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.
Senators Regala (left) and Ranker.
On the evening of February 1, 2012, the Washington state Senate voted in favor of equal marriage rights. The bill passed by a 28-21 margin, with four Republicans joining 24 Democrats in the majority, and three Democrats joining 18 Republicans in the minority. The most memorable speeches during the debate were by Democratic Senators Regala and Ranker.
The bill is expected to be passed by a large majority in the House, and Washington Governor Christine Gregoire, who initiated the bill, will happily sign it into law. The law will almost certainly be subjected to a public referendum in November.
The debate in the Senate was mainly subdued, though the expected canards about religious liberty were raised and amendments were voted down.
But two speeches were particularly noteworthy.
Senator Debbie Regala spoke about how marriage has changed over the years and mentioned that she married "one year after the ban on interracial marriage was struck down by the Supreme Court." Senator Regala said that she was very glad the definition of marriage changed.
Senator Kevin Ranker revealed that he is the son of a gay man and that he knew first-hand the discrimination--the "shame and silence"--his father faced as a result of his sexual orientation. Ranker reminded his colleagues that "separate can never be equal."
Thanks to Stuart Wilbur at The New Civil Rights Movement for calling attention to the speeches, which may be seen in the video below.