03-20-1915 – 10-09-1973 Sister Rosetta Tharpe – Born in Cotton Plant, Arkansas. She was an American singer, songwriter, guitarist, and recording artist. She has been referred to as “the original soul sister” and the “godmother of rock and roll.” Her influence on other musicians include Little Richard, Johnny Cash, Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, and Jerry Lee Lewis. Tharpe’s biographer, Gayle Wald, found some of the singer’s contemporaries who were willing to talk off the record about her bisexuality. One musician claimed to have walked in on Tharpe and two other women in bed together during her “honeymoon tour” right after her third wedding in 1951. Tharpe’s 1944 hit Down by the Riverside was selected for the National Recording Registry of the U.S. Library of Congress in 2004. Her recording Strange Things Happening Every Day, recorded late in 1944, has been called the precursor of rock and roll.
03-20-1986 Ruby Rose – Born in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. She is an Australian model, actress, and television presenter. She was the face of Maybelline in Australia and co-hosted various television shows. Rose was cast as Batwoman in 2019, the role is the first openly lesbian lead superhero in television. She is a supporter of many charities, including animal welfare, campaigns for anti-bullying, and youth mental health. Rose came out as a lesbian at the age of 12.
03-20-1950 Paula Aboud – Born in Tucson, Arizona. She is an American politician who is a member of the Arizona Senate, representing the 28th District. A Democrat, she serves as the Senate’s, minority whip. A lesbian, Aboud’s partner is Terri Berg. She is one of four openly LGBT members of the Arizona State Legislature. Her campaigns have won the backing of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund.
03-20-1989 Xavier Dolan – Born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He is a French-Canadian filmmaker and actor. On Out’s 3rd Annual 100 Most Eligible Bachelors (2013) Xavier received international attention with his first feature film, I Killed My Mother (J’ai tué ma mère), which he wrote, directed, and starred in. The film premiered at the Director’s Fortnight program of the 2009 Cannes Film Festival where it received an eight minute standing ovation and won the Art Cinema Award, the Prix Regards Jeunes and the SACD Prize. I Killed My Mother sold to more than 20 countries. Dolan’s 2014 film Mommy won the Jury Prize in the main competition section at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival. Dolan identifies as gay and described I Killed My Mother as semi-autobiographical.
03-20-1996 Karina Manta – Born in Olympia, Washington. She is an American ice dancer. Since 2013, her partner is Joseph Johnson, who is openly gay. In 2018, she came out as bisexual in a video accompanied by her girlfriend. This made her the first female figure skater competing on Team USA to come out. On April 18, 2019, Manta announced that she was stepping away from competitive figure skating. She and Johnson plan to move to Montreal in June and join Cirque du Soleil.
(Photo of Karina Manta & Joe Johnson)