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.
Barney Frank comments on the Log Cabin Republicans endorsement of Mitt Romney.
In a deeply unprincipled move, the gay organization Log Cabin Republicans has endorsed Mitt Romney for President. The "qualified endorsement," which was announced on October 23, 2012, credits the economy as the overriding issue of the campaign and discounts Romney's homophobic record.
As reported by Justin Snow in MetroWeekly, LCR Executive Director R. Clarke Cooper said that the organization's 15-member National Board of Directors "was almost unanimous in its decision to endorse Romney, with one dissenting member."
Cooper said that LCR had extensive meetings with Romney campaign staffers in which "actual tangibles" were discussed. According to Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, Romney himself attended a secret meeting with members of the group on October 17, 2012 at Greenwood Farm in Leesburg, Virginia.
The meeting, which was also attended by LCR trustee and former Congressman Jim Kolbe, allegedly included a discussion about workplace discrimination, but attendees who spoke to the Washington Blade would not confirm any commitments made by Romney.
Ironically, Kolbe, who was outed by activists in 1996 after he voted in favor of the Defense of Marriage Act, reportedly complained to Romney about the potential deportation of his foreign-born partner as a result of the very law he supported. Romney allegedly nodded but offered no response.
News of the discussions between the LCR and the Romney campaign set off a great deal of speculation in the blogosphere that Romney had promised to endorse the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would outlaw discrimination in employment on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Cooper eventually clarified that Romney had made no such commitment.
However, even if he had, why would anyone believe anything that Romney said, especially in a meeting held under the veil of secrecy? The Republican candidate has a long and rich record of dissembling. Nothing he says can be trusted.
Although the endorsement takes note of Romney's opposition to marriage equality and the very public commitment he made to the National Organization for Marriage to support a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, the organization labels his homophobic pledge an "empty promise."
"In our judgment, the NOM pledge is ultimately merely symbolic and thus should not be the basis of a decision to withhold an endorsement from an otherwise qualified candidate," reads the endorsement.
It is unclear why the Log Cabin Republicans believe that their candidate is lying to the National Organization for Marriage and not to them. Why would they think a man who will meet with them only in secrecy is someone who respects them?
The fact is that their candidate is not a man of honor. He is someone who is prepared to say anything to anyone if it will aid his goal of becoming President of the United States. Only a fool would place any faith in his word.
The Log Cabin Republicans describe themselves as the "only Republican organization dedicated to representing the interests of LGBT Americans and their allies." However, their endorsement of a man who has made his anti-gay record a centerpiece of his appeal to the religious right does nothing to further the interests of glbtq Americans and our allies.
As Ben Adler writes in The Nation, "Romney's greatest asset as a politician is his total lack of integrity, honesty or consistency. He is perfectly willing to go before the religious right one day and pledge fealty to them, and the Log Cabin Republicans the next day to do the same. And, apparently, that is what he has done, in private."
The endorsement is particularly disturbing inasmuch as the former Massachusetts governor who attempted to block marriage equality in the Bay State is running against the most glbtq-supportive President in the history of the United States.
As Barney Frank has said, "We have never in American history had a sharper distinction between a very supportive candidate and platform and one that's very opposed."
The President's record is clear. In addition to signing the hate crimes bill and legislation that repealed Don't Ask, Don't Tell (which Romney opposed), he has endorsed marriage equality; appointed a record number of glbtq officials; ordered the Justice Department not to defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court; ended the ban on HIV-positive visitors and immigrants; directed the Department of Health and Human Services to issue regulations requiring all hospitals receiving Medicaid and Medicare to prohibit discrimination in visitation and honoring medical directives; directed the Department of Housing and Urban Development to prohibit discrimination in federal public housing programs and federally insured mortgage loans; and directed the Office of Personnel Management to expand benefits for the same-sex partners of federal employees.
Most tellingly, the President's support for equal rights has been openly and repeatedly expressed throughout his presidency. Unlike Romney, he has not had to arrange secret meetings with his glbtq supporters.
Whatever private commitment Romney may or may not have made to the Log Cabin Republicans, in public he has repeatedly stressed his support for "traditional" marriage and his intent to defend DOMA in court.
Romney has not only won the endorsement of the National Organization for Marriage and signed its homophobic pledge, he has also contributed his own money to the organization.
Most recently, Romney's campaign declared that being able to visit a dying spouse in the hospital is a "privilege," not a right.
As Jamie McGonnigal reported in the HuffingtonPost Romney campaign adviser Bay Buchanan declared, "Governor Romney also believes, consistent with the 10th Amendment, that it should be left to states to decide whether to grant same-sex couples certain benefits, such as hospital visitation rights and the ability to adopt children."
A Romney presidency will not only lead the country backward, it will make the lives of glbtq people more difficult in both little and large ways.
The endorsement of Romney by the Log Cabin Republicans is not only unprincipled, it is shameful.
In the video below, Representative Barney Frank comments on LCR's endorsement of Mitt Romney.