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.
A victim of the McCarthy-era regulations that branded homosexuals as unfit for government employment, he fought tirelessly against discrimination against homosexuals on every front. Kameny and his friend Jack Nichols established the Mattachine Society of Washington, D. C. in August 1961. In opposition to many gay leaders at the time, Kameny embraced direct action. He believed that gay people should fight a "down-to-earth, grass-roots, sometimes tooth-and-nail battle" against discrimination.
He is credited with coining the slogan "Gay is Good." In recent years, Kameny received accolades for his heroic efforts to make America a more just nation. His house was designated an historic landmark by the D.C. Historic Preservation Board in 2009. In the same year, John Berry, Director of the Office of Personnel Management (formerly the Civil Service Commission), formally apologized to Kameny on behalf of the U.S. government for the "shameful action" of firing him in 1957. Berry also presented Kameny with the Theodore Roosevelt Award, the department's most prestigious honor.
As news of Kameny's death circulates, leaders of glbtq organizations have begun to laud his achievements. For example, Chuck Wolfe, CEO of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, said that "Dr. Kameny stood up for this community when doing so was considered unthinkable and even shocking, and he continued to do so throughout his life. He spoke with a clear voice and firm conviction about the humanity and dignity of people who were gay, long before it was safe for him to do so. All of us who today endeavor to complete the work he began a half century ago are indebted to Dr. Kameny and his remarkable bravery and commitment."
Dr. Kameny reminisces about his activism earlier this year in this video: