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.
On June 10, 2013, the White House announced that President Obama has nominated Daniel Baer to serve as U.S. Ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). If confirmed, Baer will be the fourth openly gay person to serve as U.S. Ambassador and the first to do so for a multilateral institution.
As Justin Snow reports in MetroWeekly, the President nominated Baer along with several other ambassadors. "These men and women have demonstrated knowledge and dedication throughout their careers. I am grateful they have chosen to take on these important roles, and I look forward to working with them in the months and years to come," he said.
Baer currently serves as Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor at the Department of State. A graduate of Harvard University and Oxford University, he previously taught at Georgetown University and was a faculty fellow in the Edmond J. Safra Foundation Center for Ethics at Harvard University.
The OSCE is the world's largest international governmental organization with 57 participating countries focused on security issues, including crisis management and conflict prevention.
Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, hailed the choice of Baer. "Deputy Assistant Secretary Baer has led a distinguished career of public service, both at home and abroad," Griffin said. "Over the last few years at the Department of State, Daniel has worked tirelessly to promote democracy and human rights in every corner of the globe, helping to secure and protect the freedoms of the world's most vulnerable communities. This, paired with his years of global business experience, makes him an outstanding choice to be our nation's next Ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe."
The three previous openly gay U.S. Ambassadors are James C. Hormel, who was appointed Ambassador to Luxembourg by President Bill Clinton in 1999 in a "recess appointment" after the Senate refused to act on his 1997 nomination; Michael E. Guest, who was appointed Ambassador to Romania by President George W. Bush in 2001; and David Huebner, who was appointed Ambassador to New Zealand by President Obama in 2009 and continues to serve in that capacity.
Al Kamen reports in Washington Post that President Obama is likely to appoint four more openly gay ambassadors to posts such as Australia, Spain, and Denmark.
In the video below, Daniel Baer discusses Internet Freedom at the Council of Europe.