Long-distance swimmer and respected sports commentator has in more recent years spoken out on issues of glbtq rights.
Indian playwright, screenwriter, dancer, director, and actor Mahesh Dattani is an important figure in South Asian gay culture by virtue of his recurrent depiction of queer characters.
Entertainer Josephine Baker achieved acclaim as the twentieth century's first international black female sex symbol, but kept carefully hidden her many sexual liaisons with women, which continued from adolescence to the end of her life.
American painter Paul Cadmus is best known for the satiric innocence of his frequently censored paintings of burly men in skin-tight clothes, but he also created works that celebrate same-sex domesticity.
San Francisco visual artist Jerome Caja is known for his small, sensuous combinations of found objects, which he painted with nail polish, makeup, and glitter, as well as for his drag performances.
Although sparse in images documenting the gay community, pre-Stonewall gay male photography blurs the boundaries between art, erotica, and social history.
Female impersonation need say nothing about sexual identity, but it has for a long time been almost an institutionalized aspect of gay male culture.
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.
On May 17, 2013, France's Constitutional Council rejected an appeal from opponents of same-sex marriage and declared constitutional the marriage equality legislation recently passed by lop-sided margins in the Senate and the National Assembly. On May 18, 2012, President Hollande signed the bill into law. Marriages will begin in ten days.
As reported by The Local, "The final hurdle preventing the gay marriage bill from becoming law was overcome on Friday when the legislation was passed by France's Constitutional Council, after it turned down a challenge by the opposition."
On April 23, the National Assembly voted handily in favor of the legislation. However, it was immediately appealed by the opposition to the Council, which has the right to nullify legislation that is unconstitutional.
In response to the appeal, on May 17, "Les Sages," as the Council members are known, declared that same-sex marriage does "not run contrary to any constitutional principles," and that it does not infringe "basic rights or liberties or national sovereignty."
The council also ruled that adoption by same-sex couples did not mean that anyone had a "right to a child" and that the "interest of the child" would be the overriding factor in all cases of adoption.
Immediately after the Council's decision was announced, President Hollande said that he was eager to sign the bill. He did so on May 18.
In signing the bill into law, President Hollande reaffirmed his support for marriage equality. "I will ensure that the law applies across the whole territory, in full," he said, adding, "and I will not accept any disruption of these marriages." The latter phrase is no doubt a reference to the anti-gay violence that has escalated in the wake on the marriage equality debate.
The first same-sex weddings can be held by the end of the month.
France will become the 15th country to legalize same-sex marriage, joining eight other European nations--the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Iceland, and Denmark-- and South Africa, Canada, Argentina, New Zealand, Uruguay, and Brazil. In addition, same-sex marriage is legal in portions of Mexico and the United States.
French opponents of same-sex marriage have pledged to continue to protest the new law with mass demonstrations.
Nevertheless, Justice Minister Christiane Taubira hailed the adoption of the bill as a "historic" moment in French history.
"It grants new rights, stands firmly against discrimination (and) testifies to our country's respect for the institution of marriage," she said in a statement shortly after the April 23 vote in the National Assembly.
The video below reports on President Hollande's signing the bill into law.
The news video below reports on the legislative victory and the homophobia that surfaced during the struggle for equality.