Before we start, just wanted to note that we’re using Before Common Era (BCE) and Common Era (CE) instead of that BC and AD nonsense that’s not even historically accurate.

And without further ado, a really queer timeline:

Before Common Era


Circa 9,600 BCE

Rock art depecting same-sex sexual situations begins to appear.

Circa 7,000 BCE

Rock art depicting transgender, intersex, and “third sex” people begins to appear.

Ancient History (3200 BCE – 0)

Circa 2,800 BCE

–A biological male is buried in the traditional style of a woman’s grave outside of present day Prague.

Circa 2419 BCE

Khnumhotep and Niankhkhnum serve together at Overseer of the Royal Manicurist. They may be history’s first recorded same-sex couple.

Circa 630 BCE

Sappho is born.

Circa 600 BCE

Sappho and her family are temporarily exiled from Lesbos.

Circa 580 BCE

Sappho dies.

Circa 470 BCE

–The earliest known depiction of Sappho appears on pottery.

Common Era

Classical Antiquity (1 – 500 CE)

217 CE

May 16Heliogabalus becomes Emperor of Rome.

222 CE

March 11: Heliogabalus is killed by his own Praetorian Guard.

Post-Classical Era (500 – 1500 CE)

Early Middle Ages (500 – 1000 CE)

High Middle Ages (1000 CE – 1250 CE)

Late Middle Ages (1250 – 1500 CE)

1429 CE

Sun-bin Bong becomes Royal Noble Consort to Crown Prince Munjong of Joseon.

1436 CE

Sun-bin Bong is demoted to commoner, exiled from the palace, and never heard from again after a trial for several crimes including sleeping with her female servant.

Early Modern Period (1500 – 1774 CE)

The Renaissance (1500 – 1700 CE)

1600 CE

March 18: Catalina de Erauso disguises herself as a man, escapes the convent, and embarks on a life as a fugitive and adventurer that ultimately takes her to the New World.

1687 CE

Julie d’Aubigny marries Sieur de Maupin, has an affair with her fencing instructor, and becomes a fugitive from the law.

1695 CE

Julie d’Aubigny kisses a woman at a ball, and is then challenged to duel three men. She bests all three, and is pardoned by the king because she is a woman.

Age of Enlightenment (1700 – 1774 CE)

1724 CE

Mother Clap’s Molly House opens.

1726 CE

FebruaryMother Clap’s Molly House is raided and shut down.

Modern Age (1774 – 1945 CE)

Age of Revolutions (1774 – 1849 CE)

1776 CE

–Jemima Wilkinson nearly dies of a fever — when she recovers, she claims the identity of the genderless Publick Universal Friend.

October 13: The Publick Universal Friend gives their first sermon, less than a week after recovering from fever.

1785 CE

Jeremy Bentham writes an essay entitled “Offences Against Oneself” — arguing that consensual sexual acts between two adults in their own home should not be criminalized.

1798 CE

George Gordon Byron, at ten years old, inherits the title of Lord Byron and becomes a member of the landed gentry.

1800 CE

The Publick Universal Friend is taken to court for blasphemy, but the courts rule that blasphemy is not against the law in the United States due to separation of church and state.

Lord Byron begins writing poetry.

1809 CE

Lord Byron embarks on his Grand Tour of Europe, where he claims to sleep with more than 200 men.

1812 CE

–The first two cantos of “Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage” are published and Lord Byron becomes something of a celebrity.

1815 CE

Lord Byron marries Annabella Millbanke.

1816 CE

–Annabella Millbanke publicly separates from Lord Byron amid rumors of incest. Lady Caroline Lamb would soon add rumors of sodomy to the scandals surrounding him.
–April 25: Lord Byron leaves England.

1823 CE

Lord Byron travels to Greece to aid in the fight for Greek independence. He sells Rochdale Manor for 11,250 pounds and opens his coffers to the cause.

Victorian Era (1837 – 1901 CE)

1862 CE

Albert Cashier enlists in the Union army.

Karl Heinrich Ulrichs officially comes out as an “Urning” and declares that his attraction to men is both biological and natural.

1867 CE

Karl Heinrich Ulrichs speaks to the German Association of Jurists on behalf of the rights of “Urnings”.

1868 CE

May 8Karl-Maria Kertbeny first uses the term “homosexual” in a private letter.

1869 CE

Karl-Maria Kertbeny publishes pamphlets against the Prussian anti-sodomy law Paragraph 143.

1876 CE

June 17: Osch-Tisch fights in the Battle of Rosebud.

1879 CE

Karl Heinrich Ulrichs publishes his twelfth book and then enters self-imposed exile to Naples.

Machine Age (1880 – 1945 CE)

1884 CE

Mwanga II becomes kabaka of Buganda.

1885 CE

January 31: Mwanga II begins the executions of the 30 Christians who will become the Uganda Martyrs.

1886 CE

Richard von Krafft-Ebing borrows the term “homosexual” from Karl-Maria Kertbeny‘s work and the term begins to enter mainstream usage.

