Although few gay actors have been permitted the luxury of openness, many of them have challenged and helped reconfigure notions of masculinity and, to a lesser extent, of homosexuality.
Considering the unique set of problems facing lesbians who want to produce erotic art for the enjoyment of other lesbians, it is remarkable that so much lesbian erotica has been produced in so brief a time.
Lesbian actresses have played a significant role in Hollywood, but their contributions have rarely been recognized or spoken of openly; the "lavender marriage" is by no means a relic of the past.
Although American gay film icon Brad Davis has been described as "the first heterosexual actor to die of AIDS," he was widely known as bisexual within the entertainment community.
Long-distance swimmer and respected sports commentator has in more recent years spoken out on issues of glbtq rights.
The greatest dancer of his time, Rudolf Nureyev also gave the world a new and glamorous image of a sexually active gay man.
While nude depictions of women appear in most cultures, on both sides of the equator, and in rich variety, lesbian artists have been particularly resourceful in their use of the female nude.
Handsome, athletic, graceful, and charismatic, actor Errol Flynn was widely rumored to enjoy sexual relations with men as well as women.
Michael Shiosaki (left) and Ed Murray.
Congratulations to Washington state Senate Majority Leader and Seattle mayoral candidate Ed Murray and his long-time partner Michael Shiosaki, who were wed on August 10, 2013 in a traditional Episcopal ceremony at St. Mark's Cathedral near their home in Seattle's Capitol Hill district. Murray, the prime sponsor of Washington state's marriage equality bill, frequently referred to his relationship with Shiosaki during the long struggle to achieve marriage equality. He recently finished first in Seattle's mayoral primary and is favored to become Seattle's first openly gay mayor.
Lynn Thompson reports in the Seattle Times that about 250 people attended the service and champagne reception on the cathedral lawn. Both men wore black tuxedos and white ties. Their King Charles Spaniel, Rory, was ring bearer and barked when the sermon was in danger of running on too long.
When The Very Reverend Steven Thomason, Dean of St. Mark's, pronounced the couple married in the eyes of God and the law of Washington state, the audience gave them a prolonged standing ovation.
Murray said he would have preferred to wait until after the November election to marry, but Shiosaki's father, Fred, a decorated World War II veteran, is 89 and his mother, Lily, 85. Shiosaki wanted them to be able to escort him up the aisle. The couple also wanted to marry on August 10, the 22nd anniversary of the day they met on a camping and hiking trip to Mount Ranier with a group of mutual friends.
Murray was escorted up the aisle by two of his sisters, Margaret Fox and Judy Murray. His nephew, Jon Noski, was his best man. Shiosaki's best man was a neighbor, Don Botts.
Shiosaki is director of planning for the Seattle Parks Department. He traveled to Olympia for many key debates and hearings as Murray fought to advance first a bill banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and then bills to create and expand domestic-partnership rights and benefits and, finally, marriage equality.
Over the years, the men received death threats and what they refer to as "after-death threats" of the "'you'll-burn-in-hell' variety."
On November 13, 2012, Murray was elected Majority Leader of the state Senate by acclamation. Murray served eleven years in the state House of Representatives before being elected to the Senate in 2006.
In the video below from February 14, 2012, Murray speaks at ceremony at which Governor Christine Gregoire signed the marriage equality bill he shepherded through the state senate.
Shiosaki is featured in an ad Murray is running during his campaign for Mayor of Seattle. The ad also highlights Murray's long friendship with former Congressman Barney Frank.