Prolific French journalist and novelist Hervé Guibert achieved fame because of his last three books, which recounted in semi-fictionalized form his struggle with the HIV virus.
Leftist Guy Hocquenghem produced a considerable canon of queer theory and experimental fiction, much of it still unknown outside France.
J. K. Huysmans, an important figure in the Aesthetic and Decadent movements, exemplified a style of homosexuality at a pivotal moment in the emergence of a gay identity.
A precursor of surrealism and credited with having invented the Theater of the Absurd, Alfred Jarry included homosexual characters and themes in most of his works.
The bisexual novelist and memoirist Violette Leduc is an astute psychological observer and a dramatic chronicler of women's issues.
Although gay, lesbian, and queer theory are related practices, the three terms delineate separate emphases marked by different assumptions about the relationship between gender and sexuality.
Almost as renowned for his homosexuality and depravity as for his literary achievements, Jean Lorrain was a French poet, novelist, and journalist of the "decadent movement" during the Belle Époque.
One of the most popular and respected French novelists of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Julien Viaud, who wrote under the name Pierre Loti, created a series of novels that chronicle the struggle of a man to understand his homoerotic feelings.
Despite the widespread homophobia in the Modernist movement, several of its practitioners were homosexual; some of them wrote openly about homosexuality, and the groundwork was laid for the gay liberation movement.
Before Stonewall, censorship of the theater caused authors to encode homosexual content in publicly-presented plays.
Count Robert de Montesquiou was a writer during France's Belle Epoque, but he is best remembered as a dandy and an aesthete, who inspired the literary creations of others.
Since World War II, the gay male novel has progressively flourished in England and especially in America.
Both the elegiac and the romantic pastoral have been associated with homoerotic desire from their beginnings in classical literature to their echoes in contemporary literatures.
One of France's leading lesbian theorists and political activists, Geneviève Pastre is a writer and publisher who has made lesbian feminism the root of her political and literary work.
As one of the most famous homosexuals in France in the latter half of the twentieth century, novelist Roger Peyrefitte helped shape the public perception of homosexuals in the days before gay liberation.
The gay tradition in literature from ancient times to the present is primarily a tradition not of prose but of verse.
Marcel Proust is the author of A la recherche du temps perdu, one of the major achievements of Modernism and a great gay novel.
Because his writing stresses liberation, the French "boy-poet" Arthur Rimbaud, whose art is based solely on his individual creativity, is a progenitor of modern gay poetics.
Until the beginning of the twentieth century, intimate, exclusive, and often erotic romantic friendships between women were largely perceived as normal and socially acceptable.
Critics use the term male romantic friendship to describe strong attachments between men in works ranging from ancient epics and medieval romances to Renaissance plays, Gothic novels, westerns, and war movies.
Whether or not the Marquis de Sade was himself bisexual, homosexual activity is an important item in his program of revolutionary sexual libertinism.
The French aristocrat Denis Sanguin de Saint-Pavin wrote and circulated in manuscript sophisticated and witty poems that celebrated sodomy, especially with male partners.
The bisexual writer Amantine-Aurore-Lucile Dupin, better known as George Sand, is as infamous for her cigar-in-hand cross-dressing as she is famous for her eighty novels, twenty plays, and numerous political tracts.
The poetry of Paul Verlaine celebrates both heterosexual and homosexual activity, including lesbian relationships.
The homosexuality of the French libertine Théophile de Viau must largely be inferred from his highly personal poetry.