Long-distance swimmer and respected sports commentator has in more recent years spoken out on issues of glbtq rights.
Indian playwright, screenwriter, dancer, director, and actor Mahesh Dattani is an important figure in South Asian gay culture by virtue of his recurrent depiction of queer characters.
Entertainer Josephine Baker achieved acclaim as the twentieth century's first international black female sex symbol, but kept carefully hidden her many sexual liaisons with women, which continued from adolescence to the end of her life.
American painter Paul Cadmus is best known for the satiric innocence of his frequently censored paintings of burly men in skin-tight clothes, but he also created works that celebrate same-sex domesticity.
San Francisco visual artist Jerome Caja is known for his small, sensuous combinations of found objects, which he painted with nail polish, makeup, and glitter, as well as for his drag performances.
Although sparse in images documenting the gay community, pre-Stonewall gay male photography blurs the boundaries between art, erotica, and social history.
Female impersonation need say nothing about sexual identity, but it has for a long time been almost an institutionalized aspect of gay male culture.
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.
Mayor Annise Parker.
On December 17, 2013, Harris County Republicans filed suit against the City of Houston to challenge Mayor Annise Parker's extension of health and life insurance benefits to all spouses of legally married city employees, including same-sex couples.
Soon after her re-election in November 2013 to her third and final term as Mayor of Houston, an election she won with 57 percent of the vote, 30 percent more than her closest opponent in the nine-person field, Parker issued an executive order extending the benefits, effective January 1, 2014.
In 2001, a citizens' initiative was passed to deny benefits to same-sex partners of city employees, but did so by limiting spousal benefits to legally married partners, apparently not foreseeing that same-sex couples would ever be able to be legally married.
In extending the benefits, Parker argued that the United States Supreme Court decision in June 2013 in United States v. Windsor, which found Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional, supersedes a similar state constitutional amendment in Texas.
However, as Brian Rogers reports in the Houston Chronicle, Harris County Republican Chairman Jared Woodfill, who initiated the suit filed on December 17, described Parker's action as "one of the most egregious acts by an elected official I've ever seen."
"They just decided to, unilaterally, as a lame duck, thumb their nose at the will of the people and just spit on the U.S. Constitution," Woodfill added.
In response to the suit state District Judge Lisa Millard, a Republican, signed a temporary restraining order putting the new policy on hold until the matter goes before a judge on January 6, 2014.
The lawsuit alleges that the mechanism that Parker used to enact benefits for same-sex couples violates the Houston's city charter, the state Defense of Marriage Act, and the Texas Constitution.
Attorneys for the city said that the lawsuit will likely be thrown out because the two men who filed it do not appear to have legal standing.
"They don't appear to have any particular stake to complain about this," said City Attorney David Feldman. "Just being a taxpayer isn't enough."
Feldman addressed the other issues outlined in the lawsuit when Parker announced the change despite a voter-approved 2001 charter amendment that had banned the practice in November and said the administration's position has not changed.
Feldman noted the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling overturning the federal Defense of Marriage Act this year, federal agencies' subsequent decisions to recognize legal same-sex marriages, and other relevant case law in support of the city's position.
In the brief video below, Mayor Parker speaks of her experience growing up gay.
In the longer video below, from October 2013, Mayor Parker gives a thoughtful and revealing keynote address at the University of Chicago about "Changing the Political Landscape" in which she discusses the spate of youth suicides and the problem of internalized homophobia.