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.
Houston Mayor Annise Parker.
Congratulations to Mayor Annise Parker who won re-election on November 8, 2011. Other glbtq candidates also won election to municipal councils and state legislatures and other offices on November 8.
According to the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, 53 of the 75 candidates endorsed by the organization were victorious in their races.
In Houston, Mayor Parker received more than 50% of the vote, thus avoiding a run-off. Her nearest competitor in the five-candidate field received less than 15% of the tally.
In other mayoral races, twenty-two-year-old Alex Morse won his race for mayor of Holyoke, Massachusetts, while Bryan Harris was elected mayor of Chatham Borough, New Jersey, likely becoming the nation's first openly gay, African-American Republican mayor. In addition, Daryl Finizio won election as mayor of New London, Connecticut; Pedro Segarra was re-elected mayor of Hartford, Connecticut; Steve Pougnet was re-elected mayor of Palm Springs, California with 70% of the vote; and Mark Kleinschmidt was re-elected mayor of Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Voters in several major cities have elected the first openly gay or lesbian members of their city councils: Mike Laster in Houston; Zach Adamson in Indianapolis; Robin Kniech in Denver; LaWana Mayfield in Charlotte; and Chris Seelbach in Cincinnati.
In addition, lesbian Caitlin Copple won a seat on the Missoula, Montana city council, defeating an incumbent who voted against a non-discrimination ordinance; while openly gay Ryan Mello was elected to the Tacoma, Washington city council; Michael Smith defeated an anti-gay incumbent to win election to the Largo, Florida city council; Lee Storrow won his quest for a seat on the Chapel Hill, North Carolina city council; Rick Hutcheson was re-elected to the Palm Springs, California council; and Lydia Lavelle was re-elected to the Carrboro, North Carolina city council.
In Virginia, Adam Ebbin, who had served in the House of Delegates, won election to become the state's first openly gay state senator. In New Jersey, Tim Eustace, mayor of Maywood, becomes the second openly gay member of the state Assembly, joining Assemblymember Reed Gusciora, who won re-election.
In Arizona, Daniel Hernandez, Jr., the intern who helped save the life of Representative Gabrielle Giffords, was elected to the Pima County school board. In Minnesota, Mary Doran won election to the St. Paul school board.
In a pivotal race, Iowa voters elected Democrat Liz Mathis, a glbtq-ally, to an open state senate seat, thus preserving the narrow Democratic majority in the senate and preventing a referendum on marriage equality in Iowa. Mathis defeated her opponent, who was heavily supported by the National Organization for Marriage, by a margin of 56% to 44%.
Voters in Traverse City, Michigan retained a glbtq-inclusive anti-discrimination ordinance by a 2-to-1 margin.
It appears that Bevan Dufty has lost his bid to become the first openly gay mayor of San Francisco.
Although not on the ballot on November 8, 2011, the four openly gay members of the United States House of Representatives--Barney Frank (Massachusetts), Tammy Baldwin (Wisconsin), Jared Polis (Colorado), and David Cicilline (Rhode Island)--have issued an "It Gets Better" video.