Patricia Juliana Smith is Associate Professor of English at Hofstra University. With Corinne Blackmer, she has edited a collection of essays, En Travesti: Women, Gender Subversion, Opera. She is also author of Lesbian Panic: Homoeroticism in Modern British Women's Fiction and editor of The Queer Sixties and The Gay and Lesbian Book of Quotations. She serves on the editorial advisory board of www.glbtq.com.
Entries by Patricia Juliana Smith
arts >> Acosta, Mercedes de
Poet, playwright, screenwriter, costume designer, and memoirist, Mercedes de Acosta is remembered today for her love affairs with some of the most glamorous women of her time.
literature >> Acton, Harold
Although he was a historian, philanthropist, and patron, Harold Acton's true vocation was that of an aesthete with a mission to shock the narrow-minded.
arts >> Anderson, Lindsay
Influential in shaping British cinema in the 1960s, director Lindsay Anderson, who often presented homoerotic elements in his films violently and disturbingly, was tormented by his homosexuality.
arts >> Asquith, Anthony
The films of Anthony Asquith embody for many viewers a quintessential "Britishness," but the director's discretion and refinement were not merely a facet of his art, but also a highly developed way of life for the gay son of a British prime minister.
arts >> Barber, Samuel
Despite the spectacular failure of his opera Antony and Cleopatra, American composer Samuel Barber made an enduring contribution to the cultural life of the United States and the world.
arts >> Beaton, Sir Cecil
The celebrated British photographer Cecil Beaton described himself as a "terrible, terrible homosexualist," but may be best known for his relationship with Greta Garbo.
arts >> Berners, Gerald Hugh Tyrwhitt-Wilson, Baron
The life of eccentric British composer, painter, and novelist Baron Berners was a grand performance.
arts >> Bernstein, Leonard
For most of his life, the specter of the closet lurked threateningly behind the glamorous and often brash public image of American composer Leonard Bernstein.
arts >> Blunt, Anthony
The distinguished career of art historian Anthony Blunt came to an end upon the revelation that he had been the unnamed "fourth man" in the Cambridge spy scandal of the 1950s.
arts >> Bogarde, Sir Dirk
Although British film star Dirk Bogarde only tacitly acknowledged his homosexuality during most of his life, he deserves credit as the first actor to create a sympathetic gay character in British film.
arts >> Britten, Benjamin
The most acclaimed British composer of the twentieth century, Benjamin Britten created many works that were inspired by his long-time personal and professional relationship with his lover, Peter Pears.
literature >> Brophy, Brigid
English novelist, essayist, and biographer Brigid Brophy was one of the 1960s' most daring voices in her explorations of the varieties of sexuality.
arts >> Castrati
Male singers who were castrated before they reached puberty, castrati reached the height of their popularity in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; although not necessarily homosexual, they occupy a "queer space" in cultural history.
arts >> Close, Roberta
One of the world's most famous transsexual celebrities, Brazilian model, actress, and television performer Roberta Close has challenged the laws of her country that prevent her from defining her own gender.
arts >> Copland, Aaron
Despite his outsider status as a Jewish homosexual, Aaron Copland composed a significant number of musical works that embody the idea of American history, struggle, and courage.
literature >> Corelli, Marie
The popular English novelist Marie Corelli is now known chiefly as a camp figure who inspired E. F. Benson's Lucia.
arts >> Davies, Sir Peter
Perhaps the most renowned living British composer, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies has created over three hundred works encompassing virtually every genre of classical music.
arts >> Divas
The diva has traditionally played a significant role in both gay and lesbian culture as an object of cult worship with whom those who suffer the heartaches of forbidden love and ostracism from an unaccepting society find solace and identification.
literature >> Duffy, Maureen
Maureen Duffy has published novels that present both lesbian and gay male characters within a broad social and political panorama.
arts >> Epstein, Brian
Although Brian Epstein created the public image and oversaw the career of the world's most famous rock group, at the peak of his success he suffered acute anxiety that his homosexuality might be exposed.
arts >> Flowers, Wayland
From the 1960s until his death in the 1988, puppeteer Wayland Flowers presented to mainstream television audiences a campy gay point of view mediated through his puppet "Madame," who eventually eclipsed him in fame.
arts >> Fry, Stephen
British actor Stephen Fry, who scored a triumph as Oscar Wilde in the film Wilde, is also an accomplished comic, novelist, memoirist, and philanthropist.
arts >> Gielgud, Sir John
Sir John Gielgud has long been acknowledged as one of the greatest British actors of the twentieth century.
arts >> Haring, Keith
In his all-too-brief lifetime, gay American artist Keith Haring produced simple yet sophisticated images that reached a worldwide audience and transcended differences of race, nationality, gender, age, and sexual orientation.
