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AIDS
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AIDS Activism in the Arts
In response to the AIDS epidemic, a number of activist groups, including Gran Fury and the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt, have used art as a means to raise awareness about the epidemic.
American Art: Gay Male, Post-Stonewall
After Stonewall, American gay male art underwent a radical transformation as artists came out and began to treat gay themes openly and directly.
American Television, Drama
American television has made significant strides in its portrayal of homosexuals in dramatic series and movies, but cable networks have been more daring than the "big three" broadcast networks.
Araki, Gregg
The poster boy of radical and militant queer cinema, Gregg Araki disdains the ghettoizing label of "gay filmmaker."
Ashman, Howard
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.
Barr, Richard
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.
Bleckner, Ross
Avant-garde American artist Ross Bleckner creates paintings that draw upon and play with earlier traditions of abstraction by wedding his private experience as a gay man to public concerns surrounding gay identity, most especially the AIDS crisis.
Boffin, Tessa
British performance artist and photographer Tessa Boffin was the first British lesbian artist to produce work in response to the AIDS epidemic.
Butler, Dan
Actor Dan Butler, best known for his portrayal of "Bulldog" Briscoe on the television comedy Frasier, not only came out as a gay man, but also authored and starred in the gay-themed play The Only Worse Thing You Could Have Told Me.
Caballero, Luis
Luis Caballero Holguín, one of the most significant Latin American painters of the second half of the twentieth century, considered his homosexuality a fundamental component of his artistic expression.
Caja, Jerome
San Francisco visual artist Jerome Caja is known for his small, sensuous combinations of found objects, which he painted with nail polish, makeup, and glitter, as well as for his drag performances.
Canadian Art
Since the rise of the homosexual emancipation movement three decades ago, a handful of Canadian artists have confronted issues of gay and lesbian sexuality in their work.
Carter, Nell
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.
Collard, Cyril
French writer and filmmaker Cyril Collard became a key figure in the struggle to revise the representation of AIDS in literature and art.
Contemporary Art
Contemporary Art, which designates new currents in art since 1970, is identified with postmodernism; during this period an art addressing gay and lesbian identity emerged.
Corigliano, John
American composer of symphonies, chamber works, choral settings, operas, and film scores, John Corigliano has created some of the most moving music inspired by the AIDS epidemic.
Cumming, Alan
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.
Davis, Brad
Although American gay film icon Brad Davis has been described as "the first heterosexual actor to die of AIDS," he was widely known as bisexual within the entertainment community.
Documentary Film
The queer community has used documentary film to resurrect historical memory and to permit the marginalized to bear witness, as well as to build an image base that reflects our diversity and counters distorted representations.
Drivas, Robert
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.
Ellis, Perry
American fashion designer Perry Ellis achieved spectacular success, based on his clean-cut, casual, yet often whimsical designs; but his career was cut short by his early death, rumored to have been the result of complications from AIDS.
Epstein, Rob
Writer, director, and producer Rob Epstein is one of the most accomplished documentary filmmakers of his generation, having worked on a number of landmark gay-themed films.
Fani-Kayode, Rotimi
One of the most important black photographers of the late twentieth century, Rotimi Fani-Kayode explores important themes of racial and sexual identity.
Finn, William
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.
Flowers, Wayland
From the 1960s until his death in the 1988, puppeteer Wayland Flowers presented to mainstream television audiences a campy gay point of view mediated through his puppet "Madame," who eventually eclipsed him in fame.
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Popular Topics in The Arts
Nyad, Diana Nyad, Diana
Long-distance swimmer and respected sports commentator has in more recent years spoken out on issues of glbtq rights.
 
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Indian playwright, screenwriter, dancer, director, and actor Mahesh Dattani is an important figure in South Asian gay culture by virtue of his recurrent depiction of queer characters.
 
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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.
 
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American painter Paul Cadmus is best known for the satiric innocence of his frequently censored paintings of burly men in skin-tight clothes, but he also created works that celebrate same-sex domesticity.
 
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San Francisco visual artist Jerome Caja is known for his small, sensuous combinations of found objects, which he painted with nail polish, makeup, and glitter, as well as for his drag performances.
 
Photography: Gay Male, Pre-Stonewall Photography: Gay Male, Pre-Stonewall
Although sparse in images documenting the gay community, pre-Stonewall gay male photography blurs the boundaries between art, erotica, and social history.
 
Drag Shows: Drag Queens and Female Impersonators Drag Shows: Drag Queens and Female Impersonators
Female impersonation need say nothing about sexual identity, but it has for a long time been almost an institutionalized aspect of gay male culture.
 
Erotic and Pornographic Art: Gay Male Erotic and Pornographic Art: Gay Male
Given the historic stigma around making, circulating, and possessing overtly homoerotic images, the visual arts have been especially important for providing a socially sanctioned arena for depicting the naked male body and suggesting homoerotic desire.
 
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