Langston Hughes, whose literary legacy is enormous and varied, was closeted, but homosexuality was an important influence on his literary imagination, and many of his poems may be read as gay texts.
The writers of the Beat Generation, many of whom were gay or bisexual, endorsed gay rights as a part of their rebellion against inhibition and self-censorship.
The Comedy of Manners, which flourished on the Restoration stage, has been particularly amenable to twentieth-century gay male writers as a vehicle for social satire in both dramatic and nondramatic works.
Using his and his family's experiences, particularly his childhood in Raleigh, North Carolina, and his own wacky perspective on life, David Sedaris has become a world-famous humorist, comedian, writer, playwright, and radio personality.
From the great modernist writers of the 1920s and 1930s to the pulp writers of the 1950s to the lesbian writers of today, lesbian novelists have had a powerful impact on the lesbian community.
From its beginning, the nineteenth century in England had a purposeful homosexual literature of considerable bulk, both male and female, though it was fettered by oppression.
Persecuted for his homosexuality by the Castro government he had once championed, Cuban novelist, essayist, and poet Reinaldo Arenas challenged all types of ideological dogmatism.
Baudelaire was among the first French poets to include lesbians as subjects.
Joshua Dixon in 2011.
Congratulations to Josh Dixon, whose strong performance at the U.S. Men's Qualifier meet on May 5, 2012 in Colorado Springs, Colorado makes him a leading contender for a slot on the U.S. Men's Gymnastics Team at the London Olympics. If he makes the team, he would be America's first openly gay male gymnast to compete in the Olympics.
As Cyd Zeigler, Jr. reports at Outsports, Dixon finished second overall out of the 72 competitors at the Men's Qualifier, where he also tied for wins in the floor exercise and high bar events.
Dixon, who is a Stanford University senior, grew up in a multiracial household (he is half-black and half-Japanese) and has immersed himself in gymnastics since adolescence.
In high school he was a four-time member of the USA Junior National team and placed second all-around at the 2006 Visa U.S. Championships. His Stanford team won national championships in 2009 and 2011.
The next hurdle in Dixon's quest for a slot on the Olympic team is the Visa Championships, June 7-10 in St. Louis. The top 15 finishers at that meet then go on to the Olympic Trials, June 28-July 1, in his home town of San Jose. From there, six men will be chosen to represent the United States at the London Olympics.
Dixon began coming out to other athletes at Stanford in his sophomore year, and in his junior year he began dating another varsity athlete. When members of the gymnastics team noticed that he was spending a lot of time with a particular friend, they felt comfortable enough to question him about it.
News of his openness about his sexuality spread quickly through the close-knit gymnastics world. Happily, Dixon reports that he has not had a single negative reaction from other athletes.
He does acknowledge that he once felt self-conscious about being a gay man in what some label the "gay sport" of gymnastics. He worried about falling into a stereotype.
Dixon is currently the only U.S. Olympic contender in the sport who is openly gay, but he is certainly not the only elite American gymnast who is gay. He knows of several other highly accomplished gay gymnasts.
In the video below, Josh Dixon performs on the high bar at the 2011 Winter Cup Challenge in Las Vegas.