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.
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.