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.
The death of acclaimed Canadian artist Steve Walker was announced on February 10, 2012 by James Lyman of the Lyman-Eyer Gallery in Provincetown. He died unexpectedly at his home in Costa Rica on January 4, 2012. He is survived by his mother and father and brother and sister. A funeral service is scheduled for February 25 in Ottawa, where he was born. A memorial service will be held later in Toronto, where he lived for many years.
Walker is responsible for some of the most famous images of gay male couples in contemporary popular culture. Executed in a photo realist style, his paintings of handsome men in emotionally charged situations owe something to the influence of Paul Cadmus, but the self-taught artist imbued them with his own distinctive romantic and often melancholy sensibility.
He described his work, which focuses almost exclusively on men together, as "a documentation, an interpretation, a crystallization of singular moments rendered in line, color, light, shadow, using a hundred brushes, a thousand colors, and a million brushstrokes. I strive to make people stop, if only a moment, think and actually feel something. My paintings contain as many questions as answers."
On his website, Steve Walker Artist, which contains a gallery of his images, he writes that "It simply never occurred to me to paint about themes in any other context than that of my own life as a person who happens to be gay. I had never had a problem relating to work created by heterosexuals in a heterosexual context. Why should I create paintings whose context was anything other than the truth of my life as a gay man?"
He also wrote, "I hope that in its silence, the body of my work has given a voice to my life, the lives of others, and in doing so, the dignity of all people."
Walker's images are highlighted in the four very different videos below.