LGBTQ+ Art in History
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Liberation

Art as a means of expression has always allowed for individuals to be true to themselves, and that is especially true of LGBTQ+ art throughout history. Though there are too many inspiring examples to include in a single journal, we wanted to share some notable LGBTQ+ artists from history.

A very recognizable early example would be the Archaic Greek lyric poet Sappho, whose works have been celebrated for their focus on love between women—so much so that the words “sapphic” (an adjective referring to women who love other women) and “lesbian” were derived from her and Lesbos, the island she was from.

An example of gender identity in historical art is Claude Cahun, a French photographer who expressed themselves as gender neutral, not finding that masculine or feminine traits suited them consistently. Though they created primarily for themself and didn’t have interest in fame, their works—and similarly, the works of their partner Marcel Moore—challenged the notion of gender and how it should be perceived.

More modern examples of LGBTQ+ artists include the likes of Andy Warhol, infamous for his impact on pop culture through the pop art movement, Jean-Michel Basquiat, whose street art and paintings served critiques of New York City and its social and racial culture, and Keith Haring, whose pop art and public murals have impacted pop culture in the decades since.

In addition to the impact LGBTQ+ artists have had on pop culture, many have also contributed to protests, especially in the 1980s during the AIDS crisis. Many artists, like Haring, contributed their works and their efforts to groups like ACT UP to draw awareness and attention to the LGBTQ+ community at a time of crisis. Though the concept of using art as a means of drawing attention to a cause or need wasn’t new, it was one of many ways in which the LGBTQ+ community voiced their need for justice.

The human experience has shaped art in many ways, and the impact that the LGBTQ+ community has had on art is unmistakable.

Your Thoughts

  • Who are some of your favorite LGBTQ+ artists, past and present?
  • Do you feel that your art primarily centers on your identity, or on other things?

Don’t forget to read and comment on our first Pride Month on DeviantArt journal to get a Pride badge for your Profile, and feel free to use this journal's header image as a cover image on your Profile as well! This journal’s header was created by schmoo15 and is based off a photo of Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, two important activists for gay and transgender rights in the 1960s and 1970s. The photo was taken by Diana Davies, a leading photojournalist of the LGBTQ+ liberation movement of the time.

Comments517
anonymous's avatar
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SkyMercy11's avatar
SkyMercy11New Deviant

Who are some of your favorite LGBTQ+ artists, past and present?

I will go for EllenDenegres, Brendon Urie and... oh, I have a lot to remembe!

Do you feel that your art primarily centers on your identity, or on other things?

Yes because you know, I am bisexual and it repairs on the art 😊

MagicMerci's avatar
MagicMerciNew Deviant
  • Who are some of your favorite LGBTQ+ artists, past and present?

I love the creator of Big Jo over on Webtoons! And the creators of Acception!

  • Do you feel that your art primarily centers on your identity, or on other things?

It allows me to show off myself and express who I am, also allows me to give subtle hints to who I am.

Mage-of-the-Small's avatar
Mage-of-the-SmallHobbyist Digital Artist

Who are some of your favorite LGBTQ+ artists, past and present?

I'm actually going to talk about my favorite LGBTQ+ subject, because I'm not strong on remembering artists for some reason. It's St. Sebastian, and I find what happened to him hilarious and awesome. His original story is one of martyrdom, but as time passed, the imagery associated with him became sexier and sexier. Rather than being covered with arrows, he would be pierced by just a few, so the artists could have an excuse to lovingly paint an idealized masculine form. It was a very covert way of expressing sexuality in an entirely church-approved manner.

Do you feel that your art primarily centers on your identity, or on other things?

Most frequently I've made characters that reflect myself, but I've been trying to branch out more and more.

PadparadschaNephalem's avatar
PadparadschaNephalemHobbyist Traditional Artist

1) Who are some of your favorite LGBTQ+ artists, past and present?

I actually don’t know any, but there is my agender pal Ra1nb0w-Ph0en1x.

2) Do you feel that your art primarily centers on your identity, or other things?

As an ally, I’ve made some of my characters a part of the community, so I guess that counts. Other than that, I like to express myself through the entertainment I enjoy. I’m a HUUUUGE fanartist.

Shad0wF1ght's avatar
Shad0wF1ghtHobbyist General Artist

Who are some of your favorite LGBTQ+ artists, past and present?