1890 CE

December 26: Mwanga II formalizes a treaty with the British and Buganda becomes part of the the British Protectorate of Uganda.

1894 CE

–The British Protectorate of Uganda formally criminalizes homosexual behavior between men.

1897 CE

May 15: The Scientific-Humanitarian Committee is founded.

July 6: Mwanga II declares war on Britain.

July 20: Mwanga II is defeated and flees into German East Africa, where he is arrested. He escapes again.

1898 CE

January 15: Mwanga II attacks the British held Uganda with an army, but is defeated again and exiled.


1899 CE

–The Scientific-Humanitarian Committee begins publishing the “Yearbook for Intermediate Sexual Types”.

1904 CE

Gertrude Pridgett marries William Rainey. Together they form a troupe called the Alabama Fun Makers Company.

1911 CE

Albert Cashier is hit by an automobile. During treatment, the secret of his biological sex is discovered, though his doctor keeps it a secret. Albert is forced to move into the Soldiers and Sailors Home in Quincy, Illinois.

1913 CE

Albert Cashier‘s biological sex is discovered again, and this time it is not kept secret.

World War I Era (1914 – 1918 CE)

1915 CE

October 10: Albert Cashier dies due to an injury received by tripping over his skirt. Those who served with him ensured he received an official Grand Army of the Republic funeral and was buried in full military honors.

1916 CE

Ma Rainey and William Rainey separate.

1919 CE

–An investigation into homosexual activity within the Naval personnel stationed in Newport, Rhode Island begins.

The Roaring Twenties (1920 – 1929 CE)

1921 CE

July 21: The U.S. Senate Committee on Naval Affairs officially renounces the tactics used in the Newport investigation.

1925 CE

Ma Rainey is arrested for “running an indecent party” — a lesbian orgy. Bessie Smith pays her bail.

1926 CE

Alfred Kinsey publishes “An Introduction to Biology”.

1928 CE

Ma Rainey records and releases “Prove It On Me Blues” — a scandalous song about lesbianism. This is also Ma Rainey’s final year recording for Paramount Records.

1929 CE

–Kurt Hiller takes over as chairman of the Scientific-Humanitarian Committee.

Great Depression Era (1929 – 1939 CE)

1933 CE

–The Nazis destroy the Institute for Sexual Sciences in Berlin — the headquarters of the Scientific-Humanitarian Committee. The group disbands.

World War II Era (1939 – 1945 CE)

1939 CE

September 3: Britain declares war on Germany.

September 4: Alan Turing reports for duty at the Government Code & Cipher School in Bletchley Park.

The Forties (1940 – 1949 CE)

1943 CE

–Allied forces invade Sicily, storing munitions in the Addaura Cave. Some of the stored ammunition explodes, exposing previously undiscovered prehistoric rock art.

March 27: Willem Arondeus leads the bombing of the Amsterdam Public Records Office, in order to hinder Nazi efforts to root out Jews in the area.

July 1: Willem Arondeus is executed by Nazis.

1945 CE

Alan Turing begins working on the Automatic Computing Engine (ACE).

Contemporary Era (1945 – present)

1948 CE

Alfred Kinsey publishes “Sexual Behavior in the Human Male”.

The Fifties (1950 – 1959 CE)

lavender-rept-cover-l1950 CE

February: Joseph McCarthy announces he has a list of Communists working in the Federal government — the list includes two homosexuals. The Red Scare and the Lavender Scare begin. 

1951 CE

October 8: Christine Jorgensen — partially through a series of gender confirmation surgeries in Europe — writes a letter to friends in the United States expressing how happy she is to be transitioning.

1952 CE

March 31: Regina v. Turing and Murray goes to trial. Alan Turing is convicted, stripped of his security clearance, and put on probation and forced into hormonal treatment.

December 1: The New York Daily News puts Christine Jorgensen on its front cover, with the headline “Ex-GI Becomes Blonde Bombshell: Operations Transform Bronx Youth”.

1953 CE

–Jole Bovio Marconi publishes her findings on the prehistoric rock art in the Addaura Cave. She believes one of the pictures is a homoerotic image.

Alan Turing completes a chess program for computers. The technology to run the program doesn’t exist, so he demonstrates with an actual chessboard.

Alfred Kinsey publishes “Sexual Behavior in the Human Female”.

August: Carlett Angianlee Brown was scheduled to meet with Dr. Christian Hamburger in Berlin during this month — however, her plans went awry.

1954 CE

April: Dale Olson — using the alias Curtis White — appears on an episode of “Confidential File” to defend homosexuality. It is the first time any LGBTQ+ appears on television to do so.

June 7: Alan Turing dies of cyanide poisoning.

1958 CE

The Florida Legislative Investigation Committee begins a localized Lavender Scare to drive homosexuals out of state universities.

1959 CE

May: Cooper’s Do-nut Riot.Cops attempt to arrest five LGBTQ individuals at Cooper’s Do-nuts in Los Angeles — when one of them objects to having five people shoved in the back of one cop car, a riot ensues.

The Sixties (1960 – 1969 CE)

1962 CE

Jackie Shane moves to Toronto and becomes an instant legend in the developing R&B scene. Her first recordings are published — including “Any Other Way.”

