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.
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."