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.
Córdova left a religious order to become a community-organizer and social worker and then an investigative reporter for the radical newspaper L.A. Free Press. She soon found herself covering stories about such figures as the Weather Underground, Angela Davis, and Patty Hearst and the Symbionese Liberation Front.
At the same time, she became involved in numerous love affairs with women, and established herself as a leader in the Los Angeles gay and lesbian movement. A president of the Los Angeles chapter of the Daughters of Bilitis, she also co-founded and edited Lesbian Tide, one of the most influential lesbian journals of the 1970s. Her reporting and columns for Lesbian Tide and other publications of the era are now recognized as early examples of advocacy journalism.
Córdova's new book, which features a foreword by historian Lillian Faderman, paints a memorable portrait of a crucial era in the movement for equal rights, even as it also explores the complicated emotions of a Latina "pretty butch" activist coming to terms with the first great love of her life.
In The Advocate, Robin Tyler describes When We were Outlaws as "a major literary accomplishment." She praises Córdova for her "courage to open up her private life, the strengths and weaknesses, internal pains, and mistakes that took her to dark places" and her ability to use dialogue to make scenes vivid. "They are like overhearing conversations with friends, lovers, and other famous activists."
A dramatization of the book is running at West Hollywood's Macha Theater under the title Outlaws on Stage.
The cast of eight queer actors include Raquel Gutierrez, performance artist of Butchlalis de Panochtitlan, as Córdova at 25; Dan Wentzel as Córdova's "political godfather" community leader Morris Kight; Jennifer Weaver as Patty Hearst; and Lauren Steely as Emily Harris of the Symbionese Liberation Army and Córdova's lover, Rachel.
Here Cordova discusses both the book and the dramatization: