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.
Houston Mayor Annise Parker.
Congratulations to Annise Parker, who overwhelmingly won a third term as mayor of Houston, and to Ed Murray, who easily won election as mayor of Seattle. The two were among many glbtq winners in the elections of November 5, 2013. The election also saw the defeat of viciously anti-gay candidates Ken Cuccinelli and E. W. Jackson in Virginia.
Parker swept to victory in Houston, defeating a field of eight candidates, whose combined total of votes was considerably less than 50%. Parker thus avoids a run-off to secure her third two-year term as Mayor of the nation's fifth largest city.
"I love this city. Tonight, I feel like it loves me back, so thank you for the very warm welcome. Thank you. Thank you to the many people who made this victory possible," Parker said, according to a report from KTRK TV. "I want to make Houston an even better place to live, work and raise a family. I thank my family for the great support that they always give me but the amount of time they've taken to run the campaign."
After a dozen years in Houston city government, including service on the City Council and as Controller, Parker was first elected mayor in 2009. She won her second term in 2011 in a close election in which she held off five challengers. Term limits prevent Parker from running for a fourth term.
With Parker's re-election, Houston, which has about 2.1 million residents, continues to be the largest city in the United States led by an openly gay person.
As expected, Washington's Senate Majority Leader Ed Murray, who was the chief sponsor of the state's marriage equality bill, won easily in his bid to become Mayor of Seattle, defeating incumbent mayor Mike McGinn by a margin of 56 to 44%.
As the Seattle Times reports, "At a jubilant party at Neumos on Capitol Hill, Murray took the stage before 9 p.m. to cheers and hugs from supporters, including a pack of elected leaders who'd endorsed him."
Murray will be Seattle's first openly gay mayor, and his campaign capitalized on his signature legislative accomplishment--helping to lead the 2012 campaign to legalize same-sex marriage in Washington. He took the stage Tuesday night with Michael Shiosaki, his longtime partner whom he married this summer.
"There's no exaggerating what a huge day this is for the LGBT community of Seattle and beyond," said Chuck Wolfe, President and CEO of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, who endorsed Murray early in his bid. "Ed's historic win proves that running a strong campaign and being open and honest about who you are work hand in hand."
On its Gay Politics blog, the Victory Fund reports that of the 85 candidates that it endorsed, 53 have won their elections, with three others advancing to run-off elections later this year. Three additional races remain uncalled.
In addition to celebrating victories, glbtq voters should also relish the defeat of the "freak show" candidates in Virginia.
Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who is best known for his anti-gay initiatives, including instructing Virginia colleges and universities not to institute nondiscrimination policies that include sexual orientation and attempting to reinstate Virginia's sodomy law that the U.S. Supreme Court declared unconsitutional in 2003, lost his bid to become Governor.
Virginia voters also decisively rejected anti-gay extremist E.W. Jackson, the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor.
Houston's ABC affiliate KTRK TV reports on Parker's victory.