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.
Ambassador Baer (right) with partner Brian Walsh.
On June 11, 2013, we congratulated Daniel Baer on his nomination by President Obama to be U.S. Ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Today we congratulate him not only on having been confirmed by the Senate and sworn in as Ambassador, but also for issuing a video about his new job that features prominently his partner and their greyhound.
Prior to his nomination for the Ambassadorship, Baer had worked on international glbtq issues as Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor at the Department of State. A graduate of Harvard University and Oxford University, he previously taught at Georgetown University and was a faculty fellow in the Edmond J. Safra Foundation Center for Ethics at Harvard University.
Although not well-known to the general public, the OSCE is the world's largest international governmental organization with 57 participating countries focused on security issues, including crisis management and conflict prevention.
Baer was confirmed by the Senate in August on a voice vote.
On September 10, 2013, he was sworn in by acting Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Uzra Zeye in a ceremony in the Benjamin Franklin room of the State Department building. Baer was accompanied by his partner Brian Walsh, as well as other members of his family. The two men will take up residence in Vienna, where OSCE is headquartered.
As Chris Johnson reported in the Washington Blade, the swearing-in ceremony was an emotional event.
Baer not only spoke about his experience working to advance human rights around the world, about how fortunate he feels to be an American, and about the importance of the OSCE, but also about his experience as a gay man.
He choked up as he recalled wondering as a high school student whether he would be able to achieve his career ambitions because of his sexual orientation.
"I remember a very sad and lonely junior and high school student in 1994 who wondered whether it was possible for him ever to be happy, and wondered whether it was worth going on," Baer said. "Certainly, he would have been shocked to see today's ceremony."
On September 12, the State Department released a YouTube video in which Baer introduces himself, shares some highlights of his career, and explains the importance of OSCE. The video is remarkable for the matter-of-fact and natural way in which Baer includes his partner Brian Walsh and their greyhound Cleo.