History of LGBTQ Terms (USA)

From LGBTQIA+ Archives

This page follows the evolution of queer language (English) in the United States as used by general society and queer society, both casual terms and derogatory terms.

Related Pages

19th Century

  • Intermediate Sex
  • Third Sex
  • Urning/Uranian

20th Century

  • Gay
  • Bisexual
  • Lesbian
  • Transgender
  • Transsexual


Usage of "Intermediate Sex"

  • Library of Congress, Evening Star and Newark Advertiser (1907), "The New Books" on "Sex Equality" by Dr. Emmet Densmore.

Usage of "Homosexual/Homosexuality"

  • Library of Congress, first record using term "homosexual" in a piece titled "Cause and Cure of Anarchy" (1898) in the Omaha Daily Bee. The piece describes Luigi Lucheni, an Italian anarchist who assassinated Empress Elisabeth of Austria the same year, stating "he was like Caserio... in temperament a homo-sexual". Caserio may be referring to Italian anarchist Sante Geronimo Caserio, who assassinated President of France, Marie François Sadi Carnot in 1894. The article is largely an attempt at psychoanalyzing people with anarchist leanings but has no real scientific or medical basis.
  • Library of Congress, next record using term "homosexuality" in a piece by Voice of the People titled "How the Southern Pacific Scabs were Herded" (1913). The piece describes homosexuality and prostitution as forms of degeneracy which are allegedly popular topics being discussed by scabs waiting for work. The article is written from the perspective of a union worker reporting to a Louisiana socialist newspaper.