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How Has Journalistic Language Changed Over Time in Talking about Homosexuality?

Timeline Event: 1892, "The word `lesbian' is first used in a newspaper article in the New York Times and the article is entitled `Lesbian Love and Murder'."

Timeline Event: 1924, "The New York Times first uses the word `homosexual'. It is in a review of the book The Doctor Looks at Love and Life, by Dr. Joseph Collins, which included a substantial chapter on homosexuality."

Timeline Event: 1948,"Life magazine publishes an article entitled `Test By Portraits: Pictures of pathological Types Help Diagnosis of Mental Illness'. Of course, two of the sixteen photographs are that of `homosexuals'."

Timeline Event: 1950s, "The New York Times routinely uses the word `perverts' to describe homosexuals."

Timeline Event: 1955, "People Today, a national magazine, provides sympathetic coverage of a gay organization. This was the first instance of positive reporting about gay issues by a mainstream news source."

Timeline Event: 1963, "The New York Times publishes a large feature entitled `Growth of Overt Homosexuality Provokes Wide Concern: Condition Can be Prevented or Cured, Many Experts say: Conflicting Points of View Spur Discussion of Inverts.'"

Timeline Event: 1964, "Life magazine publishes an unprecedented look at gay life, entitle `Homosexuality in America'."

Timeline Event: 1969, "The Los Angeles Times is boycotted for refusing to allow the word `homosexual' to appear in any advertising."

Timeline Event: 1977, "Harvey Milk is endorsed by the San Francisco Chronicle, a mainstream paper."

Timeline Event: 1978, "Time magazine publishes a homophobic caricature of `Gay Bob' the world's first gay doll, showing him with false eyelashes, lipstick, rouge and a lim wrist. They later apologized for reinforcing stereotypes."

Timeline Event: 1981, "The first story to bring AIDS (though still unnamed as such) to the general public appears July 3 in The New York Times. It is entitled `Rare Cancer Seen in 41 Homosexuals.'"

Timeline Event: 1984, "The Wall Street Journal begins using the word `gay' as an adjective."

Timeline Event: 1987, "The New York Times begins using the word `gay' as an adjective."

Timeline Event: 1989, "The San Francisco Examiner runs an unprecedented sixteen day report entitled `Gay in America' detailing what it is like `to live as a gay or lesbian person in American 20 years after the Stonewall Riots knocked down the closet doors and forced the nation to confront its most virulently disliked minority'. The Examiner interviewed thousands of people in the Bay Area and across the country to study gay and lesbian Americans, American society and the often uneasy intersection between them."

Timeline Event: 1990, "The San Francisco Examiner runs a long feature in its Style section on gay and lesbian dance clubs, featuring The Box, which it reported `attracts a dance mad collection of blacks, whites, straights, gays, Asians, Hispanics and more'."

Timeline Event: 1992, "Publisher of the New York Times, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr. announces that diversity will be a priority at the paper of record. By the end of the year, The Times has become a leader on reporting gay and lesbian issues, which has significant influence on other media.", "Newsweek runs a cover story entitled `Is This Child Gay? Born or Bred: The Origins of Homosexuality' discussing recent studies on the possible biological origin of homosexuality."

Timeline Event: 1993, "Newsweek and New York Magazine finally discover lesbians, each running a cover story on so-called `lesbian chic'."



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