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.
Margarethe Cammermeyer presided over a retirement ceremony honoring Major Margaret Witt and Lt. Colonel Victor Fehrenbach.
On September 4, 2011, less than three weeks before Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT), the military policy that prohibits gay and lesbian servicemembers from serving openly, is officially repealed, Colonel Margarethe Cammermeyer presided over a retirement ceremony honoring Major Margaret Witt and Lt. Colonel Victor Fehrenbach.
The ceremony was particularly poignant because Cammermeyer, Witt, and Fehrenbach are all three heroes of the movement to end the discriminatory policy. They fought back and resisted their discharges.
Cammermeyer, a distinguished nurse, was discharged from the National Guard in 1992, but sued and won reinstatement in 1994. She officially retired with full honors and benefits in 1997.
Major Witt, a decorated flight nurse, was discharged under DADT in 2006, and sued for reenlistment. After a long legal fight, she not only won her case but established a key legal precedent, the "Witt standard," which requires that the military must prove (as opposed to simply asserting) that openly gay servicemembers actually impair unit cohesion and damage morale.
The Witt standard was key not only in the success of Major Witt's own battle, which resulted in her reinstatement in 2010, but it was also crucial in the Log Cabin Republicans suit that resulted in the declaration that the DADT policy is unconstitutional.
When he was targeted for discharge in 2008, decorated fighter pilot Lt. Colonel Fehrenbach sued before the discharge became official. He won an injunction against the processing of the discharge and ultimately negotiated a settlement that allowed him to retire on his own terms, with full honors and benefits. As Colonel Cammermeyer remarked at the ceremony, "he has worn the uniform as the officer and pilot and human being that he is, and said 'Take me on.'"
At the ceremony, another casualty of DADT, Army Captain Jonathan Hopkins, who was discharged in 2010, remarked of Witt and Fehrenbach, "Today we have honored two Airmen who have fought not just for their country in battle, but also for civil rights in a cause far greater than themselves."
Witt and Fehrenback will officially retire on October 1, 2011.