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.
Straight allies have recently emerged as a key element in the equal rights movement. In a new video, Dan Savage reminds us that the glbtq community is a small minority and that our recent progress in the struggle for equal rights has been made possible by our straight allies. He urges us to thank our allies and has established a Tumblr site in which to do so. In addition, an incident in Columbus, Ohio also demonstrates the welcome assertiveness of straight allies.
Savage's Tumblr site is called Straight Up Thanks. The columnist and "accidental activist" urges us to use the site to thank straight people who have spoken up for equal rights, volunteered to make our recent victories possible, and have otherwise supported glbtq people.
If you want to thank straight friends who have furthered equal rights, submit a photo and couple of sentences describing your friends and their supportive actions at the site.
Below is Savage's video.
A recent incident in Columbus, Ohio also indicates how assertive straight allies have become in defense of glbtq people. Joel Diaz and his friend Ethan were holding hands as they waited in line at a popular pizza truck when the guy in front of them tells them to cut out the "gay shit."
To learn what happened next read about it in the Huffington Post. Or watch the video below.
The emergence of assertive straight allies who are willing to confront bullies and stand up for fairness and equality is a pivotal event in the glbtq rights movement. It has been a long time coming.
Key to this emergence has been the growing acceptance of glbtq people within families, an acceptance that has been prompted by brave young people who have come out at increasingly early ages.
Prompted by organizations such as Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays and educational programs that emphasize the problems of bullying, as well as the greater openness of glbtq people themselves, more and more straight people have educated themselves about homosexuality and have self-consciously identified as community allies.