Female impersonation need say nothing about sexual identity, but it has for a long time been almost an institutionalized aspect of gay male culture.
Although sparse in images documenting the gay community, pre-Stonewall gay male photography blurs the boundaries between art, erotica, and social history.
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.
Independent films that aggressively assert homosexual identity and queer culture, the New Queer Cinema can be seen as the culmination of several developments in American cinema.
Renowned photographer, teacher, critic, editor, and curator, Minor White created some of the most interesting photographs of male nudes of the second half of the twentieth century, but did not exhibit them for fear of scandal.
The first international fashion superstar, Halston dressed and befriended some of America's most glamorous women.
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.
Film, stage, and television actor Paul Winfield was openly gay in his private life, but maintained public silence about his homosexuality.
Yvonne "Miss Dixie" Fasnacht, owner of the legendary New Orleans gay bar "Dixie's Bar of Music," died on November 13, 2011, aged 101. Although she retired in 1964, she remained a beloved figure for her support of her patrons, who were frequently harassed by police during periodic "clean up" campaigns.
In 1939 jazz musician "Miss Dixie" Fasnacht and her sister "Miss Irma" opened Dixie's Bar of Music in the downtown business district of New Orleans at 201 St. Charles Avenue. In 1949, the bar moved to 701 Bourbon Street in the French Quarter. She is thought to be the model for a character in Gore Vidal's The City and the Pillar (1948).
Dixie's Bar of Music attracted a wide variety of customers, including both visiting celebrities, such as Helen Hayes, Faye Emerson, and Danny Kaye, and local lesbians and gay men who came to the bar to socialize, to cruise, and to hear Miss Dixie croon such jazz classics as "Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans."
A fixture in the bar was a 35-foot mural of 66 celebrities, with their autographs, that Ms. Fasnacht donated to the Louisiana State Museum.
She was known for her loyalty to her patrons, especially during times of oppression. For example, when the first gay Mardi Gras krewe was raided by the police in neighboring Jefferson Parish in 1962, she wasted no time in opening her safe and dispatching an attorney to make bail for as many of the arrested krewe members as possible.
She was predeceased by her beloved sister Irma. Her survivors include nephews and nieces.