The Netherlands: The weekly newspaper Pst-Pst contains some of the earliest documented examples of lesbian personal ads.
Germany: Elisar von Kupffer publishes Freundesliebe ("Comrade Love") a groundbreaking anthology of writings about love between men gathered from around the world.
Germany: An article by Richard Von Krafft-Ebing is published in Magnus Hirshfeld's Jahrbuch fur Sexuelle Zwischenstufen refuting the "degeneracy" theory of homosexuality Krafft-Ebing had espoused in his Psychopathia Sexualis. Some homosexuals, Krafft-Ebing writes, can be normal.
Austrian writer Aimee Duc (pseudonym Of Minna Wettstein-Adelt) publishes Sind Es Frauen? ("Are These Women?"), a novel about a group of independent women university students in Geneva, SWitzerland. Sind Es Frauen? is one of the first positive depictions of lesbian love in any language.
England: Edward Carpenter publishes Iolaus: An Anthology of Friendship, the first English-language anthology of writings on same-sex love from "pagan" times to the present.
Berlin: Magnus Hirschfeld oversees the first large-scale survey of sexual preferences. Distributed to 6,611 students and workers, the survey finds that 2.2 percent of male respondents report having had sex with men.
Russia: The penalty for male sodomy, which had been four to five years' exile in Siberia, is reduced to imprisonment for at least three months. Influenced by Magnus Hirschfelds work, Vladimir Nabokov, father of the famous writer, and other political reformers begin a campaign to decriminalize sex between men in Russia.
February 21, 1903
New York City: Police conduct the first recorded raid on a gay bathhouse, the Ariston on West 55th Street, arresting 26 of the 78 men caught in the raid. Twelve of those arrested are brought to trial on sodomy charges, and 7 men receive sentences ranging from 4 to 20 years in prison.
October 8, 1904
In an address to the Scientific Humanitarian Committee in Berlin, women s rights leader AnnaRueling urges feminists to unite with "Uranian" women and men in the fight for social reform, citing concerns and goals common to both movements.
Sigmund Freud writes extensively about homosexuality for the first time in Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality, asserting that homosexuality is a form of arrested or deflected development while rejecting the idea, common in psychology and medical writings at the time, that homosexuality is a symptom of degeneracy.
Russia: Mikhail Kuzmin publishes Wings, the tale of a young man's coming to know and value his attraction to other men.
Russia: bisexual intellectual Lidiya Zinovyeva-Annibal publishes 33 Abominations, the first Russian novel to make explicit lesbianism its theme.
Sholem Asch's drama Got fun Nekoma (The God of Vengeance) premieres in Berlin. The story of a Jewish girl whose father runs a brothel, the play includes two tender lesbian love scenes, among the first on the modern European stage.
New York City: Dr. Otto Spengler, representing Magnus Hirschfelds Scientific Humanitarian Committee, delivers what is probably the first public address on homosexuality in the US.
Edward Prime Stevenson, an American writer who has spent most of his adult life in Europe, publishes The Intersexes: A History of Similisexualism as a Problem in Social Life under a pseudonym in Italy. The book is the first detailed account of gay male subcultures in large American cities.
Germany: A movement to make lesbian sex acts illegal falls short of the necessary support it needs to pass legislation in the Reichstag.
Netherlands: A conservative parliamentary coalition makes same-sex relations illegal between adults and minors under 21. Previously, the age of consent had been the same as for male-female relations, 16 years of age.
Also in the Netherlands, Jacob Schorer founds Holland's Scientific Humanitarian Committee (its Dutch acronym is NWHK). Modeled after Magnus Hirschfelds organization in Germany, the NWHK works to lower the age of consent and to win greater social tolerance for Dutch lesbians and gay men.
February 10, 1911
Germany: The feminist League for the Protection of Mothers condemns Paragraph 175 and voices its rejection of attempts to extend the law to cover women as well as men.
New York City: The women's group Heterodoxy is formed.
May 25, 1913
Colonel Alfred Redl, former chief of Austrian counterintelligence, commits suicide when it becomes known that he has been blackmailed, on account of his homosexuality, into working for the Russians for the past year. Later in the century, the Redl affair will be cited by US senators as evidence of the security risk homosexuals pose.
On a speaking tour across the US, Emma Goldman defends homosexuality along with free love, birth control, and pacifism. Drawn by her outspoken advocacy, men and, especially, women seek her out to talk about the unhappy lives they lead having to hide their homosexuality.
February 4, 1915
Chicago: On a speaking tour, Edith Lees Ellis, openly lesbian wife of Havelock Ellis, exhorts women to begin "organizing a new love world."
In her avant-garde Little Review, Chicago writer and editor Margaret Anderson chides Edith Lees Ellis for the timidity and vagueness of her pro lesbian remarks. Her article is probably the first defense of same-sex love published by an American lesbian.
Alexandria: Constantine Cavafy privately publishes his first manifestly homoerotic poems.
Sydney, Australia: Charles Webster Leadbeater founds the Liberal Catholic Church, the first religious group to minister openly to gay men and lesbians.
Sophia Parnok publishes the first book of Russian poetry to contain poems written in an openly lesbian voice. Many of her love poems are addressed to legendary poet Marina Tsvetaeva, her lover of the past year.
December 21, 1917
Russia: The Bolsheviks abrogate the entire criminal code in favor of "revolutionary justice." Among the laws nullified are those relating to sex acts between men.
Charles Demuth paints Turkish Bath, suggestively depicting men at what is probably the Lafayette Bathhouse. Since 1915, many of Demuth's paintings have been inspired by New York City's emerging gay male subculture.
Germany: Kurt Hiller, a socialist and gay rights activist, is the first to describe lesbians and gay men as a "minority" deserving of the same sort of protection as American President Woodrow Wilson has advocated for European ethnic minorities.
Germany: Anna E. Weirauch publishes the first of three volumes of her novel The Scorpion. Widely translated, it is one of the first widely disseminated books written by a woman to make lesbian lovemaking and relationships its theme. It is also notable for its lack Of butch/femme relationships.
May 24, 1919
Anders als die Andern ("Different from the Others"), the first pro gay film, premieres in Berlin. Magnus Hirschfeld is a producer and makes a cameo appearance. The movie stars Conrad Veidt.
July 1, 1919
Berlin: Magnus Hirschfeld opens the Institute of Sexual Research.