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.
Shane Bitney Crone's heartwrenching video, "It Could Happen to You," about his experience following the sudden death of his partner of six years, has gone viral. Crone marked the one-year anniversary of Tom Bridegroom's death by making the video chronicling what happened to him after his lover died without leaving a will.
Crone and Bridegroom fell in love and built a life together. They started a business, bought a home, and travelled the world together. Five years into the relationship, the couple came out to their families.
Crone's family embraced the news and rejoiced that their son had found his soulmate. Bridegroom's family, however, reacted negatively, threatening their son both physically and mentally.
On May 7, 2011, Bridegroom died after falling from a roof during a photography shoot in Los Angeles. Within 24 hours, his mother arrived in California, claimed Bridegroom's body and his possessions, and then prevented Crone from even attending the funeral and memorial service.
The video offers a heartwrenching glimpse of the tragedy that befell a happy couple, made worse because they had not made wills and had not been able to marry.
The video is a wake-up call for glbtq couples, particularly in areas that do not offer marriage rights or domestic partnerships, to entrust each other with financial and medical decision-making capabilities via legal procedures such as powers of attorney, health care proxies, and living wills.
As John M. Becker observes at TruthWinsOut, "this video provides yet another example of the galling injustice of the so-called 'Defense of Marriage Act,' constitutional marriage discrimination amendments like the one . . . in North Carolina, and the religion-based bigotry that justifies the unconscionable way families like Tom's often treat the surviving same-sex spouses and partners of their deceased children."
Becker asks, "How many more hearts have to be broken before equality for LGBT people, couples, and families is fully realized and the scourge of religion-based bigotry is eradicated forever?"
Corbin decided to share his story in a video because "It has been said that sharing personal stories is one of the most effective ways to change people's hearts and minds. This is my story and I hope you are inspired to share it with others."
For more on Crone and Bridegroom, see Brent Lambert's account of the couple at FEELguide.
The video, which was uploaded to YouTube on May 6, 2012, has already received more than 1,000,000 views.