she argues in Imitation and Gender Insubordination (1991).

Coming out of the closet is the source of other gay slang expressions related to voluntary disclosure or lack thereof. LGBT people who have already revealed or no longer conceal their sexual orientation or gender identity are out, i.e. openly LGBT. Oppositely, LGBT people who have yet to come out or have opted not to do so are labelled as closeted or being in the closet. Outing is the deliberate or accidental disclosure of an LGBT person's sexual orientation or gender identity, without their consent. By extension, outing oneself is self-disclosure. Glass closet means the open secret of when public figures' being LGBT is considered a widely accepted fact even though they have not officially come out.

Conversion therapy

Conversion therapy is the pseudoscientific practice of trying to change an individual's sexual orientation from homosexual or bisexual to heterosexual using psychological or spiritual interventions. There is virtually no reliable evidence that sexual orientation can be changed and medical bodies warn that conversion therapy practices are ineffective and potentially harmful. Nevertheless, advocates and proponents do provide anecdotal reports of people who claim some degree of success in becoming heterosexual. Medical, scientific, and government organizations in the United States and United Kingdom have expressed concern over the validity, efficacy and ethics of conversion therapy. Various jurisdictions in Asia, Europe, Oceania, and the Americas have passed laws against conversion therapy.

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) opposes psychiatric treatment "based upon the assumption that homosexuality per se is a mental disorder or based upon the a priori assumption that a patient should change his/her sexual homosexual orientation" and describes attempts to change sexual orientation by practitioners as unethical. It also states that debates over the integration of gay and lesbian people have obscured science "by calling into question the motives and even the character of individuals on both sides of the issue" and that the advancement of conversion therapy may cause social harm by disseminating unscientific views about sexual orientation. United States Surgeon General David Satcher in 2001 issued a report stating that "there is no valid scientific evidence that sexual orientation can be changed".The highest-profile advocates of conversion therapy today tend to be fundamentalist Christian groups and other organizations which use a religious justification for the therapy rather than speaking of homosexuality as "a disease". The main organization advocating secular forms of conversion therapy is the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), which often partners with religious groups.Techniques used in conversion therapy prior to 1981 in the United States and Western Europe included ice-pick lobotomies; chemical castration with hormonal treatment; aversive treatments, such as "the application of electric shock to the hands and/or genitals"; "nausea-inducing drugs ... administered simultaneously with the presentation of homoerotic stimuli"; and masturbatory reconditioning. More recent clinical techniques used in the United States have been limited to counseling, visualization, social skills training, psychoanalytic therapy, and spiritual interventions such as "prayer and group support and pressure", though there are some reports of aversive treatments through unlicensed practice as late as the 1990s. The term reparative therapy has been used as a synonym for conversion therapy in general, but it has been argued that strictly speaking it refers to a specific kind of therapy associated with the psychologists Elizabeth Moberly and Joseph Nicolosi.

Gay pornography

Gay pornography is the representation of sexual activity between males. Its primary goal is sexual arousal in its audience. Softcore gay pornography also exists; it at one time constituted the genre, and may be produced as beefcake pornography for heterosexual female and homosexual male consumption.Although pornography has usually focused on heterosexuality due to the prevalence of the heterosexual orientation, homoerotic art and artifacts have a long history as well, reaching back to Greek antiquity. Every medium has been used to represent sexual acts between men. However, gay pornography in contemporary mass media is mostly concentrated in the making of home videos (including DVDs), cable broadcast and emerging video on demand and wireless markets, as well as images and movies for viewing on the Internet. (For printed gay erotica, see gay pulp fiction).

Gay pride

Gay pride or LGBT pride is the positive stance against discrimination and violence toward lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people to promote their self-affirmation, dignity, equality rights, increase their visibility as a social group, build community, and celebrate sexual diversity and gender variance. Pride, as opposed to shame and social stigma, is the predominant outlook that bolsters most LGBT rights movements throughout the world. Pride has lent its name to LGBT-themed organizations, institutes, foundations, book titles, periodicals and even a cable TV station and the Pride Library.

