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160 Gay History Trivia Questions, Answers, and Fun Facts

How much do you know about Gay History? This category is for trivia questions and answers related to Gay History (History). Each one is filled with fun facts and interesting information.
1 In 1648 in New France, a military drummer received what sentence for the crime of homosexuality?
Answer: Death penalty

This was the first criminal trial for the crime of homosexuality in New France. A military drummer was found guilty of sodomy and sentenced to hang. Jesuit priests intervened and the man (whose name is unknown) was given a choice. His sentence would be commuted if he accepted a new position - as executioner for the colony. He accepted the offer. According to all the information available about the trial, only this unnamed man was placed on trial, and so the thought is that his partner was probably a First Nations man. First Nations individuals were not subject to French religious law and so his partner would not have been placed on trial with the military man.
  From Quiz: LGBT History in Canada
2 Which very famous CNN reporter came out in 2012?
Answer: Anderson Cooper

This broadcast journalist, author and talk show host known as the "silver fox", serves as the primary anchor of CNN's Anderson Cooper 360. It wasn't until 2012, when he gave permission to Andrew Sullivan to publish an email regarding his sexual orientation.
    Your options: [ Anderson Cooper ] [ Philippe Cousteau, Jr. ] [ Christiane Amanpour ] [ Patricia Janiot ]
  From Quiz: Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are
3 The very first country to introduce same sex marriage, was, not surprisingly ______ .
Answer: Netherlands

As with many other progressive laws, widening its citizens' rights and liberties, The Netherlands was the first country in the entire world to introduce full same-sex marriage on the 1st of April 2001.
    Your options: [ Netherlands ] [ Denmark ] [ Sweden ] [ USA ]
  From Quiz: Same Sex Marriage: The 15 Pioneers
4 What did 'motsoalle' mean in ancient Lesotho?
Answer: socially sanctioned long term relationships between women

It'd be nice to have this in today's world, but unfortunately this practice, along with many others, died out as the Europeans took control of and divided up Africa - and were followed by missionaries.
  From Quiz: Gay History Throughout the Ages Part I
5 What was the name of the extremely talented cryptanalyst and computer scientist who, after being subjected to chemical castration, is believed to have taken his own life in 1954?
Answer: Alan Turing

Alan Turing, regarded by many as being the "father of computer science", was an English cryptanalyst who was an important figure in Britain's encryption and decryption efforts throughout the Second World War. Unfortunately for Turing, he was prosecuted in 1952 for indecency under a section of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885, an Act which prohibited certain homosexual acts. As a consequence of breaking the law in such a manner, Alan Turing was forced to choose between a prison sentence or to subject himself to a course of hormones that would control his sexual urges. As the latter of the two options granted probation, Turing opted to take a course of oestrogen (stilboestrol). Two years later, in 1954, Alan Turing was found dead and the cause of death registered as suicide by poison.
  From Quiz: Gay History (1950-1990)
6 In 1533, King Henry VIII created the Buggery Act in England, which prescribed what penalty for the said crime?
Answer: Death

Before 1533, cases had mostly been dealt with by the church. King Henry VIII, however, was determined to reduce the power of the church whenever he could. The official penalty was death, with forfeiture of all property to the Crown.
    Your options: [ Death ] [ 10 years' imprisonment ] [ Life imprisonment ] [ 1 year's imprisonment plus a severe whipping ]
  From Quiz: History of Homosexuality Laws
7 Same-sex relationships were common in Ancient Greece. What elite military unit was formed of couples, chosen to fight side-by-side in combat, during the fourth century BCE?
Answer: Sacred Band of Thebes

The Sacred Band of Thebes was organized in 378 BCE by the Theban commander Gorgidas. According to the historian Plutarch, the reasoning was that lovers would be more committed to fighting for each other than would have been the case for strangers. The couples were originally spread out along the front lines to provide inspiration for the rest of the troops.
  From Quiz: Don't Ask
8 What tennis great came out as a lesbian shortly after being granted US citizenship in 1981?
Answer: Martina Navratilova

