Exploring the Biggest Gay Rights Milestones in History

Since time has been recorded, there has been mention of gay and lesbian people. While there has been an ebb and flow in various societies, with acceptance falling in and out of acceptance, the history of the United States consists mostly of rejection of these members of society. However, that has changed, starting in the last century and really taking off today. Now, you can look back and see tremendous milestones that have been achieved in the LGBT acceptance movement.

Just a few decades ago, it was scandalous to be lesbian or gay. Movie and television stars went to great lengths to hide their orientation, as did everyday folks who couldn’t afford the privacy afforded to these members of society who often hid in the shadows with their partners. When news did break, it often meant the end of careers. However, that is no longer the case.

In fact, when celebrities come out today, it makes for a quick news story before the tabloids move on to something juicier. It is incredible to consider that less than two decades have passed since Ellen DeGeneres lost her half hour comedy show when the network found out she was a lesbian. Today, she is one of the most celebrated members of the LGBT community and Hollywood circles alike.

There have been many achievements in these years, including legal changes that have made hate crimes illegal in many parts of the nation. While these were once categorized as equivalent to a barroom brawl, that is no longer the case. Today, someone convicted of a hate crime will serve serious felony time for their actions.

For couples who longed to be wed but could not due to the laws in this country, gender is no longer an issue. While it began with several states legalizing same sex marriage, today the federal government has recognized the rights of these couples, including being able to make medical decisions for an incapacitated partner and sharing insurance plans just as opposite sex married couples can do.

Gay pride parades are in most major cities across the nation, helping participants to celebrate in who they are with others who want to embrace the freedom the event affords. With increasing awareness and acceptance, LGBT people in sports, society is undergoing a change for the better in terms of accepting people for who they are, including the LGBT community.

And then there was Oprah: