Female impersonation need say nothing about sexual identity, but it has for a long time been almost an institutionalized aspect of gay male culture.
Although sparse in images documenting the gay community, pre-Stonewall gay male photography blurs the boundaries between art, erotica, and social history.
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.
Independent films that aggressively assert homosexual identity and queer culture, the New Queer Cinema can be seen as the culmination of several developments in American cinema.
Renowned photographer, teacher, critic, editor, and curator, Minor White created some of the most interesting photographs of male nudes of the second half of the twentieth century, but did not exhibit them for fear of scandal.
The first international fashion superstar, Halston dressed and befriended some of America's most glamorous women.
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.
Film, stage, and television actor Paul Winfield was openly gay in his private life, but maintained public silence about his homosexuality.
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.