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The men's costumes were designed by a man, the dance was choreographed by a man and the dancers (as gay screenwriter Paul Rudnick points out) "seem more interested in each other than in Russell"; however, her presence gets the sequence past the censors and works it into an overall heterocentric theme.
Participants reported how other gay men would automatically assume that any interaction had sexual motivations.
A group of seven gay men formed The Violet Quill in 1980 in New York City, a literary club focused on writing about the gay experience as a normal plotline instead of a "naughty" sideline in a mostly straight story.
An example is the novel A Boy's Own Story by Edmund White.
According to Herdt, "homosexuality" was the main term used until the late 1950s and early 1960s; after that, a new "gay" culture emerged.
"This new gay culture increasingly marks a full spectrum of social life: not only same-sex desires but gay selves, gay neighbors, and gay social practices that are distinctive of our affluent, postindustrial society".