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.
Bisexual boxing champion Emile Griffith died on July 23, 2013 in Hempstead, New York, the result of kidney failure and complications of dementia. During the period from the late 1950s through the mid-1970s, Griffith was a leading boxer. He held the world welterweight championship three times, the middleweight title twice, and the newly created junior middleweight title once. But he was best known for the fatal beating he administered to rival Benny Paret in 1962 to regain his welterweight championship and for the rumors of homosexuality that dogged him throughout his career.
As Richard Goldstein recounts in his New York Times obituary of Griffith, the third fight between Griffith and Paret for the welterwight championship was touted as a grudge match because during the weigh-in Paret had referred to Griffith as gay, using the Spanish epithet "maricón." The insult seemed to goad Griffith to a fury that resulted in his decisive victory in the match, a victory that, unfortunately, led to Paret's death ten days later.
Griffith was born in St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands, but was reared in New York. He became a national Golden Gloves champion as a teen-ager and turned professional in 1958. He won his first championship in 1961. In 1977, after losing a career-unprecedented three straight bouts, he retired.
In boxing circles Griffith was widely rumored to be gay. After his retirement, he acknowledged his attraction to men, but said that he was bisexual.
In 1992, Griffith was the victim of a gay bashing. He was severely beaten after leaving a gay bar in New York's Times Square, his kidneys damaged so badly that he was near death. The assailants were never caught.
In 2005, he told Sports Illustrated, "I will dance with anybody. I've chased men and women. I like men and women both."
That same year, he told New York Times columnist Bob Herbert that he had struggled his entire life with his sexuality, and agonized over what he could say about it. He said he knew it was impossible in the early 1960s for an athlete in an ultramacho sport like boxing to say, "Oh, yeah, I'm gay."
Herbert concluded that "after all these years, he wanted to tell the truth. . . . He no longer wanted to hide."
Griffith is survived by three brothers, four sisters, and his longtime companion, caretaker, and adopted son Luis Griffith.
The story of Griffith and Paret is detailed in the touching video below.