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.
Karen Ocamb after receiving a NLGJA award in 2012.
Congratulations to Los Angeles-based journalist Karen Ocamb. Her remarkable photo-essay at lgbt/pov entitled "Nuance and LGBT-News" not only explains why the glbtq press continues to be necessary even as gay issues are covered by the mainstream press, but it also constitutes a mini-history of glbtq activism in Los Angeles and of Ocamb's own admirable career.
Ocamb's central point is that a gay press is necessary "to provide insight, balance and often accuracy to stories where chasing and grasping nuance is too often perceived as a chore or a luxury to mainstream reporters on deadline."
Active as a reporter of glbtq news since the 1980s, and currently news editor at Frontiers In LA magazine, Ocamb came out in the midst of the AIDS crisis. "I didn't know how to be useful other than to write about what I saw," she states.
By writing about what she saw, Ocamb did something very useful indeed. She recorded with nuance and understanding the struggles and triumphs of the Los Angeles movement for equal rights.
The essay is illustrated by a treasure trove of photographs, most of them taken by Ocamb herself, depicting movement figures such as Robert Hattoy, Harry Hay, Jim Kepner, Morris Kight, Judith Light, Sir Ian McKellen, David Mixner, Paul Monette, Urvasha Vaid, Sgt. Perry Watkins, Winston Wilde, Phill Wilson, Terry Wolverton, and many others.
In the video below, recorded in February 2012, when Ocamb was honored by the National Gay and Lesbian Journalism Association, she explains her continuing enthusiasm for glbtq journalism.