Classical music is an important component of Western culture to which glbt people have contributed significantly.
Singer, songwriter, and bassist Meshell Ndegeocello is a notably eclectic artist whose music confronts social and sexual issues, including racial identity, same-sex attraction, and homophobia.
Activist, singer, and songwriter Holly Near has been a tremendous influence in the formation and promotion of the women's music movement.
Show business renaissance man extraordinaire, Ivor Novello not only composed the scores of musical comedies, but also acted in films while dominating the London stage as a playwright and romantic leading man for three decades.
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.
In addition to scoring over thirty full-length motion pictures, American film composer, editor, and director John Ottman has also created musical compositions for numerous short films, television programs, and commercials.
Living the paradoxical life of an openly closeted gay man, songwriter Cole Porter introduced non-normative values and risqué double entendres into what was one of the most pedestrian and hackneyed of cultural forms.
One of the first openly gay composers, Francis Poulenc became one of the most thoughtful composers of serious music in the twentieth century.
One of France's most distinguished composers, Maurice Ravel projected a public identity as a cultured dandy, a dapper man-about-town of refined taste and sensibility.
Singer Johnnie Ray caused a sensation in the 1950s with energetic concert performances of hit songs, but his career was damaged by arrests for solicitation and gossip about his sexuality.
British rocker and activist Tom Robinson was embraced by the gay rights movement in the late 1970s, but became the subject of controversy in the 1990s when he chose to live with a woman and become a father.
American composer Ned Rorem is one of the most accomplished and prolific composers of art songs in the world, but his musical and literary endeavors extend far beyond this specialized field.
Seventeenth-century German composer Johann Rosenmüller survived a homosexual scandal in Leipzig to reconstitute his career in Venice.
One of Brazil's most popular rock singers, Renato Russo challenged homophobia in his homeland by coming out as a gay man.
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.
The question of the homosexuality of Franz Schubert, among the greatest composers of classical music, is a subject of continuing debate.
The American pop band Scissor Sisters was spawned in New York City's gay club scene; frequently addressing issues of transgressive sexuality, the band has cultivated a large glbtq fan base.
Composer Marc Shaiman and lyricist and director Scott Wittman, partners in life and collaborators in theater, film, and television projects, have a long list of credits in the entertainment industry.
The most important female composer in early twentieth-century English music, Dame Ethel Smyth enjoyed a class privilege that allowed her to be an unapologetic lesbian.
One of the most innovative talents of the musical theater in the second half of the twentieth century, Stephen Sondheim has only indirectly reflected his homosexuality in his work.
Lead singer, lyricist, and composer for the rock band R.E.M., as well as a movie producer, Michael Stipe identifies himself as a queer artist.
A major figure in American music who immensely enriched jazz by investing it with complexly orchestrated form, a prolific composer, arranger, and performing musician, Billy Strayhorn was unusual for his refusal to hide his homosexuality.
American composer Conrad Susa is best known for his operas and choral music, some of which are informed by his experience as a gay man.
Revered as the father of Polish contemporary classical music, Karol Szymanowski unequivocally expresses homoeroticism in his music.
One of the greatest composers in the history of music, Pyotr Ilich Tchaikovsky inspired a cult of gay admirers who detected in his work themes of forbidden love.