Gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people have existed as long as humanity itself. We've made history and important contributions even in the face of societies that discriminate against us or pretend we do not exist. In celebration of these lives and achievements, here are just a few of the notable LGBT figures throughout time who have changed the world for the better. After inheriting an already significant kingdom from his flesh-and-blood father, Philip II, Alexander conquered Persia and numerous other lands. As Mark notes, historian Diodorus Siculus once wrote that Alexander's successes were "not the work of Fortune but of his own force of character, for this king stands out above all others for his military acumen, personal courage and intellectual brilliance. With a profile forged as much from his own accomplishments as inherited from his royal father, and with recognition as one of ancient history's most significant conquerers, it's no wonder that Alexander is often the first queer hero young gender and sexual minorities take to claiming for their own.
Societal attitudes towards same-sex relationships have varied over time and place, from requiring all males to engage in same-sex relationships, to casual integration, through acceptance, to seeing the practice as a minor sin, repressing it through law enforcement and judicial mechanisms, and to proscribing it under penalty of death. In a study, Gwen Broude and Sarah Greene compared attitudes towards and frequency of homosexuality in the ethnographic studies available in the Standard cross-cultural sample. They found that out of 42 communities: homosexuality was accepted or ignored in 9; 5 communities had no concept of homosexuality; 11 considered it undesirable but did not set punishments; and 17 strongly disapproved and punished. Of 70 communities, homosexuality was reported to be absent or rare in frequency in 41, and present or not uncommon in It was accepted in some forms in ancient Greece. However, in later cultures influenced by Abrahamic religions , the law and the church established sodomy as a transgression against divine law or a crime against nature.
Records of men who have sex with men in Japan date back to ancient times. Western scholars have identified these as evidence of homosexuality in Japan. Though these relations had existed in Japan for millennia, they became most apparent to scholars during the Tokugawa or Edo period.
This is a referenced overview list of notable gay , lesbian or bisexual people, who have either been open about their sexuality or for which reliable sources exist. Famous persons who are only rumored to be gay, lesbian or bisexual are not included in this list. The definition of sexual orientation has changed greatly over time and the word "gay" wasn't used to describe sexual orientation until the mid 20th century. A number of different classification schemes have been used to describe sexual orientation since the midth century. Much of the research about sexual orientation has failed to define the term at all, making it difficult to reconcile the results of different studies.