Although gay, lesbian, and queer theory are related practices, the three terms delineate separate emphases marked by different assumptions about the relationship between gender and sexuality.
The Harlem Renaissance, an African-American literary movement of the 1920s and 1930s, included several important gay and lesbian writers.
Oscar Wilde is important both as an accomplished writer and as a symbolic figure who exemplified a way of being homosexual at a pivotal moment in the emergence of gay consciousness.
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.
Conflicted over his own sexuality, Tennessee Williams wrote directly about homosexuality only in his short stories, his poetry, and his late plays.
Erotic and pornographic works have been written in many cultures since ancient times and recently have flourished with the relaxation of censorship.
Feminist literary theory is a complex, dynamic area of study that draws from a wide range of critical theories.
James Baldwin, a pioneering figure in twentieth-century literature, wrote sustained and articulate challenges to American racism and mandatory heterosexuality.
Gavin Creel performs "Noise," an anthem for equality (YouTube video still).
Formed by young Broadway performers Gavin Creel and Rory O'Malley, and production assistant Jenny Kanelos, in the aftermath of the passage of California's Proposition 8, the ballot initiative that amended the state constitution to prohibit same-sex marriage in 2008, Broadway Impact is an organization composed of actors, directors, stage managers, producers, and theater buffs who are united by the simple belief that anyone who wants to should be able to get married.
Committed to direct action on behalf of marriage equality, the organization had a significant impact on the struggle for the passage of same-sex marriage in New York. Sometimes working closely with other groups, such as the Human Rights Campaign, Empire State Pride Agenda, and Freedom to Marry, Broadway Impact sponsored demonstrations, raised money, produced videos, and lobbied legislators through letter-writing campaigns and rallies.
Since the success in New York, the organization has expanded its horizons to participate in the struggle for equal rights throughout the country.
In September 2011, Broadway Impact teamed up with the American Foundation for Equal Rights to produce 8, a new play by Academy Award-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black based on the federal district court trial of Perry v. Schwarzenegger, the case filed by AFER to overturn Proposition 8. The play received its world premiere as a one-night-only staged reading, directed by Tony Award-winner Joe Mantello and featuring an all-star cast.
Creel and O'Malley have emerged as highly visible and committed activists.
Actor, singer, and song-writer Gavin Creel, perhaps best known for his Tony-nominated performance on Broadway and the West End in the role of Claude in the 2009-2010 revival of Hair, has a long list of theater credits and has also made a reputation for his concert performances.
Rory O'Malley is an actor who is best known for his Tony-nominated performance as Elder McKinley in The Book of Mormon, but he has also appeared on Broadway in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, and in regional and off-Broadway musical theater productions.
The story of Broadway Impact has been told by the gay television newsmagazine In the Life, most recently in this clip:
Here is a video Broadway Impact made in support of marriage equality in New York:
Gavin Creel and his songwriting partner Robbie Roth have released a song and video called "Noise" about making some "noise" for marriage equality: