"Dharmapala from Sri Lanka and Soyen Shaku, a Zen master from Japan, attended the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago. Their inspiring speeches on Buddhism impressed their audience and helped to establish a foothold for the Theravada and Zen Buddhist Traditions in America. During this period, the Theosophical Society, which teaches the unity of all religions, also helped to spread some elements of Buddhist teachingsin America." 9
By the early 20th century, most Therevada scriptures and many Mahayana texts had been translated into English, French and German.
Refugees from Tibet brought Vajrayana Buddhism to America. More recently, immigrants from Vietnam, Thailand, etc. also brought their beliefs and practices with them. Today, Theravada, Pure Land, Ch'an (aka Zen), Vajrayana and Nichiren Shoshu traditions of Buddhism are well established in Europe, South America, and English Speaking countries worldwide. Buddhanet continues:
"Today, there exist numerous Buddhist centres spread across Australia, New Zealand, Europe, North and South America. Virtually all the major Buddhist traditions are represented and continue to attract the interest of Westerners in all walks of life."
As noted above, Buddhist in the West are generally accepting of GLBTs. This follows naturally from the influence that culture has on all religions. Western culture has tended to emphasize human rights, social equality, tolerance, compassion, personal freedom, and the recognition that each person has to find their own answers. Buddhists here have been heavily influenced by the gay liberation movement which was triggered by a police riot in New York City during 1969-JUN.
James Shaheen comments:
"Western dharma communities are known for their tolerance, and the Dalai Lama himself has openly gay students. It's rare to hear of anyone being drummed out of a Western Buddhist community for being gay, and in most Buddhist traditions practiced in the West -- including the Tibetan communities -- sexuality is rarely if ever an issue."
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