Born in Prague in 1956, Navratalova was one of the most dominant athletes of any era. She holds open-era records for singles titles (167), doubles titles (177), grand slam singles titles (18), grand slam doubles titles (31), grand slam mixed doubles titles (10), and the longest match win streak in women's tennis history (74). She defected to the United States in 1975 after losing in the semifinals of the U.S. Open to Chris Evert.
  From Quiz: Queer History and Culture 2.0
9 "He's all man - we made sure of that," said this candidate for the U.S. Presidency when asked whether his son was gay.
Answer: Ronald Reagan

Ronald Reagan made this comment in 1978 while campaigning. His son married prior to the election. Barry Goldwater, a very conservative Republican politician, was a supporter of individual rights for all persons, including gays and lesbians.
    Your options: [ Barry Goldwater ] [ Robert Kennedy ] [ Ronald Reagan ] [ Richard Nixon ]
  From Quiz: 20th Century Gay History: Part II
10 When was the first gay and lesbian march on Washington?
Answer: 1965

There was a march on Washington in 1965 concerning discrimination in federal employment. It was led by Franklin Kameny and the Mattachine Society of Washington.

1979 brought about the largest LBGT march on Washington yet, for the tenth anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall Riots.
  From Quiz: Gay and Lesbian Movement
11 Alexander Wood was a Scottish merchant and magistrate who was at the center of a homosexual scandal in 1810. What nickname was he given, which was based on a derogatory term for homosexual men at the time?
Answer: Molly Wood

Alexander Wood, a merchant and magistrate, was investigating a rape case in 1810. A woman who claimed to have been raped, did not know who her attacker was but did state that she scratched the genitals of her attacker. Wood inspected the genitals of a number of suspects in order to try and find the attacker. It was suggested that the rape did not happen, the victim did not exist, and that Wood had made the whole thing up in order to satisfy his homosexual urges. There was no evidence that Wood acted inappropriately; however, he was ridiculed and given the nickname "Molly Wood." At the time, "Molly" was a derogatory term for homosexual men.

Years later, Wood purchased land that was given the nickname "Molly Wood's Bush" and this area is now part of Toronto's gay village. In 2005, the business association for the area erected a statue of Alexander Wood and a beer was named for him. A play based on Wood's life was launched in 1994 called "Molly Wood".
    Your options: [ Sally Wood ] [ Holly Wood ] [ Molly Wood ] [ Betty Wood ]
  From Quiz: LGBT History in Canada
12 Alan L. Hart was an early transgender man. A scientist himself who made breakthroughs in X-ray technology and understanding of tuberculosis, he lived a long and healthy life from 1890 to 1962. What surgery did he receive in the 1910s?
Answer: Hysterectomy

A hysterectomy is the removal of the womb. The other surgeries received would generally be performed on transgender women (or other women who would benefit from them). Hart had a strong internal desire for a male gender expression from early childhood, and was accepted as a man by most of his family and wrote under male names during school and college, though he was forced to present as a girl there. He was one of the earliest high-profile transgender men in America.
  From Quiz: Transgender History
13 This Canadian beauty is well known for her interesting and quirky roles. She came out in 2014.
Answer: Ellen Page

Ellen Page (now Elliot Page) came out at the LGTB youth conference "Time to Thrive" in 2014 saying, "I'm tired of hiding. I'm tired of lying by omission". She is one of rising celebs in Hollywood. Page is also known for being a tough defender of human rights (like in the case of the dictatorship in Burma), a Buddhist and a convinced vegan.
    Your options: [ Ellen Page ] [ Celine Dion ] [ Alanis Morissette ] [ Avril Lavigne ]
  From Quiz: Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are
14 Which oasis in early modern Egypt was a hotspot of homosexuality in Egypt?
Answer: Siwa Oasis

