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.
The writers of the Beat Generation, many of whom were gay or bisexual, endorsed gay rights as a part of their rebellion against inhibition and self-censorship.
The Comedy of Manners, which flourished on the Restoration stage, has been particularly amenable to twentieth-century gay male writers as a vehicle for social satire in both dramatic and nondramatic works.
Using his and his family's experiences, particularly his childhood in Raleigh, North Carolina, and his own wacky perspective on life, David Sedaris has become a world-famous humorist, comedian, writer, playwright, and radio personality.
From the great modernist writers of the 1920s and 1930s to the pulp writers of the 1950s to the lesbian writers of today, lesbian novelists have had a powerful impact on the lesbian community.
From its beginning, the nineteenth century in England had a purposeful homosexual literature of considerable bulk, both male and female, though it was fettered by oppression.
Persecuted for his homosexuality by the Castro government he had once championed, Cuban novelist, essayist, and poet Reinaldo Arenas challenged all types of ideological dogmatism.
Baudelaire was among the first French poets to include lesbians as subjects.
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."