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.
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.
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.
Olympian Brian Orser, known for both his athleticism and artistry, led a resurgence of Canada as a force to be reckoned with in men's figure skating; after being outed in a palimony suit, he has become an advocate for glbtq rights.
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.
Handsome, athletic, graceful, and charismatic, actor Errol Flynn was widely rumored to enjoy sexual relations with men as well as women.
In nineteenth-century America men who loved other men often suffered from guilt, but artists such as Winslow Homer and Thomas Eakins celebrated male camaraderie and affection, while expatriate John Singer Sargent depicted the dandy, and photographs documented male friendships.
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.
Washington Governor Chris Gregoire at the signing of the marriage equality bill.
On February 13, 2012, Washington Governor Chris Gregoire, flanked by more than 40 lawmakers, signed the state's landmark marriage equality bill into law. Governor Gregoire celebrated the historic day with hundreds of same-sex couples who chanted "Gregoire! Gregoire!" as she walked into the reception room where she signed the bill that aligns Washington with six other states and the District of Columbia in bestowing equal rights under the law to gay and lesbian couples.
Governor Gregoire said today "is a proud day that historians will mark as a milestone for equal rights." She told stories of several people who had contacted her during the debate about same-sex marriage, including a teenage girl who had considered suicide because of the way she was treated because of her sexual orientation, but said the debate had changed her mind.
After years of ambivalence about same-sex marriage, Gregoire announced in January that she would not only sign marriage equality legislation, but would also use the powers of her office to assure its passage. In television interviews and press conferences in January, she recalled her personal journey in reaching that decision, which required her to go against the teachings of her Catholic faith.
Gesturing to her two daughters who attended the signing ceremony, Gregoire teared up when thanking the younger generation for speaking up about the issue.
Openly gay Representative Jamie Pedersen (D-Seattle), who sponsored the House version of the bill, expressed pride in Washington for taking a first step toward equal rights.
"With the signing of this bill, Washington is the first state to repeal a so-called Defense of Marriage Act and make marriage available to gay and lesbian families," Pedersen said. He thanked his partner and future husband Eric, who was at the signing with their four young children.
Openly gay Senator Ed Murray (D-Seattle) said that no matter what happens in the months from now, "nothing will take this moment in history away from us." He thanked several lawmakers for their support, including Representative Laurie Jenkins. Her political skills "proved you need a lesbian in the house," Murray said.
Among the other lawmakers present at the signing was Republican Representative Maureen Walsh, whose impassioned speech in favor of same-sex marriage went viral on the Internet this week. Supporters cheered for her as she entered.
Washington same-sex couples will not be able to marry immediately. The new law does not become effective until June 7 at the earliest.
Opponents of same-sex marriage announced that they will attempt to qualify a referendum to repeal the law. If they are able to collect 120,577 valid signatures by June 6, 2012, the law will be suspended until the November election.
The defense of the legislation will be led by Washington United for Marriage, a coalition of organizations, congregations, unions, and business associations working together to secure civil marriage for loving, committed gay and lesbian couples.
Here is a video of the signing ceremony.