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 professional bowler Scott Norton, who won the 2012 PBA Chameleon Championship in Las Vegas in November. A sign of progress is that when ESPN broadcast the event on December 30, 2012, the network did not censor the kiss the new champion shared with his husband Craig Woodward. The commentators throughout the broadcast explained Woodward's presence at the event by describing him interchageably as Norton's husband or spouse.
As Jim Buzinski at OutSports explains, "In what might be a first, ESPN this weekend showed an openly gay male pro athlete kissing his husband and they did not shy away from describing the relationship."
Norton won the championship by defeating Jason Belmonte. Upon realizing he had won, he broke down and cried in memory of a friend who had died. He was then shown kissing his husband, Craig Woodward, as they exchanged affectionate words. During the telecast, ESPN's announcers referred to Woodward as Norton's husband or spouse.
Norton was the 1999 U.S. Junior National Bowling Champion and won a World Youth Championships gold medal in 2000. He joined the PBA Tour in 2010 and was named Rookie of the Year after winning the Chameleon Championship in 2010-11.
As Norton told Michelle Garcia of The Advocate in 2011, it is important for him to be openly gay on the tour so he can serve as a role model for fellow gay athletes.
"I am very proud and happy with who I am and who I have become as a person," he added, "and I would hope that this will empower other gay athletes--past, present, or future--to come to terms with the truth about who they are and love themselves for who they are."
He wrote on the PBA website in 2011 that his experience on the tour "surpassed nearly everything I could hope for in terms of acceptance."
In addition to being a professional bowler, Norton also works as an attorney. His husband is a health care executive.
The kiss may be seen in the video below.