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.
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.
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.
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.
Long-distance swimmer and respected sports commentator has in more recent years spoken out on issues of glbtq rights.
The greatest dancer of his time, Rudolf Nureyev also gave the world a new and glamorous image of a sexually active gay man.
While nude depictions of women appear in most cultures, on both sides of the equator, and in rich variety, lesbian artists have been particularly resourceful in their use of the female nude.
Handsome, athletic, graceful, and charismatic, actor Errol Flynn was widely rumored to enjoy sexual relations with men as well as women.
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supported Charlie so fervently since she proudly came out on national television on the day 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' was repealed, and who have stayed by her side through her brave fight with cancer.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.