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Browse the following CDC webpages to find more information. This fact sheet is based on information from these sources:. PDF documents can be viewed with the free Adobe Reader. Please enable Javascript in your Browser to experience full features of this website. Skip to main content U. Department of Health and Human Services.

Search Search. Although gay culture historically appreciated camp and drag, which subvert the gender-based power hierarchy and celebrate gender nonconformity, anti-effeminacy prejudice is widespread among gay men. Ironically, gender-nonconforming gay men may suffer from discrimination not only from society at large, but from other gay men, who are most likely to have experienced stigmatization and may have been effeminate earlier in their lives. Prejudice , violence. Academic fields and discourse.

Queer studies Lesbian feminism Queer theory Transfeminism Lavender linguistics. Main article: Main articles: Sexual orientation , Sexual identity , and Human sexual behavior. See also: Situational sexual behavior.

Health issues for gay men and men who have sex with men

Terminology of homosexuality. LGBT community. LGBT portal. The Oxford Dictionary of Difficult Words 1st ed. Oxford University Press. Online Etymology dictionary.

Marginalization among the marginalized: gay men's anti-effeminacy attitudes.

Oxford English Dictionary. American Psychological Association. Retrieved 14 March BBC News. Retrieved 29 May Archived from the original on 1 March Retrieved 5 September Punch magazine, Volume 33, , page A stand-alone editorial cartoon, no accompanying article. Oscar Wilde Society. Retrieved 4 August OED Third Edition ". June Gay and Lesbian Washington, D. Arcadia Publishing. Cobham A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies.

Stone, Sept—Oct Carleton, New York, p. The Times]. Retrieved 24 May Lesbian Nouns". The New Gay. Archived from the original on 24 October Gay men might be more likely to stay silent about this kind of violence due to fear of discrimination and a lack of facilities designed to accommodate them.

Staying in an abusive relationship might leave you depressed, anxious or hopeless. If you don't want to disclose your sexual orientation, you might be less likely to seek help after an assault. Still, the only way to break the cycle of domestic violence is to take action — the sooner the better.

If you're a target of domestic violence, tell someone about the abuse, whether it's a friend, loved one, health care provider or other close contact.

Consider calling a domestic violence hotline and creating a plan to leave your abuser. Don't let fear of homophobia or the stigma associated with homosexuality prevent you from seeking routine health care. Instead, take charge of your health. Look for a doctor who puts you at ease. Identify yourself as gay or bisexual, and ask about routine screenings recommended for men in your age group — such as blood pressure and cholesterol measurements and screenings for prostate, testicular and colon cancers. If you're not in a long-term, mutually monogamous relationship, schedule regular screenings for sexually transmitted infections.

Share any other health concerns you might have with your doctor as well. Early diagnosis and treatment help promote long-term health.

Mayo Clinic does not endorse companies or products. Gay especially refers to male homosexuality, [28] but may be used in a broader sense to refer to all LGBT people. In the context of sexuality, lesbian refers only to female homosexuality. The word lesbian is derived from the name of the Greek island Lesbos , where the poet Sappho wrote largely about her emotional relationships with young women.

Although early writers also used the adjective homosexual to refer to any single-sex context such as an all-girls school , today the term is used exclusively in reference to sexual attraction, activity, and orientation. The term homosocial is now used to describe single-sex contexts that are not specifically sexual. There is also a word referring to same-sex love, homophilia. Some synonyms for same-sex attraction or sexual activity include men who have sex with men or MSM used in the medical community when specifically discussing sexual activity and homoerotic referring to works of art.

