literature >> Overview: Journalism and Publishing
social sciences >> Overview: Libraries and Archives
The gay and lesbian press is of prime importance in sustaining a frequently embattled minority and has been crucial in the development of a national mass movement for gay rights.
social sciences >> Overview: McCarthyism
Libraries and archives have been the sources of information crucial to the difficult process of identity formation and have been significant repositories for the restoration and reconstruction of queer history.
arts >> Overview: Salons
McCarthyism, which attempted in the late 1940s and early 1950s to expunge Communists and fellow travelers from American public life, made homosexuals the chief scapegoats of the Cold War.
literature >> Albee, Edward
Often overlooked in mainstream publications on the cultural history of salons is that many of the salon hostesses and attendees were lesbian, bisexual, or gay.
literature >> Allison, Dorothy E.
The American dramatist Edward Albee, whose career flourished in the 1960s and then waned as a result of homophobia, wrote plays with gay subtexts in which loving is the ultimate act of violence and violence is the most effective expression of love.
literature >> Anzaldúa, Gloria
South Carolina native Dorothy Allison refuses to write didactic or romantic illustrations of the lesbian experience, focusing instead on the sheer survival of her lesbian characters in the hostile environment of Southern working-class families.
literature >> Arvin, Newton
American Latina lesbian editor and writer Gloria Anzaldúa connected racism and homophobia to posit a political queerness that interconnects with all struggles against oppression.
literature >> Ashbery, John
One of the most gifted critics of American literature of the mid-twentieth century, Newton Arvin is today most remembered as a lover and mentor of Truman Capote and as the central figure in a 1960 scandal at Smith College.
literature >> Auden, W. H.
John Ashbery, one of the leading contemporary American poets, avoids explicit gay content in his poetry, but his work shares concerns with other late twentieth-century gay writing.
literature >> Bannon, Ann
One of the most accomplished poets of the twentieth century, W. H. Auden found that his gayness led him to new insights into the universal impulse to love and enlarged his understanding of all kinds of relationships.
arts >> Barker, Clive
In a series of five interlinked pulp novels set in Greenwich Village and its homosexual bars in the late 1950s and early 1960s, Bannon provides an important record of lesbian life in a period when few women dared speak openly about homosexuality.
arts >> Bechdel, Alison
Writer, director, and producer Clive Barker is best known for his horror fiction and movies, but is also a prolific painter and illustrator, as well as a developer of comic books and computer games.
literature >> Bishop, Elizabeth
Cartoonist Alison Bechdel is best known for her long-running comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For, which has run in alternative gay and lesbian newspapers for nearly two decades.
social sciences >> Boswell, John
Widely acknowledged as one of the finest twentieth-century American poets, Elizabeth Bishop encoded a lesbian identity in her poems.
literature >> Bradley, Marion Zimmer
John Boswell was one of the late twentieth century's most influential historians of homosexuality and author of one of the first book-length histories on the subject.
literature >> Bram, Christopher
A matriarch of fantasy and science fiction literature, Marion Zimmer Bradley also authored lesbian paperback pulps and articles for The Ladder and Mattachine Review.
literature >> Cather, Willa
Christopher Bram's novels address homosexual issues in a variety of periods and locales.
literature >> Cheever, John
One of America's premier literary artists in the earlier twentieth century, Willa Cather reflected her own lesbianism in the creation of strong women characters and in the exploration of male homosexuality.
literature >> Cocteau, Jean
John Cheever, who was bisexual, gradually came to invest homosexuality with redemptive and transforming powers.
arts >> Corinne, Tee
An outspoken homosexual, Jean Cocteau was a prolific poet, novelist, critic, essayist, artist, and filmmaker.
literature >> Cunningham, Michael
The shy superstar of lesbian erotica, American artist Tee Corinne is especially known for her frank and sensuous depictions of lesbian sex.
literature >> Delany, Samuel R.
