Long-distance swimmer and respected sports commentator has in more recent years spoken out on issues of glbtq rights.
Indian playwright, screenwriter, dancer, director, and actor Mahesh Dattani is an important figure in South Asian gay culture by virtue of his recurrent depiction of queer characters.
Entertainer Josephine Baker achieved acclaim as the twentieth century's first international black female sex symbol, but kept carefully hidden her many sexual liaisons with women, which continued from adolescence to the end of her life.
American painter Paul Cadmus is best known for the satiric innocence of his frequently censored paintings of burly men in skin-tight clothes, but he also created works that celebrate same-sex domesticity.
San Francisco visual artist Jerome Caja is known for his small, sensuous combinations of found objects, which he painted with nail polish, makeup, and glitter, as well as for his drag performances.
Although sparse in images documenting the gay community, pre-Stonewall gay male photography blurs the boundaries between art, erotica, and social history.
Female impersonation need say nothing about sexual identity, but it has for a long time been almost an institutionalized aspect of gay male culture.
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.
Daniel O'Donnell (left) and John Banta at their wedding (still from a YouTube video by Jose Rivera).
Congratulations to John Banta and Daniel J. O'Donnell on their wedding in New York City on January 29, 2012. The couple helped give a human face to the need for same-sex marriage in New York. O'Donnell, a Democratic Assemblyman representing New York City's Upper West Side, has served in the state Assembly since 2002 and was one of the lead sponsors of the marriage equality legislation that was finally passed on June 24, 2011. Banta, an events planner and Director of Special Events for the Metropolitan Opera, frequently appeared in Albany to lobby in favor of the legislation.
The ceremony, which was held at Guastavino's in Manhattan, was performed by Judith S. Kaye, former Chief Judge of New York's highest court, who in July 2006 wrote a carefully reasoned but powerful dissent when the court ruled 4-2 that the state constitution did not compel same-sex marriage. She noted then that denying marriage to same-sex couples does not serve the interest of children and predicted that future generations would consider the decision "an unfortunate misstep."
During the wedding ceremony, Judge Kaye read an excerpt from one of O'Donnell's speeches on same-sex marriage during the debate in the legislature: "I don't want a seat in your synagogue, I don't want a church pew. I want a license that all of you have. Some of you have had two or three times."
The wedding was attended by many of O'Donnell's colleagues in the state legislature and by Governor Andrew Cuomo. Also present were members of both grooms' families, including Rosie O'Donnell, the brother of Daniel O'Donnell.
Banta and O'Donnell met in 1978 at the Catholic University of America, where they were freshmen. They became a couple in the fall of their Junior year.
The story of their thirty-year relationship is recounted by Elissa Gootman in the February 3, 2012 edition of New York Times.
In the video below Daniel O'Donnell delivers the closing argument before the vote in the New York State Assembly on June 15, 2011.
Below is a video of the wedding by Jose Rivera.