Ranging from solemn to carnivalesque, pride events are typically held during LGBT Pride Month or some other period that commemorates a turning point in a country's LGBT history, for example Moscow Pride in May for the anniversary of Russia's 1993 decriminalization of homosexuality. Some pride events include LGBT pride parades and marches, rallies, commemorations, community days, dance parties, and large festivals.

As of 2017, plans were advancing by the State of New York to host in 2019 the largest international celebration of LGBT pride in history, known as Stonewall 50 / WorldPride, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. In New York City, the Stonewall 50 / WorldPride events produced by Heritage of Pride will be enhanced through a partnership made with the I LOVE NY program's LGBT division and shall include a welcome center during the weeks surrounding the Stonewall 50 / WorldPride events that will be open to all. Additional commemorative arts, cultural, and educational programming to mark the 50th anniversary of the rebellion at the Stonewall Inn will be taking place throughout the city and the world.Common symbols of pride are the rainbow or pride flag, the lowercase Greek letter lambda (λ), the pink triangle and the black triangle, these latter two reclaimed from use as badges of shame in Nazi concentration camps.

Homosexuality

Homosexuality is romantic attraction, sexual attraction or sexual behavior between members of the same sex or gender. As a sexual orientation, homosexuality is "an enduring pattern of emotional, romantic, and/or sexual attractions" to people of the same sex. It "also refers to a person's sense of identity based on those attractions, related behaviors, and membership in a community of others who share those attractions."Along with bisexuality and heterosexuality, homosexuality is one of the three main categories of sexual orientation within the heterosexual–homosexual continuum. Scientists do not know what determines an individual's sexual orientation, but they theorize that it is caused by a complex interplay of genetic, hormonal, and environmental influences, and do not view it as a choice. They favor biologically-based theories, which point to genetic factors, the early uterine environment, both, or the inclusion of genetic and social factors. Hypotheses for the impact of the post-natal social environment on sexual orientation, however, are weak, especially for males. There is no substantive evidence which suggests parenting or early childhood experiences play a role with regard to sexual orientation. While some people believe that homosexual activity is unnatural, scientific research has shown that homosexuality is a normal and natural variation in human sexuality and is not in and of itself a source of negative psychological effects. There is insufficient evidence to support the use of psychological interventions to change sexual orientation.The most common terms for homosexual people are lesbian for females and gay for males, but gay also commonly refers to both homosexual females and males. The percentage of people who are gay or lesbian and the proportion of people who are in same-sex romantic relationships or have had same-sex sexual experiences are difficult for researchers to estimate reliably for a variety of reasons, including many gay and lesbian people not openly identifying as such due to prejudice or discrimination such as homophobia and heterosexism. Homosexual behavior has also been documented in many non-human animal species.Many gay and lesbian people are in committed same-sex relationships, though only in the 2010s have census forms and political conditions facilitated their visibility and enumeration. These relationships are equivalent to heterosexual relationships in essential psychological respects. Homosexual relationships and acts have been admired, as well as condemned, throughout recorded history, depending on the form they took and the culture in which they occurred. Since the end of the 19th century, there has been a global movement towards freedom and equality for gay people, including the introduction of anti-bullying legislation to protect gay children at school, legislation ensuring non-discrimination, equal ability to serve in the military, equal access to health care, equal ability to adopt and parent, and the establishment of marriage equality.

LGBT

LGBT, or GLBT, is an initialism that stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. In use since the 1990s, the term is an adaptation of the initialism LGB, which was used to replace the term gay in reference to the LGBT community beginning in the mid-to-late 1980s. Activists believed that the term gay community did not accurately represent all those to whom it referred.

