Out lesbian actress Jane Lynch has forged a successful career on television, in movies, and on the stage, including some memorable turns portraying lesbian characters.
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.
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 transgendered public figure in perilous times.
Having staged a variety of well-received and award-winning productions, actor-turned-director Joe Mantello has emerged as one of the most accomplished artists now working in the American theater.
Alec Mapa has enjoyed success as an actor and on the comedy circuit. He is also an activist for glbtq rights.
Jean Marais became one of the most celebrated stars of French movies, theater, and television partly because of the early sponsorship of writer and film director Jean Cocteau.
British-born actor Roddy McDowall made a graceful transition from a juvenile star to a highly versatile character actor on both stage and screen.
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.
The poems and songs of the amazingly prolific Rod McKuen express a bittersweet, aching tenderness that has endeared him to millions of fans.
Swiss actor, cabaret performer, and stage director Karl Meier was, under the pseudonym "Rolf," editor of Der Kreis, the leading European homophile publication, from 1943 until its demise in 1967.
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.
Although actor Sal Mineo was twice nominated for an Academy Award, and enjoyed success as a stage director and recording artist, he is remembered chiefly for his performance in Rebel without a Cause.
One of Hollywood's greatest directors, Vincente Minnelli kept his sexual orientation quite private, but his gay sensibility is visible in many of his films.
While he had already achieved recognition as an actor, the multiple talents of performer, writer, and filmmaker John Cameron Mitchell came to wide public notice in 2001 with the release of his prize-winning film, Hedwig and the Angry Inch.
Although she was not publicly out as a homosexual, actress Agnes Moorehead became a lesbian icon by virtue of her choice of roles during a long and distinguished career.
Filmmaker Paul Morrissey was the auteur who created many of the "Andy Warhol films," works that unflinchingly document modern urban subcultures, including the lives of drag queens, hustlers, and addicts.
Acclaimed as the greatest director of the German Expressionist period (1919-1933), F.W. Murnau created the first masterpiece of the horror film, Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens (1921).
The musical has been a significant aspect of American gay male culture, manifesting itself both in diva worship and, more recently, in the presentation of openly gay characters and shows written by gay writers primarily for gay audiences.
A popular leading man of the 1950s and 1960s, actor George Nader did not publicly acknowledge his sexual orientation (and his long relationship with his partner Mark Miller) until after the death of Rock Hudson in 1986.
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.
Independent films that aggressively assert homosexual identity and queer culture, the New Queer Cinema can be seen as the culmination of several developments in American cinema.
Award-winning actress Cynthia Nixon recently acknowledged publicly that she is bisexual and in a loving relationship with a woman.
A smash hit on British television, comedian and talk-show host Graham Norton has been out, proud, and outrageous from the beginning of his career.
The romantic idol of Hollywood silent films in the 1920s, Ramon Novarro has been perceived as a distinctly effeminate performer.
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.