This article is about the history of gay men in the United States. For lesbians, please see History of lesbianism in the United States. Two-spirit is a modern umbrella term used by some indigenous North Americans for Gender variant individuals in their communities.
The presence of male two-spirits existed before European contact, and "was a fundamental institution among most tribal peoples". There were few openly gay European men in America at this time, due to legal consequences as well as social ostracism. Anal sex was specifically prohibited by a statute passed in during the reign of Homosexual in america history Elizabeth I, and the English colonies in America were subject to this law.
Other sexual practices that have historically been considered to be crimes against nature include anal sexas well as fellatiobestiality Homosexual in america history, incestmiscegenation and necrophilia.
The term is sometimes also seen as a synonym for sodomy or buggery. Nevertheless, there were some gay men who had an important impact on American history at this time, particularly literature. Walt Whitmana prominent and influential American poet, is widely believed to have been gay or bisexual.
A Story of Pennsylvania. Roger Austen notes "In the nineteenth century Bayard Taylor had written that the reader who did not feel 'cryptic forces' at play in Joseph and His Friend: A Story of Pennsylvania would hardly be interested in the external movement of his novel.
A Memorandumwritten in Europe by the expatriate American-born author, Edward Irenaeus Prime-Stevensonwho originally published it under the pseudonym of Xavier Mayne in a limited-edition imprint of copies in Naples, Italy, in A Memorandum is the first American gay novel with a happy ending. The first recognized gay rights organization in America, the Society for Human Rightswas founded by Henry Gerber in Chicago in It only Homosexual in america history for a few months before disbanding due to the arrests of several of the Society's members.
Still, it was officially recognized due to having received a charter from the state of Illinoisand produced the first American publication for gays, Friendship and Freedom.
The gay male community gained more visibility in with the publication of Sexual Behavior in the Human Maleby Alfred Homosexual in america historya sexologist who was himself bisexual.
The Mattachine Society was involved in two landmark gay rights cases in the s. In the spring ofWilliam Dale Jenningsone of the cofounders of the Mattachine Society, was arrested in Los Angeles for allegedly soliciting a police officer in a bathroom in Westlake Park, now known as MacArthur Park.
His trial drew national attention to the Mattachine Societyand membership increased dramatically after Jennings contested the charges, resulting in a hung jury. The Homosexual Magazine" beginning in Homosexual in america history a campaign of harassment from the U. Post Office Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation the Postmaster of Los Angeles declared the October, issue obscene and therefore unmailable under the Comstock laws.
The Supreme Court reversed the Postmaster's decision, marking the first time the Supreme Court had explicitly ruled on free press rights around homosexuality.
The case is known as One, Inc. However, because the psychiatric community regarded homosexuality as a mental illness during the s, gay people were considered susceptible to blackmailthus constituting a security risk. Together, McCarthy and Cohn were responsible for the firing of scores of gay men from government employment, and Homosexual in america history many opponents into silence using rumors of their homosexuality.
As ofevery state had an anti-sodomy law. Walfordwhich was denied certiorari by the Supreme Court.
Another significant case came inwhen astronomer Frank Kameny protested his firing by the U. Inorganized by gay activist Randy Wickera small group picketed the Whitehall Street Induction Center after the confidentiality of gay men's draft records was violated. This action has been identified as the first gay rights demonstration in the United States.
In the case Scott v. Macyabout how Bruce Scott was denied a Defense Department job because of "immoral conduct", was decided. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said the charge was too vague, thus granting the first major court victory for gay employment rights.
The case was argued by lawyer David Carliner December 17, and decided June 16, On November 24,he founded the Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookshop in New York, the first bookstore devoted to gay and lesbian authors. Another important gay rights activist of the s was Troy Perry. Inafter a suicide attempt following a failed love affair and witnessing a close Homosexual in america history being arrested by the police at the Black Cat Tavern see belowPerry founded the Metropolitan Community Church.
He put an advertisement in The Advocateannouncing a worship service designed for gays in Homosexual in america history Angeles. Twelve people turned up on October 6, for the first service, and "Nine were my friends who came to console me and to laugh, and three came as a result of the ad.
Inthe Metropolitan Community Church 's own building was dedicated with over a thousand members in attendance. There were also several protests of legal restrictions on gay bars in the s. Homosexual in america history bartender initially started preparing the men a drink but then put his hand over the glass, which was photographed.
The Mattachines then challenged the liquor rule in court and the courts ruled that gays had a right to peacefully assemble, which undercut the previous state liquor authority contention that the presence of gay clientele automatically was grounds for charges of operating a "disorderly" premises. With this right a new era of licensed, legally operating gay bars began.
Julius Bar now holds a monthly party called Mattachine in remembrance of the protest. On January 1,there was a police raid on the Los Angeles gay bar Black Cat Tavern which led to months of protests and demonstrations. No dress or age regulations shall be made for this demonstration. We also propose that we contact Homophile organizations throughout the country and suggest that they hold parallel demonstrations on that day.
We propose a nationwide show of support. Meetings to Homosexual in america history the march began in early January at Rodwell's apartment in Bleecker Street. For initial funding, Gunnison served as treasurer and sought donations from the national homophile organizations and sponsors, while Sargeant solicited donations via the Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookshop customer Homosexual in america history list and Nixon worked to gain financial support from GLF in his position as treasurer for that organization.
Notable gay writers of the s and s who explored male homosexuality in their work included James BaldwinJohn Rechy and Allen Ginsberg. Another 20th-century writer, Gore Vidalhad a lifelong male partner but preferred not to categorize himself as gay.
Vidal wrote about homosexuality in The City and the Pillar and transgenderism in Myra Breckinridge Mart Crowley 's play Boys in the Bandabout a group of gay male friends, was produced inthen made into a groundbreaking film in Yet as the original marchers left Christopher Street to walk uptown, hundreds, and then thousands, of supporters joined in.
The crowd marched from Greenwich Village into uptown Manhattan and Central Park, holding gay pride signs and banners, chanting "Say it clear, say Homosexual in america history loud. Gay is good, gay is proud. One day earlier, on Saturday, 27 JuneChicago Gay Liberation organized a march  from Washington Square Park "Bughouse Square" to the Water Tower at the intersection of Michigan and Chicago avenues, which was the route originally planned, and then many of the participants extemporaneously marched on to the Civic Center now Richard J.
Subsequent Chicago parades have been held on the last Sunday of June, coinciding with the date of many similar parades elsewhere. The clerk of the Hennepin County District CourtGerald Nelson, denied the request on the sole ground that the two were of the same sex. The couple filed suit in district court to force Nelson to issue the license. If the court were to construe the statutes to require different-sex couples, however, Baker claimed such a reading would violate several provisions of the U.
The trial court dismissed the couple's claims and ordered the clerk not to issue the license. NelsonMinn.
Baker appealed, and on October 10,the United States Supreme Court dismissed the appeal "for want of a substantial federal question". Nelson as precedent though the extent of its precedential effect has been subject to debate. Johnson was an important gay religious figure in the s.