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.
Cynthia Nixon (left) with Christine Marinoni.
Actress Cynthia Nixon and education activist Christine Marinoni were wed in New York on May 27, 2012. The couple lobbied tirelessly on behalf of marriage equality in the state. Indeed, they announced their engagement three years ago at a rally to support marriage equality.
Nixon and Marinoni were brought together by their shared interest in the welfare of children and in public education. Nixon's dedication to improving public education in New York led her to become involved with the non-profit Alliance for Quality Education in 2004. Through her membership in the organization, she met Marinoni, the AQE's New York director, and the two women fell in love.
In February 2011, Marinoni gave birth to the couple's son, Max Ellington Nixon-Marinoni. Nixon has two children from her previous marriage to photographer Danny Mozes.
Nixon, a Tony Award-winning actress and Broadway veteran, is best known for her role as Miranda Hobbes in the television and film versions of Sex in the City, for which she won an Emmy Award and shared a Screen Actors Guild Award for ensemble acting.
She was the center of a firestorm in January 2012, when in an interview in the New York Times, she asserted that for her at least, homosexuality "is a choice." The assertion led to a sometimes heated and occasionally uncivil discussion in the gay blogosphere focused on the question of whether sexual orientation is genetic and whether sexual orientation is fluid, as well as on the differences between choice and orientation and between homosexuality and bisexuality.
After much pushback, Nixon issued an apology. A discussion of the controversy may be found here.
In the video below, Nixon accepts the 2010 Vito Russo Award from the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.