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.
Canadian-American poet and translator Daryl Hine died on August 20, 2012 at his home in Evanston, Illinois. The cause of death was an intestinal blockage related to a blood disorder. Noted for his formal structures and classical allusions, Hine also explored homosexual experience, especially the pain of growing up gay in the 1940s and 1950s.
Hine was born in Burnaby, British Columbia and received his undergraduate degree from McGill University in Montreal, but he did his graduate study at the University of Chicago, where he earned a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature, and lived most of his life in the United States. He was editor of Poetry Magazine from 1968 to 1978.
Hine's early work was praised by the eminent Canadian critic Northrup Frye, who "doubt[ed] if any Canadian poet [had] potentially greater talents," and by American poet Richard Howard, who drew attention to Hine's "special status as a Wunderkind."
As Patrick Holland notes in glbtq.com's entry on Hine, his classical learning and mastery of technique affiliated him with gay American formalists such as Howard, James Merrill, and Howard Moss, rather than with a Canadian school of poetry.
Although homosexual themes were implicit in Hine's early work, they came to the fore in his autobiographical volume, In & Out (1975), in which he chronicled two romances when he was a student at McGill and his attempt to escape his sexuality by converting to Catholicism.
As Holland observes, "In & Out is both witty and painfully moving, and clarifies how Hine's intellectual engagement with both classicism and Catholicism provided the confused young poet with a way of articulating homosexual experience and a way of coming out."
In an obituary for Hine in the New York Times, Leslie Kaufman quotes poet J. D. McClatchy on Hine's prodigious technical skill, "All that technical prowess was in service to a deep moral meditation on the course of human emotions."
Hine was predeceased by his partner of more than 30 years, Samuel Todes, who died in 1994 and had been a philosophy professor at Northwestern University. He is survived by his brother, Robert.