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.
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.
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.
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.
Long-distance swimmer and respected sports commentator has in more recent years spoken out on issues of glbtq rights.
The greatest dancer of his time, Rudolf Nureyev also gave the world a new and glamorous image of a sexually active gay man.
While nude depictions of women appear in most cultures, on both sides of the equator, and in rich variety, lesbian artists have been particularly resourceful in their use of the female nude.
Handsome, athletic, graceful, and charismatic, actor Errol Flynn was widely rumored to enjoy sexual relations with men as well as women.
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.