Since ancient times, the phenomenon of homosexuality took place in a person’s life, but at the same time, it did not play any role with regard to procreation. Ancient Egypt, Ancient Rome, Ancient Greece and a number of other large and advanced civilizations of the past, had in their culture recognized and undeniable unisexual relationships, but these relationships were based on primitive and decentralized religion.
Later, with the advent of large centralized religions (Christianity, Islam), which occupied a dominant role in a religious consciousness of the vast majority of people, same-sex relationships were on the backburner and no longer manifested as an element of mass culture of the people.
In varying degrees, homosexuality continued to exist in a fairly latent form until the late 20th century. In the 20th century, a new discovery of homosexuality happened; it was contributed by the redivision of the world, large-scale military upheavals, and changing outlook of the vast majority of the population of developed countries.
The beginning of the 20th century is the time of appearance of so-called Gay Theater, which is defined as being by, for, and about gay people. In 1964, despite a social atmosphere of homophobia that dominated in the American life, two one-act plays were presented at Off-Off-Broadway at the Caffe Cino. The plays showed a revolutionary view on how gay characters could be represented in the theater. The plays were The Madness of Lady Bright by Lanford Wilson and The Haunted Host by Robert Patrick.
These plays marked an important cultural turning point, considering the outspoken censorship that gay playwrights faced in the former decades. In the late 1920s, Mae West staged a play The Drag, where sympathetic treatment of homosexuals was shown. However, the play received a scandalous reception and was censored, while West was arrested.
Then, the City Hall adopted a bill, prohibiting homosexual subject on the Broadway stage. A few years later, the Hays Code of 1934 prohibited images of homosexuality on the Hollywood screen. The censorship of gay themes in theater and film considered the norm in the U.S. from the 1930s until the 1960s. During this time, only a few playwrights (Lillian Hellman, Robert Anderson, and Tennessee Williams) didn’t follow the rules and wrote plays featuring homosexual scenes. One-act plays by Wilson and Patrick were unique because they both showed gay characters being not only open, but strongly provocative.
Since ancient times, the phenomenon of homosexuality took place in a person’s life, but at the same time, it did not play any role with regard to procreation.