Although gay, lesbian, and queer theory are related practices, the three terms delineate separate emphases marked by different assumptions about the relationship between gender and sexuality.
The Harlem Renaissance, an African-American literary movement of the 1920s and 1930s, included several important gay and lesbian writers.
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.
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.
Conflicted over his own sexuality, Tennessee Williams wrote directly about homosexuality only in his short stories, his poetry, and his late plays.
Erotic and pornographic works have been written in many cultures since ancient times and recently have flourished with the relaxation of censorship.
Feminist literary theory is a complex, dynamic area of study that draws from a wide range of critical theories.
James Baldwin, a pioneering figure in twentieth-century literature, wrote sustained and articulate challenges to American racism and mandatory heterosexuality.
Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault (CCbySA, Flickr: jmayrault).
France's newly sworn-in Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault has announced a commitment to implement new President Francois Hollande's promise of equal marriage and adoption rights. The Prime Minister, who took office on May 15, 2012, marked the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia on May 17 by issuing a communiqué pledging to enact the President's promise into law.
As Stephen Gray reports in PinkNews, the communiqué reads as follows: "On the occasion of International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, the Prime Minister reaffirmed the Government's commitment against violence and discrimination perpetrated as a result of sexual orientation or gender identity."
"The Government is determined to challenge prejudice and to put an end to discrimination and violence. It will implement the commitment of the President of the Republic to extend the right to marriage and adoption to gay couples."
Currently, both gay and straight French couples may enter into Civil Solidarity Pacts (PACS), which provide some of the rights and responsibilities of marriage; but only heterosexual couples can marry.
PACS do not confer the right to joint adoption or artificial insemination.
President Hollande's election manifesto pledged unequivocally, "I will open the right to marriage and adoption to homosexual couples."
Hollande's position was in stark contrast to that of former president Nicolas Sarkozy, who emphasized his view of the family as necessarily heterosexual, saying that he would oppose any law stating that a gay relationship is equal to a straight one.
In June 2011, France's Parliament defeated a Socialist-sponsored bill to establish marriage equality on a 293-222 vote. However, prospects for the bill should be improved after the legislative elections next month in which the Socialist Party is expected to do well.
The video below depicts the transition of power from Sarkozy to Hollande.