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.
Chief Warrant Officer Charlie Morgan, who fought for the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell and for the extension of equal rights to gay and lesbian servicemembers, died on February 10, 2012. The news of her death was announced by OutServe-SLDN in a press release.
In a statement, OutServe-SLDN Executive Director Allyson Robinson described Morgan, who served with the New Hampshire National Guard, as "a courageous fighter for our country, for her family, and for the equality of all who wear the uniform of our nation."
"On behalf of her wife Karen and daughter Casey Elena," Robinson continued, "we thank all those who have supported Charlie so fervently since she proudly came out on national television on the day 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' was repealed, and who have stayed by her side through her brave fight with cancer. She made an indelible mark on everyone she met with her integrity, her positive outlook, and her unflinching commitment to righting the wrongs visited upon gay and lesbian military families. The fight for full LGBT equality in this country is forever changed because Charlie Morgan took up the cause."
After coming out publicly on MSNBC on September 20, 2011, the day "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" was officially repealed, Morgan became a passionate advocate against the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which bars her wife, Karen, from receiving military, Social Security, and other benefits that she would be entitled to were they a heterosexual married couple.
The Morgans are plaintiffs in a lawsuit brought by SLDN in October 2011 challenging DOMA and other federal statutes that prevent the military from providing equal recognition and support to same-sex military spouses.
As Chris Geidner reports in BuzzFeed, "The Morgans attended the White House LGBT Pride Month Reception in June 2012, and they spoke in July 2012 about the importance of opposing DOMA and supporting marriage equality at the Democratic National Committee platform drafting committee hearings."
In January, Morgan was selected by Governor Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire to lead the Pledge of Allegiance at her inauguration.
In June 2012, Morgan told Geidner why she took on the DOMA fight even as she was also fighting cancer: "I'm trying to stand up for all we believe in in this country. We're soldiers to stand up for and protect our freedoms, so it's easy."
The Morgans made the marriage equality video below for Freedom to Marry in April 2012.