Profiles of LGBT people, from the past and today – and celebrating their birthdays! All Birthdays →

Michel Foucault

Born in Poitiers, France, Michel Foucault became one of the most influential and well-known intellectuals of the second half of the twentieth century. He wrote widely, on such topics as modern psychiatry and the origins of the modern prison. His books include The Birth of the Clinic, Madness and Civilization, and Discipline and Punish. He is perhaps best known for his 3-volume The History of Sexuality, in which he famously wrote about the origins of homosexuality as an identity: “The sodomite had been a temporary aberration; the homosexual was now a species.” Foucault was a supporter of the radical student activism that swept France in 1968. He died from complications related to HIV/AIDS in 1984.  He was survived by his partner of many years, Daniel Defert.