Female impersonation need say nothing about sexual identity, but it has for a long time been almost an institutionalized aspect of gay male culture.
Although sparse in images documenting the gay community, pre-Stonewall gay male photography blurs the boundaries between art, erotica, and social history.
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.
Independent films that aggressively assert homosexual identity and queer culture, the New Queer Cinema can be seen as the culmination of several developments in American cinema.
Renowned photographer, teacher, critic, editor, and curator, Minor White created some of the most interesting photographs of male nudes of the second half of the twentieth century, but did not exhibit them for fear of scandal.
The first international fashion superstar, Halston dressed and befriended some of America's most glamorous women.
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.
Film, stage, and television actor Paul Winfield was openly gay in his private life, but maintained public silence about his homosexuality.
François Hollande. Photograph by Jean-Marc Ayrault (CC BY 2.0).
On December 15, 2013, France's President François Hollande announced that he would not be attending the Winter Games in Sochi. President Hollande follows German President Joachim Gauck and European Union Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding, who previously announced that they would also boycott the Winter Games in protest of Russia's anti-gay laws. In confirming that Hollande would not attend the Games, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told Europe 1 Radio that no top French officials would travel to Sochi.
Meanwhile Russia slides into an ever more violent pogrom against gay people. In one of the most revolting recent incidents, popular Russian television star Ivan Okhlobystin, who is also a Russian Orthodox priest, told Siberian fans that he wants to burn gay people alive.
"I'd put them all alive in the oven . . . it's a living danger to my children," Okhlobystin said. Okhlobystin, a father of six, also demanded that "faggots" be stripped of their voting rights as homosexuality is a "psychical anomaly."
His fans roared their approval.
As John Aravosis commented at America.blog, any remaining doubt as to whether Russia was a modern, developed country went out the window when Okhlobystin called for the country's gay and lesbian population to be thrown into ovens and burned alive.
Aravosis has also recently reported that journalist Andy Humm had discovered that former Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir previously listed himself as an employee of the Russian Embassy in his bio for a speaker's bureau, a fact that was not revealed when NBC announced that it had hired Weir as a commentator at the Sochi Games.
If Weir, who has identified himself as a "Russophile" and has called gay activists "idiots," is an agent of the Russian government, that would pose an obvious conflict of interest for any reporting he would do at the Games.
However, soon after Aravosis's post went online, Weir scrubbed his bio at the speaker's bureau that represents him of the claimed affiliation with the Russian Embassy. He issued a dubious statement saying that the claim that he works with or for the Russian Embassy was merely a "typo."
Meanwhile, the largest gay nightclub in Moscow has, for the twentieth time, been subjected to harassment and threats.