Long-distance swimmer and respected sports commentator has in more recent years spoken out on issues of glbtq rights.
Indian playwright, screenwriter, dancer, director, and actor Mahesh Dattani is an important figure in South Asian gay culture by virtue of his recurrent depiction of queer characters.
Entertainer Josephine Baker achieved acclaim as the twentieth century's first international black female sex symbol, but kept carefully hidden her many sexual liaisons with women, which continued from adolescence to the end of her life.
American painter Paul Cadmus is best known for the satiric innocence of his frequently censored paintings of burly men in skin-tight clothes, but he also created works that celebrate same-sex domesticity.
San Francisco visual artist Jerome Caja is known for his small, sensuous combinations of found objects, which he painted with nail polish, makeup, and glitter, as well as for his drag performances.
Although sparse in images documenting the gay community, pre-Stonewall gay male photography blurs the boundaries between art, erotica, and social history.
Female impersonation need say nothing about sexual identity, but it has for a long time been almost an institutionalized aspect of gay male culture.
Given the historic stigma around making, circulating, and possessing overtly homoerotic images, the visual arts have been especially important for providing a socially sanctioned arena for depicting the naked male body and suggesting homoerotic desire.
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.