The initialism has become adopted into the mainstream as an umbrella term for use when labeling topics pertaining to sexuality and gender identity. For example, the LGBT Movement Advancement Project termed community centres, which have services specific to those member of the LGBT community, as "LGBT community centers", in a comprehensive studies of such centres around the United States.The initialism LGBT is intended to emphasize a diversity of sexuality and gender identity-based cultures. It may be used to refer to anyone who is non-heterosexual or non-cisgender, instead of exclusively to people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. To recognize this inclusion, a popular variant adds the letter Q for those who identify as queer or are questioning their sexual identity; "LGBTQ" has been recorded since 1996. Those who add intersex people to LGBT groups or organizing use an extended initialism LGBTI. The two acronyms are sometimes combined to form the terms LGBTIQ or LGBT+ to encompass spectrums of sexuality and gender. Other, less common variants also exist, motivated by a desire for inclusivity, including those over twice as long which have prompted criticism.

LGBT community

The LGBT community or GLBT community, also referred to as the gay community, is a loosely defined grouping of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, LGBT organizations, and subcultures, united by a common culture and social movements. These communities generally celebrate pride, diversity, individuality, and sexuality. LGBT activists and sociologists see LGBT community-building as a counterbalance to heterosexism, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, sexualism, and conformist pressures that exist in the larger society. The term pride or sometimes gay pride is used to express the LGBT community's identity and collective strength; pride parades provide both a prime example of the use and a demonstration of the general meaning of the term. The LGBT community is diverse in political affiliation. Not all people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender consider themselves part of the LGBT community.

Groups that may be considered part of the LGBT community include gay villages, LGBT rights organizations, LGBT employee groups at companies, LGBT student groups in schools and universities, and LGBT-affirming religious groups.

LGBT communities may organize themselves into, or support, movements for civil rights promoting LGBT rights in various places around the world.

LGBT rights by country or territory

Laws affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people vary greatly by country or jurisdiction — encompassing everything from the legal recognition of same-sex marriage to the death penalty for homosexuality.

Laws that affect LGBT people include, but are not limited to, the following:

laws concerning the recognition of same-sex relationships, including same-sex marriage, civil unions, and domestic partnerships

laws concerning LGBT parenting, including adoption by LGBT people

anti-discrimination laws in employment, housing, education, public accommodations

anti-bullying legislation to protect LGBT children at school

hate crime laws imposing enhanced criminal penalties for prejudice-motivated violence against LGBT people

bathroom bills affecting access to sex-segregated facilities by transgender people

laws related to sexual orientation and military service

laws concerning access to assisted reproductive technology

sodomy laws that penalize consensual same-sex sexual activity

age of consent laws that may impose higher ages for same-sex sexual activity

laws regarding donation of blood by men who have sex with men

laws concerning access to sex reassignment surgery and hormone replacement therapy

legal recognition and accommodation of reassigned gender.Notably, as of 2018, 25 countries, all of which being developed or developing democracies, recognized same-sex marriage. By contrast, as at 5 April 2019, 14 countries or jurisdictions, all of which are Islamic and ruled by sharia, impose the death penalty for homosexuality. These include Afghanistan, Brunei, Iran, Mauritania, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Yemen, the United Arab Emirates, parts of Nigeria, parts of Somalia, parts of Syria and parts of Iraq.In 2011, the United Nations Human Rights Council passed its first resolution recognizing LGBT rights, following which the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights issued a report documenting violations of the rights of LGBT people, including hate crimes, criminalization of homosexual activity, and discrimination. Following the issuance of the report, the United Nations urged all countries which had not yet done so to enact laws protecting basic LGBT rights.

LGBT social movements

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) social movements are social movements that advocate for LGBT+ people in society. Social movements may focus on equal rights, such as the 2000s movement for marriage equality, or they may focus on liberation, as in the gay liberation movement of the 1960s and 1970s. Earlier movements focused on self-help and self-acceptance, such as the homophile movement of the 1950s. Although there is not a primary or an overarching central organization that represents all LGBT+ people and their interests, numerous LGBT rights organizations are active worldwide. The earliest organizations to support LGBT+ rights were formed in the 19th century.A commonly stated goal among these movements is social equality for LGBT people, but there is still denial of full LGBT+ rights. Some have also focused on building LGBT+ communities or worked towards liberation for the broader society from biphobia, homophobia, and transphobia. There is a struggle for LGBT rights today. LGBT movements organized today are made up of a wide range of political activism and cultural activity, including lobbying, street marches, social groups, media, art, and research.

