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.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.
At the conclusion of the United Kingdom's consultation on marriage equality Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has made a video in which he states that marriage equality in Britain is no longer a question of "if." In his video for the Out4Marriage campaign, Clegg says he is committed to making it "happen now" while his party is in the coalition government.
Clegg, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, became Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Lord President of the Council on May 11, 2012 through a coalition agreement with the Conservative Party under Prime Minister David Cameron.
When neither the Conservative Party nor the Labour Party received a majority in the 2010 General Election, the Liberal Democrats held the balance of power. After negotiations between Clegg and Cameron, a coalition government was formed.
Clegg has been a member of parliament since 2005 and Leader of the Liberal Democrats since 2007. Previously, he was an award-winning journalist and a member of the European parliament.
As Stephen Gray points out in PinkNews, Clegg became the first major political leader to support equal marriage when in 2010 he declared, "I support gay marriage. Love is the same, straight or gay, so the civil institution should be the same, too. All couples should be able to make that commitment to one another."
In his Out4Marriage video released on June 20, 2012, he repeats the sentiment and affirms that it is no longer a question of 'if' marriage equality will become law in Great Britain.
In his video, Clegg says, "I've always been very clear on this: love is the same, straight or gay, so the civil institution should be the same too.
"All couples should be able to make that commitment to one another, regardless of who they love.
"I fought for equal marriage before I was in Government, and I'm even more committed to making it happen now--as a Liberal Democrat and as Deputy Prime Minister.
"We brought forward our proposals--they have provoked a heated debate.
"But these are proposals about when and how to open up civil marriage to gay and lesbian couples. It's not a matter of 'if' any more.
"And to those who are worried about some of the opposition to this move or the tone of the debate, let me just say, whether you are a gay, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual or straight: your freedom to love who you choose is a fundamental right in a liberal society--and you will always have our support. That's why I'm Out4Marriage."
Below is Deputy Prime Minister Clegg's video.