The acclaimed novelist Michael Cunningham examines gay culture within the context of the larger society.
literature >> Doty, Mark
Writer of science fiction, memoirs, erotica, cultural studies, and postmodern criticism, and winner of multiple Nebula, Hugo, and Lambda Literary Awards, Samuel R. Delany is widely regarded as one of the finest science fiction writers of his generation.
literature >> Eliot, T[homas] S[tearns]
Author of several volumes of poetry and memoirs, Mark Doty has helped bring the AIDS narrative and the experiences of gay men to a wider audience through resonant prose and a richly stylized poetic voice.
literature >> Feinberg, Leslie
Although Eliot tried to suppress the fact, The Waste Land is an elegy for a young Frenchman whom he met and loved in Paris and who died in the Great War in 1915.
literature >> Flanner, Janet
Political organizer, grassroots historian, and accomplished writer, Leslie Feinberg is a pioneer of transgender activism and culture.
literature >> Forrest, Katherine V.
An expatriate journalist, novelist, and translator, Janet Flanner spent most of her adult life in Paris with her lover Solita Solano.
literature >> Gide, André
Writer and editor Katherine V. Forrest has played a major role in bringing lesbian fiction to the forefront of the mystery and science fiction genres.
literature >> Ginsberg, Allen
André Gide, one of the premier French writers of the twentieth century, reflected his homosexuality in many of his numerous works.
social sciences >> Gittings, Barbara
The forthrightly gay Allen Ginsberg is probably the best-known American poet to emerge in the post-World War II period.
literature >> Gomez, Jewelle
A pioneer in the American gay rights movement, Barbara Gittings worked tirelessly within the American Library Association to make material with glbtq content more accessible to the reading public.
literature >> Grahn, Judy
In her poetry, fiction, and essays, Jewelle Gomez seeks to merge her black, feminist, and lesbian identities into an indivisible whole.
literature >> Grimsley, Jim
Judy Grahn has been an effective leader the gay rights movement, and her identity as a lesbian and a feminist has infused all of her works, in both prose and poetry.
literature >> Grumbach, Doris
By the end of the twentieth century, playwright and fiction writer Jim Grimsley had firmly established himself as a central voice in an exploding, Southern, gay literary renaissance.
arts >> Hammond, Harmony Lynn
In her novels, especially those based on the lives of actual people, Doris Grumbach treats homosexual relationships matter-of-factly as an integral part of the human landscape.
literature >> Hansen, Joseph
Harmony Hammond is a significant artist whose lesbian feminism is integrated into her painting and sculpture, teaching, writing, and curatorial work.
literature >> Hemphill, Essex
Best known as the author of the Dave Brandstetter mystery series, Hansen also published a considerable body of nonmystery fiction and poetry, most of it dominated by homosexual characters and themes.
literature >> Hollinghurst, Alan
Despite his relatively brief literary career, Essex Hemphill became arguably the most critically acclaimed and best known openly gay contemporary African-American poet.
literature >> Howard, Richard
Noted for his elegant prose style and subtle representations of moral ambiguities, Alan Hollinghurst has in recent years emerged as Great Britain's most significant contemporary gay novelist.
literature >> Inge, William Motter
Richard Howard's searching and witty poetry, in which homosexuality is not a problem but a solution, is a significant contribution to the gay and lesbian literary heritage.
arts >> Kaufman, Moisés
Although he was closeted and created few homosexual characters, playwright and novelist William Inge frequently acknowledged the existence of gay culture and desire in both his dramatic dialogue and prose.
literature >> Kenan, Randall
Award-winning writer and director Moisés Kaufman specializes in theatrical works that explore watershed moments in glbtq history, such as the Wilde scandal, the murder of Matthew Shepard, and the experience of East Berlin transvestite Charlotte von Mahlsdorf.
literature >> Kramer, Larry
African-American writer Randall Kenan delineates the richly nuanced internal landscapes of the diverse inhabitants of his fictional community, Tims Creek, N. C.
literature >> Kushner, Tony
Controversial playwright, novelist, and essayist Larry Kramer has been a pioneer in the gay political response to AIDS in America.
literature >> Lagerlöf, Selma
In addition to being a prize-winning playwright, Tony Kushner has become a celebrity spokesman for gay politics and AIDS activism.
literature >> Leavitt, David
Although she only hinted at sexual transgression in her novels, Nobel Prize winner and Swedish Academy member Selma Lagerlöf reflected directly her deep affection for women in her letters.
literature >> Le Guin, Ursula K.
