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.
Lily Tomlin (left) and Jane Wagner.
Congratulations to comedy legend Lily Tomlin and her long-time partner, writer Jane Wagner, who wed on December 31, 2013. The couple, who are artistic collaborators as well as life partners, met in 1971 and began dating shortly thereafter. After forty-two years together, they married on New Year's Eve.
The news of the marriage comes from Liz Smith, who reported it in her New York Social Diary column, but the news was no surprise. The couple told E! News in August that they were thinking of getting married now that the Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8 have been struck down.
Tomlin first achieved fame in the late 1960s when she became a featured performer on television's groundbreaking Laugh-in, where she introduced a number of her most beloved comic characters. Her career has spanned television, comedy recordings, Broadway, and motion pictures.
As Tina Gianoulis writes of Tomlin in her glbtq.com entry, the rubber-faced comedian "manages to convey the universal silliness of the human condition while respecting the essential dignity of each of her characters." In 2003, Tomlin was awarded the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.
Tomlin developed and refined her comedy style in her one-woman shows, which she has performed as television specials and on Broadway and other stages around the country. Many of these, including Appearing Nitely (1977), Lily--Sold Out (1981), and the Tony-winning The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe (1985, revived 2000), were written and directed by Wagner.
Tomlin and Wagner have long been supporters of gay and lesbian and feminist causes. The Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Community Center's Cultural Arts facility is named in their honor. The two also share a star in Palm Springs' Walk of Stars.
In the video below, from March 2012, the couple, with characteristic humor, accept the Palm Springs honor.