Langston Hughes, whose literary legacy is enormous and varied, was closeted, but homosexuality was an important influence on his literary imagination, and many of his poems may be read as gay texts.
The writers of the Beat Generation, many of whom were gay or bisexual, endorsed gay rights as a part of their rebellion against inhibition and self-censorship.
The Comedy of Manners, which flourished on the Restoration stage, has been particularly amenable to twentieth-century gay male writers as a vehicle for social satire in both dramatic and nondramatic works.
Using his and his family's experiences, particularly his childhood in Raleigh, North Carolina, and his own wacky perspective on life, David Sedaris has become a world-famous humorist, comedian, writer, playwright, and radio personality.
From the great modernist writers of the 1920s and 1930s to the pulp writers of the 1950s to the lesbian writers of today, lesbian novelists have had a powerful impact on the lesbian community.
From its beginning, the nineteenth century in England had a purposeful homosexual literature of considerable bulk, both male and female, though it was fettered by oppression.
Persecuted for his homosexuality by the Castro government he had once championed, Cuban novelist, essayist, and poet Reinaldo Arenas challenged all types of ideological dogmatism.
Baudelaire was among the first French poets to include lesbians as subjects.
Orlando Cruz, former Olympian and current contender for a featherweight boxing title, has acknowledged his homosexuality via a tweet in which he described himself as "a proud gay man." He is believed to be the first professional boxer to come out while still active in the sport.
Cruz, who began boxing at seven years old, posted an amateur career record of 178 wins and 11 losses. He won 7 Puerto Rico National Titles and spent 4 years on the Puerto Rican National Team. He won numerous medal in various international tournaments.
His amateur career culminated when he represented Puerto Rico at the Sydney Olympics in 2000.
He turned professional later that year. He was undefeated until 2009, when he lost his first bout, which was followed by another loss in 2010. His record as a professional is 18 wins (9 by knockout), 2 losses, and 1 draw. He is ranked the no. 4 featherweight by the World Boxing Organization.
According to Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times, Cruz made the announcement that he was gay in order to lift what he said was a major "distraction" in his boxing career.
On October 3, 2012, he released a statement in which he said, "I've been fighting for more than 24 years and as I continue my ascendant career, I want to be true to myself. I want to try to be the best role model I can be for kids who might look into boxing as a sport and a professional career. I have and will always be a proud Puerto Rican. I have always been and always will be a proud gay man."
He told Pugmire, he was compelled to address the topic, "Because I want to be free and not carry this on and on with myself. I want to let the people see who I really am, to be free, to let people understand."
Cruz attributed his two career losses, which occurred during a five-month period in 2009 and 2010, to Cornelius Lock and current world champion Daniel Ponce De Leon, to the pressures of being closeted: "those two losses I had were part of this big distraction I was going through. It's not there anymore. I'm glad I'm past that."
He told Pugmire that since his announcement he has received "unconditional, 100% support," including messages and notes of endorsement from his 2000 Olympic teammate and former multi-division world champion Miguel Cotto and singer Ricky Martin.
"I was physically and mentally prepared for whatever the reaction would be before this, and I can tell you from the response, this will never bother me again," Cruz said. "I feel comfortable with myself."
He said he hopes his openness breaks down some walls and erases some stereotypes. "It should show something for itself: that I have courage, I'm a warrior in the ring," Cruz said. "It should not diminish me. I've fought with the best, and I want to be a world champion."
Cruz is currently training in the mountains of Puerto Rico for an October 19 featherweight bout in Kissimmee, Florida against Jorge Pazos for the WBO Latino Featherweight Championship, which he won in 2011.
Cyd Zeigler, Jr. of OutSports.com hailed Cruz's coming out: "While we hear about athletes in other sports like baseball, basketball and soccer being 'afraid' to come out, here's a guy who literally takes punches to the face finding the courage to be who he is. No one should be more afraid of coming out than a professional boxer whose opponents' goal is to knock him out cold."
Zeigler observed that boxers have a lot to lose, particularly in endorsement deals, and concluded, "I wish I could shake Cruz's hand. This took a lot of guts."
In the video below from 2011, Cruz knocks out Michael Franco to win the WBO Latino Featherweight title.
In the ESPN video below, boxing analyst Nigel Collins discusses the ramifications of Cruz's coming out.