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.
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."