Although few gay actors have been permitted the luxury of openness, many of them have challenged and helped reconfigure notions of masculinity and, to a lesser extent, of homosexuality.
Lesbian actresses have played a significant role in Hollywood, but their contributions have rarely been recognized or spoken of openly; the "lavender marriage" is by no means a relic of the past.
Considering the unique set of problems facing lesbians who want to produce erotic art for the enjoyment of other lesbians, it is remarkable that so much lesbian erotica has been produced in so brief a time.
Olympian Brian Orser, known for both his athleticism and artistry, led a resurgence of Canada as a force to be reckoned with in men's figure skating; after being outed in a palimony suit, he has become an advocate for glbtq rights.
Although American gay film icon Brad Davis has been described as "the first heterosexual actor to die of AIDS," he was widely known as bisexual within the entertainment community.
Handsome, athletic, graceful, and charismatic, actor Errol Flynn was widely rumored to enjoy sexual relations with men as well as women.
In nineteenth-century America men who loved other men often suffered from guilt, but artists such as Winslow Homer and Thomas Eakins celebrated male camaraderie and affection, while expatriate John Singer Sargent depicted the dandy, and photographs documented male friendships.
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.
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.