The works of García Lorca, internationally recognized as Spain's most prominent lyric poet and dramatist of the twentieth century, are filled with thinly veiled homosexual motifs and themes.
There has always been homosexual involvement in American musical theatre and a homosexual sensibility even in straight musicals, and recently the Broadway musical has welcomed openly homosexual themes and situations.
Best known for his genius in art and architecture, Michelangelo was also an accomplished author of homoerotic poetry.
The African-American gay male literary tradition consists of a substantial body of texts and includes some of the most gifted writers of the twentieth century.
Combining elements of incongruity, theatricality, and exaggeration, camp is a form of humor that helps homosexuals cope with a hostile environment.
Langston Hughes, whose literary legacy is enormous and varied, was closeted, but homosexuality was an important influence on his literary imagination, and many of his poems may be read as gay texts.
James Baldwin, a pioneering figure in twentieth-century literature, wrote sustained and articulate challenges to American racism and mandatory heterosexuality.
Oscar Wilde is important both as an accomplished writer and as a symbolic figure who exemplified a way of being homosexual at a pivotal moment in the emergence of gay consciousness.
Congratulations to Pamela Raintree, a transgender woman who brilliantly challenged a homophobic councilman in Shreveport, Louisiana on January 14, 2014. The confrontation came after the councilman attempted to repeal an anti-discrimination ordinance and it offers a wonderful example of how to deal with religious-based homophobia.
Shreveport, Louisiana has a reputation as one of the most conservative cities in the country. Located in north Louisiana, near the Texas border, the city is overwhelmingly Southern Baptist and Republican. However, there has lately been some movement toward a greater inclusiveness, perhaps inspired by the city's attempt to attract lucrative film projects.
To burnish its new image as a more accepting and diverse community, Shreveport recently adopted a "fairness" ordinance that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
The adoption of the ordinance makes Shreveport only the second city in Louisiana--after New Orleans--to enact protections for its glbtq citizens. Whereas New Orleans adopted a nondiscrimination ordinance providing protections on the basis of sexual orientation in 1991 and on the basis of gender identity in 1998, attempts to adopt similar ordinances in Baton Rouge and Lafayette have repeatedly failed.
The ordinance, sponsored by a pro-glbtq coalition known as "Be Fair Shreveport," was passed by the City Council in December on a 6-1 vote.
Despite the overwhelming vote, City Councilman Ron Webb, the lone dissenter, did not give up. Instead, he threatened a referendum on the measure and attempted to repeal it. He told his colleagues that "The Bible tells you homosexuals are an abomination," and proudly stated that he does not socialize with glbtq people.
At the City Council meeting on January 14, when Councilman Webb's proposal was to be considered, dozens of people registered to speak out against it.
Among them was Pamela Raintree, a transgender woman who was not afraid to confront the Councilman on his own terms.
Holding a stone in her hand, Ms. Raintree quoted the passage that Webb had cited at the previous council meeting and asked if he had the courage of his convictions.
"Leviticus 20:13 states, 'If a man also lie with mankind as he lieth with a woman, they shall surely put him to death,'" Raintree began, and--evoking Jesus's injunction, "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone," added "I brought the first stone, Mr. Webb, in case that your Bible talk isn't just a smoke screen for personal prejudices."
Webb withdrew his repeal measure just minutes later, without calling for a vote.
The brilliance of Pamela Raintree's confrontation is that it turns the table on bigots who use the Bible to attack others and raises the crucial question of whether their "Bible talk" isn't just a smokescreen for their personal prejudices.
Thanks to the Advocate for calling attention to the video below and thanks to Pamela Raintree for so powerfully calling out the hypocrisy of Shreveport Councilman Ron Webb.