Female impersonation need say nothing about sexual identity, but it has for a long time been almost an institutionalized aspect of gay male culture.
Although sparse in images documenting the gay community, pre-Stonewall gay male photography blurs the boundaries between art, erotica, and social history.
Given the historic stigma around making, circulating, and possessing overtly homoerotic images, the visual arts have been especially important for providing a socially sanctioned arena for depicting the naked male body and suggesting homoerotic desire.
Independent films that aggressively assert homosexual identity and queer culture, the New Queer Cinema can be seen as the culmination of several developments in American cinema.
Renowned photographer, teacher, critic, editor, and curator, Minor White created some of the most interesting photographs of male nudes of the second half of the twentieth century, but did not exhibit them for fear of scandal.
The first international fashion superstar, Halston dressed and befriended some of America's most glamorous women.
An artistic movement that grew out of Dadaism and flourished in Europe shortly after World War I, Surrealism embraced the idea that art was an expression of the subconscious.
Film, stage, and television actor Paul Winfield was openly gay in his private life, but maintained public silence about his homosexuality.
On April 23, 2012, Attorney General Eric Holder addressed the annual Lavender Law Conference and urged the glbtq lawyers attending the conference to "use the power of the law, as well as your own gifts and knowledge, to help build a more fair, more equal, and more just society. And you have not only the power, but--I believe--the solemn responsibility, to do precisely that: to safeguard the rights and freedoms of everyone in this country, and to carry on the critical but unfinished work that lies ahead."
As Chris Johnson reports in the Washington Blade, the Attorney General addressed an audience of more than 1,000 as he gave the three-day conference's keynote speech. Holder enumerated the accomplishments of the Obama administration on glbtq issues, including the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," the refusal to defend DOMA in court, and initiatives to investigate school bullying.
In addition, Holder said the Justice Department continues to "fight for" passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and an updated Violence Against Women Act with glbtq protections.
He cited a Connecticut district court's recent ruling against Section 3 of DOMA as part of the fallout of the Justice Department's decision to no longer defend the anti-gay law. "Since then," he said, "we've seen an encouraging--and increasing--number of courts hold this provision to be unconstitutional, including a federal district court in Connecticut that found that Section 3 fails to survive heightened constitutional scrutiny just last month."
Holder told the attorneys that the quest for equal rights will not be easy, but added, "as I look around this room, I can't help but feel optimistic about where your efforts will lead us--and how far our collective commitment will take us--in the months and years ahead."
The audience gave the Attorney General a standing ovation both upon his entrance to the stage and his exit.
The address was broadcast by C-Span and may be viewed below.