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.
In a remarkable example of grassroots political action, an irate North Carolina lesbian confronted her state representative who sponsored Amendment One, which would write into the state constitution a ban on any recognition of couples other than the marriage of one man and one woman. After listening to her heartfelt and eloquent denunciation of the Amendment, Representative Jim Crawford announced that he planned to vote against the discriminatory amendment.
The lesbian constituent has not been identified, but at a candidates forum at which Crawford appeared, she lashed into Amendment One and into Crawford for sponsoring it.
After pointing out that the pledge of allegiance promises liberty and justice for all, she explains how Amendment One would affect her and her partner. Then adds, "(T)hat hateful piece of discriminatory legislation that would be put in our constitution of this state was introduced by Jim Crawford and I'll never forgive you for that, because you slapped me and every gay person in this state when you did that."
In response to the passionate statement by the woman who described herself as both a lesbian and "a damn good citizen of this county," Crawford, who was one of ten House Democrats who voted to put the measure on the ballot, said that it goes too far and that he will vote against it.
North Carolinian Pam Spaulding commented in her blog Pam's House Blend, "It clearly didn't "go too far" before that forum. What it goes to show is that even the people who wanted this on the ballot now, seeing the tide turning with conservatives and people of faith rallying against Amendment One, are running away from their decision to put civil rights of a minority on the ballot. And they are running for cover and in Crawford's case, so desperate they are lying about their original commitment."
The video below captures the constituent's remarkable speech. I hope it goes viral.