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.
A cultural institution among lesbians, women's music festivals are community-based events that celebrate women's space as much as women's music.
Gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered persons have had tremendous influence on popular music, though some musical genres have been more receptive to a homosexual presence than others.
Gay and lesbian content in music videos was rare in the early 1980s, but with more openly gay and bisexual artists that situation has gradually changed.
Stylistically diverse and continually evolving, women's music has broadened over time, but it remains committed to lesbian visibility and feminist values.
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.
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.
Activist, singer, and songwriter Holly Near has been a tremendous influence in the formation and promotion of the women's music movement.
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.
In addition to scoring over thirty full-length motion pictures, American film composer, editor, and director John Ottman has also created musical compositions for numerous short films, television programs, and commercials.
The first rock band entirely composed of gay musicians who sang frankly gay-themed tunes, Pansy Division have recently emerged with a more mature sound.
The recordings of the British pop duo Pet Shop Boys may be seen as a reaction to events that stirred the British gay community in the last two decades of the twentieth century.
Living the paradoxical life of an openly closeted gay man, songwriter Cole Porter introduced non-normative values and risqué double entendres into what was one of the most pedestrian and hackneyed of cultural forms.
"Mother of the Blues" Gertrude "Ma" Rainey made no secret of her relationships with women.
Singer Johnnie Ray caused a sensation in the 1950s with energetic concert performances of hit songs, but his career was damaged by arrests for solicitation and gossip about his sexuality.
In the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, bisexual rock musician Lou Reed, pencil-thin, craggy, and dressed in tough leather or androgynous glitz, came to symbolize the rebellious outsider.
British rocker and activist Tom Robinson was embraced by the gay rights movement in the late 1970s, but became the subject of controversy in the 1990s when he chose to live with a woman and become a father.
Although rock music has been closely associated with freedom of expression and rebelliousness, it has not been particularly welcoming to gay and lesbian performers.
A six-foot five-inch tall African-American drag queen who usually performs in a blonde wig, RuPaul has given drag a new visibility by infusing it with gentleness and warmth.
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.
The American pop band Scissor Sisters was spawned in New York City's gay club scene; frequently addressing issues of transgressive sexuality, the band has cultivated a large glbtq fan base.
Gifted with a powerful voice and sophisticated musical artistry, singer Bessie Smith conducted her life by her own set of rules and had affairs with both men and women.
A Manchester pop group that flourished from 1982 to 1987, The Smiths created a highly original brand of punk-inspired music with queer subtexts; the group's singer and lyricist, Morrissey, in his solo career cultivates an androgynous image.
Noted for his diminutive size and amazing voice, Jimmy Somerville achieved fame as the lead singer with the openly gay pop groups Bronski Beat and The Communards; many of his songs are overtly political and deal with such issues as gay relationships and the loss of friends to AIDS.