Many forms of ambiguous sexuality can be found throughout the traditional arts of Africa, including images of androgyny, hermaphroditism, and transvestism; and much of erotic sculpture and theater can also be seen as homoerotic.
Outed as a transsexual in 1961, the indomitable April Ashley rose from poverty to become a glamorous entertainer and top model who married into the British aristocracy and later became a transgender activist.
Combining dance, cross-dressing, and comedy, Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo both parodies and celebrates classical ballet.
African-American Blues singer Gladys Bentley openly flaunted her lesbianism in the 1920s and 1930s, but recanted in the 1950s in an attempt to salvage her career.
As the first open transgender person in New Zealand to be elected to the offices of mayor and Member of Parliament, Georgina Beyer has evinced courage, humor, and personal honesty.
Legendary drag performer and recording artist Ray Bourbon appeared in silent movies, vaudeville acts, Broadway plays, and, from the 1940s through the 1960s, performed across the United States in a gay nightclub circuit.
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.
Historically, cabarets and revues have been much more likely to mention or imply same-sex desire than the "legitimate" theater; and same-sex desire has been less frequently condemned in cabarets and revues than in mainstream plays.
Marion Joe Carstairs, a colorful gender-bending figure of the twentieth century, first gained fame as a speedboat racer in the 1920s.
Actress and writer Charlotte Charke was known for portraying male characters on the eighteenth-century English stage and for cross-dressing in private life.
A versatile character actor, nightclub singer, and international cult star who generally performed his stage show and movie roles in drag, Divine became famous through his appearances in John Waters' films.
A recent arrival in the drag arena, drag kings are part of an international drag movement that emerged in London and San Francisco in the mid 1980s.
Female impersonation need say nothing about sexual identity, but it has for a long time been almost an institutionalized aspect of gay male culture.
An influential figure in experimental theater, writer and drag performer Ethyl Eichelberger is most remembered for his repertoire of self-penned solo plays based on the lives of the great women of history, literature, and myth.
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.
Mysterious, aloof, occasionally androgynous, actress Greta Garbo ignited the passions of men and women alike.
The first woman to gain significant attention as a male impersonator in the United States, vaudeville performer Annie Hindle created a stir when she married her dresser, Annie Ryan.
Barry Humphries, a character actor, singer, writer, poet, and painter, is known principally for the stage personas he has developed over a long career.
Not only is sexuality celebrated in Indian art, but many of India's gods also consider gender to be a fluid affair, sometimes manifesting as androgynes and sometimes switching gender altogether.
Acclaimed comic actor John Inman gained international fame for his endearing portrayal of the fey salesman Mr. Humphries on the television series Are You Being Served?.
Bisexual Mexican artist Frida Kahlo was a masterful exponent of cross-dressing, deliberately using male drag to project power and independence.
Mime artist, renegade, and magnetic stage performer, Lindsay Kemp has long had a cult status in alternative theater.
An innovator in the "Theater of the Ridiculous," actor and playwright Charles Ludlam drew on many elements of camp and farce, but never allowed them to obscure the seriousness of his themes.
Preservationist and museum founder Charlotte von Mahlsdorf was admired by many for her bravery in the face of persecution and for her openness as a transgender public figure in perilous times.
Mardi Gras, or Carnival, as it is often called, is a festival known for wild abandon, sexual promiscuity, feasting, drinking, dancing, parading, and elaborate masquerade.