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.
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: