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.
The writers of the Beat Generation, many of whom were gay or bisexual, endorsed gay rights as a part of their rebellion against inhibition and self-censorship.
The Comedy of Manners, which flourished on the Restoration stage, has been particularly amenable to twentieth-century gay male writers as a vehicle for social satire in both dramatic and nondramatic works.
Using his and his family's experiences, particularly his childhood in Raleigh, North Carolina, and his own wacky perspective on life, David Sedaris has become a world-famous humorist, comedian, writer, playwright, and radio personality.
From the great modernist writers of the 1920s and 1930s to the pulp writers of the 1950s to the lesbian writers of today, lesbian novelists have had a powerful impact on the lesbian community.
From its beginning, the nineteenth century in England had a purposeful homosexual literature of considerable bulk, both male and female, though it was fettered by oppression.
Persecuted for his homosexuality by the Castro government he had once championed, Cuban novelist, essayist, and poet Reinaldo Arenas challenged all types of ideological dogmatism.
Baudelaire was among the first French poets to include lesbians as subjects.
Richard Blanco at home in Maine.
Congratulations to Richard Blanco, who has been chosen to read an original poem at the January 21, 2013 Inauguration of President Barack Obama. The author of three acclaimed books of poetry, Blanco is the son of Cuban exiles. He was conceived in Cuba, born in Spain, and reared in Miami. He currently lives in Bethel, Maine with his partner, Mark.
Sheryl Gay Stolberg writes in the New York Times that Blanco has long felt a spiritual connection with the President. His affinity for Obama "springs from his own feeling of straddling different worlds; he is Latino and gay (and worked as a civil engineer while pursuing poetry)."
Blanco's first collection, City of a Hundred Fires won the 1997 Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize, a prestigious literary award for a first full-length book of poetry, and was published the next year by the University of Pittsburgh Press. Like his first, his second book, Directions to the Beach of the Dead (2005), also explores his Cuban heritage. His third book, Looking for the Gulf Motel (2012), however, focuses on how he incorporates his life as a gay man within a conservative Cuban culture.
"It's trying to understand how I fit between negotiating the world, between being mainstream gay and being Cuban gay," he told Stolberg.
Of the inaugural poem, he said, "The challenge is how to be me in the poem, to have a voice that's still intimate but yet can encompass a multitude of what America is."
To learn more about Richard Blanco, investigate his webpage.
In the video below, from a reading in New York's Bryant Park in 2012, Blanco reads his poem "Queer Theory (According to His Grandmother)."
From the same reading, Blanco reads "Betting on America."