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.
Notwithstanding its persecution of gay men and lesbians, Uganda has been chosen by Lonely Planet as its top travel destination for 2012. The travel guide publisher acknowledges that "Human rights abuses are not uncommon" in Uganda, but its "inhouse travel experts" nevertheless recommend the country for this honor "based on topicality, excitement, value and that special X-factor." Lonely Planet's insensitivity to the suffering of gay men and lesbians in Uganda is nothing less than shameful.
Lonely Planet, which is owned by BBC Worldwide, is the world's largest publisher of travel guides, producing both digital and print publications, as well as television travel programs. The company is a giant player in the tourist industry. Hence, its choice of Uganda as a top travel destination is significant and has important repercussions.
Their choice says very plainly that the abuse of the human rights of homosexuals is not an important concern. The murder and beating of gay activists, the fomenting of homophobia by U.S. Evangelical Christian anti-gay activists, and the condemnation of the country by leading human rights organizations for its abuse of its glbtq citizens--these apparently count for little or nothing to Lonely Planet.
It is not as though Lonely Planet is unaware of the terror under which gay men and lesbians in Uganda live or that the infamous "kill the gays" bill awaits action in the nation's legislature.
Indeed, when challenged by a commenter about the choice, the editor of Lonely Planet's website responded as follows:
"We chose Uganda for the experiences that it can offer to travelers, separate from its current political situation.
"To be very clear: we are aware of, and condemn, Uganda's anti-homosexuality bill. We hope that travellers do not judge the country in general, and most of its people, by the sentiments of its government. Many destinations across the world have political and human rights issues and travel often can raise awareness of these issues."
The editor apparently thinks that the fact that they knew of the "kill the gays" bill and chose Uganda anyway is some kind of defense. In fact, it makes the choice all the worse. One can more readily excuse ignorance than indifference.
Equally disturbing is the implication in this editor's statement that the murder of David Kato in January of this year and the terrorizing of other gay activists, such as Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera, who recently received the Martin Ennals Human Rights Defenders Award, can simply be dismissed as part of Uganda's "current political situation."