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.
Chief Janeé Harteau hugs Sergeant Holly Keegel at her swearing in ceremony in 2012.
Congratulations to Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau and Sgt. Holly Keegel, who were wed on August 16, 2013 in a private ceremony in a Minneapolis nightclub atop the W. Hotel. Mayor R. J. Rybak officiated at the small gathering of about 20 people consisting mostly of the couple's family, including their parents and siblings and their teen-age daughter.
After the wedding, the couple hosted a reception for about 70 friends, reports the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
Harteau was sworn in on December 4, 2012 as Minneapolis's 52nd Chief of Police. She took her oath of office in the rotunda of Minneapolis City Hall before a crowd of 300 people, with Keegel and their daughter Lauren by her side.
On November 30, 2012, Harteau, a 25-year veteran of the force, was confirmed unanimously by the Minneapolis City Council. She is the first woman and first openly gay officer to serve as police chief.
Harteau and Keegel shared a squad car as patrol officers together in their earlier years on the force, wrote two small books on safety issues, and were sometimes referred to as "Cagney & Lacey," after the characters from a 1980s television police series, according to Randy Furst in a profile in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
But Harteau did not always receive the support of her colleagues. In 1996, she and Keegel filed a sexual harassment and discrimination complaint with the state Human Rights Department. Harteau said officers were interrupting police radio transmissions she and Keegel were making so they could not be heard."
Harteau explained to Furst why she filed the complaint: "People don't have to like me and they don't have to agree with me, but when people interfere with the ability for me to do my job, that's where I drew the line. So it became a matter of public safety."
As for the precedent of having a female, openly gay police chief, Harteau downplayed its significance for her personally.
"For others it might be," she said. "And if I can be a role model . . . I want people to see that you can achieve things despite some obstacles in your way. I stand on my merits on how I got here. I've been given tremendous opportunity."
At the swearing-in ceremony, Harteau said, "I will always stand up and do what is right, even if I stand alone." She added, "There are incredibly high expections for me and there should be."
In the video below, Harteau takes the oath of office.