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.
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.
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.
Olympian Brian Orser, known for both his athleticism and artistry, led a resurgence of Canada as a force to be reckoned with in men's figure skating; after being outed in a palimony suit, he has become an advocate for glbtq rights.
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.
Handsome, athletic, graceful, and charismatic, actor Errol Flynn was widely rumored to enjoy sexual relations with men as well as women.
In nineteenth-century America men who loved other men often suffered from guilt, but artists such as Winslow Homer and Thomas Eakins celebrated male camaraderie and affection, while expatriate John Singer Sargent depicted the dandy, and photographs documented male friendships.
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.
Matt Bomer (left) with Simon Halls.
GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, has announced that it will honor actor Matt Bomer and his husband Hollywood publicist Simon Halls with its Inspiration Award at its eighth annual Respect Awards in Los Angeles on October 5, 2012. It will also present a Lifetime Achievement Award to DreamWorks Animation co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg and his wife Marilyn Katzenberg.
Founded in 1990 by Kevin Jennings, GLSEN is the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for all students. Its mission is to reform the American educational system in order to ensure that children accept and respect one another, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity and expression.
Members of GLSEN work to combat homophobia and heterosexism in schools by educating students, teachers, administrators, and the general public about the causes and effects of anti-glbtq prejudice and violence. GLSEN fosters school climates where difference is valued for the positive contribution it makes to creating a more vibrant and diverse community.
The Respect Awards honor the work of corporations, individuals, students and educators who have made a significant difference in the areas of diversity, inclusion and the safe schools movement, and who serve as exemplary role models.
The Katzenbergs have provided leadership and generous support to many organizations focused on healthcare, tolerance, education, the arts, children, Jewish causes, and the environment.
They are longtime supporters of the glbtq community through their commitment to GLSEN, Human Rights Watch, the ACLU, the American Foundation for Equal Rights, People for the American Way, the USC Shoah Foundation Institute, and the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center.
GLSEN is honoring Halls and Bomer for their commitment to family and equal rights. They live in Los Angeles with their three sons, Kit, Walker, and Henry.
Bomer, who stars as Neal Caffrey on USA's critically acclaimed drama White Collar, which debuted in 2009, has also performed in Dustin Lance Black's dramatic account of the Proposition 8 trial, 8, and in the recent film Magic Mike. He will appear with Julia Roberts and Mark Ruffalo in the forthcoming film based on Larry Kramer's AIDS play, The Normal Heart.
Halls is a publicist at Slate PR, who represents such well-known clients as Ang Lee, Tom Ford, Jude Law, and Annette Bening.
Bomer came out publicly in February 2012, when he accepted an award for his activism in the fight against HIV/AIDS. While accepting the Steve Chase Foundation's New Generation Arts and Activism Award in Palm Springs, he said, "I'd really especially like to thank my beautiful family: Simon, Kit, Walker, Henry. Thank you for teaching me what unconditional love is. You will always be my proudest accomplishment."
BuzzFeed has assembled a gallery of photos of Halls and Bomer with their children. It can be accessed here.
In the clip below, Bomer portrays Jeff Zarillo, one the plaintiffs in the lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of California's Proposition 8, in Dustin Lance Black's 8.