In his personal life, American actor Anthony Perkins often seemed as tortured as the troubled characters he played on film, hiding--and perhaps despising--his true nature while desperately seeking happiness and "normality."
Self-proclaimed male actress Charles Pierce took an aggressive stance against homophobia, believing that quick wit, a serious attitude, and consummate acting skill could vanquish oppression.
Award-winning actor David Hyde Pierce, best known for his comic performance on the long-running hit comedy television series Frasier, belatedly acknowledged his homosexuality in 2007.
Because pornography is an accepted part of gay male life, performers in gay pornography hold a relatively esteemed position in gay culture and several have emerged as idols and icons.
Widely admired for her talent and beauty, eighteenth-century French actress Françoise Raucourt lived openly with a series of female lovers.
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.
Funnyman Charles Nelson Reilly gained fame during the 1970s as a regular guest on game shows and celebrity talk shows, but he was also an accomplished character actor, director, and teacher.
One of the pioneers of Pop Art, Larry Rivers was a prolific artist, sculptor, and jazz musician; although he did not identify as a bisexual, the twice-married artist had significant same-sex sexual experience.
At the height of his athletic career, Australian rugby superstar Ian Roberts made the courageous decision to come out as a gay man.
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 the major female impersonators of the 1970s and 1980s, Craig Russell was also an accomplished actor.
Most widely remembered as "the second Darrin" on the television sitcom Bewitched, actor Dick Sargent remained closeted for most of his career, but came out in 1991 and embraced gay activism as a "new mission in life."
During the middle of the twentieth century, American author and actress Cornelia Otis Skinner was renowned as a sublime comic talent and gifted character actress.
Having created a unique style, the Split Britches theater company has led the way in innovative lesbian performance.
Gay, lesbian, and bisexual actors and actresses are among the elite of contemporary theater, but only recently have many come out publicly.
Best known to television viewers for his role as Major Charles Emerson Winchester III on the series M*A*S*H, David Ogden Stiers has had a long and successful career.
Actress and comedian Wanda Sykes, who has never been shy about addressing sensitive or controversial issues on stage, has also become a spirited advocate for glbtq rights.
Best known for his role as Mr. Sulu on the cult-classic television series Star Trek and subsequent films, George Takei has, since coming out as a gay man, also been an articulate advocate for glbtq rights.
Less well-known for being herself than for the many memorable personages she "becomes" during her performances, comedienne Lily Tomlin has long been a supporter of gay and lesbian rights, but only recently came out herself.
The first person to have won Tonys in four different categories, dancer, director, and choreographer Tommy Tune is known for his choreographic sense of humor and for his celebration of the chorus line.
The androgynous persona, at once assertively virile and gracefully sensitive, of Rudolph Valentino, the most popular of silent-screen stars, threatened traditional images of American masculinity in a crucial period of cultural change.
Comedy writer and performer Bruce Vilanch has appeared on stage, television, and film and is a tireless proponent of glbtq causes.
Perhaps best remembered for her award-winning performances as an actress, Ethel Waters was also a renowned Blues singer, known to have sexual relationships with other women.
American actor Clifton Webb rescued the film sissy from secondary status, then moved on to a variety of comic and dramatic roles.
Jann Wenner, founder and editor of the influential music and culture magazine Rolling Stone, was outed in 1995.