Long-distance swimmer and respected sports commentator has in more recent years spoken out on issues of glbtq rights.
Indian playwright, screenwriter, dancer, director, and actor Mahesh Dattani is an important figure in South Asian gay culture by virtue of his recurrent depiction of queer characters.
Entertainer Josephine Baker achieved acclaim as the twentieth century's first international black female sex symbol, but kept carefully hidden her many sexual liaisons with women, which continued from adolescence to the end of her life.
American painter Paul Cadmus is best known for the satiric innocence of his frequently censored paintings of burly men in skin-tight clothes, but he also created works that celebrate same-sex domesticity.
San Francisco visual artist Jerome Caja is known for his small, sensuous combinations of found objects, which he painted with nail polish, makeup, and glitter, as well as for his drag performances.
Although sparse in images documenting the gay community, pre-Stonewall gay male photography blurs the boundaries between art, erotica, and social history.
Female impersonation need say nothing about sexual identity, but it has for a long time been almost an institutionalized aspect of gay male culture.
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.
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.