Coming out Coming out of the closet is a phrase referring to one's disclosure of their sexual orientation or gender identity, and is described and experienced variously as a psychological process or journey. In Ancient Rome the young male body remained a focus of male sexual attention, but relationships were between older free men and slaves or freed youths who took the receptive role in sex. At this age, they may not trust or ask for help from others, especially when their orientation is not accepted in society. Diamond concluded that "although sexual attractions appear fairly stable, sexual identities and behaviors are more fluid. Middle East Further information:
Plato praised its benefits in his early writings  but in his late works proposed its prohibition. The instances of same-sex affection and sexual interactions described in the classical novel Dream of the Red Chamber seem as familiar to observers in the present as do equivalent stories of romances between heterosexual people during the same period. Two-Spirit individuals were commonly shamans and were revered as having powers beyond those of ordinary shamans. It uses a scale from 0, meaning exclusively heterosexual , to 6, meaning exclusively homosexual. The edition of John Cleland 's popular novel Fanny Hill includes a homosexual scene, but this was removed in its edition. Krafft-Ebing's book was so popular among both laymen and doctors that the terms "heterosexual" and "homosexual" became the most widely accepted terms for sexual orientation. Homosexuality in China , known as the passions of the cut peach and various other euphemisms, has been recorded since approximately BCE. George Catlin — ; Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC Among indigenous peoples of the Americas prior to European colonization, a common form of same-sex sexuality centered around the figure of the Two-Spirit individual. Some scholars argue that there are examples of homosexual love in ancient literature, like in the Mesopotamian Epic of Gilgamesh as well as in the Biblical story of David and Jonathan. Little is known of female homosexuality in antiquity. This perspective is incomplete because sexual orientation is always defined in relational terms and necessarily involves relationships with other individuals. Also in , the earliest extended and serious defense of homosexuality in English, Ancient and Modern Pederasty Investigated and Exemplified, written by Thomas Cannon , was published, but was suppressed almost immediately. In the early Safavid dynasty — , male houses of prostitution amrad khane were legally recognized and paid taxes. Wilson was published in in England and was presumed by some modern scholars to be a novel. Sexual orientation identity and Sexual fluidity Often, sexual orientation and sexual orientation identity are not distinguished, which can impact accurately assessing sexual identity and whether or not sexual orientation is able to change; sexual orientation identity can change throughout an individual's life, and may or may not align with biological sex, sexual behavior or actual sexual orientation. Two of these travelers, Rifa'ah al-Tahtawi and Muhammad as-Saffar, show their surprise that the French sometimes deliberately mistranslated love poetry about a young boy, instead referring to a young female, to maintain their social norms and morals. Sometimes their own families are not even informed. The Hellenophile emperor Hadrian is renowned for his relationship with Antinous , but the Christian emperor Theodosius I decreed a law on 6 August , condemning passive males to be burned at the stake. Same-sex marriage in the United States expanded from one state in to all fifty states in , through various state court rulings, state legislation, direct popular votes referenda and initiatives , and federal court rulings. There is also a word referring to same-sex love, homophilia. In Ancient Rome the young male body remained a focus of male sexual attention, but relationships were between older free men and slaves or freed youths who took the receptive role in sex. The researchers suggested that heterosexuality may be a more stable identity because of its normative status. Homosexuality in ancient Peru Dance to the Berdache Sac and Fox Nation ceremonial dance to celebrate the two-spirit person. For information specific to female homosexuality, see Lesbian. The debate divides those who believe that terms such as "gay" and "straight" refer to objective, culturally invariant properties of persons from those who believe that the experiences they name are artifacts of unique cultural and social processes. Middle East Further information:
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