Lesbian

A lesbian is a homosexual woman. The word lesbian is also used for women in relation to their sexual identity or sexual behavior regardless of sexual orientation, or as an adjective to characterize or associate nouns with female homosexuality or same-sex attraction.The concept of "lesbian" to differentiate women with a shared sexual orientation evolved in the 20th century. Throughout history, women have not had the same freedom or independence as men to pursue homosexual relationships, but neither have they met the same harsh punishment as homosexual men in some societies. Instead, lesbian relationships have often been regarded as harmless and incomparable to heterosexual ones unless the participants attempted to assert privileges traditionally enjoyed by men. As a result, little in history was documented to give an accurate description of how female homosexuality was expressed. When early sexologists in the late 19th century began to categorize and describe homosexual behavior, hampered by a lack of knowledge about homosexuality or women's sexuality, they distinguished lesbians as women who did not adhere to female gender roles and incorrectly designated them mentally ill—a designation which has been reversed in the global scientific community.

Women in homosexual relationships responded to this designation either by hiding their personal lives or accepting the label of outcast and creating a subculture and identity that developed in Europe and the United States. Following World War II, during a period of social repression when governments actively persecuted homosexuals, women developed networks to socialize with and educate each other. Greater economic and social freedom allowed them gradually to be able to determine how they could form relationships and families. With second wave feminism and growth of scholarship in women's history and sexuality in the 20th century, the definition of lesbian broadened, sparking a debate about sexual desire as the major component to define what a lesbian is. Some women who engage in same-sex sexual activity may reject not only identifying as lesbians but as bisexual as well, while other women's self-identification as lesbian may not align with their sexual orientation or sexual behavior. Sexual identity is not necessarily the same as one's sexual orientation or sexual behavior, due to various reasons, such as the fear of identifying their sexual orientation in a homophobic setting.

Portrayals of lesbians in the media suggest that society at large has been simultaneously intrigued and threatened by women who challenge feminine gender roles, and fascinated and appalled with women who are romantically involved with other women. Women who adopt a lesbian identity share experiences that form an outlook similar to an ethnic identity: as homosexuals, they are unified by the heterosexist discrimination and potential rejection they face from their families, friends, and others as a result of homophobia. As women, they face concerns separate from men. Lesbians may encounter distinct physical or mental health concerns arising from discrimination, prejudice, and minority stress. Political conditions and social attitudes also affect the formation of lesbian relationships and families in open.

List of LGBT slang terms

This is a list of slang terms used for LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) people.

Marvin Gaye

Marvin Gaye (born Marvin Pentz Gay Jr.; April 2, 1939 – April 1, 1984) was an American singer, songwriter, and record producer. He helped to shape the sound of Motown in the 1960s, first as an in-house session player and later as a solo artist with a string of hits, including "Ain't That Peculiar", "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)", and "I Heard It Through the Grapevine", and duet recordings with Mary Wells, Kim Weston, Diana Ross, and Tammi Terrell. He earned the titles "Prince of Motown" and "Prince of Soul".

During the 1970s, he recorded the albums What's Going On and Let's Get It On and became one of the first artists in Motown (joint with Stevie Wonder) to break away from the reins of a production company. His later recordings influenced several contemporary R&B subgenres, such as quiet storm and neo soul. Following a period in Europe as a tax exile in the early 1980s, he released the 1982 Grammy Award-winning hit "Sexual Healing" and its parent album Midnight Love.

On April 1, 1984, Gaye's father, Marvin Gay Sr., fatally shot him at their house in the West Adams district of Los Angeles. Since his death, many institutions have posthumously bestowed Gaye with awards and other honors—including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, the Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame, the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Queer

Queer is an umbrella term for sexual and gender minorities who are not heterosexual or cisgender.

