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 the 44th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, it is well to remember the event that in the popular imagination inaugurated the modern gay rights movement.
On June 28, 1969, a routine police raid of a mafia-run bar in New York City, the Stonewall Inn, sparked a riot that would come to mark the symbolic beginning of the gay liberation movement. The rioting and demonstrating continued for several days and inspired a new militancy in the quest for equal rights.
A month after the Stonewall Riots, the Gay Liberation Front (GLF) was formed. Radical and leftist in orientation, the GLF was but one of many politically focused lesbian and gay organizations that formed in the wake of the riots, both in the United States and around the world.
The number of lesbian and gay publications skyrocketed as well, which led to an even greater sense of community. Homosexuals were no longer strictly marginalized. Lesbians and gay men rapidly developed visible communities in cities across the country and throughout Europe.
Beginning in 1970, marches have taken place in New York City (as well as in countless places worldwide) every year commemorating the Stonewall Riots.
In a new video from Open Road Media, historian Martin Duberman, author of Stonewall (1994), recounts the events of that day and talks about the symbolic significance of that one unifying night.