An image from the cover of the September 4, 1980 issue of Philadelphia Gay News

Discovering the “Gay Lifestyle” through 1970s Magazines

The gay men's magazines QQ and Ciao! were unabashedly liberated, but they still catered to an exclusive audience.

How LGBTQ+ Activists Got “Homosexuality” out of the DSM

The first DSM, created in 1952, established a hierarchy of sexual deviancies, vaulting heterosexual behavior to an idealized place in American culture.
Photograph: Marchers carrying a banner with the words 'Visibly Lesbian'

Source: Steve Eason/Getty

How NOW Started Standing Up for Lesbians

If it had been up to national leaders alone, it might have taken much longer.
Two boys selling newspapers outside of a saloon

How Women Lost Status in Saloons

During World War I, anti-vice crusaders marked women who liked the nightlife as shady. You can tell by the way men started talking about them.
Gouverneur Morris

Gouverneur Morris’s Secret Sex Diary

The author of the preamble to the Constitution spent years in Europe as a businessman, diplomat, and connoisseur of the pleasures of the flesh.

How Medieval Arabic Literature Viewed Lesbians

As far back as the ninth century, doctors and poets wrote about women who loved women without calling them deviants.
One Magazine Covers

ONE: The First Gay Magazine in the United States

ONE is a vital archive, but its focus on citizenship and “rational acceptance” ultimately blocked it from being the safe home for all that it claimed to be.
An illustration of Dong Xian and Emperor Ai depicting the story of Passion of the cut sleeve

In Han Dynasty China, Bisexuality Was the Norm

So tender was Emperor Ai’s love for his "male companion" that, when he had to get up, instead of waking his lover, he cut off the sleeve of his robe.
A fetus inside of an artistic depiction of an artificial womb

On the History of the Artificial Womb

Will outside-the-womb gestation, increasingly viable for animal embryos, lead to a feminist utopia? Or to something like Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World?
Protestors from lesbian, gay and bisexual rights charity Stonewall, carrying a banner reading 'Lesbian & Gay Rights are Human Rights' during the Gay Pride parade in London, England, United Kingdom, 6 July 1996

The Stonewall Riots Didn’t Start the Gay Rights Movement

Giving Stonewall too much credit misses the movement’s growing strength in the 1960s, sociologists note.