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.
Moisés Kaufman (left) and Paul Rudnick, two of the participating playwrights. Photograph by David Gordon, courtesy standingonceremony.net.
Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays opened on November 13, 2011 at New York's Minetta Lane Theater. Conceived by Brian Shnipper, the collection of monologues and short plays by some of the best known glbtq playwrights explore, mostly through wit and satire but also a great deal of poignance, the complex emotions of gay and lesbian couples on the cusp of equal rights in the United States.
The nine plays currently performed as Standing on Ceremony are The Revision by Jordan Harrison; This Marriage Is Saved by Joe Keenan; This Flight Tonight by Wendy MacLeod; On Facebook by Doug Wright; Strange Fruit by Neil LaBute; The Gay Agenda by Paul Rudnick; London Mosquitoes by Moisés Kaufman; and Pablo and Andrew at the Altar of Words by José Rivera.
Directed by Stuart Ross, the plays are performed by a rotating cast of actors who currently include Craig Bierko, Mark Consuelos, Polly Draper, Harriet Harris, Beth Leavel, and Richard Thomas.
New York Times reviewer Charles Isherwood describes the "mostly genial, often funny" omnibus as "essentially a staged celebration of the recent advances in winning marital rights for gay and lesbian couples, and how the changing laws are changing lives."
Although Standing on Ceremony has just begun its New York run, the project originated in Los Angeles, where it was originally produced as a series of benefits before evolving into a separate theatrical evening.
As in the Los Angeles production, a portion of each ticket purchased to every performance in New York will be donated to marriage equality organizations.
Following the preview on Monday, November 7, which was live-streamed to more than 40 theaters across America, the producers presented a $5,000 check to Freedom to Marry president Evan Wolfson.