Long-distance swimmer and respected sports commentator has in more recent years spoken out on issues of glbtq rights.
Indian playwright, screenwriter, dancer, director, and actor Mahesh Dattani is an important figure in South Asian gay culture by virtue of his recurrent depiction of queer characters.
Entertainer Josephine Baker achieved acclaim as the twentieth century's first international black female sex symbol, but kept carefully hidden her many sexual liaisons with women, which continued from adolescence to the end of her life.
American painter Paul Cadmus is best known for the satiric innocence of his frequently censored paintings of burly men in skin-tight clothes, but he also created works that celebrate same-sex domesticity.
San Francisco visual artist Jerome Caja is known for his small, sensuous combinations of found objects, which he painted with nail polish, makeup, and glitter, as well as for his drag performances.
Although sparse in images documenting the gay community, pre-Stonewall gay male photography blurs the boundaries between art, erotica, and social history.
Female impersonation need say nothing about sexual identity, but it has for a long time been almost an institutionalized aspect of gay male culture.
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.
Detail from "Song of Hillary Clinton" by Carl Gopal.
He has mixed his mediums and metaphors to explore sexual relationships (1992) and America's identity in a time of war (2011). In the latter series, "The Assassination of Judy Garland--A Metaphorical Portrait of America," he used the arc of gay icon Judy Garland to explore American politics and characters like Obama, Hillary Clinton, Benyamin Netanyahu, Rahm Emanuel, and Tzipi Livni.
He also uses musicals like South Pacific to comment on the use of drones in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Gopal maintains that "the power of the queer lens can influence [more than] culture wars. It can be a way of reshaping the world by applying queer concepts to tough problems."
His website at www.carlgopal.com includes galleries of paintings from 1991 to the present and also his studio blog posts. Some of his more recent work is featured in "A Star is Born: Metaphorical Portraits of America," an extensive Tikkun Daily blog post.