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.
David Gerstner (left) and Michelangelo Signorile.
Congratulations to activist and journalist Michelangelo Signorile and his long-time partner film historian David Gerstner, who were wed at New York's City Hall on July 19, 2013. Signorile announced the event by tweeting a photo of the couple with the caption "Just Married. Manhattan City Hall."
Signorile is a prolific, and often provocative, writer and activist whose books and articles, radio show, newspaper columns, and website champion the cause of glbtq rights. He first came to prominence as a result of his role in the debate about "outing" closeted conservatives in the 1990s. He has been called the heir to the "in your face" brand of activism inaugurated by Larry Kramer in the 1980s, though recently he has become a gay establishment figure, himself evidence of the prominence openly gay journalists have achieved as glbtq issues have been embraced by mainstream media.
Signorile is host of a talk show aired on Sirius XM Radio. He is also editor-at-large for the Gay Voices vertical of The Huffington Post, where he writes regularly. He was recently selected to helm an expanded SiriusXM channel dedicated to progressive politics.
David Gerstner is Professor of Cinema Studies at the College of Staten Island, City University of New York. He has published widely on the representation of cultural identities in film. Among his books are Queer Pollen: White Seduction, Black-Male Homosexuality, and the Cinematic and Manly Arts: Masculinity and Nation in Early American Cinema.
In the video below, Signorile announces the new Sirius XM channel.