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.
The writers of the Beat Generation, many of whom were gay or bisexual, endorsed gay rights as a part of their rebellion against inhibition and self-censorship.
The Comedy of Manners, which flourished on the Restoration stage, has been particularly amenable to twentieth-century gay male writers as a vehicle for social satire in both dramatic and nondramatic works.
Using his and his family's experiences, particularly his childhood in Raleigh, North Carolina, and his own wacky perspective on life, David Sedaris has become a world-famous humorist, comedian, writer, playwright, and radio personality.
From the great modernist writers of the 1920s and 1930s to the pulp writers of the 1950s to the lesbian writers of today, lesbian novelists have had a powerful impact on the lesbian community.
From its beginning, the nineteenth century in England had a purposeful homosexual literature of considerable bulk, both male and female, though it was fettered by oppression.
Persecuted for his homosexuality by the Castro government he had once championed, Cuban novelist, essayist, and poet Reinaldo Arenas challenged all types of ideological dogmatism.
Baudelaire was among the first French poets to include lesbians as subjects.
Texas activist Bettie Naylor, a founding member of both the Human Rights Campaign and the National Women's Political Caucus, died in her sleep on April 19, 2012.
Naylor and her wife Libby Sykora spent decades lobbying on behalf of progressive causes, especially women's and glbtq issues.
In the 1970s, Naylor became Texas's first registered gay rights lobbyist. A tiny woman, she became a large presence in the Texas state house, constantly fighting against anti-gay legislation, and often losing the battle, especially after Texas tilted to the right in the 1990s.
Naylor is survived by Sykora and three children and two granddaughters.
Upon learning of Naylor's death, a number of organizations and individuals have issued statements lauding her and her work.
The statement from Equality Texas notes that Naylor was a founder of the organization, as well as of the Texas and National Women's Political Caucus: "Bettie breathed new life into the women's movement, and gained powerful allies along the way. In the early 1990s, one of those allies was Texas Governor Ann Richards. . . . When Naylor was honored by the Human Rights Campaign, Governor Richards commented in her classic tongue-in-cheek manner, 'Bettie Naylor is older than dirt. And I have taught her everything I know.'."
The statement goes on to describe Naylor as "an iconic champion of equality in the Lone Star State."
Former executive director of what was then the Lesbian Gay Rights Lobby of Texas Dianne Hardy-Garcia said, "Bettie Naylor was a fearless and tenacious leader. And she was just damn fun to be around. What I loved about her, and learned from her, was that she was always willing to drink with, pray with and charm Republicans and Democrats alike in the quest for women's equality and LGBT rights. In her mind, all things were possible and she believed everyone could change and become more enlightened. . . ."
Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese issued the following statement: "Bettie Naylor was a force to be reckoned with, and played a central role in bettering the lives of LGBT people at both the national level and in Texas. As a founding board member of the Human Rights Campaign, and a leader in starting our Austin Steering Committee, Bettie was a tireless advocate and never stopped working to ensure that members of our community received the rights, dignity, and respect that all people deserve. Bettie was driven by a desire to create a future where kids never had to be ashamed of who they were, but could instead live openly and without fear. . . . "