- To be entirely honest? I don't know a lot of queer artists, at least I can't think of any one who I know is queer. The first person who comes to mind would be Freddy Mercury, and though I do like some of his music, I wouldn't call him a favorite.

Do you feel that your art primarily centers on your identity, or on other things?

- Most of my older pieces don't, but I intend to incorporate my queerness into more of my art and characters.

xxstrawbxrrye's avatar
xxstrawbxrryeNew Deviant

01.) im not sure tho but i guess me xD

02.)idk still but maybe on personal and sometimes for amino stuff

errins's avatar
errinsHobbyist Digital Artist

Do you feel that your art primarily centers on your identity, or on other things?

Yes. For some years I have been attempting to write a YA novel based on my youth, and what I heve seen over the years, in my travels. As youngsters we were aware that certain activities took place among boys and teens but that they were definitely not acceptable between boys and adults. Education revealed that the ancient Greeks held slightly different views whilst the Roman, Catullus, laughed and wrote about various events whilst also deriding(?) those who flaunted their activities.

LGBTQ has been around for centuries and has been acceptable when not pushed to extremes and should continue to be so.

lilykittycat661's avatar
lilykittycat661Student Artist

Who are some of your favorite LGBTQ+ artists, past and present?

-All of the LGBTQ+ artists that I love come from music to art to shows to videos. From Lady Gaga to Andy Warhol to Rebecca Sugar to Thomas Sanders, they inspired me to create characters that are part of the community. There are a lot of amazing LGBTQ+ artists out there and inspire people everyday.

Do you feel that your art primarily centers on your identity, or on other things?

-I think my art shows who I am. Even though I'm straight, I support the community a lot and not just watching and listening to artists, by creating new characters who takes part of the LGBTQ+ community. I show my love for the LGBTQ+ community and I support it everyday.

Pride Month 2020
fiorinosulaco's avatar

- Rick Martin!

- My art is a way of transformation in many ways!

Le-Noir-Chaton's avatar
Le-Noir-ChatonHobbyist Digital Artist

I like to read the things that include LGBTQ content it makes me feel that there's people out there brave enough to put there work online with the courage and strength to get criticized but not let society change them. There the ones that will one day change society

Red-Pengu's avatar
Red-PenguHobbyist Digital Artist

I'm not sure the people i follow are LGBTQ+ or not since i haven't been here a while... but i support any good artist no matter who they are, so hey, there might be some I do.

My art is what i like, so i suppose it is part of my identity.

Marikuishiyutaru's avatar
MarikuishiyutaruHobbyist Digital Artist

I tend to surround myself with lgbtq people and draw it also myself, but that is just because I want to consume and create what I think should be more out there

Elemantal-Wyvern's avatar
Elemantal-WyvernHobbyist Digital Artist

Same ^~^

outlire's avatar
outlireHobbyist General Artist

I don't do favorites on people and characters. I just like everyone with good personalities and hate everyone with bad personalities. I've met many good LGBTQ+ artists.

I think our identities will show in most of our art, such as in our styles or topics. However, my art tends to not really center on anything. It most depends on what I need to draw at the time.

alexiy777's avatar
alexiy777Hobbyist Digital Artist

How to block this fucking notifications about stupid queers? I hate you.

IntuitiveMoth's avatar
IntuitiveMoth General Artist

This is why the same can be said for people that become heterophobic over certain type of individuals such as yourself. This type of indulgent intolerant homophobic degradation is past overrated. It's 2020, (considering we're now in the 21st Century). wake up, there ARE Gay people in the World. So far to the point, where the Pope and Vatican have opened up more so the the LGBTQ Community.

What does that tell you? Grow up. :shrug:

alexiy777's avatar
alexiy777Hobbyist Digital Artist

I know perfectly well that gay people exist. Many of them are wonderful people. But. People who every year offer everyone proud that they are homosexual, not gay, but fag. You tired the world with your stupid propaganda. Is that the only thing you can be proud of? Maybe you should grow up and stop mentioning your sexual preferences on every corner?

alexiy777's avatar
alexiy777Hobbyist Digital Artist

and the rainbow not your propery

ikeaLesbian's avatar
ikeaLesbianHobbyist Digital Artist

Actually sweetie the rainbow is Legal gay property ty

alexiy777's avatar
alexiy777Hobbyist Digital Artist

rainbow is a natural phenomenon not a flag

ikeaLesbian's avatar
ikeaLesbianHobbyist Digital Artist

its literally a gay flag, gays invented the rainbow

IntuitiveMoth's avatar
IntuitiveMoth General Artist

Oh gosh. :faint:Here we go. First and foremost, I don't play this DA debate Drama B.S. crap on this site. Because I have nothing to prove to someone like you. Especially someone such as yourself. But I do want to get my point fully across. So this will be my last response. Because this is not worth my time or energy.