arts >> Hawthorne, Sir Nigel
Somewhat to his chagrin, British stage and film actor Nigel Hawthorne was acclaimed as the first openly gay actor to be nominated for an Academy Award as Best Actor.
literature >> Howard, Brian
Aesthete Brian Howard is notable for being a most extraordinary failure, remembered mostly as an interesting secondary figure among the "Brideshead Generation," the mostly homosexual "Bright Young Things" of Oxford in the 1920s.
arts >> Ivory, James (b. 1928), and Ismail Merchant (1936-2005)
Perhaps the most enduring and influential gay partnership in film history, James Ivory and Ismail Merchant are known for their visually sumptuous period pieces based on literary classics.
arts >> Landowska, Wanda
Wanda Landowska, a member of Natalie Clifford Barney's famed lesbian salon, was almost single-handedly responsible for the revival of the harpsichord as a performance instrument in the twentieth century.
arts >> Leyendecker, Joseph C.
The leading illustrator of his day, J. C. Leyendecker created images (some of them of his lover Charles Beach, the "Arrow Man") that helped define American standards of beauty and sophistication from the 1890s to the 1940s.
arts >> Lynde, Paul
American comedian Paul Lynde, most famous for being the crucial "center square" on the 1970s television game show Hollywood Squares, created a campy bitch comic image but was fiercely closeted.
arts >> McDowall, Roddy
British-born actor Roddy McDowall made a graceful transition from a juvenile star to a highly versatile character actor on both stage and screen.
arts >> McKellen, Sir Ian
Arguably the finest Shakespearean actor of his generation, Ian McKellen was the first British subject to be knighted after publicly revealing his homosexuality, an event that proved more controversial within the gay community than in the mainstream.
arts >> Mercer, Mabel
One of the most respected singers of the mid-twentieth century, Mabel Mercer was a most original stylist who in her later years became a beloved icon of gay New York.
arts >> Mercury, Freddie
The front man of one of the world's most popular rock groups, Queen, Freddie Mercury was noted for his flamboyant, gender-bending androgyny.
arts >> Messel, Oliver
Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, Oliver Messel was Britain's most celebrated theatrical designer, the creator of lavish costumes and sets for ballet and stage productions in the country's most prestigious venues.
arts >> Opera
Opera, an eclectic synthesis of voice, drama, music, costume, visual arts and spectacle, has played an integral role in queer culture since its development in seventeenth century Venice.
arts >> Pears, Peter
Highly respected British tenor Sir Peter Pears was the life partner of composer Benjamin Britten, who wrote leading roles in many of his operas for him.
arts >> Richardson, Tony
Bisexual British film and stage director Tony Richardson was instrumental in challenging British censorship codes, especially regarding the representation of homosexuals.
arts >> Saint-Saëns, Camille
One of the most highly honored French figures of his day, composer Camille Saint-Saëns reputedly declared--perhaps sardonically--that he was not a homosexual but a pederast.
arts >> Schlesinger, John
British director John Schlesinger has been a significant force in introducing homosexual themes into mainstream British and American films.
literature >> Sitwell, Edith
Throughout her life, poet and novelist Edith Sitwell surrounded herself with gay men, some of whom became her artistic collaborators. Although it is not clear that she ever experienced a sustained sexual relationship with anyone of either sex, her closest emotional bond was with another woman.
arts >> Springfield, Dusty
Now widely acclaimed as one of the greatest voices of popular music, British rock star of the 1960s Dusty Springfield has long been a lesbian icon.
arts >> Thomson, Virgil
Critic and composer Virgil Thomson was a pioneer in creating a specifically American form of classical music that is at once "serious" yet whimsically sardonic.
arts >> Tippett, Sir Michael
English composer Sir Michael Tippett became one of the most respected figures in British classical music despite his pacifism, unabashed homosexuality, and incorporation of homosexual themes in his operas.
arts >> Troche, Rose
Film director Rose Troche has helped to make lesbians more visible onscreen, not as women tortured by their sexuality, but as individuals for whom female homosexuality is comfortable and, indeed, normal.
literature >> Warner, Sylvia Townsend
The poet, novelist, and short story writer Sylvia Townsend Warner is an important lesbian voice of the earlier twentieth century.
literature >> Winterson, Jeanette
Jeanette Winterson's prize-winning novels exploring lesbian and gender issues have quickly gained a following not only among lesbian and gay readers but also among mainstream readers as well.
arts >> Wolfe, Elsie de
American lesbian Elsie de Wolfe helped create the profession of interior decorating; she was also one of the central figures of an elite New York "Amazon enclave" during the early years of the twentieth century.
arts >> Zeffirelli, Franco
Controversial Italian director Franco Zeffirelli has won both acclaim and derision for his visually extravagant opera, stage, and film productions, while also provoking the ire of many gay men and lesbians for his anti-gay religious positions.