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 Megan Rapinoe of the U.S. Women's Soccer Team and to four members of the Dutch Field Hockey team on winning gold medals at the London 2012 Olympics. Alas, Australian diver Matthew Mitcham failed to qualify for the finals in the men's ten meter platform diving competition.
On August 9, 2012, the U.S. Women's Soccer Team defeated Japan 2-1 in the gold medal game.
Crucial to the team's success was Megan Rapinoe, who in July in an interview with Jerry Portwood in Out matter-of-factly came out. Observing that "sports in general are still homophobic, in the sense that not a lot of people are out," she added that no one had asked her directly about her orientation. "I think they were trying to be respectful and that it's my job to say, 'I'm gay.' Which I am. For the record: I am gay," she repeated.
As Keph Senett reports in The New Civil Rights Movement, the U.S. Women's Soccer team was coached to victory by out and proud lesbian Pia Sundhage. The outspoken Swede became the first foreign head coach of the U.S. team in 2007.
On August 10, 2012, the Dutch field hockey team swept to a gold medal with a 2-0 victory over Argentina. The team from the Netherlands boasts four lesbians, Marilyn Agliotti, Carlien Dirkse-van-den-Heuvel, Kim Lammers, and team captain Maarjte Paumen. Carlien and Maartje each scored a goal in the gold medal game.
As Jean Ann Esselink observes in The New Civil Rights Movement, openly gay and lesbian athletes have thus far won nine medals, including six gold, one silver, and two bronze. "It's quite an impressive medal count for a contingent of only twenty-four out gay athletes," she remarked.
Alas, Matthew Mitcham, who earned a gold medal in the ten meter platform diving competition in 2008, will not be medaling in London. To the disappointment of millions of his fans, the Australian diver, who is suffering from an abdominal injury, failed to qualify for the finals.
Megan Rapinoe was featured in a segment of NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams on August 10, 2012.
Mitcham, who is an ambassador for the Gay Games, recently released a video promoting the Gay Games scheduled for Cleveland in August 2014.