Although gay, lesbian, and queer theory are related practices, the three terms delineate separate emphases marked by different assumptions about the relationship between gender and sexuality.
The Harlem Renaissance, an African-American literary movement of the 1920s and 1930s, included several important gay and lesbian writers.
Oscar Wilde is important both as an accomplished writer and as a symbolic figure who exemplified a way of being homosexual at a pivotal moment in the emergence of gay consciousness.
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.
Conflicted over his own sexuality, Tennessee Williams wrote directly about homosexuality only in his short stories, his poetry, and his late plays.
Erotic and pornographic works have been written in many cultures since ancient times and recently have flourished with the relaxation of censorship.
Feminist literary theory is a complex, dynamic area of study that draws from a wide range of critical theories.
James Baldwin, a pioneering figure in twentieth-century literature, wrote sustained and articulate challenges to American racism and mandatory heterosexuality.
Two young men discuss rising homophobia during the marriage debate.
On April 23, 2013, France's National Assembly decisively passed marriage equality legislation on final reading, 331-225. The historic vote came in the midst of heightened tension and escalating violence on the part of anti-gay opponents of equal rights. Barring a ruling by the Constitutional Council, France will be the 14th nation to extend marriage rights to all of its same-sex couples.
In advance of the vote, Paris police stationed scores of officers and a small battery of water cannons at the National Assembly in order to prevent a repeat of the street violence that has characterized some of the demonstrations against marriage equality. Increased police patrols were also ordered for the city's predominantly gay neighborhoods.
In addition to several highly publicized attacks on gay couples and on gay bars, Socialist deputies have been threatened as a result of their support of equal marriage rights.
Claude Bartolone, the president of the National Assembly, received a threatening letter containing gunpowder. The letter echoed the threat made earlier by Frigide Barjot, the leader of the anti-gay group Manif pour Tous, who said that President Hollande "wants blood" and promised that "He will get it."
Shortly before the vote was taken, a protest broke out in the National Assembly gallery. Bartolene ordered the protesters removed, describing them as "enemies of democracy."
Joe Morgan and Dan Littauer report in Gay Star News that President François Hollande has 15 days to sign the bill into law, though opponents are likely to mount a last-minute appeal to the Constitutional Council. It is believed that such an appeal will not succeed, though it may have the effect of delaying Hollande's signing marriage equality into law by a month.
Dominique Bertinotti, Minister for Family, said that "Even in the event of an appeal to the Constitutional Council, we can consider that [marriage equality] will become law in late June."
On his blog, French gay activist Nicolas Chinadret described the vote as a "natural, if overdue, step forward for France," but added, "it is very sad and somewhat shameful that the country of human rights had to be the one with the most virulent opposition to the move."
"The violence both physical and verbal that we've witnessed have created real wounds that will take much time and effort to be healed."
The news video below reports on the marriage debate and homophobic violence in France.
In the following clip National Assembly President Bartolone orders disruptive protesters removed from the gallery as the vote is about to proceed.
The video below captures the moment that the vote is announced to the cheers of the delegates and vistors.