The diva has traditionally played a significant role in both gay and lesbian culture as an object of cult worship with whom those who suffer the heartaches of forbidden love and ostracism from an unaccepting society find solace and identification.
A lifelong progressive activist and a pioneer in women's music, Alix Dobkin not only helped create a new era of women's music in the 1970s but also paved the way for mainstsream lesbian musicians.
A recent arrival in the drag arena, drag kings are part of an international drag movement that emerged in London and San Francisco in the mid 1980s.
Female impersonation need say nothing about sexual identity, but it has for a long time been almost an institutionalized aspect of gay male culture.
Gifted composer and arranger who gave a new look to movie musicals, Roger Edens was the heart and soul of the unit at MGM studios known as "Freed's Fairies."
Talented actor and writer John Epperson has had an extremely successful career performing as the glamorous and hilarious drag diva Lypsinka, among other characters.
Although Brian Epstein created the public image and oversaw the career of the world's most famous rock group, at the peak of his success he suffered acute anxiety that his homosexuality might be exposed.
Award-winning rock singer and songwriter Melissa Etheridge has not only managed to carve out a spectacularly successful career as a popular mainstream performer, but she has also become a lesbian icon and activist for gay and lesbian causes.
Gravel-voiced vocalist and pianist Frances Faye warmly embraced her gay and lesbian audience and was openly bisexual at a time when few other performers dared to do the same.
American pianist and singer Michael Feinstein has had a lifelong fascination with the popular music of the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s.
Canadian folksinger Ferron (Debby Foisy) is a pioneer in women's music who has been compared to Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen.
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.
The fragile persona and emotion-packed voice of actress and singer Judy Garland are powerfully linked to gay culture and identity; she appealed especially to gay men, but also to lesbians.
Singer, songwriter, and actor Stephen Gately gained fame as one of the lead vocalists in the Irish pop group Boyzone.
Controversial entertainment mogul and philanthropist David Geffen transformed himself into one of the most successful people in the entertainment industry; his 1992 declaration of his homosexuality only increased his stature.
A virtuoso jazz musician and leader of a number of successful all-women bands, Peggy Gilbert tirelessly promoted other female musicians and demanded that they receive respect and opportunities.
Ari Gold, the award-winning recording artist, is unusual for his openness in an industry that has not exactly welcomed openly gay performers.
Composer Ricky Ian Gordon, often seen as an heir to the musical legacy of Stephen Sondheim, has been praised for the lyrical quality of his music and for bridging the worlds of theater and art song.
One of the few successful female solo artists during the era of the "girl groups," singer Lesley Gore is also a successful songwriter; in 2003, she came out publicly and hosted an episode of In the Life.
Singer, talk show host, and a creator and producer of television shows, Merv Griffin remained in the closet even as his bisexuality was an open secret within show business communities.
Rob Halford--dubbed "The Metal God" by fans and critics--is one of the most talented vocalists in heavy metal music and one of the few out artists in the genre.
Multi-talented Sam Harris is best known as a singer and actor; since coming out publicly in 1999, he has lent his voice to the cause of glbtq rights.
Despite having written lyrics as witty as any sung on the Broadway stage before or since, Lorenz Hart is best remembered for his songs of unfulfilled desire and failed romance.
A proponent of the "diva musical," Broadway composer and lyricist Jerry Herman made homosexuality the undisguised subject of La Cage aux Folles but he did so just as gay culture lost its need of a diva to voice its concerns.
Blues singer, lyricist, and actress Alberta Hunter, one of the top recording artists in the 1920s and 1930s, experienced a dramatic comeback in her old age.