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.
Mary Gonzalez of El Paso won a decisive victory in the Democratic primary.
Congratulations to the glbtq victors in recent primaries. These include candidates for membership in the state legislatures of Maine, Nevada, California, New Mexico, and Texas, as reported by the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, which works to elect glbtq leaders to public office.
As the Victory Fund's website explains, "Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender office holders are our clearest and most convincing champions for true equality. As leaders in government, they become the face and voice of a community. They challenge the lies of extremists and speak authentically about themselves, their families and their community."
On May 30, 2012, Mary Gonzalez of El Paso won a decisive victory in the Democratic primary to represent District 75 in the Texas House of Representatives. Gonzalez faces no Republican opponent in November. She will become the state's only openly lesbian lawmaker, and only the second openly gay or lesbian ever to serve in the state's legislature.
In other races in Texas, primary elections were also won by Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez and Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg.
On June 5, 2012, Jacob Candelaria handily won a decisive Democratic primary to represent District 26 in the New Mexico Senate. With no Republican opponent in November, Candelaria will become New Mexico's only openly gay lawmaker, and one of the youngest state lawmakers in the country. He is Executive Director of Equality New Mexico.
In California on June 5, Mark Takano also qualified for a runoff to face Republican John Tavaglione in November to represent the state's 41st Congressional District. If he is elected, Takano would become the first openly glbtq person of color to serve in Congress.
Also in California, nine glbtq state legislative candidates won their primaries, including newcomers Susan Eggman (State Assembly, District 13) and Luis Lopez (State Assembly, District 51), as well as incumbents Tom Ammiano (State Assembly, District 17), Toni Atkins (State Assembly, District 78), Richard Gordon (State Assembly, District 24), Ricardo Lara (State Senate, District 33), Mark Leno (State Senate, District 11), John A. Pérez (State Assembly, District 53), and Cathleen Galgiani (pictured), who is currently in the State Assembly and running for State Senate, District 5.
On June 12, three openly gay Maine Democrats won their primaries and are expected to be elected to the state House: Andrew McLean, Terry Morrison, and Matt Moonen.
Also on June 12, three gay men and one lesbian won Democratic primaries for membership in the Nevada legislature. Incumbent David Parks was unopposed in his primary for reelection to the State Senate. Andrew Martin and James Healey won their Democratic primaries for seats in the Nevada Assembly. In addition, Patricia Spearman defeated an incumbent state senator. Since she faces no Republican opponent in the fall, she will become Nevada's first open lesbian to serve in the state legislature.
In the video below Patricia Spearman talks about her historic victory.