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.
Speaker-elect Tina Kotek.
Following substantial gains in the November 6, 2012 election, the Democratic Party attained the majority in Oregon's House of Representatives. On November 15, 2012, the Democratic caucus tapped Representative Tina Kotek of Portland to become Speaker of the House in the new legislative session beginning in January 2013. The selection makes Kotek the first openly lesbian legislator to lead a state legislative chamber.
The only openly gay member currently serving in the Oregon legislature, Kotek said she did not set out to break barriers but is honored to represent the gay community.
"We all look for people out there who look like us," she said. "I have had emails and text messages from people who are very excited."
Before her election to the legislature in 2006, Kotek was the policy director for the non-profit advocacy organization Children First for Oregon. Prior to joining Children First, she was a public policy advocate for the Oregon Food Bank. Recognized for her expertise on children's health insurance issues, she was appointed by Governor Ted Kulongoski to serve as the co-chair of the Governor's Medicaid Advisory Committee from late 2005 through 2006.
In the House of Representatives, Kotek represents a liberal district in the heart of Portland. During her first session in 2007, she was the only freshman legislator to chair a committee, the House Subcommittee on Health Policy.
In that session, she also helped pass two pieces of landmark legislation that prohibited discrimination based on sexual orientation and created domestic partnerships for same-sex couples.
In the last session, she was selected to lead the Democratic caucus in an evenly divided House. She also served on the Ways and Means Committee and co-chaired the subcommittee on Human Services.
As leader of the Democratic caucus, she oversaw campaign efforts that helped her party gain a 34 to 26 majority in the November 6 election.
Kotek, who holds a B.S. in religious studies from the University of Oregon and an M.A. in international studies from the University of Washington, lives in the Kenton neighborhood of North Portland with her partner Aimee Wilson and their dogs Maya and Rudy.
When legislatures convene in January, openly gay and lesbian leaders will control the House or Senate in five states: California, Rhode Island, Colorado, Washington, and Oregon.
Denis Dison, a spokesman for the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, a national group that supports the election of glbtq candidates, said in response to the news of Kotek's elevation to Speaker: "For many years, we were building a bench of openly gay officials who could step into those roles, and now we're seeing that around the country."
In the video below, from January 30, 2012, Representative Kotek joined caregivers, community members and workers to support Portland's low-wage workers.