Langston Hughes, whose literary legacy is enormous and varied, was closeted, but homosexuality was an important influence on his literary imagination, and many of his poems may be read as gay texts.
The writers of the Beat Generation, many of whom were gay or bisexual, endorsed gay rights as a part of their rebellion against inhibition and self-censorship.
The Comedy of Manners, which flourished on the Restoration stage, has been particularly amenable to twentieth-century gay male writers as a vehicle for social satire in both dramatic and nondramatic works.
Using his and his family's experiences, particularly his childhood in Raleigh, North Carolina, and his own wacky perspective on life, David Sedaris has become a world-famous humorist, comedian, writer, playwright, and radio personality.
From the great modernist writers of the 1920s and 1930s to the pulp writers of the 1950s to the lesbian writers of today, lesbian novelists have had a powerful impact on the lesbian community.
From its beginning, the nineteenth century in England had a purposeful homosexual literature of considerable bulk, both male and female, though it was fettered by oppression.
Persecuted for his homosexuality by the Castro government he had once championed, Cuban novelist, essayist, and poet Reinaldo Arenas challenged all types of ideological dogmatism.
Baudelaire was among the first French poets to include lesbians as subjects.
Ellen Degeneres (GNU Free Documentation License).
In the first week of February an utterly misnamed group called OneMillionMoms made headlines by calling for a boycott of the Dallas-based department store JC Penney for having hired Ellen DeGeneres as its spokesperson. A "project" of the hate group American Family Association, OneMillionMoms was offended that JC Penney had hired an open homosexual spokesperson when most of its customers are "traditional families." DeGeneres, the group declared on its website, "is not a true representation of the type of families who shop at the retailer. The small percentage of customers they are attempting to satisfy will not offset their loss in sales by offending the majority."
In response to the organization's threat of a boycott, JC Penney president Michael Francis issued a press release declaring, "We share the same fundamental values as Ellen. We couldn't think of a better partner to help us put the fun back into the retail experience."
Even conservative commentator Bill O'Reilly was appalled by OneMillionMom's demand that JC Penney fire DeGeneres. He was unable to get anyone from the organization to appear on his Fox News show, O'Reilly Factor, so he had to settle for equally loony Fox News contributor Sandy Rios, president of something called Culture Campaign, who lamented that DeGeneres "acted out her homosexual lifestyle."
In the video clip below, O'Reilly compares OneMillionMom's attack on DeGeneres to the witchhunts of the McCarthy era.
Finally, Ellen DeGeneres herself addressed the issue. On an episode of her show aired on February 8, 2012, she took the opportunity to express both her pleasure with the Ninth Circuit's decision declaring Proposition 8 unconstitutional and her reaction to her "haters."
"They wanted to get me fired and I am proud and happy to say JC Penney stuck by their decision to make me their spokesperson," she told her studio audience. "It's great news for me because I need some new crew socks, and I'm really gonna clean up with this discount."
She said that her values are ""honesty, equality, kindness, compassion, treating people the way you want to be treated and helping those in need. To me, these are traditional values."