Female impersonation need say nothing about sexual identity, but it has for a long time been almost an institutionalized aspect of gay male culture.
Although sparse in images documenting the gay community, pre-Stonewall gay male photography blurs the boundaries between art, erotica, and social history.
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.
Independent films that aggressively assert homosexual identity and queer culture, the New Queer Cinema can be seen as the culmination of several developments in American cinema.
Renowned photographer, teacher, critic, editor, and curator, Minor White created some of the most interesting photographs of male nudes of the second half of the twentieth century, but did not exhibit them for fear of scandal.
The first international fashion superstar, Halston dressed and befriended some of America's most glamorous women.
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.
Film, stage, and television actor Paul Winfield was openly gay in his private life, but maintained public silence about his homosexuality.
Bookseller John Mitzel died at his home in Arlington, Massachusetts on October 4, 2013 of complications from treatment for cancer. Owner of Boston's Calamus Bookstore, Mitzel was also a writer and activist.
Born in a town near Cincinnati, Ohio, Mitzel was institutionalized as a teenager for his homosexuality. After being released from a psychiatric hospital, he ran away from home.
He enrolled at Boston University and became involved in Boston's gay liberation movement. With Charley Shively, he co-founded the radical newspaper Fag Rag in 1971.
In 2000, Mitzel opened Calamus Bookstore in Boston's South End. For many years previously, he managed the now-defunct Glad Day Bookshop.
Mitzel wrote a number of books, including fiction, poetry, and nonfiction. Among them are appreciations of John Horne Burns and Gore Vidal, as well as an account of the Boston Sex Scandal of the 1970s.
Earlier this year, he published Last Gleanings, a collection of short stories set in gay Boston from the late 1970s to the late 1990s.
Mitzel was known for his knowledge of the history of the Boston gay rights movement and for his wit. Both are on exhibit in the video below in which he reminisces about the 1977 Boston Pride observance in which Charley Shively burned a Bible in protest of Anita Bryant and other Christians who discriminated against gay people.