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.
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.