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.
Congratulations to Edith Windsor, who was designated "second runner-up" for Time's annual "Person of the Year" honor. Pope Francis was predictably chosen for the title, but "unlikely activist" Edith Windsor was recognized for the judicial odyssey that began in 2010, when she sued the government for a $363,053 refund of the estate taxes she had to pay when her spouse died, and that culminated in the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark ruling of June 26, 2013 that declared the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional.
Windsor is the subject of a wonderful essay by Eliza Gray that may be found here.
In an email sent to Joe Jervis of the Joe.My.God blog, Windsor responded to the recognition as follows: "I am honored that Time chose me as one of the number 3 individuals in the top 5 nominees for 'Person of the Year,' but I am just one person who was part of the extraordinary and on-going fight for marriage equality for all our families. There are thousands of people who helped us come this far and we still have a lot more work to do."
She continued, "The gay community is my 'person of the year' and I look forward to continuing to fight for equal rights and educate the public about our lives alongside my gay brothers and sisters and our allies. Even without taking the 'Person of the Year' even being in the top 5 is an extraordinary way to end a year that has been historic for all of us and truly spectacular for me and gave me the chance to tell my story via Time through an interview and audio interview with photo slideshow. Thea would be thrilled, proud and so happy to see what we have all accomplished together."
Windsor has also launched a new website about her life and the struggle for marriage equality, which may be accessed here.
Below is a moving video in which Windsor reminisces about her long love affair with Thea Spyer.