Although gay, lesbian, and queer theory are related practices, the three terms delineate separate emphases marked by different assumptions about the relationship between gender and sexuality.
The Harlem Renaissance, an African-American literary movement of the 1920s and 1930s, included several important gay and lesbian writers.
Oscar Wilde is important both as an accomplished writer and as a symbolic figure who exemplified a way of being homosexual at a pivotal moment in the emergence of gay consciousness.
Langston Hughes, whose literary legacy is enormous and varied, was closeted, but homosexuality was an important influence on his literary imagination, and many of his poems may be read as gay texts.
Conflicted over his own sexuality, Tennessee Williams wrote directly about homosexuality only in his short stories, his poetry, and his late plays.
Erotic and pornographic works have been written in many cultures since ancient times and recently have flourished with the relaxation of censorship.
Feminist literary theory is a complex, dynamic area of study that draws from a wide range of critical theories.
James Baldwin, a pioneering figure in twentieth-century literature, wrote sustained and articulate challenges to American racism and mandatory heterosexuality.
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.