The Top 18 LGBTQ OMG Facts

Posted Mar 06, by Jose Duarte

To commemorate National Coming Out Day, here are the top facts about LGBTQ topics we've published on OMG Facts

The high-five is one of the most common male rituals in the world. Nothing's more macho than giving a buddy a high five after a manly conquest right? Well, it'll surprise many to learn that the man who is credited with giving the very first high five on record was gay!
Glenn Burke was a second season player for the Dodgers. One time late in the 1977 season, he was on plate in the batting order following Dusty Baker, who had just hit his 30th home run and was coming around to home plate. When Baker was passing past him, Burke lifted his hand, Baker did the same and their hands slapped. This was the very first high five on record!
Burke retired early in 1982 and was the first major league baseball player to openly declare his homosexuality. He is remembered by the gay community as a groundbreaking figure, who was 'athletic, clean cut, masculine. He was everything that we wanted to prove to the world that we could be."

Homosexuality has been observed in several species of animals.

These include: birds, beetles, sheep, fruit bats, dolphins, among others. The bonobo, an African ape closely related to humans, has displayed strong bisexual tendencies, and 75% of its sexual activities are said to be nonreproductive! Some animals even go through a temporary phase of homosexuality. Young male dolphins often find temporary male sexual partners. Scientists believe this sort of behavior helps to establish lifelong bonds of friendship.

The first lesbian couple to be married in NYC were 76 and 85.

Phyllis Siegel and Connie Kopelov have been together for 23 years, and they finally tied the knot on July 24. In addition to finally having their partnership formally recognized by the state of New York, the couple bears the distinction of being the first same-sex couple in New York City to do so.

It's called Fraternal Birth-order effect, or 'older brother effect,' and recent science supports its claim. It is the strongest known biodemographic predictor of sexual orientation, and claims that the more older brothers a man has, the more likely he is to be gay.

Scientists are not exactly sure why it occurs, but they believe it is due to a maternal immune response after giving birth to a son. The mother's body reacts to the foreign H-Y antigens of her son, and creates antibodies to counteract them. These antibodies then remain in the mother's body the next time she gives birth.  Although this theory is not unanimously supported, it is generally accepted, and for sons with older brothers, can increase the likelihood of homosexual tendencies up to 48%! 


EDIT: To clarify, actual probability of a boy being gay or not is still relatively low (there's no consensus, but it's somewhere between 5- 10% of all males). 

The fact deals with probabilities. Say... for example, your sister's kids (I'm assuming it's your sister) had this scenario:

Kid 1: 10% probability to be gay. Hit the 10%, he's gay
Kid 2: 11% probability. Didn't hit the 11%, not gay
Kid 3: 12% probability. Didn't hit the 12%, not gay
Kid 4: 13% probability. Didn't hit the 13%, not gay.

Kid 4 still was "more likely" to be gay than Kid 1, despite the end result of Kid 1 being gay and Kid 4 not being gay

In 1979, people called in sick to work with a case of “being homosexual”!

This happened in Sweden. The event was a protest, because in the country, homosexuality was classified as a sickness at the time. After this happened, there was also a protest outside the National Board of Health and Welfare to try and get them to change this classification. Sweden had been one of the first countries to legalize homosexual acts in 1944, but people wanted them to go further. 

Within a few months of the calling-in incident, Sweden became one of the first countries to de-classify homosexuality as a mental illness.

Another fact about homosexuality in Sweden? It was the first country, in 1972, to allow transgender citizens to legally change their genders with free hormone therapy!


\"\" The first gay couple in recorded history lived in Ancient Egypt in the year 2400 B.C.

Two (male) royal manicurists named Niankhkhnum and Khnumhotep were found buried together in a shared tomb similar to the way married couples were often buried. Along with that are hieroglyphs combining their names together to say “joined in life and joined in death”. Strangely enough, Niankhkhnum actually did have a wife, but in most of the artwork in the tomb she has been replaced with Khnumhotep.

Harry Potter author JK Rowling, admitted that Dumbledore is gay. He was in love with a wizard named Grindelwald whom he later defeated in a duel.

