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.
As the United States celebrates Father's Day in 2013, it is good to remember both exemplary gay fathers and also the good straight fathers who have loved and nurtured their glbtq children. Happily, President Obama has included gay fathers in his official celebrations of Father's Day 2013. Unfortunately, many parents in the U.S. are second-class citizens, as vividly illustrated in a new video entitled "A Tale of Two Dads."
Matthew Miller reports in the Detroit Free Press, that a Lansing, Michigan gay couple, Kent and Diego Love-Ramirez, who are fathers of two-and-a-half-year-old boy named Lucas, were invited to the White House celebration of Father's Day on June 14, 2013.
As Miller writes of the two dads, "They were there when Lucas was born on New Year's Day in 2011. Diego cut the umbilical cord. Kent was the first to hold him. They brought him home from the hospital and have been, in Kent's words, 'very attentive and very intentional parents' ever since."
When they received an invitation from the White House social secretary that began, "The President requests the pleasure of your company for a celebration of Father's Day . . . ," the couple regarded it as not just an honor but also a validation of them as parents.
"For us, it's especially meaningful," Kent Love-Ramirez said. "Because Michigan doesn't have second parent adoption, we're not both legally recognized as Lucas' fathers. Only one of us is."
"It's nice that even though we don't have legal recognition in our home state that the White House has seen fit to include us," he added.
In his weekly radio address on June 15, President Obama also pointedly included a reference to gay parents. In wishing a Happy Father's Day to all dads, he said "Being a good parent--whether you're gay or straight; a foster parent or a grandparent--isn't easy. It demands your constant attention, frequent sacrifice, and a healthy dose of patience." He added that his administration is committed to strengthening families of all kinds.
Perhaps the easiest way to support same-sex parents would be the achievement of marriage equality, which is the message of Mark Maxwell and Tim Young, a gay couple from North Carolina, who are foster parents to four young boys ranging between 13 to 24 years of age.
As Jase Peeples notes in a profile in The Advocate, "Though the two men have been together for more than 20 years, and were legally married in Washington D.C. earlier this year, they are currently unable to jointly adopt the boys under the laws of North Carolina because they are a same-sex couple."
Their story is told in a touching video produced by the Campaign for Southern Equality and Freedom to Marry.