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.
Dean Hamer testifies.
Congratulations to geneticist Dean Hamer and filmmaker Joe Wilson, whose testimony on November 4, 2013 brought some sanity to the House hearing on Hawaii's marriage equality bill. The bill, which has been passed by the Senate, is now the subject of a hearing in the House. The hearing has been dominated by crackpot testimony from opponents bussed in by the National Organization for Marriage and evangelical churches in an attempt to delay the hearing and thereby filibuster the bill to death.
In his riveting testimony, Hamer, an acclaimed scientist, brought to the hearing reason and intelligence, qualities that have been sorely lacking as anti-gay extremists have bombarded the legislators with outrageous lies and nonsense. In particular, he addressed the question of whether homosexuality is a choice.
Hamer who holds a Harvard Ph.D. in molecular chemistry, was an independent researcher at the National Institutes of Health for 35 years, where he directed the Gene Structure and Regulation Section at the U.S. National Cancer Institute.
He began studying the role of genes in human behavior in the 1990s. In 1993 he published a paper suggesting the existence of genes that influence homosexuality in males, and presented evidence that suggested one of these genes may be associated with the Xq28 marker on the X chromosome. He has subsequently argued strongly that sexual orientation is an innate trait associated with genetic makeup.
Hamer decided to testify at the hearing in order to respond to the "nonsense" he heard while watching an excerpt from the crackpots who testified against marriage equality.
Hamer's husband of ten years, Emmy Award winning documentary filmmaker Joe Wilson also testified. He emphasized the pain experienced by glbtq people who have to endure the nonsense said about them by the crackpots and religious extremists who defamed them during the hearing.
Wilson is the Co-Director and Outreach Manager for the Out in the Silence Campaign for Justice and Equality in Rural and Small Town America, and of the national Out in the Silence Youth Activism Award. His current work focuses on the intersections between culture, gender, and identity.
Below is Wilson's powerful testimony.