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.
In an nine-minute segment of his new ESPN show on September 9, 2013, the inimitable Keith Olbermann slammed Russian homophobia and asserted that the threat to boycott the Sochi Winter Games is having a tangible effect. Olbermann, who began his career as a sports commentator, pointed out that the recent appeal to the International Olympic Committee by the Russian chief of the Sochi games to "stop this campaign and speculation" about the "gay propaganda" law indicates how successful the protests have been.
The background to Olbermann's powerful rant is the news that at a September 8 meeting of the IOC, the head of the Sochi Olympics, Dmitry Chernyshenko, asked the organization to help stop the campaign against the anti-gay law that has been overshadowing preparations for next year's Winter Games in Russia. Or, as blogger John Aravosis put it here, Chernyshenko pleaded to the IOC, "Please make the mean gays stop."
At the meeting, senior IOC member, marketing commission chairman Gerhard Heibert, said sponsors are "afraid" of the fallout of possible demonstrations in Sochi. "I think this could ruin a lot for all of us," he said.
Russia's law prohibiting promotion of "nontraditional" sexual relations has been denounced by activists and criticized by President Obama. Harvey Fierstein and Stephen Fry, among others, have called for a boycott of the Sochi Games.
As Olbermann points out, corporations such as Coca Cola and McDonald's are becoming increasingly uncomfortable with being linked to Russian homophobia as a result of their sponsorship of the Olympics and are making their concerns known to the bureaucrats who run the Games.
Olbermann, who frequently expressed his support for glbtq rights on his MSNBC news program Countdown with Keith Olbermann, left MSNBC in 2011. After a stint on Current TV, he returned to ESPN and sports journalism in August 2013.