Long-distance swimmer and respected sports commentator has in more recent years spoken out on issues of glbtq rights.
Indian playwright, screenwriter, dancer, director, and actor Mahesh Dattani is an important figure in South Asian gay culture by virtue of his recurrent depiction of queer characters.
Entertainer Josephine Baker achieved acclaim as the twentieth century's first international black female sex symbol, but kept carefully hidden her many sexual liaisons with women, which continued from adolescence to the end of her life.
American painter Paul Cadmus is best known for the satiric innocence of his frequently censored paintings of burly men in skin-tight clothes, but he also created works that celebrate same-sex domesticity.
San Francisco visual artist Jerome Caja is known for his small, sensuous combinations of found objects, which he painted with nail polish, makeup, and glitter, as well as for his drag performances.
Although sparse in images documenting the gay community, pre-Stonewall gay male photography blurs the boundaries between art, erotica, and social history.
Female impersonation need say nothing about sexual identity, but it has for a long time been almost an institutionalized aspect of gay male culture.
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.
Humorist David Rakoff, best known for his contributions to Public Radio International's This American Life, died of cancer on August 9, 2012 in Manhattan. His mordant, self-mocking essays, published in such venues as New York Magazine, New York Times Magazine, GQ, and Outside, and collected in three books of essays, are reminiscent of those of David Sedaris, with whom he was closely associated.
Born in Montreal, Rakoff lived in the United States from 1982, when he moved to New York to attend Columbia University, until his death. He became an American citizen in 2003, though he retained his Canadian citizenship.
In 1992, Rakoff wrote a fan letter to David Sedaris after hearing him read his famous essay about working as a Christmas elf. They became friends and Rakoff directed a play written by Sedaris and his sister Amy and later acted in their plays. Through Sedaris, Rakoff met Ira Glass, who later would produce This American Life, where Rakoff achieved fame. His first essay for the program was "Christmas Freud," an account of Rakoff's job impersonating Sigmund Freud in the window of Barneys department store during the holidays.
Rakoff won two Lambda Literary Awards in the category of Humor for his collections, Fraud (2001) and Don't Get Too Comfortable (2005). A third collection of essays, Half Empty, was awarded the Thurber Prize for American Humor.
In addition to his radio essays, Rakoff also wrote screenplays and performed as a film, television, and stage actor.
He is survived by his parents, a brother, and a sister.
In the video below, Rakoff reads an essay from Don't Get Too Comfortable
In the following video, Rakoff discusses his work, including his diagnosis with cancer, with Canada's Xtra!