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.
"Young LGBT Latina" Alejandra Salinas, President of the College Democrats of America, praises President Obama's inclusiveness.
The most inclusive political major-party convention in American history culminated on September 6, 2012 with President Barack Obama accepting the Democratic Party's nomination for re-election. The night also included more appearances by openly gay officials and repeated expressions of support for glbtq issues.
In a speech that included both pointed criticism of his opponents and a lyrical reaffirmation of his faith in American possibilities, the President reiterated his commitment to change even as he credited his supporters with the changes that have come under this administration.
He said, "the election four years ago wasn't about me. It was about you. My fellow citizens--you were the change."
"You're the reason a young immigrant who grew up here and went to school here and pledged allegiance to our flag will no longer be deported from the only country she's ever called home; why selfless soldiers won't be kicked out of the military because of who they are or who they love; why thousands of families have finally been able to say to the loved ones who served us so bravely, 'Welcome home,'" Obama said.
The President both ridiculed his opponents, saying that the Republicans had no real plans for the economy--"all they have to offer is the same prescription they've had for the last 30 years. Have a surplus? Try a tax cut. Deficit too high? Try another. Feel a cold coming on? Take two tax cuts, roll back some regulations, and call us in the morning!"--and decried their intolerance: "We don't think government can solve all our problems. But we don't think that government is the source of all our problems--any more than are welfare recipients, or corporations, or unions, or immigrants, or gays, or any other group we're told to blame for our troubles."
He concluded his speech by stirringly evoking the motif of progress despite obstacles: "America, I never said this journey would be easy, and I won't promise that now. Yes, our path is harder--but it leads to a better place. Yes, our road is longer--but we travel it together. We don't turn back. We leave no one behind. We pull each other up. We draw strength from our victories, and we learn from our mistakes, but we keep our eyes fixed on that distant horizon, knowing that Providence is with us, and that we are surely blessed to be citizens of the greatest nation on Earth."
In other highlights of the final day, Representative Barney Frank contrasted the "two Romneys"--Mitt Romney and "Myth" Romney." At one point, referring to Romney's flip-flops, he said, "There's the Romney who was going to be better on gay rights than Ted Kennedy. And now there's the Romney who checks with Rick Santorum on that issue."
In her remarks, Representative Tammy Baldwin applauded the President's repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and blasted Romney's support for a consitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.
"Republicans want to write discrimination into our Constitution. But the Wisconsin I know believes that with each passing year and each generation, our country must become more equal, not less," she said.
Speeches by two young people were also noteworthy.
In her remarks Alejandra Salinas, president of the College Democrats of America, not only praised President Obama's record on glbtq issues, but also identified herself as "a young LGBT Latina."
In his speech, Zach Wahls, the son of lesbian mothers, praised President Obama for putting his political future on the line to do what was right when he endorsed marriage equality.
Wahls also remarked: "Governor Romney says he's against same-sex marriage because every child deserves a mother and a father. I think every child deserves a family as loving and committed as mine. Because the sense of family comes from the commitment we make to each other to work through the hard times so we can enjoy the good ones. It comes from the love that binds us; that's what makes a family."
He added, "Mr. Romney, my family is just as real as yours."
In the video below, Barney Frank dissects "Myth Romney.
Alejandra Salinas addresses the convention on behalf of the DNC Youth Council.
Zach Wahls addresses the convention on behalf of marriage equality.
Below is the Equality Video premiered at the Democratic National Convention.