Originally meaning "strange" or "peculiar", queer came to be used pejoratively against those with same-sex desires or relationships in the late 19th century. Beginning in the late 1980s, queer activists, such as the members of Queer Nation, began to reclaim the word as a deliberately provocative and politically radical alternative to the more assimilationist branches of the LGBT community.In the 2000s and on, queer became increasingly used to describe a broad spectrum of non-normative (i.e. anti-heteronormative and anti-homonormative) sexual and gender identities and politics. Academic disciplines such as queer theory and queer studies share a general opposition to binarism, normativity, and a perceived lack of intersectionality, some of them only tangentially connected to the LGBT movement. Queer arts, queer cultural groups, and queer political groups are examples of modern expressions of queer identities.

Critics of the use of the term include members of the LGBT community who associate the term more with its colloquial usage as a derogatory insult, those who wish to dissociate themselves from queer radicalism, those who see it as amorphous and trendy, and those who think the term should apply only to LGBT people - not to any and all sexual minorities - that the former slur can only be reclaimed by those it has historically been used to oppress.

Same-sex marriage

Same-sex marriage (also known as gay marriage) is the marriage of two persons of the same sex or gender, entered into in a civil or religious ceremony.

As of 2 April 2019, same-sex marriage is legally performed and recognized (nationwide or in some jurisdictions) in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Uruguay. Israel recognizes same-sex marriages entered into abroad as full marriages. Estonia recognizes foreign same-sex marriages to some degree, and a ministerial decision decreed that Armenia shall as well, though as of February 2019 there had been no actual cases. Same-sex marriage is also due to become legal in Costa Rica and Taiwan. Furthermore, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights has issued a ruling which is expected to facilitate recognition in several countries in the Americas.The introduction of same-sex marriage (also called marriage equality) has varied by jurisdiction, and came about through legislative change to marriage law, court rulings based on constitutional guarantees of equality, recognition that it is allowed by existing marriage law, or by direct popular vote (via referendums and initiatives). The recognition of same-sex marriage is considered to be a human right and a civil right as well as a political, social, and religious issue. The most prominent supporters of same-sex marriage are human rights and civil rights organizations as well as the medical and scientific communities, while the most prominent opponents are religious groups. Polls consistently show continually rising support for the recognition of same-sex marriage in all developed democracies and in some developing democracies.

Scientific studies show that the financial, psychological, and physical well-being of gay people are enhanced by marriage, and that the children of same-sex parents benefit from being raised by married same-sex couples within a marital union that is recognized by law and supported by societal institutions. Social science research indicates that the exclusion of homosexuals from marriage stigmatizes and invites public discrimination against them, with research also repudiating the notion that either civilization or viable social orders depend upon restricting marriage to heterosexuals. Same-sex marriage can provide those in committed same-sex relationships with relevant government services and make financial demands on them comparable to that required of those in opposite-sex marriages, and also gives them legal protections such as inheritance and hospital visitation rights.Opposition to same-sex marriage is based on claims such as that homosexuality is unnatural and abnormal, that the recognition of same-sex unions will promote homosexuality in society, and that children are better off when raised by opposite-sex couples. These claims are refuted by science which shows that homosexuality is a natural and normal variation in human sexuality, that sexual orientation is not a choice, and that the children of same-sex couples fare just as well or even better than the children of opposite-sex couples.A study of nationwide data from across the United States from January 1999 to December 2015 revealed that the establishment of same-sex marriage is associated with a significant reduction in the rate of attempted suicide among children, with the effect being concentrated among children of a minority sexual orientation, resulting in approximately 134,000 fewer children attempting suicide each year in the United States.