The Siwa Oasis has always been especially known for its unusual level of historical acceptance towards homosexuality. Overall, homosexuality generally seems to have been accepted in Egypt, and there are speculations about several kings and gods being gay.
    Your options: [ Baharia Oasis ] [ Siwa Oasis ] [ Dakhla Oasis ] [ Kharga Oasis ]
  From Quiz: Gay History Throughout the Ages Part I
15 In 1957, the 'Report of the Departmental Committee on Homosexual Offences and Prostitution' was released for all to read. By what name was this report better known?
Answer: Wolfenden Report

The 'Report of the Departmental Committee on Homosexual Offences and Prostitution' was a document prepared by a committee chaired by Lord Wolfenden. It is a rather common occurrence for reports with long-winded titles to be referred to by a shorter, catchier name and in this case the everyday title became the 'Wolfenden Report'. In the context of its time the conclusions drawn by the committee were radical, even going so far as to suggest that "homosexual behaviour between consenting adults in private should no longer be a criminal offence".
  From Quiz: Gay History (1950-1990)
16 Under its new Penal Code of 1791, which European country was the first to decriminalise homosexuality?
Answer: France

This was France's first national Penal Code, adopted during the French Revolution. Its sponsor, Louis-Michel le Peletier, said that it only punished "true crimes, not the artificial offences condemned by superstition". This was incorporated in the the Napoleonic Code, which made a point of avoiding victimless crimes.

In 1794 Prussia reduced the penalty for engaging in homosexual acts from death to a maximum of four years' imprisonment.
    Your options: [ France ] [ The Netherlands ] [ Britain ] [ Prussia ]
  From Quiz: History of Homosexuality Laws
17 How many men were in the elite homosexual group of soldiers formed by Gorgidas in 378 BCE?
Answer: 300

The Sacred Band of Thebes was composed of 150 age-structured couples, with a total of 300 men. The older member of each couple was a charioteer, and the younger was referred to as his companion. According to Plutarch's "Life of Pelopidas", the inspiration for the Band's formation came from Plato's "Symposium".
  From Quiz: Don't Ask
18 On the Kinsey scale, what number represents someone who ONLY has romantic feelings for the same sex?
Answer: 6

A hallmark of Kinsey's thought on sexuality was that sexual preference was not an absolute, and that most people were on a continuum between heterosexuality and homosexuality. As Kinsey put it: "The world is not to be divided into sheep and goats. It is a fundamental of taxonomy that nature rarely deals with discrete categories." His scale placed "absolute" heterosexuality at 0, and "absolute" homosexuality at 6. Kinsey's scale is still widely used today, though it has been supplanted with more nuanced models by more recent gender theorists like Judith Butler.
  From Quiz: Queer History and Culture 2.0
19 What international Drag Queen organization (founded by Absolute Empress José Sarria, the Widow Norton, in 1965) throws lavish costume balls for charity throughout the United States?
Answer: Imperial Court System

One of the largest queer organizations in the United States, the Imperial Court System was founded in 1965 by Jose Sarria, who billed himself as the widow of Joshua Norton, the nineteenth-century San Francisco eccentric who claimed to be Emperor of the United States. Leaders in the Imperial Court System are often bestowed titles of nobility, and chapters of the organization are organized as "empires", though the terms "barony" and "ducal court" are used in special situations. The largest events of each chapter are the annual "coronations" of the year's new monarch(s). Causes that the various imperial courts have contributed to include AIDS causes, centers for domestic abuse victims, and homeless shelters. Amounts raised are substantial; the Imperial Court de San Diego claims over $25 million in donations over its lifetime.
  From Quiz: Queer History and Culture 1.0
20 Dr. Tom Waddell, a member of the 1968 Olympic team, started the Gay Games, which is an international sporting event held every four years. Originally, it was to be called The Gay Olympics, but the name was changed for which reason?
Answer: The United States Olympic Committee requested a federal injunction against using the name "Olympic" for this group.

