B1 Intermediate US 1078 Folder Collection
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Hi, there.
Who?
Me?
Yeah.
You seem like an average guy.
Well, I love smoothies and drive a Prius if that's what you mean.
Exactly.
Quick question.
Have you ever thought how your life might be different if you were gay?
Uh, not really.
I guess it would be a little harder.
Wait.
Was that homophobic?
Oh, God.
I'm really sorry.
This is a safe space, Carl.
My name is Mark.
Whatever.
You're right, though.
Being gay has its challenges.
But it hasn't always been like this.
Like the Greeks?
Absolutely.
The earliest evidence of gay relationships is from ancient Greece, although that was mostly about older and younger men.
Did you know Socrates was in the closet?
I didn't.
I also didn't know they had closets back then.
When did all the crazy homophobia start?
Homophobia seemed to start in the church during the high Middle Ages.
Whoa!
And in the Renaissance, it got even worse.
What happened?
Well, if you were outed, let's just say it would have been bad.
Ah!
There were still plenty of brave people who revolted.
On August 31, 1512, a group of young aristocrats living in Florence staged what many consider history's first gay rights demonstration.
But that didn't stop homophobia from migrating to colonial America.
In 1776, being gay in any of the Puritan colonies was not allowed.
Jeez.
So when did things start to change for the better?
It wasn't until the 20th century that we started to see progress.
Gay bars were popping up in major cities but were frequently raided by the police because being gay was still illegal in every state except Illinois.
Go Bears!
Exactly.
One of these bars was the popular Stonewall Inn in New York City.
On the morning of June 28, 1969, which also happened to be the day of Judy Garland's funeral, the patrons of the Stonewall Inn decided they weren't going to take it.
Hell yeah.
A black transgender woman named Marsha P. Johnson is credited with leading the uprising that started the modern gay rights movement, and putting the T in LGBT.
Now, every November, the Ts and their supporters recognize Transgender Awareness Week.
This is great.
It seems like things were going pretty well.
Hmm, for a while.
A while?
What happened next?
Well, in the early '80s, the world was hit by the AIDS epidemic, and the gay community was hit hardest.
AIDS became known as a "gay disease."
In fact, it was originally called GRID, which means Gay-Related Immune Deficiency.
No way.
It's true.
Many people think that the government didn't act quickly enough because it was considered a gay disease.
So the LGBTQ community had to fight it themselves.
So how did they fight it?
They got organized.
Activist groups like ACT UP, the Gay Men's Health Crisis, Lesbian AIDS Project, and The Names Project emerged and refused to be ignored.
This newly empowered gay community had one goal.
What was that?
To come out.
They thought the problem with homophobia was that people didn't know other people who were gay, and if more people came out, they would be seen for who they are and not just as a stereotype.
Convincing people to come out was still a tough task.
But things got easier in 1997 when Ellen appeared on the cover of Time magazine and told the world, "yep, I'm gay."
After that, more and more gay people started appearing in TV and movies, helping millions feel more confident to love who they want.
Wow.
What a journey.
I'm kind of digging myself as a gay person.
Slow down.
We're not done just yet.
But we've come so far.
Can't we just celebrate for a minute?
No time for that, Carl.
We still have a lot of laws to change.
Oh, yeah.
That's right.
Being gay was more accepted, but there was still a lot of rights that gay people didn't have.
However, they did have something they didn't have before.
What?
Allies.
Yeah, in 2003, Massachusetts became the first state to legalize marriage equality.
And 12 years later, it was legal in all 50 states, much in thanks to a majority of Americans who supported it.
So as a gay person living in 2019, how would you feel?
Pretty happy I live in the present, grateful for all the heroes who fought before me, and hopeful for the future.
I'm glad because the fight for equality is still going.
It takes a village, and we're going to need your help.
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Wanda Sykes Takes Us Through the History of LGBTQ+ -Now You Know

1078 Folder Collection
Helena published on November 26, 2019    Helena translated    Steve reviewed
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