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How Art has Grown with the LGBTQ+ Movement

LGBTQ+ art has been present throughout history, all the way from ancient Greek to contemporary art, and there are two main themes present: censorship and visibility.

Although LGTBQ+ people still face challenges today, it was even more of a social taboo to be part of the LGBTQ+ community in past years. As a result, much of older art revolves around the need to conceal or hide being part of it. Although, more recently, this art revolves around the want for visibility and expression.

We can see a shift in culture during the interwar period when cities renowned for their artistic presence showed signs of support for the LGBTQ+ community. Cities such as Paris and Berlin became home to literary groups in which homosexuality was accepted. Furthermore, artists of this time used subtle codes and references to show that they were part of the LGBTQ+ community. For example, White Flag was created in 1955 by Jasper Johns. It is said to be a statement about a gay man living in a restrictive society.

In the 1960's, even more events in the LGBTQ+ movement helped build support for the community's rights and freedoms through art. The Stonewall Riots, which took place in 1969 in New York City, was a landmark event that helped LGBTQ+ people fight to protect their liberties. But the riots also inspired artists to incorporate political messages about gay rights into their works, using art to express their sexual identity in whole new ways. Furthermore, historians began to reanalyze older works of art in ways that challenged heteronormativity in the industry.

Over time, art has become an increasingly safe space for creativity and self-expression. By examining watershed moments in LGBTQ+ history, we can see that art is one of the most effective ways to make your voice heard in your community and beyond.

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