\"I had always seen Dumbledore as gay, but in a sense that's not a big deal. The book wasn't about Dumbledore being gay. It was just that from the outset obviously I knew that he had this big, hidden secret and that he flirted with the idea of exactly what Voldemort goes on to do, he flirted with the idea of racial domination, that he was going to subjugate Muggles. So that was Dumbledore's big secret.

He's an innately good man, what would make him do that? I didn't even think it through that way, it just seemed to come to me, I thought, 'I know why he did it. He fell in love.' And whether they physically consummated this infatuation or not is not the issue. The issue is love. It's not about sex. So that's what I knew about Dumbledore. And it's relevant only in so much as he fell in love and was made an utter fool of by love. He lost his moral compass completely when he fell in love and I think subsequently became very mistrusting of his own judgement in those matters so became quite asexual. He led a celibate and a bookish life.\"
J.K. Rowling, in a March 9, 2008 interview

In Samoa, it is acceptable for a family who has too many sons, to raise the youngest boy as a daughter.

In Samoa, there is a third gender called the Fa'afafine, which literally means "in the manner of a woman." The origin of it used to be that in families with too many boys, the young ones would be recruited to work in the house helping the wife. They would be raised as girls and would even be dressed in women's clothes, even if their gender was well known.

Nowadays, Fa'afafine is considered a third gender, standing with the male and female gender. It's not common for Fa'afafines to have sex with other Fa'afafines and it's also not considered homosexual for males to have sex with Fa'afafines. 

They are known for their hard work and dedication to the family. It is said that while it may be tempted to call Fa'afafines crossdressers or homosexual, there is no cultural equivalent in the English language to describe this particular cultural phenomenon. 

(Sources 1, and 2)

It's incredibly ironic, but prior to his presidency, FDR signed off on a secret Navy unit to seek out homosexuals. In 1919,  Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the assistant secretary of the Navy. While the Navy secretary was in Europe, FDR signed off on an undercover Navy unit to investigate homosexual acts within the military.

It later became known as the Newport Scandal. Newport, Rhode Island’s Naval Base had numerous complaints of sexual solicitation by males around the base. So, FDR’s Navy unit sought to entrap these men. Surprisingly, the unit was ordered to perform oral sex on suspected homosexuals on base, including a clergyman! Once the story broke, FDR claimed memory lapse and never admitted to signing off on the operation.

Surprisingly, this could have completely destroyed FDRs political career. Many people credit his later illness that left him paralyzed as the reason his career did not spiral down. FDR, of course, later went on to become the president of the US.


Hanks' acceptance speech for the 1993 film Philadelphia is infamous for being one of the most poignant and poetic thanks given at the awards ceremony. However, There is a story behind the words dramatic enough to rival the acting.

During the speech, Tom thanks his high school drama teacher, Rawley T. Farnsworth, saying he is one of 'the greatest gay Americans' he knows. So what's the problem? Farnsworth hadn't actually came out of the closet yet.

Despite the failure, this cloud had a silver lining. The story of a teacher being brought out of the closet by a former pupil inspired the film In & Out. You can watch Tom Hank's speech here.


Native American males were expected to become warriors and hunters, but it was also recognized that the stress of being under such burdens often demanded spiritual advice and healing. 

This duty would usually fall upon a homosexual Shaman. In the Native culture, to be gay meant to be "from the outside world," to be "spiritually gifted." However, Homosexual only included men who preferred social and sexual "female roles."

Needless to say, they were highly respected within the community. In fact, straight men could have sex with a homosexual without having his manhood doubted. 

It was actually considered a huge honor to have a Gay lover or "wife," and raised one’s honor in the tribe. In many other ancient cultures, such as the Greek and the Roman, homosexuality was associated with spiritual insight. 


The controversial Section 28 law in the UK was supposed to forbid the promotion of homosexuality in schools, and a chief proponent of the bill was then Home Secretary Michael Howard.

Sir Ian McKellen, the legendary Shakespearean actor known for such prolific roles ranging from Gandalf to King Lear, attempted to convince parliament and Howard to not follow through with what he believed to be a discriminatory law, yet did not succeed. 

