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.
Congratulations to gay activist Cleve Jones on his selection as a White House Champion of Change. Jones, founder of the Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt, began his career as an activist for equal rights in the 1970s, when he met Harvey Milk, who became his mentor. Following Milk's election to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, Jones worked as a student intern in Milk's office.
According to the White House website, the Champions of Change program honors ordinary Americans who do "extraordinary things in their communities to out-innovate, out-educate and out-build the rest of the world." Each week a group of Champions are invited to the White House "to share their ideas to win the future."
Jones is scheduled to meet President Obama this week.
John Aravosis at AmericablogGay speculates that Jones may raise the question of Obama's decision not to issue an executive order banning discrimination by federal contractors on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
One of the co-organizers of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation in 1983 and of the 2009 National Equality March on Washington, Jones works as a community organizer for UNITE HERE, the international union representing hotel, casino, food service and restaurant workers throughout the United States and Canada.
He is also a member of the Advisory Board of the American Foundation for Equal Rights and a senior advisor to the Courage Campaign.
In the video below, Cleve Jones discusses how he conceived the AIDS Memorial Quilt project.