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.
British MP and Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office announces U.K. support for the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia in 2011.
May 17 is celebrated as the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia, an annual event organized by the Canadian glbtq group Fondation Émergence. The observance may be traced to 2003, when June 4 was designated as a Canadian National Day against Homophobia. As other countries evinced interest in celebrating a day against homophobia, May 17 was chosen as an appropriate date, since that was the day in 1990 that the World Health Organization removed homosexuality from its list of mental disorders.
A human rights conference held in connection with the first world Outgames in Montréal in the summer of 2006 adopted the "Declaration of Montréal," whose final recommendation "calls on all the countries in the world, and the United Nations, to recognize and promote the 17th of May of each year as the International Day Against Homophobia."
Now organizations in more than 70 countries observe the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia. It has been officially recognized by the European Union Parliament, Spain, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Costa Rica, the Netherlands, France, Luxembourg, and Brazil, as well as by numerous local authorities across the world, such as the province of Quebec or the city of Buenos Aires.
In San Francisco, for example, the city's Board of Supervisors has passed a resolution officially recognizing the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia. In addition, both the American flag and the United Nations flag will be lowered in honor of the day at the city's United Nations Plaza.
Laurent McCutcheon, president of Fondation Émergence, urges everyone to be involves in the fight against homophobia since homophobia affects all of us.
For a list of events and suggestions as to how to observe the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia, visit Fondation Émergence's website.
In the video below, from 2011, the U.K. Foreign Office Minister Jeremy Browne declares the British Government's support for the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia.