The works of García Lorca, internationally recognized as Spain's most prominent lyric poet and dramatist of the twentieth century, are filled with thinly veiled homosexual motifs and themes.
There has always been homosexual involvement in American musical theatre and a homosexual sensibility even in straight musicals, and recently the Broadway musical has welcomed openly homosexual themes and situations.
Best known for his genius in art and architecture, Michelangelo was also an accomplished author of homoerotic poetry.
The African-American gay male literary tradition consists of a substantial body of texts and includes some of the most gifted writers of the twentieth century.
Combining elements of incongruity, theatricality, and exaggeration, camp is a form of humor that helps homosexuals cope with a hostile environment.
Langston Hughes, whose literary legacy is enormous and varied, was closeted, but homosexuality was an important influence on his literary imagination, and many of his poems may be read as gay texts.
James Baldwin, a pioneering figure in twentieth-century literature, wrote sustained and articulate challenges to American racism and mandatory heterosexuality.
Oscar Wilde is important both as an accomplished writer and as a symbolic figure who exemplified a way of being homosexual at a pivotal moment in the emergence of gay consciousness.
A flag-draped coffin containing the remains of Dr. Frank Kameny lay in state in the atrium of the Carnegie Library Building in downtown Washington, D.C. between 3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. on November 3, 2011. In addition, the Smithsonian Institution's Museum of American History has displayed artifacts from their collection of Kameny documents and the National Park Service has designated Dr. Kameny's home in Washington, D.C. a national historic site.
The pioneering gay rights leader passed away at his home on October 11, 2011. One of the founding fathers of the American gay rights movement, he helped radicalize the homophile movement, preparing the way for the militancy that was initiated by the Stonewall Riots of 1969.
The public viewing of Dr. Kameny's remains on November 3 provided an opportunity for his friends and neighbors to remember and honor his life and legacy.
Although the viewing was not a funeral, informal remarks by civic leaders and choral presentations were made during the 5 hours set aside for viewing. Mayor Vincent Gray was among the dignitaries who honored Dr. Kameny.
Pallbearers at the service, which was organized by Bob Witeck and Charles Francis, included City Council members David Catania and Jim Graham, as well as Lt. Dan Choi and Capt. Jim Pietrangelo, both known for their participation at White House protests last year during the repeal battle over "don't ask, don't tell."
At the viewing, Kameny's flag-draped casket was flanked by protest signs that were associated with the activist. One repeated the slogan "Gay is Good," which he coined; another read, "Homosexuals ask for the right to the pursuit of happiness."
Organizers of the Kameny viewing have offered advice to well wishers considering making a contribution to a cause in Kameny's honor in lieu of flowers.
"Many have asked whether Dr. Kameny expressed his wishes for donations in his memory to any worthy causes. To the best of our knowledge, he did not do so--however, in his life, he founded and supported many important LGBT and human rights causes including such organizations as the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance, the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club, and Helping Our Brothers and Sisters."
"He was also a champion for statehood for Washington, D.C. among other priorities. In that light, your personal contribution, in his memory, to any cause aligned with Dr. Kameny's principles and lifelong battle for equality and justice would be very meaningful. In lieu of flowers or other floral tributes, we again suggest that contributions be made to a civil rights cause or nonprofit organization of your choice, consistent with Dr. Kameny's values," the statement said.
In recent years, Kameny received accolades for his heroic efforts to make America a more just nation. His house was designated an historic landmark by the D.C. Historic Preservation Board in 2009. In the same year, John Berry, Director of the Office of Personnel Management (formerly the Civil Service Commission), formally apologized to Kameny on behalf of the U.S. government for the "shameful action" of firing him in 1957. Berry also presented Kameny with the Theodore Roosevelt Award, the department's most prestigious honor.
The honors continue to accumulate.
The Smithsonian Institution's Museum of American History announced this week that it has displayed additional artifacts from the papers that Kameny donated to the Smithsonian. Among the items the museum has already displayed is a picket sign Kameny used during the 1965 protest for gay rights in front of the White House, which Kameny and his colleagues with the Mattachine Society of Washington organized.
"Three of the most resonant picket signs are now on display in Flag Hall, just off the entrance from the National Mall and near the Star-Spangled Banner, the flag that inspired the National Anthem, and the Civil Rights era Woolworth Lunch counter," said Smithsonian spokesperson Valeska Hilbig.
"The Kameny collection is part of the museum's longstanding commitment to preserve the history of American democracy and the struggles for individual and civil rights in the United States," Hilbig said.
On November 2, 2011, the National Park Service announced that the Service "has recognized the historic significance of gay rights activist Dr. Franklin E. Kameny, by listing his home in the National Register of Historic Places."
NPS Director Jonathan B. Jarvis remarked, "Dr. Kameny led a newly militant activism in the fledgling gay civil rights [movement] of the 1960s," said NPS Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. "He was a landmark figure in articulating and achieving gay civil rights in federal employment and security clearance cases, and in reversing the medical community's view on homosexuality as a mental disorder."
As the NPS press release indicates, Kameny's residence at 5020 Cathedral Avenue, NW, in Washington, D.C. served as the headquarters of the Mattachine Society of Washington and as a meeting place, informal counseling center, and safe haven for visiting glbtq activists: "It was here that Dr. Franklin E. Kameny developed the civil rights strategies and tactics that have come to define the modern gay rights movement."