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.
In a new video, the indomitable Dan Savage takes on the odious Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council. Perkins had threatened to sue Savage for saying that "every dead gay kid is a victory for the Family Research Council." In the video, Savage doubles down and says he welcomes a lawsuit.
Savage, who is best known as a sex columnist, MTV personality, and co-founder of the "It Gets Better" project, is a fierce defender of glbtq youth. He and his husband Terry Miller founded the "It Gets Better" project as a response to the spate of suicides of gay youth in the fall of 2010.
During a speech at Winona State University in September, Savage explained succinctly why the Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled the Family Research Council a hate group and how the organization contributes to the suicide of gay youth.
"Tony Perkins tells parents whose kids come out to reject them," Savage said. "Tony Perkins tells the parents of queer kids to do what Tony Perkins damn well knows drives those kids to suicide--doubles their already quadruple rate of suicide. Why would someone who calls themselves a Christian do that? Because every dead gay kid is a victory for the Family Research Council."
"They argue that the gay lifestyle is sick and sinful and dangerous and they point to the suicide rate, and then they turn around and do everything in their power to make sure that suicide rate does not come down and to drive it up. Tony Perkins sits on a pile of dead gay kids every day when he goes to work--and he calls himself a Christian. I don't understand how real Christians let that little fucker get away with that."
A conservative group CampusReform.org surreptitiously taped the speech and posted it on YouTube, apparently hoping to embarrass Savage or to paint him as a bully of Christians and conservatives.
When the YouTube video was brought to Perkins's attention, he went on Mike Huckabee's radio show to denounce Savage and to imply that he was planning to sue him.
In the radio program both Huckabee and Perkins expressed outrage over Savage's comments. Huckabee described the columnist as "rude, vile, and angry." Perkins hinted that he might sue Savage: "we are pursuing everything possible to deal with him because he is out of control."
In his "Savage Love" column in The Stranger for October 3, 2012, Savage said he would welcome a lawsuit.
"Sue me, Tony. I'd love to see you talk about my "issues" on a witness stand," Savage wrote.
He added, "I realize that this isn't how you think the world is supposed to work, Tony. You believe--and you're old enough to remember a time when--people like you were free to say vile and disgusting things about people like me without anyone objecting. Certainly people like me weren't allowed to call people like you out. You still believe you should be free to lie about me and other LGBT people with absolutely impunity---we're all pedophiles and terrorists and Satanists---and that we should have to shut up and take it because. . . well, I'm not sure why you think we're not allowed to respond when you lie about us. Maybe that's something we could get to the bottom of during the depositions."
In a new video posted on the recently launched TakePartTV YouTube channel, Savage repeats his challenge to Perkins.
The new video may be seen below.