Novelist and short story writer David Leavitt is one of the brightest stars of the gay literary world today.
literature >> Lorde, Audre
Although Ursula Le Guin does not address homosexual issues directly, she includes homosexuals as minor characters in works that cause readers to reexamine their assumptions about sex roles and stereotypes.
literature >> Lowell, Amy
The work of African-American activist and writer Audre Lord was greatly influenced by her lesbianism.
social sciences >> Lyon, Phyllis, (b. 1924) and Del Martin (1921-2008)
Much of Amy Lowell's poetry is extremely frank, forthrightly sensual, and often overtly lesbian.
literature >> Mann, Thomas
Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin were among the founders of a lesbian liberation movement that developed and enlarged the very definition of lesbianism.
literature >> Martinac, Paula
One of Germany's greatest twentieth-century authors, Thomas Mann encoded his own homosexuality in his novels but thought that homosexuality led to the destruction of social institutions and the death of the individual homosexual.
literature >> Maupin, Armistead
Writer Paula Martinac's career has been devoted to exploring and documenting the place that lesbians occupy in society, history, and the family.
literature >> McClatchy, J.D.
A sharp social critic, novelist Armistead Maupin places his gay characters within a large framework of humanity, creating a social history of San Francisco during the tumultuous decades of the 1970s and 1980s.
literature >> Merlis, Mark
Poet J. D. McClatchy, Jr., a master of traditional poetic forms, most notably the sonnet and sonnet sequence, ranks as a significant voice in contemporary American letters.
literature >> Merrill, James
Mark Merlis is a novelist of unusual imaginative and linguistic power who examines contemporary gay concerns through the filter of historical parallels.
literature >> Millay, Edna Saint Vincent
James Merrill's significance as a gay writer lies in his deliberate use of a personal relationship to fuel his poetry.
literature >> Miller, Isabel
Poet and playwright Edna Saint Vincent Millay expressed her bisexuality in both her life and her work.
literature >> Miller, Neil
The fiction of Isabel Miller explores and celebrates relationships between women, often across class lines.
literature >> Mistral, Gabriela
Historian and journalist Neil Miller has attempted to widen the understanding of gay and lesbian life by moving away from the major metropolitan areas, focusing instead on small cities and rural areas.
literature >> Monette, Paul
Chilean educator, journalist, feminist, diplomat, and Nobel laureate Gabriela Mistral celebrated women and motherhood in poems and essays that are frequently homoerotic.
literature >> Moss, Howard
In novels, poetry, and a memoir, Paul Monette wrote about gay men striving to fashion personal identities and, later, coping with the loss of a lover to AIDS.
literature >> Nava, Michael
Howard Moss, one of the leading figures of American letters in the latter half of the twentieth century, is the author of a significant body of elegant, erudite, and urbane work, especially poetry.
literature >> Nestle, Joan
Mystery writer Michael Nava has increasingly been recognized as an important novelist whose mature work transcends the limited expectations of a popular and highly specialized genre.
literature >> Newman, Lesléa
Through her writing, teaching, editing, and activism, Joan Nestle has devoted her life to promoting awareness of glbtq culture and advancing glbtq equality.
literature >> O'Hara, Frank
Prolific Jewish femme lesbian-feminist writer of poetry, fiction, and children's books, Leslèa Newman draws on her own multiple identities to describe the complex tapestry that results when a variety of identities are woven together.
literature >> Oliver, Mary
The influential poet Frank O'Hara wrote works informed by both modern art and the world of urban gay male culture.
literature >> Picano, Felice
Although Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Mary Oliver has not been an outspoken lesbian activist, her poetry is deeply resonant with contemporary lesbian consciousness, and many lesbians claimed her as one of their own before she publicly came out.
literature >> Pratt, Minnie Bruce
Prolific author Felice Picano, a founding member of the Violet Quill, is also a pioneer in gay publishing, having founded two publishing houses.
literature >> Purdy, James
Award-winning author Minnie Bruce Pratt has written moving and erotic poems and stories that explore sex and gender issues, as well as powerful essays that decry bigotry in its many forms.
literature >> Rechy, John
James Purdy's novels often describe obsessive love between men for whom homosexuality is unthinkable and whose fate is inevitably bleak.
literature >> Rice, Christopher
In his novels about hustling, preeminently City of Night and Numbers, John Rechy moves from the world of homosexual behavior into the world of gay identity.
