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.
Gray Foy, an artist who achieved an early reputation for his intricate drawings but later became best known as a fixture on the New York City social and cultural scene, especially during the 1960s and 1970s, died on November 23, 2012.
Margalit Fox in her obituary for Foy in the New York Times says that as a young man "Foy was renowned for two things: his ethereal beauty and his artistic promise. He drew as he lived, in minute, meticulously constructed abundance, and his work resembles that of no other artist."
According to Fox, Foy might spend as much as a year on a single pencil drawing, which might feature "massed forms that seem to rear up out of a shared shadowy past: human limbs and torsos, webs of twisted organic shapes that recall tree roots and leaves."
A 1942 drawing by Foy, "Dimensions," was recently donated to the Museum of Modern Art by actor Steve Martin.
After achieving early success as an artist, Foy was later best known as a "tastemaker, bon vivant, salonnier, partygoer, party-giver, genteel accumulator and perennial fixture of New York cultural life." He died "in the 3,500-square-foot, largely lilac-walled apartment in the Osborne, at 205 West 57th Street, where he had lived since the 1960s in congenial Victorian profusion."
Foy's career as an artist was ultimately eclipsed by the flamboyant social and domestic life he enjoyed with Leo Lerman, his companion of nearly half a century. The two "passed the years in a welter of dinner parties, holiday fetes, black-tie galas and opening nights. This heady whirl is recounted in The Grand Surprise (2007; edited by Stephen Pascal), the posthumous journals of Mr. Lerman, a writer and editor for Condé Nast publications who died in 1994."
The two men entertained such luminaries as Frederick Ashton, George Balanchine, Leonard Bernstein, Paul Bowles, Maria Callas, Truman Capote, Carol Channing, Betty Comden and Adolph Green, Aaron Copland, Marcel Duchamp, Margot Fonteyn, John Gielgud, Martha Graham, Cary Grant, Anaïs Nin, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Edith Sitwell, Susan Sontag, Virgil Thomson, and Anna May Wong.
More information about the salon presided over by Lerman and Foy may be found in a review of The Grand Surprise by Liesl Schillinger in the New York Times Book Review for April 22, 2007.
After Lerman's death, Foy continued "entertaining to the end of his life, giving parties for as many as 100 guests."
Foy married his second longtime companion, Joel Kay, in 2011. Kay is his only survivor.