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.
An image from Elise Dodeles' Sports series.
Artist Elise Dodeles will be featured at Philadelphia's William Way LGBT Community Center gallery in a solo exhibition from January 13 through March 3, 2012. Dodeles won the 2011 Juried Art Competition and Exhibition at the Center.
The works to be featured in the William Way Community Center show are drawn from images Dodeles found in online archives, books, and family photos that that she has transformed into meditations on race, sex, gender, and power.
A painting from the William Way LGBT Community Center Gallery's solo exhibition of Dodeles' work.
In earlier work, Dodeles created a series of images of male athletes, an unusual subject for a lesbian artist. She says that she found strength in the subject area after a serious illness left her feeling weak and vulnerable. Additional images of her sports paintings can be found on her website.
A painting from Dodeles' Sports series.
An opening reception will take place on Friday, January 13, 2012 at the William Way LGBT Community Center.
Images courtesy Elise Dodeles, © Elise Dodeles.