The range of acceptable use for these terms depends on the context and speaker. The American LGBT rights organization GLAAD advises the media to avoid using the term homosexual to describe gay people or same-sex relationships as the term is "frequently used by anti-gay extremists to denigrate gay people, couples and relationships". Societal attitudes towards same-sex relationships have varied over time and place, from expecting 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 cultures influenced by Abrahamic religions , the law and the church established sodomy as a transgression against divine law or a crime against nature. The condemnation of anal sex between males, however, predates Christian belief. It was frequent in ancient Greece; "unnatural" can be traced back to Plato. Many historical figures, including Socrates , Lord Byron , Edward II , and Hadrian , [45] have had terms such as gay or bisexual applied to them; some scholars, such as Michel Foucault , have regarded this as risking the anachronistic introduction of a contemporary construction of sexuality foreign to their times, [46] though others challenge this.

In social science, there has been a dispute between "essentialist" and "constructionist" views of homosexuality. The debate divides those who believe that terms such as "gay" and "straight" refer to objective, culturally invariant properties of persons from those who believe that the experiences they name are artifacts of unique cultural and social processes. The first record of a possible homosexual couple in history is commonly regarded as Khnumhotep and Niankhkhnum , an ancient Egyptian male couple, who lived around BCE.

The pair are portrayed in a nose-kissing position, the most intimate pose in Egyptian art , surrounded by what appear to be their heirs. The anthropologists Stephen Murray and Will Roscoe reported that women in Lesotho engaged in socially sanctioned "long term, erotic relationships" called motsoalle.

Evans-Pritchard also recorded that male Azande warriors in the northern Congo routinely took on young male lovers between the ages of twelve and twenty, who helped with household tasks and participated in intercrural sex with their older husbands. Among indigenous peoples of the Americas prior to European colonization, a common form of same-sex sexuality centered around the figure of the Two-Spirit individual.

Typically, this individual was recognized early in life, given a choice by the parents to follow the path and, if the child accepted the role, raised in the appropriate manner, learning the customs of the gender it had chosen. Two-Spirit individuals were commonly shamans and were revered as having powers beyond those of ordinary shamans. Their sexual life was with the ordinary tribe members of the same sex. The Spanish conquerors were horrified to discover sodomy openly practiced among native peoples, and attempted to crush it out by subjecting the berdaches as the Spanish called them under their rule to severe penalties, including public execution , burning and being torn to pieces by dogs.

Hardwick that a state could criminalize sodomy , but, in , overturned itself in Lawrence v. Texas and thereby legalized homosexual activity throughout the United States of America. Same-sex marriage in the United States expanded from one state in to all fifty states in , through various state court rulings, state legislation, direct popular votes referendums and initiatives , and federal court rulings.

In East Asia , same-sex love has been referred to since the earliest recorded history.

Homosexuality in China , known as the passions of the cut peach and various other euphemisms, has been recorded since approximately BCE. Homosexuality was mentioned in many famous works of Chinese literature. The instances of same-sex affection and sexual interactions described in the classical novel Dream of the Red Chamber seem as familiar to observers in the present as do equivalent stories of romances between heterosexual people during the same period.

Confucianism , being primarily a social and political philosophy, focused little on sexuality, whether homosexual or heterosexual. Opposition to homosexuality in China originates in the medieval Tang Dynasty — , attributed to the rising influence of Christian and Islamic values, [57] but did not become fully established until the Westernization efforts of the late Qing Dynasty and the Republic of China. The Laws of Manu mentions a "third sex", members of which may engage in nontraditional gender expression and homosexual activities.

The earliest Western documents in the form of literary works, art objects, and mythographic materials concerning same-sex relationships are derived from ancient Greece. In regard to male homosexuality, such documents depict an at times complex understanding in which relationships with women and relationships with adolescent boys could be a part of a normal man's love life.

Same-sex relationships were a social institution variously constructed over time and from one city to another. The formal practice, an erotic yet often restrained relationship between a free adult male and a free adolescent, was valued for its pedagogic benefits and as a means of population control, though occasionally blamed for causing disorder. Plato praised its benefits in his early writings [60] but in his late works proposed its prohibition.

