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.
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.
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.
Olympian Brian Orser, known for both his athleticism and artistry, led a resurgence of Canada as a force to be reckoned with in men's figure skating; after being outed in a palimony suit, he has become an advocate for glbtq rights.
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.
Handsome, athletic, graceful, and charismatic, actor Errol Flynn was widely rumored to enjoy sexual relations with men as well as women.
In nineteenth-century America men who loved other men often suffered from guilt, but artists such as Winslow Homer and Thomas Eakins celebrated male camaraderie and affection, while expatriate John Singer Sargent depicted the dandy, and photographs documented male friendships.
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.
Douglas Martin reports in the New York Times that photographer and actor Cris Alexander died in Saratoga Springs, New York on March 7, 2012. He was best known as a celebrity photographer and for the photos he contributed to Patrick Dennis's Little Me (1961).
Alexander was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma on January 14, 1920. He came to New York in 1938 and initially found some success as an actor, appearing in a number of Broadway shows, including the 1944 Leonard Bernstein musical On the Town. But he soon found greater success as a photographer, becoming known for his portraits of Martha Graham and Vivien Leigh, and his work for Andy Warhol's Interview magazine. For many years, he was the official photographer of the New York City Ballet.
Alexander, who had appeared in the 1956 Broadway play based on Patrick Dennis's 1955 novel Auntie Mame, readily agreed to collaborate with Dennis on a fictitious biography of a movie star, Little Me: The Intimate Memoirs of That Great Star of Stage, Screen and Television, Belle Poitrine. He contributed 150 photos to the book, which is now regarded as a classic satire. Actor and playwright Charles Busch described its publication as "a seminal moment in the popularization" of camp.
Alexander also contributed photographs to another mock biography by Dennis: First Lady (1964), the story of Martha Dinwiddie Butterfield, wife of a robber baron who "stole" the U. S. presidency.
Alexander married celebrated ballet dancer Shaun O'Brien in 2011, soon after same-sex marriage became legal in New York. The two were life partners for more than 60 years and died within two weeks of each other, O'Brien on February 23, 2012.
When asked the cause of Alexander's death, his friend Jane Klain replied, "If there is a cause of death, it's a broken heart. It's as simple as that."