History dating back to 1773 bbs

There is thus some reason to claim the history of friendship is of special interest to modern LGBs, who preserve with their subcultures a tradition of intense emotional same-sex friendship, both with sexual partners and with others.

Traditional history has sought to understand past and present societies with categories of analysis such as politics, thought, economics, and, at least since Karl Marx, class.

Lesbian history has long been roiled by the issue of "Romantic friendship" - with Lillian Faderman's Surpassing the Love of Men (in which she discusses women's romantic friendships).

Social surveys of modern lesbians and gays in couples show this clearly: the relationships continue to be emotionally central to participants even if sexual activity after a number of years becomes minimal or non-existent.

In the past twenty or so years other categories of analysis, not considered important in the past, have appeared as significant to many historians. To these historians Gender is the cultural meaning given to the rather limited facts of biology.

One aspect of gender analysis consists in looking at how "men" and "women", "masculinity" and "femininity", are understood in a society - and at how such understandings play out in people's lives.

Others argue that there have always been "homosexuals" with some self-awareness, but even they would acknowledge that the large, highly visible and open "gay and lesbian community: of the past few decades is a new development in history.

For those who argue that "gays and lesbians" are a new creation, the only "gay and lesbian history" that can really deserve the name is the history of the modern political and social movement.

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