One wonders why the USOC never brought up the use of the term when it came to the Dog Olympics, Police Olympics, Nude Olympics, Special Olympics, or other groups using the name.
    Your options: [ The United States Olympic Committee requested a federal injunction against using the name "Olympic" for this group. ] [ To avoid confusion with the Special Olympics. ] [ The gay flag contains 6 colors and there are only 5 Olympic rings. ] [ "The Gay Games" had a better ring to it. ]
  From Quiz: 20th Century Gay History: Part I
21 In what year did the American Psychological Association remove homosexuality from its list of mental disorders?
Answer: 1973

The American Psychological Association in 1973 said that 'homosexuality per se implies no impairment in judgement, stability, reliability, or general social and vocational capabilities.'
  From Quiz: Gay and Lesbian Movement
22 What derogatory name was given to the machine used in the 1950s and 1960s by the RCMP and other organizations to try and identify gay men?
Answer: Fruit machine

Frank Robert Wake is responsible for the development of a machine used to try and identify gay men. This homosexuality test was named after the term "fruit", derogatorily used to refer to gay men. In the 1950s and 1960s, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the military and the civil service all used the machine to try and identify and then fire gay men. The machine was similar to a dentist chair. An individual would sit in it and then look into a camera that would display all kinds of images, ranging in explicitness. The response to the pictures would be monitored, with the assumption being that pupil dilation would indicate homosexuality. The machine was marketed as measuring stress, which enabled the various organizations to use it. Once it was known what it was used for, people stopped signing up to participate in the test.

The idea was to try and fire all gay men from the various organizations that used the device and a substantial number of people were indeed fired. By the time the test was no longer used, the RCMP had files on nine thousand people. A 2018 documentary called "The Fruit Machine" was made about the impact on people who were affected by the test.
  From Quiz: LGBT History in Canada
23 This very famous celebrity came out in 2006. He played many famous roles but the most notorious one was in "How I Met Your Mother".
Answer: Neil Patrick Harris

Harris confirmed that he is gay in November 2006 by saying, "I am happy to dispel any rumors or misconceptions and am quite proud to say that I am a very content gay man living my life to the fullest and feel most fortunate to be working with wonderful people in the business I love.
    Your options: [ Neil Patrick Harris ] [ Jason Segel ] [ Josh Radnor ] [ Cobie Smulders ]
  From Quiz: Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are
24 "Pioneer" number three gave a surprise to the whole world since it was widely perceived as a very traditionally conservative and Catholic country.
Answer: Spain

On the 3rd of July 2005, the Spanish "Cortes" (Parliament) said "si" to equal marriage rights for everyone almost exactly two years after Belgium.
    Your options: [ Spain ] [ France ] [ Italy ] [ Brazil ]
  From Quiz: Same Sex Marriage: The 15 Pioneers
25 LGBT individuals often became members of this profession in Native American tribes. They were revered and often thought to be more powerful than others of the same profession. Which job did these individuals often assume?
Answer: shamans

They were usually recognized early in life, and if the parents and the child consented they were raised to learn to become shamans. They were called 'Two-Spirit' individuals.
    Your options: [ chiefs ] [ shamans ] [ warriors ] [ healers ]
  From Quiz: Gay History Throughout the Ages Part I
26 In what year was the death penalty for sodomy abolished in Britain?
Answer: 1861

Under an amendment to the Offences Against the Person Act (1861), the penalty was reduced to life imprisonment.
  From Quiz: History of Homosexuality Laws
27 Which general was responsible for the decision, in the 4th century BCE, to establish a single gay fighting unit, rather than having gay couples spread throughout the army to act as an inspiration along the battle front?
Answer: Pelopidas

