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.
John Bercow's coat of arms.
The coat of arms, developed by the College of Arms, depicts Bercow's climb from humble beginnings as the son of a taxi driver to become one of the most senior commoners in the United Kingdom.
Bercow's upward mobility is represented by a ladder, while four rondels (or circular figures) signify his interest in tennis and curved notched blades of seaxes (scimitars) represent the University of Essex, which he attended.
The Speaker's commitment to equal rights is signified by the motto "All Are Equal," the individual words of which are framed by pink triangles. The ends of the scroll holding the motto are rolled under to reveal the colors of the rainbow flag.
Although the new coat of arms has attracted some indignant comment, more negative reaction has been visited upon the official portrait of the Speaker by Brendan Kelly, which depicts Bercow standing in front of the Speaker's chair issuing instructions to Members of Parliament. Most of the criticism has centered on the cost of the portrait rather than its quality.
In explaining the portrait, Kelly said: "I wanted to capture the day to day reality of a Speaker mid-action at work in the Chamber. This meant black robes and a House of Commons tie, the iconic Speaker's chair prominent in the composition, books and papers on the shelves and the Speaker himself, shown animated in the midst of conducting the daily business of the House of Commons."
Bercow has served in Parliament since 1997. He was a Conservative "frontbencher" being groomed for leadership until he defied his party in 2002 to support a Labour bill that allowed unmarried gay and heterosexual couples to adopt children.
He was elected Speaker of the House in 2009. He is the first Jewish Speaker of the House.
The Speaker presides over debates in the House, determining which members may speak. The Speaker is also responsible for maintaining order during debate, and may punish members who break the rules of the House.
Unlike presiding officers of legislatures in many other countries, including the United States, the Speaker of Britain's House of Commons is expected to remain strictly non-partisan. Upon assuming office, the Speaker renounces affiliation with his or her former political party.
The Speaker is one of the highest-ranking officials in the United Kingdom. By an Order in Council issued in 1919, the Speaker ranks in the order of precedence above all non-royal individuals except the Prime Minister, the Lord Chancellor, and the Lord President of the Council.
The official portrait and the coat of arms will hang in the Speaker's apartment in the Palace of Westminster, where Bercow resides with his wife Sally and their three children.
The incorporation of gay symbolism into the official coat of arms of a Speaker of the House of Commons is concrete evidence of the growing acceptance of gay rights in the United Kingdom.