Final words: You said it yourself "I hate you queers." Yes. :nod: Truth. :nod:Fact. :nod: You said that. Now, please tell me what would this point blank mean in that last post you hate queers mean? Hating queers you hate gay people? Yes. :nod: What does that mean? This is on you, this came directly from you. "I hate queers." Hate is 'the' keyword. Queer is gay people. You hate gay people. Yet you say they are wonderful people, as well as being too radical at saying that all gay people spread their sexual preferences around every corner!? :confused: However that IS how it's celebrated at a Gay Pride Parade on the streets as a Parade?....Yes. And you detest this because you hate fags. Everything you said is a total contradiction. You have no alibi in this response due to your last response, you're still a hypocrite now it means nothing still with less validation.

Quite honestly in notation in every regard to what you spoke in terms, nothing you said in the last post made, made no logical sense whatsoever. Plus the Rainbow, what about it!? No? Seriously, what about it?? It's simply the colors of the Flag, each color signifies a certain meaning. :nod: What's your point there? What is your point? And NO. I never said I created the flag..if that's what you meant? In fact, I can't understand honestly what you meant or were saying in your grammar and misspelling too? You need to learn how to write. How old are you? Oh Gosh, please don't tell me I'm debating with a young teen or adolescent that doesn't know how to write correctly. :faint:

So I don't understand your justification in what you're trying to say or defend in your case, or on your behalf of defined terminology. This is the U.S., a Country of Freedom, citizens and people have their rights to celebrate any type of Parade. Gay, Race, Memorial, War Victories, Veterans, Holidays, Religions...well so be it. And yes, we can even Protests. But from what you meant you hate gay people. Making you a homophobe. Gay Pride a Propaganda? I wouldn't state near that way. It's a celebration. (Celebration from being happy and proud who they are from people like you. that hate queers)

Do you even know what, the true differentiation of Propaganda is?? Do you even know what Propaganda really means? No seriously? Do you? I think you should actually look up the definition and term in the Dictionary? There is an actual differentiation. The LGBTQ Community might be Community, but certainly not a Propaganda nor is it a certain direct "movement" or chosen lifestyle. You don't "choose" to one day decide...oh hey I want to become gay and change careers, have attraction to opposite sex, change my orientation into an interior decorator etc... and dis my wife or husband and suddenly adapt to men or women or women or men, because all so suddenly I 'choose' to be a homosexual?! A lifestyle of being gay?? Is not chosen. If you are gay or bi or transgender or any of following, you just ARE this way. You follow your path in life in this World this way.

LAST THING:

Also, if you have such a horrific disgust with gay people on this Site. Well let me just tell you now, you might as well just leave or delete your account. I can tell you right now, the majority of everyone here is part of the LGBTQ + Furry + OC Crossover Pride Community ALL-IN-ONE! Ha! :)Hate to break it to you. But that's DA here. If your against that, then I guess DA is too queer and faggy for you, you might want to go to another site then. But then again all over the World there are Gay People as I mentioned before. We are no longer in the 50's. And you know what, it's okay. It's not contagious. You won't catch homosexuality orientation or turn gay if you say hello to a gay/lesbian, be an acquaintance or simply shake their hand at work professionally.

All that being said, I don't care what you say. You ARE a homophobe.

And you have no argument whatsoever. Have a nice life. Alright, I'm moving on with mine. Not wasting anymore energy on these pointless posts. Done.

-Blocks- :wave:

Xgalacti's avatar

Excuse you, but those queers are human like us, you are a disgusting creature that has no respect for us in the LGBTQ+ community. As someone part of the LGBTQ+ community, I'm not just hurt, but offended.Queers have the right to be whatever gender they want, they don't need idiots like you to ridicule them for not staying in the lines.

alexiy777's avatar
alexiy777Hobbyist Digital Artist

I don’t like people who shows up their sexual preferences so loudly. Imagine the situation if everyone here got a message about the “heterosexual fucking festival" and the call is proud of it. unpleasant? so shut up and get the fuck out

anonymous's avatar
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