A pioneer in the women's music movement, Margie Adam helped create a new political music genre that celebrated lesbian love and the changing lives of women.
Although not publicly out as a gay man, Australian singer and songwriter Peter Allen signaled his homosexuality through his flamboyant persona and the subtexts of many of his songs.
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.
Commonly known as the "World's Greatest Party Band," the B-52s features openly gay members who are active in glbtq, AIDS, environmental and animal rights issues.
Legendary folk singer and catalyst for social change, Joan Baez has both described herself as bisexual and participated in the struggle for gay and lesbian rights.
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.
Accomplished actor and singer John Barrowman has won plaudits as a musical theater star, as well as for his roles in film and television.
Singer Lance Bass gained fame as a member of the boy band *Nsync; since coming out in 2006, he has spoken on behalf of glbtq rights.
Singer and lyricist Andy Bell, half of the synth-pop duo Erasure, is one of the few openly gay, high-profile rock musicians.
Bisexual choreographer and director Michael Bennett, winner of eight Tony Awards, developed a fluid, cinematic style of choreography and staging.
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.
Blues music as it flourished in the 1920s was women's music, and it often featured sexually-inflected lyrics performed by women who were openly bisexual or lesbian.
The child of a famous show business couple, Chaz Bono has had to cope with family resistance and intense public scrutiny as he came out, first as a lesbian, then as a transgender man.
David Bowie, also known as "The Dame," became a leading light in 1970s "glam rock," going on to enjoy international superstar status, but his relationship to queer culture is deeply contradictory.
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.
In the early 1960s, the Camp Record label issued records of gay parody songs; although the music is without much artistic merit, the records are significant for what they reveal about pre-Stonewall gay culture.
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.
Androgynously handsome Hong Kong actor and pop singer Leslie Cheung played sexually ambiguous characters, as well as romantic leads in both gay- and heterosexually-themed films.
Since they were first established in the 1970s, lesbian and gay musical organizations have grown remarkably in number, size, and sophistication.
Women's music pioneer Meg Christian was among the first performer to address lesbian and feminist issues in her songs.
Although the roots of country music are in conservative rural America, in recent years many gays and lesbians have become attracted to it, and there has been an emergence of gay and lesbian country performers.
Accomplished playwright, actor, composer, and lyricist, Sir Noël Coward was also a singer and cabaret performer; he dominated the British stage between the world wars, then reoriented his career in the direction of America.
Openly bisexual singer Ani DiFranco, described as "the thinking person's acoustic punk feminist," has drawn on an eclectic mixture of musical traditions to create a distinctive style.
No popular art form is more closely identified with gay culture than disco and dance music.