1964 CE

–The shared tomb of Khnumhotep and Niankhkhnum is discovered by Egyptologist Ahmed Moussa.

homosexuality_and_citizenship_in_florida_28cover_art29–As part of the Florida Lavender Scare, the Florida Legislative Investigation Committee publishes the “Purple Pamphlet”.

1965 CE

April 17 & 18: 40 LGBTQ+ activists protest in Washington D.C. in regards to Cuba’s policies on homosexuality. It is — at the time — the largest organized LGBT protest in history.

April 25: A Dewey’s Lunch Counter in Philadelphia refuses to serve LGBTQ+ people — denying service to 150 people in just one day. This sparks a sit-in protest.

May 2: A second sit-in protest occurs at Dewey’s Lunch Counter.

July 4: The first of the Annual Reminders is held in Philadelphia.

1966 CE

August: Police attempt to arrest peaceful protesters outside Compton’s Cafeteria in San Francisco. The protest turns into a riot.

1967 CE

January 1: The Black Cat Tavern is raided by police — the patrons riot.

February 11: The LBTQ+ communiy of L.A. stages simultaneous protests across the city in response to the Black Cat raid.

1969 CE

June 28: The Stonewall Riots. Police raid the Stonewall Inn — the patrons resist, sparking a multi-night riot on Christopher Street in New York City.

The Seventies (1970 – 1979 CE)

1972 CE

March 8: Mariasilvia Spolato is photographed carrying a sign that declares she loves a woman — making her the first woman in Italy to publicly come out of the closet. This costs her everything — her job, her home, and her family. She becomes a vagabond.

1973 CE

June 24: A fire is set at the Upstairs Lounge. The arson attack claims 28 lives, and is the deadliest attack on a gay bar until 2016.

1975 CE

February 4: The Olympic Clean Up begins in Montreal.

1976 CE

June 19: A demonstration of 300 protesters led by CHAR effectively ends the Olympic Clean Up.

The Eighties (1980 – 1989 CE)

1980 CE

Fricke v. Lynch: Aaron Fricke successfully sues for permission to bring Paul Guillbert as his date to prom.

1981 CE

June 5: The CDC publishes its first documentation of the disease that will become known as AIDS.

1982 CE

–September 24: The CDC officially names Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (or AIDS).

1985 CE

July 21: Dale Olson releases a statement on behalf of his client, Rock Hudson, announcing that Hudson has inoperable liver cancer. However, Dale strongly believes Hudson can bring much needed attention to the AIDS crisis and encourages his client to do so.

July 25: Thanks to Dale Olson‘s encouragement, Rock Hudson’s French publicist releases a statement acknowledging that Rock Hudson has AIDS. The number of donations made to AIDS research through the rest of this year more than double those donated in the entirety of 1984.

The Nineties (1990 – 1999 CE)

1991 CE

Dung Hà becomes the lover of the influential crime boss Hùng Cốm — her influence in the criminal underworld of Hai Phong grows.

1992 CE

Althea Garrison runs for the Massachusetts House of Representatives. She wins the election by 437 votes. She is subsequently outed in the Boston Herald by reporter Eric Fehrnstrom.

1995 CE

Dung Hà is arrested. Her lover Phuong leaves her, and her criminal empire begins to fall apart.

1998 CE

October 6: Matthew Shepard is brutally attacked, tied to a fence and left for dead. He will die six days later.

The Two Thousands (2000 – 2009 CE)

2003 CE

June 26: The Supreme Court of the U.S. announces its decision regarding Lawrence v. Texas — deciding that anti-sodomy laws are unconstitutional and officially decriminalizing homosexuality in the United States.

2005 CE

–The Supreme Court of the U.S. rules against Louisiana’s legal definition of “crimes against nature” including “unnatural carnal copulation by a human being with another of the same sex”.

2009 CE

October 28: The Matthew Shepard & James Byrd Jr Hate Crime Prevention Act is signed into law by President Barack Obama.

The Tens (2010 – 2019 CE)

2011 CE

–Excavations at the Prague 6 dig site uncover the grave of a biological male buried in the traditional style of a woman.

2013 CE

June 26: The Supreme Court of the U.S. announces its decision regarding the United States v. Windsor — striking down part of the Defense of Marriage Act.

2015 CE

June 26: The Supreme Court of the U.S. announces its decision in Obergefell v. Hodges — deciding in favor of marriage equality.

2016 CE

June 12: A mass shooting during Latin night at Pulse in Orlando takes the lives of 49 LGBT+ people and allies and wounds another 58. It is, at the time, the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

2017 CE

June 26: The Supreme Court of the U.S. announces its decision regarding Pavan v. Smith — striking down an Arkansas law that prevented both members of a same-sex couple from having parental rights over their children.

2019 CE

–“Any Other Way” is nominated for a Grammy — making Jackie Shane a Grammy nominated singer 50 years after she retired from music.

January 9: Althea Garrison is sworn in to Boston City Council — taking the seat vacated by Ayanna Pressley.