After the lobbying was over, Howard approached McKellen who he claims he was a huge fan of, and asked for an autograph. McKellen kindly took the piece of paper handed to him, and with a smile on his face signed, “Fuck off, I’m gay.” 

Although Mckellen failed to succeed in his political campaign, he definitely made a point and the law was later removed in 2003. 



It doesn’t sound impressive at first, but when you recall the state of the gay community in America in the 1950’s, it kind of stands out. 

Back then, videos like this were generally what represented homosexuality in America. In 1955, Esquire rejected a science fiction short story about heterosexuals being the minority against homosexuals. 

Hefner accepted the piece and had it published in his relatively new magazine, Playboy. Letters poured in, outraged at the story’s publication. Hefner responded with “If it was wrong to persecute heterosexuals in a homosexual society, then the reverse was wrong too.” To this day, Hefner is a big advocate of gay rights and gay marriage. 



A 266 lb amateur rugby player was trying to impress his teammates at practice by doing a backflip. His try ended in tragedy: he fell on his neck and suffered a stroke. While he recovered without any major physical damage, his brain seems to have gone through an amazing transformation: he woke up gay.

Chris Birch says that, even though he was planning on settling down with his girlfriend, he was no longer attracted to women when he woke up. He said 'I had never been attracted to a man before - I'd never even had any gay friends. But I didn't care who I was before, I had to be true to my feelings.'

He found himself no longer interested in rugby and that he had little in common with his old friends. He now works as a hairdresser and lives with his boyfriend. His neurologist explained to him that strokes have a way of changing people's personalities. Some people wake up with different accents, or become artists. The brain makes new neural connections that can trigger things people weren't aware of. 


One of the Bond Girls, Caroline Cossey, was actually born as Barry Kenneth Cossey. She is now an English model and perhaps most popular for being the first transsexual person to pose for Playboy. 

Courtney fought for her right to be legally considered a woman, and triumphed. She began her hormone therapy at 17, and a few years later, had a full sex reassignment surgery. Barry was somewhat feminine growing up, because he had a condition called Klinefelter's syndrome. 

People with Klinefelter's usually have two X chromosomes and one Y chromosome. In Cossey's case, he had three X chromosomes instead. He never got along with boys and his closest companion was his sister.

Courtney was cast as an extra in the James Bond film "For Your Eyes Only." The tabloid News of the World responded by doing what they had threatened to for years; revealing that she was transsexual. 

This brought her modeling and acting career to a halt until she decided to fight the assault. In 1982, Cossey retaliated with her first auto-biography; I Am a Woman. 


They had to serve out their sentence! Through a series of changes in law, 5,000-15,000 homosexuals were shipped to concentration camps and identified by pink triangles during WWII. At the time, the persecution of homosexuals wasn’t well known.

When the concentration camps were liberated, many of the homosexual prisoners were sent to serve out their sentence under Paragraph 175. In 1950, East Germany abolished the law, but West Germany enforced and confirmed it. It wasn’t until 1969 that some changes began to take place giving homosexuals more equal rights in West Germany.


It's the second most popular gay pride symbol, after the rainbow flag. While it's meant to show pride and as a fight for gay rights, it has a very bloody origin. The triangle, used upside down, was used in Nazi concentration camps as a badge to identify male prisoners that were sent there because they were homosexual. 

While it was originally intended as a badge of shame, the gay rights movement reclaimed it, inverted its direction and made it become one of the biggest symbols of the movement!

Read more on it here 

There are 32 countries in which it is legal to be a lesbian but illegal to be a gay man!

The list includes: Bangladesh, Belize, Brunei, Ghana, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Kenya, Kiribati, Kuwait, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palau, Papua New Guinea, St. Kitts and Nevis, Samoa, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Swaziland, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uzbekistan, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Homosexual acts are banned completely in an additional 44 countries, and are even punishable by DEATH in Iran, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Yemen, and in some parts of Nigeria and Somalia!

Check out this ILGA Report on laws that ban same-sex relations.

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