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.
In December, Melissa Etheridge launched a non-profit organization, the Uprising of Love Coalition, in order to support the glbtq communities in Russia and other areas where gay people are endangered and persecuted. The organization has attracted the support of such celebrities as Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, Jake Shears, Lance Bass, Lily Tomlin, Jim Parsons, James Franco, Julianne Moore, Judith Light, George Takei, Alec Mapa, and Sigourney Weaver, among many others. On March 25, 2014, Etheridge released the official video of her song from which the organization takes its name.
All proceeds from the sale of "Uprising of Love" will benefit the Russia Freedom Fund, which advances the safety and dignity of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex Russians.
Etheridge's work is characterized by intense emotion, unbridled energy, and fierce honesty. She has previously used her art to make statements regarding the safety and dignity of glbtq people, including most notably, "Scarecrow," a song inspired by the murder of Matthew Shepard, and "Tuesday Morning," a tribute to openly gay 9/11/01 hero Mark Bingham.
Below is the official video of "Uprising of Love."
The video below responds to the 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard.
Etheridge's powerful tribute to Mark Bingham is below.