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.
Klaus Wowereit. Photograph by Oliver Wolters (CC BY-SA 3.0).
Congratulations to Klaus Wowereit on his election to a third five-year term as Mayor of Berlin. In the Berlin city-state election on September 18, 2011, Wowereit led the center-left Social Democratic Party to victory.
The success positions Wowereit as the Social Democrats' leading candidate for Chancellor in the federal elections of 2013.
Analysts attribute Wowereit's reelection to his personal popularity. The Mayor, who came out in 2001 at a party conference prior to his election by declaring, "I'm gay, and that's a good thing," is credited with helping to turn Berlin into one of Europe's top cultural hubs over the last decade.
Wowerit is one of a handful of openly gay or lesbian mayors of major cities. Among them are Bertrand Delanoë of Paris, Annise Parker of Houston, Samuel Adams of Portland, Oregon, and Jim Gray of Lexington, Kentucky.
Their numbers may soon be increased. Speaker of the New York City Council Christine Quinn is expected to make a strong bid to become mayor of her city, former member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors Bevan Dufty is running to become his city's first openly gay mayor, and London's highest ranking police official Brian Paddick has recently announced his candidacy for mayor.