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.
British gay rights pioneer Allan Horsfall died on August 31, 2012. One of the founders of the Homosexual Law Reform Society, formed in 1958 to campaign for the implementation of the reforms recommended by the Wolfenden Report, Horsfall has been described by Peter Tatchell as the "grandfather of the gay rights movement."
A Labour Party politician, Horsfall served as Councillor for Nelson, Lancashire between 1958 and 1961. During this period, at considerable risk to his position in the Party, he introduced the local Labour party to the ideas of homosexual law reform. In 1959, he introduced a motion to support the decriminalization of homosexuality.
In 1964, Horsfall founded the Manchester-based North-West Homosexual Law Reform committee. As Sarah Leeves explains in PinkPaper, the Manchester organization was Britain's first grassroots, gay-led campaign group. It grew into a national body in 1969, as the Committee for Homosexual Equality and was renamed again in 1971 as the Campaign for Homosexual Equality (CHE).
Under Horsfall's presidency in the 1970s and 1980s, the CHE grew to be the largest gay rights group in the United Kingdom.
In the videos below, from a November 2006 conference, Horsfall explains the progress of gay rights, especially within the Labour Party.