A legendary figure in popular music, Little Richard, torn between his sternly religious upbringing and his homosexuality, denounced his rock and roll lifestyle at the height of his career.
Widely regarded as the greatest diver in history, Olympic champion Greg Louganis has acknowledged both his homosexuality and his status as a person living with AIDS.
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.
Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne were known as the first family of the American theater, but theirs was a lavender marriage and their presentation of themselves as the ideal married couple may have been their greatest performance.
Out lesbian actress Jane Lynch has forged a successful career on television, in movies, and on the stage, including some memorable turns portraying lesbian characters.
American comedian Paul Lynde, most famous for being the crucial "center square" on the 1970s television game show Hollywood Squares, created a campy bitch comic image but was fiercely closeted.
Preservationist and museum founder Charlotte von Mahlsdorf was admired by many for her bravery in the face of persecution and for her openness as a transgendered public figure in perilous times.
Writer, actress, and intellectual refugee from the Third Reich, Erika Mann was one of the twentieth century's most intriguing nonconformists, noted especially for her anti-fascist cabaret satire.
Having staged a variety of well-received and award-winning productions, actor-turned-director Joe Mantello has emerged as one of the most accomplished artists now working in the American theater.
Alec Mapa has enjoyed success as an actor and on the comedy circuit. He is also an activist for glbtq rights.
Jean Marais became one of the most celebrated stars of French movies, theater, and television partly because of the early sponsorship of writer and film director Jean Cocteau.
Singer Ricky Martin, whose good looks and sensuous stage performances fueled an extremely successful career in pop music, avoided answering questions related to his sexuality until 2010, when he came out publicly via a Twitter announcement.
British-born actor Roddy McDowall made a graceful transition from a juvenile star to a highly versatile character actor on both stage and screen.
Arguably the finest Shakespearean actor of his generation, Ian McKellen was the first British subject to be knighted after publicly revealing his homosexuality, an event that proved more controversial within the gay community than in the mainstream.
Swiss actor, cabaret performer, and stage director Karl Meier was, under the pseudonym "Rolf," editor of Der Kreis, the leading European homophile publication, from 1943 until its demise in 1967.
Performance artist Tim Miller presents shows that are rooted in his own life experiences, but that are also a powerful form of glbtq activism.
Although actor Sal Mineo was twice nominated for an Academy Award, and enjoyed success as a stage director and recording artist, he is remembered chiefly for his performance in Rebel without a Cause.
While he had already achieved recognition as an actor, the multiple talents of performer, writer, and filmmaker John Cameron Mitchell came to wide public notice in 2001 with the release of his prize-winning film, Hedwig and the Angry Inch.
Although she was not publicly out as a homosexual, actress Agnes Moorehead became a lesbian icon by virtue of her choice of roles during a long and distinguished career.
A popular leading man of the 1950s and 1960s, actor George Nader did not publicly acknowledge his sexual orientation (and his long relationship with his partner Mark Miller) until after the death of Rock Hudson in 1986.
Award-winning actress Cynthia Nixon recently acknowledged publicly that she is bisexual and in a loving relationship with a woman.
A smash hit on British television, comedian and talk-show host Graham Norton has been out, proud, and outrageous from the beginning of his career.
The romantic idol of Hollywood silent films in the 1920s, Ramon Novarro has been perceived as a distinctly effeminate performer.
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.
Comedian, actress, television talk show host, and openly gay mom, Rosie O'Donnell has achieved remarkable success in her relatively short career.