When Pelopidas assumed command of the Sacred Band of Thebes, he determined that they would fight as a unit, rather than being dispersed, and that remained the practice for the duration of their existence. This coincided with the period of Theban supremacy in Greece, and the Band received much credit for the military successes of the time.
    Your options: [ Plato ] [ Socrates ] [ Pelopidas ] [ Aristotle ]
  From Quiz: Don't Ask
28 What day is the US-originated (but internationally observed) National Coming Out Day?
Answer: October 11

National Coming Out Day dates to 1988, and commemorates the previous year's Second National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. It is celebrated by wearing pride symbols (including pink triangles, rainbow flags, and lambda signs) and generally presenting a positive LGBT presence. Perhaps the best known symbol of the day is a portrait done by Keith Haring.
  From Quiz: Queer History and Culture 2.0
29 What gay African-American author's works include "The Fire Next Time" and "Sonny's Blues"?
Answer: James Baldwin

Though Baldwin was better known for his place in the intelligentsia of the Civil Rights movement, he was never lax in asserting his place in the discourse of gender and sexuality. In his own words: "Love does not begin and end the way we seem to think it does. Love is battle, love is a war; love is growing up."
  From Quiz: Queer History and Culture 1.0
30 What was the first state to outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation?
Answer: Wisconsin

Wisconsin outlawed this kind of discrimination in 1982. Since then, the following states had joined Wisconsin as of March 2002: California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
  From Quiz: Gay and Lesbian Movement
31 In 2014, this Canadian city hosted the WorldPride event, marking the first time a North American city held the event. What lucky city was that?
Answer: Toronto

WorldPride was a massive event in Toronto. Opening festivities took place at Nathan Phillips Square and included performances by Melissa Etheridge and Deborah Cox. There was an international human rights conference and a variety of other events throughout the celebration that took place from June 20 to June 29, 2014. There were three marches that took place; there was a Trans march, a Dyke march and the Pride parade. Almost three hundred floats took place in the Pride parade and approximately twelve thousand participants registered to be a part of the parade. There were so many floats and participants that the parade took more than five hours, making it one of the longest parades in Toronto's history. There were numerous free concerts that took place in Toronto's gay village and a closing ceremony that included entertainment from Tegan and Sara, Robin S and CeCe Peniston.
  From Quiz: LGBT History in Canada
32 The subject of the movie "The Danish Girl" was a transgender woman and a patient of Magnus Hirschfeld. Her surgeries led to her death in 1931. What was her name?
Answer: Lili Elbe

Lili Elbe was a painter who got her name and female sex legally recognized during her lifetime. It was a uterus transplant that killed her at the age of 48 as, like many surgeries at the time, the process was highly risky.

Chelsea Manning is an American whistleblower. Caitlyn Jenner is a high-profile Kardashian family member and Olympian. Lana Wachowski is one of the two transgender women sisters who directed "The Matrix", along with Lilly Wachowski.
  From Quiz: Transgender History
33 This woman was the first openly gay celeb to open the Oscar ceremony (in 2007). A pioneer in "coming out", who is she?
Answer: Ellen DeGeneres

DeGeneres was born in 1958 in Louisiana. She has hosted the Academy Awards, Grammy Awards, and the Primetime Emmys. She has authored three books, and started her own record company, Eleveneleven. She has won 13 Emmys, 14 People's Choice Awards, and numerous other awards for her work and charitable efforts. She came out publicly as lesbian in an appearance on "The Oprah Winfrey Show".
  From Quiz: Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are
34 Even though some regions of this country had legalized same sex marriage before, the parliament decided to extend the rights nationwide on 20th July 2005.
Answer: Canada