literature >> Rich, Adrienne
Christopher Rice, the author of five popular, gay-themed suspense thrillers, has also been active in supporting glbtq causes, especially those affecting glbtq youth.
social sciences >> Sagarin, Edward (Donald Webster Cory)
Adrienne Rich, who aestheticized politics and politicized aesthetics, is America's most widely read lesbian poet.
literature >> Saints and Sinners Literary Festival
Edward Sagarin, writing as Donald Webster Cory, produced important books that prepared the stage for the gay liberation movement, but under his own name he later attacked the very movement he inspired.
literature >> Schulman, Sarah
The Saints and Sinners Literary Festival, an annual glbtq-themed literary festival held each May in New Orleans, has become one of the world's most influential alternative literary festivals.
literature >> Shilts, Randy
Author and playwright Sarah Schulman is concerned with constructing a lesbian identity around and against the multicultural identities of New York.
literature >> Sontag, Susan
Randy Shilts pioneered as an openly gay journalist in the 1970s and 1980s and was an astute interpreter of the various issues affecting American gay men and lesbians.
social sciences >> Stonewall Riots
Although she treated her own lesbianism as a strictly private matter, Susan Sontag wrote perceptively on gay male figures and issues.
literature >> Teasdale, Sara
The confrontations between police and demonstrators at the Stonewall Inn in New York City the weekend of June 27-29, 1969 mark the beginning of the modern glbtq movement for equal rights.
literature >> Tóibín, Colm
As reflected in her poetry, the strongest emotional relationships in Sara Teasdale's life were with women.
literature >> Toole, John Kennedy
The recent novels of acclaimed Irish writer Colm Tóibín are astutely observed, unsentimental explorations of gay men trying to fit into an unwelcoming, and often openly hostile, world.
social sciences >> Vaid, Urvashi
Novelist John Kennedy Toole expressed sympathy for the socially marginalized and animosity towards the powers that enforce conformity, but he was never comfortable with his own homosexuality and presents sexual non-conformity in highly conflicted ways.
literature >> Vidal, Gore
Activist Urvashi Vaid has devoted her energies to trying to create a queer liberation movement that would have as its core the liberation of all people.
literature >> Vogel, Paula
The multifaceted Gore Vidal is important in the gay literary heritage because of the straightforwardness with which he pursued gay themes and included gay characters in his work.
literature >> Walker, Alice
In her work, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paula Vogel has tackled difficult topics, including AIDS, incest, and prostitution.
literature >> Warren, Patricia Nell
In her explorations of the damage done to the individual self by racism and sexism, Alice Walker views lesbianism as natural and freeing, an aid to self-knowledge and self-love.
literature >> Waters, Sarah
Patricia Nell Warren is the author of significant novels about American gay culture that exemplify popular adult and young adult mainstream fiction.
literature >> White, Edmund
Sarah Waters is the author of three lesbian novels as well as articles on lesbian and gay literature.
literature >> White, Patrick
One of the most prominent and highly acclaimed figures of contemporary gay literature, Edmund White works in many distinct categories of fiction and nonfiction.
literature >> Wilder, Thornton
The gay Australian Nobel laureate Patrick White wrote explicitly about homosexuality only in his novel The Twyborn Affair and his autobiography Flaws in the Glass.
literature >> Williams, Tennessee
The works of Thornton Wilder are landmarks of American literature, but they reveal scant traces of the author's homosexuality.
literature >> Wilson, Doric
Conflicted over his own sexuality, Tennessee Williams wrote directly about homosexuality only in his short stories, his poetry, and his late plays.
literature >> Wilson, Lanford
A pioneer in the development of contemporary gay theater, Doric Wilson has been instrumental in Off-Off-Broadway theater in New York City since the early 1960s.
literature >> Winterson, Jeanette
In his depictions of gay subjects, Lanford Wilson proved himself to be a powerful voice speaking of the lives of gay men.
literature >> Wolverton, Terry
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.
literature >> Woodson, Jacqueline
Throughout her varied career as a writer, editor, teacher, and performance artist, Terry Wolverton has consistently worked to document glbtq history and increase the visibility of the community.
A prize-winning author of books for young adults, the African-American lesbian writer Jacqueline Woodson gives voice to a complex range of both straight and gay characters.