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.
On March 18, former Secretary of State and presumptive 2016 Democratic Party Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton issued a full-throated endorsement of marriage equality. The move surprised no one since it has been widely suspected for some time that Mrs. Clinton supports marriage equality. Reportedly, she waited until after her service as Secretary of State to make her position clear since traditionally the Secretary of State remains aloof from domestic politics.
Clinton made the endorsement of marriage equality in a six-minute video released by the Human Rights Campaign. In the video she says that gays and lesbians are "full and equal citizens and deserve the rights of citizenship." She adds, "That includes marriage" and clarifies that she supports marriage equality both "personally and as a matter of policy and law."
The announcement fuels speculation that Clinton is considering another run for the presidency in 2016. Other possible Democratic contenders such as Vice President Joe Biden, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, and Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley are already on record in support of marriage equality. Her support for same-sex marriage also aligns her position with that of her husband former President Bill Clinton and their daughter Chelsea Clinton.
Although Mrs. Clinton declined to support marriage equality in her 2008 quest for the Democratic nomination, choosing to support civil unions instead, she has been outspoken in her support for glbtq rights as Secretary of State.
Especially noteworthy was her speech in December 2011 before the United Nations Council on Human Rights in Geneva, Switzerland in which she called on all nations to respect the human rights of gay people. "Being LGBT does not make you less human," she declared.
In that speech, Secretary Clinton conceded that the United States has its own failings in ensuring equal civil rights for its glbtq citizens, and echoed President Obama's contention that ending discrimination is a common cause for all countries.
Below is the video in which the former Secretary of State unambiguously endorses marriage equality as both a personal and policy position.