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Comedy
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American Television, Situation Comedies
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.
Ball, Alan
Award-winning screenwriter, director, and producer Alan Ball, whose work frequently features glbtq characters, has had great success in both film and television.
Bearse, Amanda
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.
Bernhard, Sandra
Sharp-tongued comedienne, writer, singer, and actor Sandra Bernhard is known almost as well for her amorphous sexuality as for her cynical wit.
Bowery, Leigh
Club host, fashion designer, face about town, and artists' muse, Leigh Bowery transformed his body into a centerpiece of his performance art.
Busch, Charles
Actor-writer-director Charles Busch has distinguished himself through his virtuouso performances of "grand dame" characters and through his writing of dramatic vehicles for these roles.
Cabarets and Revues
Historically, cabarets and revues have been much more likely to mention or imply same-sex desire than the "legitimate" theater; and same-sex desire has been less frequently condemned in cabarets and revues than in mainstream plays.
Camp Records
In the early 1960s, the Camp Record label issued records of gay parody songs; although the music is without much artistic merit, the records are significant for what they reveal about pre-Stonewall gay culture.
Carter, Nell
A dynamic performer on stage, television, film, and record, Nell Carter built a successful and versatile show business career; only after her death was her longtime relationship with a woman revealed to the public.
Chapman, Graham
Comic actor and writer Graham Chapman, a member of Britain's madcap Monty Python troupe, was in the vanguard of actors to come out publicly as gay.
Cho, Margaret
Korean-American bisexual actress turned stand-up comedian Margaret Cho has become one of the most prominent Asian Americans in show business and in glbtq culture.
Clinton, Kate
Comedian Kate Clinton has been comfortably open about her lesbianism from the beginning of her career in the entertainment field.
Coco, James
Quick-witted, roly-poly, sad-eyed clown James Coco proved one of the most versatile and successful American stage, film, and television actors from the late-1960s through the mid-1980s.
Comedy: Stand-Up, Gay Male
Beginning in the 1980s, a new generation of gay stand-up comics began to appear, telling jokes from the perspective of the gay insider.
Comedy: Stand-Up, Lesbian
Lesbian stand-up comedy provides an excellent example of how comedy can foster social and political awareness in both minority and mainstream communities.
Comic Strips and Cartoons
Comic strips and cartoons have served for decades as a powerful tool of satire and humor; today numerous queer comic artists create works that are published in both mainstream and alternative media.
Cruse, Howard
Prolific gay cartoonist Howard Cruse has not only created the historic Wendel comic strip, but has also published an important graphic novel.
DeCaro, Frank
Funnyman Frank DeCaro has found success both in serious journalism as a fashion writer and editor and in comedy as a writer, performer, and radio talk show host.
DeGeneres, Ellen
No matter how great her contribution to the world of comedy, Ellen DeGeneres will probably be best remembered as the first lesbian to star as a lesbian on her own network television show.
DeLaria, Lea
A proudly out lesbian from the very beginning of her career, the versatile Lea DeLaria has earned accolades for her talents as an actor, a singer, and a stand-up comic.
DiMassa, Diane
Diane DiMassa is best known as the creator of the controversial and widely popular comic-zine Hothead Paisan: Homicidal Lesbian Terrorist.
Drag Shows: Drag Kings and Male Impersonators
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.
Drag Shows: Drag Queens and Female Impersonators
Female impersonation need say nothing about sexual identity, but it has for a long time been almost an institutionalized aspect of gay male culture.
Durang, Christopher
A fiercely comic playwright, as well as actor and screenwriter, Christopher Durang often incorporates gay themes and characters in his plays.
Epperson, John
Talented actor and writer John Epperson has had an extremely successful career performing as the glamorous and hilarious drag diva Lypsinka, among other characters.
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Popular Topics in The Arts
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Female impersonation need say nothing about sexual identity, but it has for a long time been almost an institutionalized aspect of gay male culture.
 
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Although sparse in images documenting the gay community, pre-Stonewall gay male photography blurs the boundaries between art, erotica, and social history.
 
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Given the historic stigma around making, circulating, and possessing overtly homoerotic images, the visual arts have been especially important for providing a socially sanctioned arena for depicting the naked male body and suggesting homoerotic desire.
 
New Queer Cinema
Independent films that aggressively assert homosexual identity and queer culture, the New Queer Cinema can be seen as the culmination of several developments in American cinema.
 
White, Minor
Renowned photographer, teacher, critic, editor, and curator, Minor White created some of the most interesting photographs of male nudes of the second half of the twentieth century, but did not exhibit them for fear of scandal.
 
Halston (Roy Halston Frowick)
The first international fashion superstar, Halston dressed and befriended some of America's most glamorous women.
 
Surrealism Surrealism
An artistic movement that grew out of Dadaism and flourished in Europe shortly after World War I, Surrealism embraced the idea that art was an expression of the subconscious.
 
Winfield, Paul
Film, stage, and television actor Paul Winfield was openly gay in his private life, but maintained public silence about his homosexuality.
 
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