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.
Rep. Greg Harris.
Despite support for Illinois' marriage-equality bill from President Obama, Governor Ryan, both U.S. Senators, and House Speaker Mike Madigan, the state House of Representative adjourned on May 31, 2013 without voting on the bill, which was passed by the state Senate in February. A tearful Representative Greg Harris, the openly gay chief sponsor of the bill, announced that some lawmakers had requested more time to consult their constituents and that he would not be calling for a vote on the measure.
Despite 71 Democratic Representatives in the House, the marriage equality bill apparently did not have the 60 votes needed to pass it into law. Representative Harris had previously expressed confidence that the votes were there. When he announced that no vote would be taken, the gallery, which was packed with marriage equality supporters, erupted with groans of disappointment.
In 2011, Illinois instituted civil unions for both same-sex and opposite-sex couples. Had the marriage equality bill been passed and signed into law, Illinois would have become the 13th state to permit same-sex marriage.
In making his announcement, Harris expressed confidence that the bill would pass in the fall session. "We will be back, and we will be voting on this bill," he said. He also apologized "to the families who were hoping to wake up tomorrow as full and equal citizens of this state."
Immediately following the withdrawal of the bill, finger-pointing began, some blaming Speaker Madigan, who is de facto leader of the Democratic Party in Illinois. Other criticized Harris for withdrawing the bill, arguing that a vote would have at least made clear with Representatives supported the bill and which did not.
In the video below, Representative Harris announces the withdrawal of the bill. His announcement is followed by a passionate speech by openly lesbian Representative Deb Mell.
In the following video, Windy City Times editor Tracy Baim interviews Representative Harris after his dramatic announcement.