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.
In the Life, America's acclaimed nationally broadcast gay and lesbian newsmagazine, is celebrating its twentieth anniversary. Since its debut in 1992, as a variety show hosted by comedian Kate Clinton and broadcast on only six television stations, the show has grown into a respected public affairs program broadcast on over 125 stations in more than 30 states, including the top twenty television markets.
In the Life is dedicated to presenting a uniquely gay and lesbian perspective on issues and news relevant to gay men and lesbians and to documenting the gay and lesbian civil rights movement. It also aims to educate both heterosexual and homosexual audiences about the diversity and variety of the gay and lesbian community.
Produced by In the Life Media, Inc., a non-profit educational organization, the program is supported largely by membership dues from individuals and by foundations such as the Gill Foundation, the David Bohnett Foundation, and the Ameringen Foundation, among others.
Although In the Life is presented by Thirteen/WNET, the New York Public Broadcasting System flagship station, and is distributed by the American Program Service, a major source of programming for public television stations, the show receives no federal funding from PBS or the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
Now each episode of the program is seen by more than one million viewers, though dozens of PBS stations still refuse to air the program and many of those that do broadcast it schedule it during late night and early morning hours and fail to promote it.
In most markets, the program airs monthly, in a one-hour format, featuring five or six stories. There are usually six new episodes per year.
Although many of the episodes feature cameo appearances by gay and lesbian (or gay-friendly) celebrities, and due attention is given to the accomplishments of artists, writers, and entertainers, In the Life is dedicated to the real life issues and concerns of grassroots people. Hence, the emphasis is less on glitz and glamour than on the struggles of ordinary individuals who have performed extraordinary achievements.
Michelle Kristle, In the Life Media's executive director, reflects on In the Life's first twenty years and looks forward to the show's future in this op-ed at the Advocate.
Episodes and other media produced by In the Life can be viewed online 24/7 through video-streaming and downloadable podcasts at the program's website In the Life Media.
In the video below, an episode first broadcast in December 2011, In the Life remembers the pioneering activism of Barbara Gittings and Frank Kameny, as well as that of Keith Boykin and the Million Man March of 1995.