Sexuality

#FreeBritney activists protest at Los Angeles Grand Park during a conservatorship hearing for Britney Spears on June 23, 2021 in Los Angeles.

Britney Spears and the Age-Old History of Men Policing Women's Trauma

The singer's conservatorship, on trial this month, recalls the history of hysterectomies, insane asylums, forced contraception, among others

Queer artist Gilbert Baker preserved this 10- by 28-foot section of an original 1978 pride flag.

LGBTQ+ Pride

Long-Lost Fragment of First Rainbow Pride Flag Resurfaces After Four Decades

The brilliantly colored banner—now on view in San Francisco—flew on "Gay Freedom Day" in 1978

This month's book picks include The Engagement, How the Word Is Passed and Drunk.

Books of the Month

The Fight to Legalize Gay Marriage, the Woman Who Couldn't Be Silenced and Other New Books to Read

These June releases elevate overlooked stories and offer insights on oft-discussed topics

An undated view of the Seven Hills of Bonn by Josephine Butler, who campaigned for sex workers' rights and pushed Parliament to raise the age of consent

Pioneering Victorian Suffragist's Unseen Watercolor Paintings Are Up for Sale

Seven landscape scenes by 19th-century British social reformer Josephine Butler are headed to the auction block

A statue of Charles Darwin sits in the Natural History Museum in London. The scientist's book 'Descent of Man' was published in 1871.

How Darwin's 'Descent of Man' Holds Up 150 Years After Publication

Questions still swirl around the author’s theories about sexual selection and the evolution of minds and morals

This photo, like some others in the collection, was taken in a photo booth, eliminating the need for a photographer.

Newly Published Portraits Document a Century of Gay Men's Relationships

"Loving" features around 300 photos that offer an intimate look at men's love between the 1850s and 1950s

This Andy Warhol print of Haring (left) and his lover Juan DuBose is expected to fetch around $250,000.

Keith Haring's Personal Art Collection Is Up for Auction

Sotheby's sale features works by Warhol, Basquiat, Lichtenstein and other members of the graffiti artist's circle

“Wise and Valiant: Women and Writing in the Golden Age of Spain” spotlights Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (left) and Catalina de Erauso (right), among others.

Remembering the Forgotten Women Writers of 17th-Century Spain

A show in Madrid highlights female authors who penned histories, biographies, poetry, novels, scripts and more

LGBTQ+ Pride

LGBTQ+ Pride at the Smithsonian

Read our newest stories about LGBTQ+ arts, culture and history, as well as a list of events around the Smithsonian related to Pride

Mapping the Gay Guides’ main function is preserving and publicizing an overlooked, under-studied chapter in LGBTQ history.

This Interactive Map Visualizes the Queer Geography of 20th-Century America

Mapping the Gay Guides visualizes local queer spaces' evolution between 1965 and 1980

Archaeologist Kate Kolwicz examines fragments of late 19th-century Chinese pottery unearthed in downtown Missoula.

Remnants of a 19th-Century Red-Light District and Chinatown Unearthed in Montana

A trove of artifacts reveals the town of Missoula's remarkable and diverse past

By the time of his arrest in 1953, Rustin was profoundly committed to non-violent resistance.

Gay Civil Rights Leader Bayard Rustin Posthumously Pardoned in California

The openly gay Rustin was convicted during the 1950s under laws targeting LGBTQ individuals

John Addington Symonds, whose 1873 essay "A Problem in Greek Ethics" helped lay the foundation for the modern gay rights movement

Cool Finds

Researchers Recover an Early Copy of a 19th-Century Gay Rights Essay

This once-lost copy of "A Problem in Greek Ethics" is only the sixth of its kind

Sandro Botticelli's "Birth of Venus" finds its subject striking a contrapposto pose

New Research

Why Viewers Are Drawn to Renaissance Artists' Go-To Pose

A new study finds that the contrapposto stance reduces the waist-to-hip ratio, an attribute popularly associated with attractiveness

Ping incubates the egg as Skipper keeps guard.

Two Male Penguins in Berlin Join Long Line of Same-Sex Pairs to Adopt an Egg

Skipper and Ping have happily nurtured everything from rocks to fish before zookeepers let them incubate an egg

Alan Turing Will Be the New Face of Britain’s £50 Note

Persecuted at the end of his life, the British mathematician and code-breaker is now widely admired as a father of computer science

From left to right: Sylvia Rivera, Marsha P. Johnson, Jane Vercaine, Barbara Deming, Kady Vandeurs, Carol Grosberg and others lead a protest at City Hall

Women Who Shaped History

New York City Monument Will Honor Transgender Activists Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera

The two women were instrumental in the 1969 Stonewall Uprising and spent their lives advocating for marginalized groups

New Research

Bonobo Mothers Interfere in Their Sons' Monkey Business

They find suitable mates for their offspring and chase away intruders once the mating begins, boosting fertility rates

Carolee Schneemann, "Eye Body #11," 1963

Carolee Schneemann Pioneered the Way Women's Bodies Were Seen

The multidisciplinary artist, who died this month at 79, used her body as a canvas to produce works that celebrated female sexuality

Blair Hall, a dormitory at Princeton University that was built in 1897 and continues to house students today

The Evolution of the College Dorm Chronicles How Colleges Became Less White and Male

What the architecture and history of student housing tell us about higher education