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Digital Subscriptions >  Latest Articles > Queer Through the Years: A timeline of gay rights

Queer Through the Years: A timeline of gay rights

Queer Through the Years: A timeline of gay rights

Posted 03 August 2016   |   3309 views   |   Men's Interest   |   Comments (0) We have had the privilege to live through a revolution in gay rights. Although homophobia remains prevalent throughout the world, we’ve now reached a point in the West where we can look back on the history of gay rights and feel genuinely surprised by how backwards we were for so long.

Today, homosexuality is fully recognised as acceptable and legal in 121 out of 196 countries across the world. What’s more, as of June 2016, 23 countries have now legalised gay marriage. Many countries still pose a huge threat to gay rights, but now the floodgates have opened, we hope to see the world becoming more and more equal every year.

Judging by how anti-gay the world was merely 50 years ago, you’d get the impression that this is the way things have always been. In actual fact, views of homosexuality have ebbed and flowed throughout the years, along with changes in global culture and society.

This timeline tracks the development of gay rights throughout history, from the curious sub/dom relationships between men in Ancient Greece, to the gay rights revolution of the 20th and 21st centuries.
We’ve come a long way - but there’s still so much work to be done. The tragic events in Orlando on 12 June show that LGBT people are victim to a destructive amount of hate and violence that has been heaped down upon them across the years.

What’s standing in the way of equality and what can we do to help move things forward?

Mike Buckley, managing director of Attitude Media – publisher of the UK’s leading gay magazine – said:

“Unfortunately equality in legislation is not translating into equality in society. Hate crimes are rising, workplace discrimination is still present, LGBT kids are still bullied in schools. Meanwhile the community is still disproportionately affected by issues such as mental health and homelessness.

“Perhaps the most significant hurdle lies in education. Until it is mandatory for schools to provide an inclusive LGBT curriculum, especially an inclusive sex and relationship education module, we’ll continue to see discrimination. Bigotry is so often a product of ignorance; normalising LGBT issues would go some way to eradicating that ignorance.”

Attitude has played a big part in normalising LGBT culture since the magazine was founded back in 1994. Most recently, they made history by becoming the first LGBT magazine to feature a member of the Royal Family on its cover when Prince William appeared on front of the July 2016 issue.
Massive health inequalities also exist in the LGBT community, largely as a by-product of marginalisation. Andrew Gilliver, Community Involvement Coordinator for the LGBT Foundation, said:

“Many LGBT people face really challenging situations such as self- harm, alcohol, substance use, hate crime – especially in bisexual and transgender communities – and there remain significant health inequalities for us all.

“Lesbian and bisexual women are still largely invisible, gay and bisexual men are still dealing with HIV and all of us have multiple identities so we need to be aware of the intersectionality within our communities.”

The story of gay rights has, up until now, been about ending demonization and blatant discrimination. There’s still a lot of work to be done to get some parts of the world even to this level – but the next step is even more challenging.

As equal as we may be on paper, the LGBT community is still seen by the mainstream as “other” – to be tolerated, but not fully accepted. Andrew went on to say:

“We need to be visible and included but to really end discrimination and ensure full acceptance we have to go beyond tolerance.

“Understanding of the needs of different communities and making sure we do not presume either an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity/trans status is a start towards recognising and celebrating that we are all unique and we all have something valuable to contribute.”

For more great articles like this get the Issue 273 issue of Attitude below or subscribe and save.

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About Attitude

Attitude is Europe’s No1 gay life-style monthly magazine with blockbusting exclusives that most magazines – gay or straight – could only dream of.

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