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.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg (Rubenstein, CC BY 2.0).
Citing a woman's right to choose, climate change, and marriage equality, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg on November 1, 2012 endorsed President Obama for re-election. The former Republican who is now registered as an Independent was not expected to make an endorsement, but Mayor Bloomberg's choice of President Obama is consistent with his outspoken support of marriage equality and his repeatedly expressed concern about climate change.
In an editorial for his blog Bloomberg.view, the Mayor said:
"When I step into the voting booth, I think about the world I want to leave my two daughters, and the values that are required to guide us there. The two parties' nominees for president offer different visions of where they want to lead America.
"One believes a woman's right to choose should be protected for future generations; one does not. That difference, given the likelihood of Supreme Court vacancies, weighs heavily on my decision.
"One recognizes marriage equality as consistent with America's march of freedom; one does not. I want our president to be on the right side of history.
"One sees climate change as an urgent problem that threatens our planet; one does not. I want our president to place scientific evidence and risk management above electoral politics."
Mayor Bloomberg's surprise endorsement was motivated chiefly by the massive destruction visited upon his city by Hurricane Sandy. He said that the consequences of the massive storm cast the differences between the President and his challenger in sharp relief. He could not support a candidate who puts his city at risk by denying the reality of climate change.
He pointed out that the flip-flopper Romney once supported efforts to combat climate change, but that he has changed position on that question and many others. "In the past he has also taken sensible positions on immigration, illegal guns, abortion rights and health care. But he has reversed course on all of them, and is even running against the health-care model he signed into law in Massachusetts."
In citing marriage equality as an issue on which the candidates have starkly opposed positions, Bloomberg highlights a cause that has been important to him for some time.
As Lucas Grindley points out in the Advocate Mayor Bloomberg "has taken an active role in fighting for marriage equality, not only by vocally advocating for its passage in his own state but also with big donations to state ballot campaigns."
In October the Mayor launched his own super PAC, called Independence USA PAC, with plans to spend between $10 million and $15 million this election cycle to advance causes including marriage equality and candidates who show a commitment to solving problems over partisanship. Soon after its launch, the PAC donated $500,000 to campaigns for marriage equality in Maine, Minnesota, and Washington. That came on top of $250,000 Bloonberg had already donated to the campaign in Maryland.
The video below presents Mayor Bloomberg's address to Cooper Union in May 2011, when he explained why he supports marriage equality so passionately.