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 June 13, 2013, President Obama, flanked by Vice-President Biden, addressed more than 100 activists gathered at the White House for the fifth LGBT Pride Month reception he has hosted. After rehearsing the achievements of his administration, he told the enthusiastic crowd that "We've made this country a little more equal. We've made our world a little more full of love." Cautioning us not to despair if there are setbacks along the way to full equality, he added, "The genius of America is that America can change."
The reception was attended by members of Congress, Major General Patricia Rose and her wife Julie Roth, current and former members of the administration, and citizens who had written to him about glbtq issues. The President was introduced by 9-year-old twin sisters from California, Zea and Luna, who have two moms, and had written to him about gun safety, education funding, and marriage equality.
The President admitted that much remains to be done to achieve equal rights for glbtq people, and outlined an agenda for his second term: "We've got to make access to health care more available and affordable for folks living with HIV. We've got to implement the protections in the Affordable Care Act. We've got to keep making our classrooms and our neighborhoods safe for all of our young people. And I agree with Susan, a PFLAG mom from Ohio--we've got to end LGBT discrimination in the places where we work."
He said he wants to sign the currently pending Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) and expressed some optimism about its success in Congress. "I think we can make that happen," he said, "because after the last four and a half years, you can't tell me things can't happen. Look around. We've got gay and lesbian soldiers, and sailors, and airmen, and Marines who are here today. We've got married couples from places like New York and Washington State. You've got a couple of guys here on stage who I don't think anybody in their high schools thought would be the President and the Vice President of the United States. So don't tell me that things can't happen when we put our minds to them."
Most observers, however, doubt that ENDA can muster 60 votes in the Senate to survive a Republican filibuster and, even more, that it would be approved in the Republican-controlled House if it were ever allowed to be voted upon there.
The President did not mention the repeated calls from glbtq groups for an executive order requiring federal contractors not to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.
Below is a video of the President's remarks.