The province of Québec was the first to offer to gays and lesbians equal treatment regarding marriage laws in March 2004. Other provinces follwed it afterwards like British Columbia, Saskatchewan, etc...The Parliament in Ottawa, after a voting in July 2005 decided to extend these rights federally to the whole of Canadian territory. Canada was then, the first country in the Americas respecting equal rights on this matter.
    Your options: [ Canada ] [ Brazil ] [ USA ] [ Australia ]
  From Quiz: Same Sex Marriage: The 15 Pioneers
35 Which culture was particularly open and accepting towards homosexuality, believing it brought good fortune and blessings? They even had kings who were gay (does Hammurabi ring a bell?).
Answer: Assyrian

In some religious texts, there were even blessings for homosexual relationships! There were cults of both homosexual and transgender individuals along with homosexuality being an integral part of their worship in many areas.
    Your options: [ Phoenician ] [ Assyrian ] [ Turkish ] [ Iranian ]
  From Quiz: Gay History Throughout the Ages Part I
36 In 1895, the famous author Oscar Wilde was convicted under a UK law outlawing Gross Indecency, taken to mean all sexual acts between males, which had been enacted 10 years earlier. What was his penalty?
Answer: 2 years imprisonment with hard labour

Oscar Wilde was convicted under a law which was later dubbed "the Blackmailer's Charter". The conviction arose from an unsuccessful private prosecution for defamation that he launched against the Marquess of Queensberry, who had described Wilde as a 'posing sodomite'.
    Your options: [ 2 years imprisonment with hard labour ] [ 1 year imprisonment with hard labour ] [ A fine ] [ 5 years imprisonment with hard labour ]
  From Quiz: History of Homosexuality Laws
37 In 375 BCE, a battle was waged in which an elite gay army unit decisively defeated a force estimated to outnumber them by a factor of more than 3 to 1. Where did this battle take place?
Answer: Tegyra

Pelopidas led the Sacred Band of Thebes and a small cavalry force to try and capture the city of Locris, which was temporarily undefended, but the Spartans returned in force before he arrived. Battle was waged near Tegyra. The Theban forces included about 300 foot-soldiers (hoplites), while the Spartans had between 1,000 and 1,800. The battle had little military significance, but was psychologically important, representing as it did the first time that Thebes had defeated Sparta in a direct battle, and the first time that Sparta had been defeated by a smaller army.
    Your options: [ Thebes ] [ Athens ] [ Tegyra ] [ Sparta ]
  From Quiz: Don't Ask
38 What composer of musicals "West Side Story" and "On the Town" achieved perhaps his greatest fame as one of the outstanding conductors in American history?
Answer: Leonard Bernstein

Bernstein was understood by most of his friends to have been a gay man who married Chilean actress Felicia Montealegre Cohn to enhance his chances for prime conductor positions by appearing "straight". However, Bernstein did have three children with Felicia, and the couple was outwardly happy. Much later, after years of living the life of an "out" gay man, Bernstein returned to Felicia to care for her during her ultimately fatal bout with lung cancer.
  From Quiz: Queer History and Culture 2.0
39 In 1998, rock singer Rob Halford came out as a gay man to MTV. For what band was Halford the frontman?
Answer: Judas Priest

Halford's orientation had been an open secret in the rock world for several years preceding this interview, and he had not been a regular bandmember since 1991. In 2003, however, Halford rejoined the group for a well-received tour of Europe and a leading spot in 2004's Ozzfest. In 2005, the reconstituted ensemble released the album "Angel of Retribution" to critical acclaim and commercial success.
  From Quiz: Queer History and Culture 1.0
40 What popular symbol of gay pride originated in Nazi concentration camps?
Answer: Pink Triangle

Men convicted under the German law known as paragraph 175, which criminalized homosexual relations (including kissing and embracing), were sent to Nazi concentration camps. The Pink Triangle, now one of the most widely recognized symbols of the gay community, originated in these camps, where tens of thousands of gay men imprisoned during the Holocaust were forced to wear the triangle so they could be easily identified. In addition, some men thought to be gay were also sent to concentration camps, regardless of whether or not they'd even been charged under paragraph 175 ...
  From Quiz: Gay and Lesbian Movement
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