The works of García Lorca, internationally recognized as Spain's most prominent lyric poet and dramatist of the twentieth century, are filled with thinly veiled homosexual motifs and themes.
There has always been homosexual involvement in American musical theatre and a homosexual sensibility even in straight musicals, and recently the Broadway musical has welcomed openly homosexual themes and situations.
Best known for his genius in art and architecture, Michelangelo was also an accomplished author of homoerotic poetry.
The African-American gay male literary tradition consists of a substantial body of texts and includes some of the most gifted writers of the twentieth century.
Combining elements of incongruity, theatricality, and exaggeration, camp is a form of humor that helps homosexuals cope with a hostile environment.
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.
James Baldwin, a pioneering figure in twentieth-century literature, wrote sustained and articulate challenges to American racism and mandatory heterosexuality.
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.
Congratulations to George Takei, whose life story is featured in a new issue of Archie Comics' Kevin Keller 6. In the new issue, Riverdale's openly gay student Kevin Keller chooses Takei as the subject of a required essay on an "inspirational hero." He chooses Takei, he says, not only for the actor's successful show business career, but also for "the triumph of his personal story," including his advocacy on behalf of Asian Americans and the glbtq community.
The essay recounts Takei's life story, from his childhood spent in Japanese-American internment camps during World War II with his family to playing Sulu on the iconic 1960s Star Trek series to his coming out and advocating for gay rights and equality.
In January 2012, I blogged about the release of Life with Archie #16 in which Kevin Keller marries his partner. In that storyline, Kevin returns to Riverdale as an adult after having served in the Army and having recovered from a battle-related injury in Iraq. He eventually ties the knot with Dr. Clay Walker, an African-American rehabilitation expert who helped Kevin regain his ability to walk, in a ceremony presided over by Riverdale's mayor.
Keller first appeared in the venerable Archie series in Veronica #202, published in September 2010, in a story entitled, "Isn't It Bromantic?" In that story, Veronica expresses interest in dating Kevin, but he explains to Jughead that the reason he does not want to date Veronica is because he is gay.
The issue sold out, prompting Archie Comics to issue a reprint for the first time in its 70-year history.
Keller returned in Veronica #205 and then in 2011 headlined his own 4-issue miniseries, Kevin Keller. That series focused on Keller's life before he arrived in Riverdale, including his struggles in junior high school.
In the new issue, Kevin is back as a student in Riverdale. Not only does he write an essay about Takei's inspiring life story, but Takei's husband Brad Altman learns about the essay and they decide to visit Riverdale when they are nearby attending a comics convention.
Takei told the Associated Press that he was "flattered" by the tribute. But beyond the personal satisfaction Takei may take in having his inspiring life story told to a new generation of young people, the tribute is also important insofar as a prominent gay activist is featured so favorably in a publication targeted at youth.
As Teresa Theophano observed in 2005, in our entry on Comic Strips and Cartoons, in their representation of glbtq people comic strips and graphic books "serve as a barometer of shifting attitudes toward gay subcultures."
A preview of the story may be read below.
In the video below, aimed at the Asian-American community, Takei explains why he endorsed President Obama for re-election.