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.
On May 9, 2013, after a three-hour debate, the Minnesota House of Representatives passed a marriage equality bill on a vote of 75 to 59. The state Senate will convene on Monday May 13 to consider the bill. With its expected passage in the Senate and signature by Governor Mark Dayton, Minnesota will become the twelfth state to permit same-sex couples to marry.
In November 2012, Minnesota voters rejected a proposed state constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. The ill-fated amendment represented a political miscalculation by the state Republican Party, which attempted to use same-sex marriage as a wedge issue to energize its base. However, it had the opposite effect. Not only did the amendment fail, but the Democrats took control of both houses of the legislature by large margins.
During the debate, an amendment was adopted that added the word "civil" in front of marriage to emphasize that the legislation affects civil marriage, not religious marriage. An amendment that would have replaced marriage in Minnesota with civil unions for both opposite-sex and same-sex couples was voted down.
Four of the House's 61 Republicans voted in favor of the bill, while two of the House's 73 Democrats voted against the bill.
Openly gay Representative Karen Clark was the lead sponsor of the bill in the House. During the debate she said, "My family knew firsthand that same sex couples pay our taxes, we vote, we serve in the military, we take care of our kids and our elders and we run businesses in Minnesota. . . . Same-sex couples should be treated fairly under the law, including the freedom to marry the person we love."
She also paid tribute to her partner of 24 years and to the late Allen Spear, who was the first openly gay member of the Minnesota legislature and a tireless supporter of equal rights.
According to the Star-Tribune, "Hundreds of supporters and opponents gathered outside the House chamber up to and during the debate, chanting and waving signs. They sang 'We Shall Overcome' and a John Lennon song in the minutes before the vote."
The debate was intense, but notably civil, with little of the rancor and Bible-thumping evident in the Delaware Senate debate earlier this week.
In the video below, some of the Representatives speak about the significance of the historic vote.