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Tue, Jun 18



History of Gay Rights & Activism

In-depth exploration of the evolution of LGBTQ+ rights from ancient times to the present, focusing on key historical events, pivotal figures, significant legal battles, and cultural contributions that have shaped the ongoing struggle for equality.

History of Gay Rights & Activism
History of Gay Rights & Activism

Time & Location

Jun 18, 2024, 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM

Denver, 1800 S Broadway, Denver, CO 80210, USA

About the event

The "History of Gay Rights" class is an in-depth exploration of the social, political, and cultural movements that have shaped the struggle for LGBTQ+ equality from ancient times to the present day. Beginning with an overview of early societal attitudes towards same-sex relationships in ancient civilizations, such as Greece and Rome, the course traces the evolution of these views through the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Students will examine how various religious, legal, and cultural norms influenced the persecution and marginalization of LGBTQ+ individuals over centuries. This foundational knowledge sets the stage for understanding the significant shifts that occurred in the 19th and early 20th centuries, laying the groundwork for modern gay rights movements.

A major focus of the class is the pivotal events and key figures that have driven the fight for LGBTQ+ rights, particularly in the 20th and 21st centuries. Students will study the impact of landmark events such as the Stonewall Riots of 1969, which ignited the modern gay liberation movement, and the subsequent formation of influential organizations like the Gay Liberation Front and the Human Rights Campaign. The course also covers significant legal battles, including the decriminalization of homosexuality, the fight against the AIDS crisis, and the struggle for marriage equality. Through these topics, students will gain a comprehensive understanding of how activism, legal challenges, and changing societal attitudes have intersected to advance gay rights.

In addition to historical events, the class examines the cultural contributions of LGBTQ+ individuals and communities. This includes an exploration of how literature, art, film, and popular culture have reflected and influenced the gay rights movement. The course highlights the work of prominent LGBTQ+ artists and writers, as well as the role of media in shaping public perceptions of gay rights. By analyzing these cultural artifacts, students will appreciate the diverse ways in which LGBTQ+ identities and issues have been represented and the ongoing challenges faced by the community. Ultimately, the "History of Gay Rights" class aims to provide students with a thorough and nuanced understanding of the long and ongoing struggle for equality and the profound impact it has had on society as a whole.

About the Instructor:  Fawn O’Breitzman has been a college professor for over 20 years. She specializes in issues of Sex and Gender and presents at Transgender conferences all around the country. She does inclusion training for businesses and has worked with everyone from hospitals to construction yards to help companies make sure they are providing the best and most respectful care to their clients. She has been a social worker and therapist, as well as a wife and a mother. Although she has a background in Psychology, she has a passion for history and loves to dive into musty books. 


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