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.
The wedding kiss.
Congratulations to Tshepo Cameron Modisane and Thoba Calvin Sithole, who were married on April 6, 2013 in what is believed to be one of the first traditional Zulu same-sex weddings since South Africa legalized same-sex marriage in November 2006. The couple were married in the town of KwaDukuza in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
In February, the couple was profiled in South Africa's gay online magazine, Mamba Online. In the profile by Roberto Igual, the couple, both 27-years-old, express gratitude to their supportive families.
Modisane proposed to Sithole in June 2012. They quickly agreed to do things the African way, "respecting the traditions and customs associated with marriage." They decided to have a traditional Zulu ceremony to be followed by a traditional Western wedding later in the year. (Modisane is Tswana and Sithole is Zulu).
The men's relationship and wedding have become something of a cause célèbre in KZN, where a local newspaper featured their nuptials on the front page.
Modisane told Igual that one of the reasons he and Sithole have chosen to be so open is that they "hope to inspire people out there who are still struggling to come to terms with their sexuality."
"We see no reason to hide in darkness as if there is something to be ashamed about. Our marriage is largely symbolic and a sign that black gay men can commit and build family through a happy and loving marriage," he said.
Sithole added, "This is who we are and we are just tired of people judging with no understanding. We are people and entitled to live life to the fullest."
Both men scoffed at the widely held belief that being gay is un-African and that homosexuality was imported into Africa by Western colonialists.
"We grew up in a township and homosexual people have always been around us even though they were ridiculed by members of the community," said Modisane, who added that discrimination, through colonial laws and attitudes, is what was imported to Africa.
"Studies by historians and anthropologists have found same-sex relationships to have been in existence in pre-colonial Africa," he pointed out. "Most Africans need to stop making excuses for their own fears and embrace that same-sex relations have been happening in Africa since time immemorial."
Igual describes Modisane and Sithole as members "of a new generation of young gay Africans who are determined to claim an equal space in their communities."
South African television news channel ENCA reported sympathetically on the wedding. In the video Modisane says "Being gay is as African as being black."
Hat tip to Towleroad.com