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.
We have previously congratulated eight openly gay or lesbian Olympic medalists, here and here. We now congratulate two more medalists: Lisa Raymond, who won a bronze medal in mixed doubles tennis; and Seimone Augustus, who won a gold medal as a member of the dominant U.S. Women's basketball team.
Seimone Augustus was an outstanding college basketball player for LSU and was a no. 1 WNBA draft pick. She plays for the Minnesota Lynx in the WNBA, as well as for Moscow in the WBC. After overcoming a number of health problems, she led the Lynx to the 2011 WNBA championship and earned Most Valuable Player honors in the process. She helped make the American National team one of the most powerful in the history of women's basketball Olympic competition.
In May, she told Michelle Garcia of The Advocate that she and her girlfriend of five years, LaTaya Varner, are planning to marry this summer.
Lisa Raymond has achieved notable success as a doubles player. She has won 73 doubles titles in all, including 11 Grand Slam titles: 6 in women's doubles and 5 in mixed doubles. With partner Mike Bryan, with whom she also won the Wimbledon mixed doubles championship in 2012, she won the bronze medal in mixed doubles at the London 2012 Olympics.
As Cyd Zeigler observed on SBNation, "If Team Gay was a country, it would have finished 31st overall with seven medals, tied with Mexico, Ethiopia and Georgia. They would have beaten the medal count of such countries as Jamaica, Ireland, Argentina and India. They would have finished 21st overall for most golds (four), tied with Iran, Jamaica, Czech Republic and Korea."
There were, of course, many more glbtq Olympians than the 23 who were openly gay or lesbian, and many of the ones who are not publicly out may also have medaled. Still, the fact that ten of the 23 openly gay or lesbian Olympians medaled is amazing. It speaks admirably not only of their high level of accomplishment in their diverse sports, but also of their self-confidence and honesty.
The WNBA video below profiles Siemone Augustus.
The video below offers highlights from Lisa Raymond and Mike Bryan's mixed doubles victory at Wimbledon.