Same-sex marriage in the United States

Same-sex marriage in the United States expanded from one state in 2004 to all fifty states in 2015 through various state court rulings, state legislation, direct popular votes, and federal court rulings. Same-sex marriage is also referred to as gay marriage, while the political status in which the marriages of same-sex couples and the marriages of opposite-sex couples are recognized as equal by the law is referred to as marriage equality. The fifty states each have separate marriage laws, which must adhere to rulings by the Supreme Court of the United States that recognize marriage as a fundamental right that is guaranteed by both the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, as first established in the 1967 landmark civil rights case of Loving v. Virginia.

Civil rights campaigning in support of marriage without distinction as to sex or sexual orientation began in the 1970s. In 1972, the now overturned Baker v. Nelson saw the Supreme Court of the United States decline to become involved. The issue became prominent from around 1993, when the Supreme Court of Hawaii ruled in Baehr v. Lewin that it was unconstitutional under the state constitution for the state to abridge marriage on the basis of sex. That ruling led to federal and state actions to explicitly abridge marriage on the basis of sex in order to prevent the marriages of same-sex couples from being recognized by law, the most prominent of which was the 1996 federal DOMA. In 2003, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health that it was unconstitutional under the state constitution for the state to abridge marriage on the basis of sex. From 2004 through to 2015, as the tide of public opinion continued to move towards support of same-sex marriage, various state court rulings, state legislation, direct popular votes (referendums and initiatives), and federal court rulings established same-sex marriage in thirty-six of the fifty states.

The first two decades of the 21st century saw same-sex marriage receive support from prominent figures in the civil rights movement, including Coretta Scott King, John Lewis, Julian Bond, and Mildred Loving. In May 2011, national public support for same-sex marriage rose above 50% for the first time. In May 2012, the NAACP, the leading African-American civil rights organization, declared its support for same-sex marriage and stated that it is a civil right. In June 2013, the Supreme Court of the United States struck down DOMA for violating the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution in the landmark civil rights case of United States v. Windsor, leading to federal recognition of same-sex marriage, with federal benefits for married couples connected to either the state of residence or the state in which the marriage was solemnized. In May 2015, national public support for same-sex marriage rose to 60% for the first time. In June 2015, the Supreme Court ruled in the landmark civil rights case of Obergefell v. Hodges that the fundamental right of same-sex couples to marry on the same terms and conditions as opposite-sex couples, with all the accompanying rights and responsibilities, is guaranteed by both the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

The most prominent supporters of same-sex marriage are human rights and civil rights organizations as well as the medical and scientific communities, while the most prominent opponents are religious groups. The ruling of the Supreme Court in Obergefell occurred following decades of consistently rising national public support for same-sex marriage in the United States, with support continuing to rise thereafter.

A study of nationwide data from January 1999 to December 2015 revealed that the establishment of same-sex marriage is associated with a significant reduction in the rate of attempted suicide among children, with the effect being concentrated among children of a minority sexual orientation, resulting in approximately 134,000 fewer children attempting suicide each year in the United States. The United States is the most populous country in the world to have established same-sex marriage nationwide.

Stonewall riots

The Stonewall riots (also referred to as the Stonewall uprising or the Stonewall rebellion) were a series of spontaneous, violent demonstrations by members of the gay (LGBT) community against a police raid that took place in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. They are widely considered to constitute the most important event leading to the gay liberation movement and the modern fight for LGBT rights in the United States.Gay Americans in the 1950s and 1960s faced an anti-gay legal system. Early homophile groups in the U.S. sought to prove that gay people could be assimilated into society, and they favored non-confrontational education for homosexuals and heterosexuals alike. The last years of the 1960s, however, were very contentious, as many social/political movements were active, including the civil rights movement, the counterculture of the 1960s, and the anti–Vietnam War movement. These influences, along with the liberal environment of Greenwich Village, served as catalysts for the Stonewall riots.

