Award-winning lyricist and playwright Howard Ashman collaborated with Alan Menken on projects as diverse as the stage musical Little Shop of Horrors and the animated Disney film Beauty and the Beast.
Entertainer Josephine Baker achieved acclaim as the twentieth century's first international black female sex symbol, but kept carefully hidden her many sexual liaisons with women, which continued from adolescence to the end of her life.
Award-winning television director Paris Barclay is also an activist for glbtq rights, including marriage equality and the opportunity to adopt children as he and his husband have done.
Accomplished actor and singer John Barrowman has won plaudits as a musical theater star, as well as for his roles in film and television.
Theatrical producer Richard Barr is most famous for producing the works of Edward Albee, introducing the European Absurdists to Broadway, and presenting the seminal gay drama, Mart Crowley's The Boys in the Band.
Actor and designer Bryan Batt achieved fame playing a closeted advertising executive on television, but in his own life he has been active in affirming the naturalness of homosexuality.
Bisexual choreographer and director Michael Bennett, winner of eight Tony Awards, developed a fluid, cinematic style of choreography and staging.
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.
American composer Marc Blitzstein, whose homosexuality probably inspired his sympathy for outsiders, attempted to write politically relevant music, and in doing so influenced other composers to blend classical and popular forms.
Perhaps the most acclaimed British choreographer working today, Matthew Bourne is best known for his homoerotic updatings and deconstructions of classic ballets.
A pop icon with a rich soulful voice, Boy George, who fronted the band Culture Club in the 1980s, managed to survive homophobia, drug addiction, and fame.
Actor-writer-director Charles Busch has distinguished himself through his virtuouso performances of "grand dame" characters and through his writing of dramatic vehicles for these roles.
In the early 1960s, the Camp Record label issued records of gay parody songs; although the music is without much artistic merit, the records are significant for what they reveal about pre-Stonewall gay culture.
A dynamic performer on stage, television, film, and record, Nell Carter built a successful and versatile show business career; only after her death was her longtime relationship with a woman revealed to the public.
Quick-witted, roly-poly, sad-eyed clown James Coco proved one of the most versatile and successful American stage, film, and television actors from the late-1960s through the mid-1980s.
Accomplished playwright, actor, composer, and lyricist, Sir Noël Coward was also a singer and cabaret performer; he dominated the British stage between the world wars, then reoriented his career in the direction of America.
Versatile actor Alan Cumming has performed a wide variety of roles on stage, screen, and television, earning numerous awards for his acting and also for his support of glbtq causes.
A proudly out lesbian from the very beginning of her career, the versatile Lea DeLaria has earned accolades for her talents as an actor, a singer, and a stand-up comic.
Actor-director Robert Drivas brought a provocative sexuality and an emotional intensity to his stage and screen performances at a time when the male body was being liberated as the object of the audience's gaze.
A fiercely comic playwright, as well as actor and screenwriter, Christopher Durang often incorporates gay themes and characters in his plays.
Gifted composer and arranger who gave a new look to movie musicals, Roger Edens was the heart and soul of the unit at MGM studios known as "Freed's Fairies."
Talented actor and writer John Epperson has had an extremely successful career performing as the glamorous and hilarious drag diva Lypsinka, among other characters.
Actor Harvey Fierstein has had phenomenal success as both a performer and a playwright, and has been steadfastly committed to the cause of glbtq rights.
Playwright and composer William Finn, best known for his Tony Award-winning musical The Falsettos, speaks with understanding about confronting life in all its complexity with sadness and joy, dilemmas and hope intermingled.
The fragile persona and emotion-packed voice of actress and singer Judy Garland are powerfully linked to gay culture and identity; she appealed especially to gay men, but also to lesbians.