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14 Moments In British LGBT History Everyone Should Know But Doesn't

There's a whole lot of history out there.

1. Under the reign of Henry VIII, England passes its first law against sodomy.

2. A crackdown on "molly houses" in the 1720s exposes London's underground gay culture to the wider public.

3. Havelock Ellis publishes the first English medical textbook on male homosexuality and argues that homosexuality is a "natural anomaly".

4. An amendment to the Criminal Law Act makes it legal to prosecute gay men without "proof" they've had sex with other men.

5. In August 1921, the House of Lords rejects a proposal to criminalise sex between women...because they are worried more women would start doing it.

6. Radclyffe Hall's novel, The Well of Loneliness, is banned in the UK following a highly publicised obscenity trial.

7. Roberta Cowell becomes the first known British trans woman to undergo sex re-assignment surgery.

8. The 1967 Sexual Offences Act decriminalises male homosexuality in England and Wales.

9. London's first Gay Pride march is held on 1 July, 1972.

10. The first UK organisation for black LGBT people launches.

11. Anne Lister's 4-million-word diary is decoded and reveals intimate details about her various relationships with women.

12. The first UK lobbying group to protect interests of the LGBT community is founded.

13. Justin Fashanu becomes the first openly gay professional footballer in English football.

14. The first piece of trans discrimination case law to find an employer guilty of discrimination is argued here in the UK.

Did you know same-sex relationships are still illegal in 72 countries?

Absolut has partnered with Stonewall, Britain’s largest LGBTQ charity, to raise awareness and funds for them to advance LGBTQ equality internationally. Text STONEWALL to 70300 to donate £5*.

To shine a light on the 72 countries, Absolut has created a poster series, shot by photographer Sam Bradley, featuring many of the individuals from these 72 countries sharing a same-sex kiss to celebrate their own freedom of expression. From the 3rd until 6th August the images will also be displayed to the public as one collection at East London’s Protein Gallery (31 New Inn Yard, Shoreditch, London EC2A 3EY). Follow @AbsolutUK and visit for more info.

*You will be charged £5 plus one message at your standard network rate. Stonewall will receive 100%. You must obtain permission from the bill payer before sending a text message. You must be 16 years old or over to send a text donation.
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