Unlike many child stars, Chad Allen has successfully made the transition to accomplished adult actor; he has also come out as a gay man and become an advocate for glbtq rights.
Closeted throughout his professional basketball career, John Amaechi is the first player from the National Basketball Association to acknowledge that he is gay; since coming out, he has become an eloquent spokesman for glbtq rights.
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.
Although glbtq people and issues have been inadequately covered by American television news, there have recently been signs of improvement.
Reality television viewers have come increasingly to expect the appearance of gay men and lesbians on these shows because their presence helps further underscore the "reality" in Reality TV.
American television sitcoms have consistently reflected the presence of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered people, often in distorted and stereotyped ways, but occasionally in ways that acknowledge our humanity and complexity.
Treatments of gay relationships on network soap operas have always been limited; recently, however, gays and lesbians have created their own soap operas to tell the convoluted stories of lesbian and gay entanglements.
For glbt people, television talk shows have been both promising and problematic; they have brought glbt issues to public awareness, but until recently they have also presented glbt people as stereotypes and freaks.
Despite some important breakthroughs in the depiction of gay men and lesbians in the past, Australian television today lacks any regular and open discussion of queer issues and lives.
A leading contemporary American playwright, Jon Robin Baitz produces works that are both morally serious and politically conscious.
Award-winning screenwriter, director, and producer Alan Ball, whose work frequently features glbtq characters, has had great success in both film and television.
Although Tallulah Bankhead is today remembered mostly as an irreverent wit and volcanic life force, she was also one of the most significant actresses of her time.
Award-winning television director Paris Barclay is also an activist for glbtq rights, including marriage equality and the opportunity to adopt children as he and his husband have done.
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.
Actor and designer Bryan Batt achieved fame playing a closeted advertising executive on television, but in his own life he has been active in affirming the naturalness of homosexuality.
Since coming out in 2009, actress Meredith Baxter, best known for her starring role in the ABC situation comedy Family Ties (1982-1989), has become a spokesperson for glbtq rights.
Former baseball player and current television personality, Billy Bean was closeted throughout his major league career but has since become a proud advocate for glbtq rights.
Through his writing, teaching, and public appearances, James Beard became widely recognized as one of the foremost representatives of American gastronomy; he planned to reveal his homosexuality in a memoir, but died before completing the book.
One of the first primetime television actors to come out publicly as a gay person, Amanda Bearse has developed a second career as a film and television director and has become an outspoken advocate of gay visibility.
Writer-director-producer Greg Berlanti has had a prolific career in television, successfully incorporating glbtq characters and storylines into prime time shows.
As the first open transgender person in New Zealand to be elected to the offices of mayor and Member of Parliament, Georgina Beyer has evinced courage, humor, and personal honesty.
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.
Until recently, British television embraced lesbians and gays as Them rather than Us, but a more diversified and nuanced approach to all kinds of sexuality is likely to be the case in the future.
Raymond Burr will always be identified with Perry Mason, the character he played in a long-running courtroom drama series, but he has a particular significance in glbtq history for his response to the pressure he faced as a gay actor in a homophobic culture.