Very few establishments welcomed openly gay people in the 1950s and 1960s. Those that did were often bars, although bar owners and managers were rarely gay. At the time, the Stonewall Inn was owned by the Mafia. It catered to an assortment of patrons and was known to be popular among the poorest and most marginalized people in the gay community: drag queens, transgender people, effeminate young men, butch lesbians, male prostitutes, and homeless youth. Police raids on gay bars were routine in the 1960s, but officers quickly lost control of the situation at the Stonewall Inn. Tensions between New York City police and gay residents of Greenwich Village erupted into more protests the next evening, and again several nights later. Within weeks, Village residents quickly organized into activist groups to concentrate efforts on establishing places for gays and lesbians to be open about their sexual orientation without fear of being arrested.

After the Stonewall riots, gays and lesbians in New York City faced gender, race, class, and generational obstacles to becoming a cohesive community. Within six months, two gay activist organizations were formed in New York, concentrating on confrontational tactics, and three newspapers were established to promote rights for gays and lesbians. Within a few years, gay rights organizations were founded across the U.S. and the world. On June 28, 1970, the first gay pride marches took place in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Chicago commemorating the anniversary of the riots. Similar marches were organized in other cities. Today, Gay Pride events are held annually throughout the world toward the end of June to mark the Stonewall riots. The Stonewall National Monument was established at the site in 2016.As of 2017, plans were advancing by the State of New York to host the largest international LGBT pride celebration in 2019, known as Stonewall 50 / WorldPride, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. In New York City, the Stonewall 50 / WorldPride events produced by Heritage of Pride will be enhanced through a partnership made with the I ❤ NY program's LGBT division and will include a welcome center during the weeks surrounding the Stonewall 50 / WorldPride events that is open to all. Additional commemorative arts, cultural, and educational programing to mark the 50th anniversary of the rebellion at the Stonewall Inn will be taking place throughout the city and the world; it is believed that 2019 will be the largest international LGBT pride celebration held in history. In addition to events requiring paid admission, a march open to the public is scheduled for June 30, 2019.

Yaoi

Yaoi (; Japanese: やおい [ja.o.i]), also known as boys' love (ボーイズ ラブ, bōizu rabu) or BL (ビーエル, bīeru), is a genre of fictional media originating in Japan that features homoerotic relationships between male characters. It is typically created by women for women and is distinct from homoerotic media marketed to gay male audiences, such as bara, but it also attracts male readers. It spans a wide range of media, including manga, anime, drama CDs, novels, games, and fan production. Boys love and its abbreviation BL are the generic terms for this kind of media in Japan and have, in recent years, become more commonly used in English as well. However, yaoi remains more generally prevalent in English.

A defining characteristic of yaoi is the practice of pairing characters in relationships according to the roles of seme, the sexual top or active pursuer, and uke, the sexual bottom or passive pursuant. Common themes in yaoi include forbidden relationships, depictions of rape, tragedy, and humor. Yaoi and BL stories cover a diverse range of genres such as high school love comedy, period drama, science fiction and fantasy, detective fiction and include sub-genres such as omegaverse and shotacon.

Yaoi finds its origins in both fan culture and commercial publishing. As James Welker has summarized, the term yaoi dates back to dōjinshi culture of the late 1970s to early 1980s where, as a portmanteau of "yamanashi ochinashi iminashi" (no climax, no point, no meaning), it was a self-deprecating way to refer to amateur fan works that parodied mainstream manga and anime by depicting the male characters from popular series in vaguely or explicitly sexual situations. The use of yaoi to refer to parody dōjinshi is still predominant in Japan. In commercial publishing, the genre can be traced back to shōnen'ai, a genre of beautiful boy manga that began to appear in shōjo manga magazines in the early 1970s. From the 1970s to 1980s, other terms such as tanbi and June emerged to refer to specific developments in the genre. In the early 1990s, however, these terms were largely eclipsed with the commercialization of male-male homoerotic media under the label of boys love.

Yaoi currently has a robust global presence. Yaoi works are available across the continents in various languages both through international licensing and distribution and through circulation by fans. Yaoi works, culture, and fandom have also been studied and discussed by scholars and journalists worldwide.

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