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Little is known of female homosexuality in antiquity. Sappho , born on the island of Lesbos , was included by later Greeks in the canonical list of nine lyric poets. The adjectives deriving from her name and place of birth Sapphic and Lesbian came to be applied to female homosexuality beginning in the 19th century.

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The kissing worked against me in so many ways. It totally distracted me from thinking about how my drink tasted. Maybe she even had kept a bit of her strong drink in her mouth. She rubbed strong alcohol on my lips and tongue which made it difficult for me to judge the strength of my own drink.

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The kiss was a Pavlovian stimulation to get me drinking even more. Of course most of my thinking was revolving around the pleasures yet to come. I turned on some romantic music for slow dancing. She put her arms around my chest and pushed her breasts onto me. I felt great. What a lucky guy! After one dance she quickly sat down to continue the mutual drinking.

I explained that I did not care for alcohol. I felt really great.

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I drank some more. Within 5 minutes of taking the first gulp on an empty stomach, the drug s started to hit me but at the time, and this is important, I did not notice it. I was too interested in putting on some better music and dancing some more. The slight odd feeling could be passed off as a little bit of alcohol effect or an episode of postural hypotension. Alcohol, especially in combination with a sedative drug, can have an initial excitatory effect. I was hypomanic without realizing it. A person in a manic state is less inhibited. So I went ahead and drank more of the alcoholic beverage which is something I ordinarily never do.

She never let the drinks out of her sight. Had they been switched, she would have known immediately because hers was so much stronger than mine. I figure my first drink contained a lot of sedative and just a little bit of rum. We danced some more. A wave of dizziness came over me and for a split second I wondered if I was being drugged. Curiously, this idea did not trigger other related thoughts.

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I simply forgot about it! I turned down the lights.

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There were more important things going on: I felt very relaxed. I was just enjoying the moment; my mind was empty. I was not keeping track of who was drinking what. Maybe I drank more, I don't remember. Even though we were just slow dancing back and forth, I became unable to stay on the beat.

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Phase three was getting enough drug into me to make me stupid. I was now incapable of having complicated thoughts. Her gentle suggestions became unquestioned commands. The most unbelievable thing is that I did not realize that I had become a helpless moron. By the third or fourth dance I became more relaxed than I have ever been in my entire life. She started rubbing her hip against my crotch.

We sat down again. She asked if I felt tired. I said no. She announced that we were out of cola so I went into the kitchen to get some more. I think we continued drinking but my memory of events from here on is poor. However, I do remember her putting her hand on my groin and sweetly asking if women ever touched me there.

I did not answer because by that time speaking seemed to require a tremendous effort.

It seemed to be her way of communicating that she wanted to get into bed with me. I stood up, took her by the hand, and lead her to the bedroom. There was no resistance. I flopped down on the bed and stared at the ceiling. Oh, did I feel relaxed! I wanted to rest a little before proceeding with the main attraction, fully confident of my abilities. Somehow I felt certain that I was not going to fall asleep even though my eyelids were very, very heavy. Maybe more drug got dumped into my glass after I denied feeling tired and went into the kitchen to fetch a second can of cola.

She tried various indirect strategies to get me into the bedroom. Apparently the idea is to give the mark one last big dose, get him comfortable, and reduce external stimuli so he will fall unconscious quickly.

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While he is drifting off the girl can rinse out the glasses, rub off fingerprints, pour some liquor down the drain to make it look more like just excessive drinking, and start to inventory the valuables. If someone else arrives, she just explains that the guy drank too much and leaves, having apparently done nothing bad at all. Phase four was getting me unconscious and proceeding with the robbery.

She had so cleverly positioned me in the place where I normally fall asleep, far from the door through which she would later exit, facing a blank wall so that the chances of me opening my eyes and seeing her leaving with my valuables would be minimal. Most likely, as soon as she was certain that I was completely incapacitated, she quickly gathered up the booty and vamoosed.

There was only a short interval when she was obviously doing something illegal which would justify an arrest.