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.
Political commentator Rachel Maddow became the first out lesbian to host a prime-time television news program when "The Rachel Maddow Show" premiered on MSNBC in September 2008.
Popular singer and songwriter George Michael, who confirmed his long-rumored homosexuality after an arrest for "lewd behavior" in 1998, has devoted much effort to AIDS charities since 1992.
A number of musical works in various genres have responded directly or indirectly to the AIDS crisis, generally focusing on expressions of grief, anger, or sympathy rather than on the personal and social consequences of the disease.
Gay equestrians are among the most successful and respected athletes in their sport, and a number of them have participated in the Olympic Games.
Olympian Brian Orser, known for both his athleticism and artistry, led a resurgence of Canada as a force to be reckoned with in men's figure skating; after being outed in a palimony suit, he has become an advocate for glbtq rights.
In his personal life, American actor Anthony Perkins often seemed as tortured as the troubled characters he played on film, hiding--and perhaps despising--his true nature while desperately seeking happiness and "normality."
Although pornography is controversial among lesbians, it has nonetheless been openly embraced by a faction of pro-sex lesbians, and there has emerged a small but growing film and video industry committed to authentic lesbian pornography.
One of Germany's leading gay activists and chroniclers of queer life, filmmaker Rosa von Praunheim makes films intended to foster self-examination by gay people and to advance gay rights.
African-American filmmaker Marlon Riggs celebrated black culture and gay male sexuality, while exposing homophobia and racism.
Acclaimed for his artistic and insightful images, many of them in black and white, American photographer Herb Ritts infused his work with homoeroticism and "homosexual iconography."
Screenwriter and director Don Roos has won plaudits for films that feature gay and lesbian characters and that also give strong roles to women.
Out American playwright, novelist, and screenwriter Paul Rudnick brings a gently subversive wit to all of his projects.
One of the major female impersonators of the 1970s and 1980s, Craig Russell was also an accomplished actor.
One of Brazil's most popular rock singers, Renato Russo challenged homophobia in his homeland by coming out as a gay man.
Through his contributions to literary and popular culture, Haitian-born American poet, performance artist, musician, and editor and publisher Assotto Saint increased the visibility of black queer authors and themes during the 1980s and early 1990s.
Perhaps the most successful African-American designer in fashion history, Willi Smith designed clothing that was stylish yet affordable and that people enjoyed wearing.
The various symbols of glbtq pride render marginalized communities visible and assert self-esteem in the face of discrimination and oppression.
Queer video art explores diverse issues, but because it can be such a personally expressive medium, it frequently focuses on issues directly concerned with queer experience.
Comedy writer and performer Bruce Vilanch has appeared on stage, television, and film and is a tireless proponent of glbtq causes.
In her work, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paula Vogel has tackled difficult topics, including AIDS, incest, and prostitution.
The first gay American artist to respond to the AIDS crisis with anger and moral outrage, David Wojnarowicz used his art as a polemical tool with which to indict those he held responsible for the AIDS epidemic and to document his own suffering.
American artist Martin Wong created innovative, transgressive paintings that celebrated his sexuality and explored multiple ethnic and racial identities.
A trailblazer in post-Stonewall gay theater, Cal Yeomans explored sex and sexuality so directly in his critically-acclaimed plays that it made his work difficult to produce even in the gay community.