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.
Congratulations to Mary Lambert, the openly lesbian singer and songwriter who came to national attention for her collaboration with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis on their 2012 album The Heist, especially for her haunting hook in the marriage equality anthem, "Same Love," which traces the history of a gay male couple's relationship. "Same Love" quickly rose in the charts in 2012 and helped build support for marriage equality, especially in Washington state, from where Macklemore and Lewis and Lambert all hail. Now Lambert has released a new single that fleshes out and amplifies her refrain in "Same Love," which is "She Keeps Me Warm."
In an appreciation of the new song at ThinkProgress, Alyssa Rosenberg describes "She Keeps Me Warm" as a "straightforward love story": "'I could be your morning sunrise,' Lambert promises. In an initial flirtation, she asks 'What's your middle name? / Do you hate your job? / Do you fall in love too easily?' Out in public, 'She says that people stare because we look so good together.'"
Rosenberg adds, "As much as I appreciate 'Same Love,' I actually think 'She Keeps Me Warm' is more important. There's always something powerful about the moment when you recognize your own feelings in a song. And the ability to have that moment of affinity, without being jarred out of it by pronouns that don't match your experience, or without a political statement, is a wonderful thing."
I don't agree that the new song is more significant than "Same Love," which is more ambitious and more historic as a breakthrough expression of homoeroticism in hip-hop and rap, but I understand Rosenberg's appreciation of the more straightforward lesbian love story that is "She Keeps Me Warm." Indeed, the apparent simplicity and sincerity of the lyrics and presentation contribute to the song's beauty.
What do you think?
First up is Macklemore and Ryan Lewis's "Same Love," featuring Mary Lambert.
Here is Mary Lambert's "She Keeps Me Warm."