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.
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta have released videos recognizing June as Pride Month. These senior members of the Obama Administration both celebrate the progress that has been made in securing equal rights and acknowledge that more work remains to be done.
In the video below, Secretary Clinton affirms her belief that gay rights are human rights, pledges that the United States will continue to work on behalf of glbtq rights around the world, and conveys her best wishes for a happy pride celebration.
In the following video, Secretary Panetta thanks gay and lesbian servicemembers for their dedicated service, extols the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, and pledges to continue work to achieve equal rights within the United States military.
The historic nature of Secretary Panetta's video is underlined by the fact that a year ago a servicemember could have been discharged for even acknowledging his homosexuality. The Secretary of Defense's celebration of gay pride and pledge to work toward full equality mark a profound change in the culture of American military life.
Josh Seefried of OutServe characterized Secretary Panetta's historic video as "a tribute to our core military values: respect and integrity. If there is any remaining doubt that the military has executed DADT repeal with excellence, and that LGBT people are serving our country with honor, Secretary Panetta has firmly put that to rest. This is leadership directly from the top."
Chad Griffin of the Human Rights Campaign said that the video "sends a powerful message to the brave men and women of the military that they are valued for their dedication to our country and their expertise, and that they are deserving of the exact same respect and equal treatment that their straight counterparts receive. By embracing Pride month, Secretary Panetta also is telling LGBT youth in communities across our nation that they live in a country that values them for exactly who they are. We hope this is a sign that the Department of Defense will continue tackling the obstacles that prevent lesbian, gay, and bisexual service members from receiving full equality."