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.
Detail from an untitled work by Tom of Finland. © Tom of Finland® Foundation.
An exhibition of the art of Tom of Finland (Touko Laaksonen, 1920-1991), a pioneer in twentieth-century gay male erotic art, will be presented by the World Erotic Art Museum in Miami Beach from April 14 through July 31, 2012. The show, entitled "TOM OF FINLAND: Male Masterworks" will feature twenty paintings and drawings, some of which have never before been exhibited. The exhibition is scheduled to coincide with Pride season in Miami Beach.
Curator Volker Morlock will give a talk at the exhibition's opening, which will be held on Saturday, April 14, 2012 from 7:00 pm until midnight at the museum. Morlock has arranged the works on display chronologically to allow visitors to see the progression of the artist's style and the evolution of his choices of subjects.
Untitled, 1972 (from "In the Park") © Tom of Finland® Foundation, 1972.
In addition to the art works on display, the exhibition will include a new video tribute to the artist as well as vintage memorabilia.
Untitled ("Sailor's Dream"), 1959. © Tom of Finland® Foundation, 1959.
Glbtq contributor Ken Gonzalez-Day calls Tom of Finland an iconic artist who "has created some of the most indelible (and erotic) images of twentieth-century gay life and has fueled the fantasies of generations of gay men." His work retains its relevance and erotic punch today.
Untitled (From the "The Tattooed Sailor" series), 1962. © Tom of Finland® Foundation, 1962.
The images of Tom of Finland's work here appear with the permission of the Tom of Finland Foundation. TOM OF FINLAND® is a registered trademark of Tom of Finland Foundation, Inc. and protected under international copyright law, Geneva Convention, 1982. Tom of Finland® Foundation, Inc., Los Angeles, California USA.
The Tom of Finland® Foundation owns the copyrights to these images. They may not be copied or reproduced without the Foundation's written permission.