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. Tammy Baldwin, now a candidate for the U. S. Senate, addresses the LGBT Caucus at the Convention.
The big news out of Democratic National Convention in Charlotte on September 5, 2012 was the virtuouso performance of former President Bill Clinton, who nominated President Obama for re-election and eviscerated the Republican candidates. In addition, however, the visibility of glbtq delegates and issues continued to be a prominent feature of the 2012 Convention.
In the New York Times, Adam Nagourney reports on this new visibility, which I also noted here. "After years of struggling for attention and recognition from the nation's political parties, gays and lesbians have catapulted to the forefront of the Democratic convention here, prominent on the stage, in speeches, in the platform and at parties that go on after the proceedings have finished."
"The turnaround," Nagourney writes, "has surprised even gay leaders, who just four years ago were frustrated in their attempt to get same-sex marriage mentioned in prime time."
"I have certainly never attended a convention where visibility is as significant as it has been at this convention," said Representative Tammy Baldwin, a gay Wisconsin Democrat who is running for the Senate and is set to address the convention on Thursday. "There is amazing progress to celebrate."
Historian Eric Marcus remarked upon a striking phenomenon--the pride of our allies in declaring their support for gay issues: "I used to think I was bold in being as out as I am, but now I feel like our straight supporters have zoomed past me in their enthusiasm and their out-ness about being pro-gay. They're actually wearing their pro-gay agenda as a badge of honor. What a transformed world from my youth."
Nagourney remarks that "The higher profile of gays extended beyond the arena. It was not uncommon to see same-sex couples walking hand in hand down Tryon Street, in the heart of Uptown. Parties sponsored by gay and lesbian groups have become as sought after as the ones sponsored by Google and by the Illinois delegation."
Representative Barney Frank, who spoke at the 1992 convention and will be one of the prime-time speakers Thursday night, told an interviewer: "It's gotten better and better on a continuous basis. We are close to winning this fight."
Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, introduced First Lady Michelle Obama at a glbtq fund-raising luncheon. He said that what was most striking is how gay issues and figures have been integrated so fully into the convention.
"It's an incredible, noticeable, historic difference," he said. "Now equality is integrated in the party. In conversation after conversation people are talking about it."
California Assembly Speaker John Pérez addressed the Convention on Wednesday. He referenced the Democratic Party's history of fighting for glbtq rights.
On Wednesday, Representative Tammy Baldwin spoke to the LGBT Caucus and contrasted the difference between previous conventions and the 2012 convention.