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.
Apple CEO Tim Cook was one of the fifty on the list. Photograph by Haotian0905 (CC BY-SA 3.0).
On April 10, 2013, Out published its seventh annual ranked list of 50 gay men and women whose power and prestige influence the way Americans think about--and engage with--the world. Leading the "Power 50" list are Apple CEO Tim Cook, talk show host and comedian Ellen DeGeneres, television producer Ryan Murphy, political analyst Rachel Maddow, and television journalist Anderson Cooper.
The list may be found here. Heavily tilted toward entertainment and media figures and overwhelmingly white and male, it is a strikingly non-diverse list. The choices say more about Out and its celebrity obsession than it does about the richness of the glbtq community or, indeed, much about power and influence.
The list includes many of the "usual suspects," such as philanthropists David Geffen and Tim Gill, politicians Tammy Baldwin, Annise Parker, Christine Quinn, Mark Takano, David Cicilline, and Jared Polis, and many Hollywood movers-and-shakers, but only a few activists such as Dan Savage, Evan Wolfson, and Chad Griffin.
Perhaps the most unexpected names on the list include statistics guru Nate Silver, hip-hop musician Frank Ocean, editor-in-chief of Time, Inc. Martha Nelson, newspaper magnate Kevin McClatchey, J. Crew President Jenna Lyons, union leader Mary Kay Henry, White House social secretary Jeremy Bernard, and Google executive Megan Smith.