Variety and Vaudeville Performers
Entertainer Josephine Baker achieved acclaim as the twentieth century's first international black female sex symbol, but kept carefully hidden her many sexual liaisons with women, which continued from adolescence to the end of her life.
Legendary drag performer and recording artist Ray Bourbon appeared in silent movies, vaudeville acts, Broadway plays, and, from the 1940s through the 1960s, performed across the United States in a gay nightclub circuit.
Beginning in the 1980s, a new generation of gay stand-up comics began to appear, telling jokes from the perspective of the gay insider.
Lesbian stand-up comedy provides an excellent example of how comedy can foster social and political awareness in both minority and mainstream communities.
The first woman to gain significant attention as a male impersonator in the United States, vaudeville performer Annie Hindle created a stir when she married her dresser, Annie Ryan.
Acclaimed comic actor John Inman gained international fame for his endearing portrayal of the fey salesman Mr. Humphries on the television series Are You Being Served?.
The poems and songs of the amazingly prolific Rod McKuen express a bittersweet, aching tenderness that has endeared him to millions of fans.
World-renowned illusionists Siegfried and Roy are noted not only for their spectacular Las Vegas shows that feature their trademark white tigers as well as other exotic animals, but also for their roles as camp icons.
Variety and vaudeville and related theatrical forms featured cross-dressed acts, as well as routines that challenged prevailing gender constructions.