April 20th People

April 20th

04-20-1937 George Takei – Born in Boyle Heights, California. He is an American actor best known for his role in the TV series Star Trek, in which he played Hikaru Sulu, helmsman of the USS Enterprise. He is a proponent of LGBT rights and active in state and local politics. In October 2005, Takei revealed in an issue of Frontiers magazine that he is gay and has been in a committed relationship with his partner, Brad Altman, for 18 years; George Takeithe move was prompted by then California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s veto of same-sex marriage legislation. In 2006 he was Grand Marshal at the Chicago Pride Parade. He also appeared on the Google float at San Francisco Pride 2007. On May 16, 2008, Takei announced that he and Brad Altman would be getting married. They were the first same-sex couple to apply for a marriage license in West Hollywood and were married on September 14, 2008. In 2009. Takei and Altman appeared in a celebrity edition of The Newlywed Game TV show, which the GSN cable network aired October 13, 2009. They were the first same-sex couple to be featured on the show. They won the game, winning $10,000 for their charity, the Japanese American National Museum. In May 2014, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) honored Takei with the GLAAD Vito Russo Award, which is presented to an openly LGBT media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting equality for the LGBT community. The musical Allegiance, was inspired by the personal experiences of Takei. It is the first Broadway musical created by Asian Americans, directed by an Asian American, with a predominantly Asian cast and from an Asian American viewpoint.

04-20-1951 — 07-01-2005 Luther Vandross Jr. – Born in Manhattan, New York City, New York. He was an American singer, songwriter, and record producer. He earned eleven consecutive Platinum albums and eight Grammy Awards. Worldwide he sold over 40 million records. In the 1970s he worked as a backup vocalist and appeared on albums by artists such as Roberta Flack, Donny Hathaway, Todd Rundgren, Judy Collins, Chaka Khan, Bette Midler, Diana Ross, David Bowie, Ben E. King, Stevie Wonder, and Donna Summer. He later became a lead singer of the group Change. After he left the group, he was signed to Epic Records as a solo artist and released his debut solo album, Never Too Much, in 1981. Vandross had diabetes and hypertension. His last public appearance was on May 6, 2004, on The Oprah Winfrey Show. At the age of 54, he died due to a heart attack. In 2006, Bruce Vilanch, a friend and colleague, told Out magazine, “He said to me, ‘No one knows I’m in the life.’…He had very few sexual contacts.” According to Vilanch, Vandross experienced his longest romantic relationship with a man while living in Los Angeles during the late 1980s and early 1990s. In December 2017, Vandross’ friend Patti LaBelle confirmed that he was gay. LaBelle shared that “Vandross had a lot of lady fans” and “ he just didn’t wast to upset the world.”

04-20-1941   Blanche Wiesen Cook – Born in New York City, New York. She is an American historian and professor of history. Cook is the author of a three-volume biography about Eleanor Roosevelt. The biography details an affair between Eleanor Roosevelt and reporter Lorena Hickok. (The affair has been the subject of other books and it has also bee disputed.) She also wrote opinion pieces for the New York Times. In 2010, she received the Bill Whitehead Award (LGBT literary award) for Lifetime Achievement. Since 1969 Cook has been in a relationship with playwright Clare Coss. The couple met while organizing a protest against the Vietnam War and participated in the gay liberation movement after the Stonewall uprising. (Top photo of Cook & her book. Bottom photo of Cook & Coss)

04-20-1992   Giselle Getty (aka Gigi Gorgeous) – Born in Montréal, Québec, Canada. She is a Canadian YouTuber, socialite, actress, and model. In 2013, Gigi came out as a transgender woman. Her transition was documented on social media in 2014. She used her internet celebrity to bring awareness to transgender issues, the LGBT community, and anti-bullying. On August 9, 2016, she was detained in the United Arab Emirates and had her passport taken by airport official at the Dubai International Airport. Gigi was denied entry into Dubai for being a transgender woman, even though her passport states that she is female. In 2017, Gigi was named to the Time Magazine list of the 25 most influential people on the internet. While working as a model for August Getty* during Paris Fashion Week, she met and fell in love with Nats Getty*. On July 12, 2019, the couple married. (*Heirs and members of the Getty family)

04-20-1492 – 10-21-1556 Pietro Aretino – Born in Arezzo, Italy. He was an Italian author, playwright, poet, satirist, and blackmailer, who wielded immense influence on contemporary art and politics. Pietro AretinoHe also is the inventor of modern literate pornography. He was a lover of both women and men; having declared himself a “sodomite” since birth. In a letter to Giovanni de’ Medici written in 1524 Aretino enclosed a satirical poem saying that due to a sudden aberration he had “fallen in love with a female cook and temporarily switched from boys to girls…” Aretino was a close friend of Titian, who painted his portrait at least three times. He is said to have died of suffocation from “laughing too much.”

4-20-1857 – 01-29-1912 Herman Joachim Bang – Born in Als, Denmark. He was a Danish author, one of the men of the Modern Breakthrough. He was friends with Henrik Ibsen. Bang was gay, a fact which contributed to his isolation in the cultural Herman Joachim Banglife of Denmark and made him the victim of smear campaigns. He lived most of his life with his sister but found happiness for a few years with German actor Max Eisfeld, with whom he lived in Prague in 1885-1886. Bang’s works earned him renown as a leading European impressionist writer. He traveled widely in Europe, and during a lecture tour of the United States he was taken ill on the train and died in Ogden, Utah.

04-20-1939 Katherine V. Forrest – Born in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. She is an American writer best known for her nine novels about police detective Kate Delafield. Her character was the very Katherine V. Forrestfirst lesbian police detective in the American lesbian mystery genre. Forrest said, “We are the only subculture that incorporates both genders, all races, all colors all creeds…Being visible can make us free…and give us a power we have never known.” She was a recipient of the Lambda Literary Foundation’s Pioneer Award in 1998. She lives with her wife, Jo Hercus, in Palm Springs, California.

04-20-1980 Vibeke Skofterud – Born in Askim, Norway. She is a Norwegian cross country skier who has been competing since 1999,Vibeke Skofterud She won gold in the 4 x 5 km relay at the Vancouver Olympics in 2010. She confirmed in June 2008 that she is in a committed relationship with a woman.

04-20-1983   Tan France (Tanweer Wasim Safdar) – Born in Doncaster, England to Muslim Pakistani parents. He was raised in a very strict Muslim household and has stated that his sexuality was viewed negatively in his upbringing. France is an English fashion designer, television personality, and author. He is currently the fashion expert for the Netflix series Queer Eye. France currently lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, with his husband, Rob France.

04-20-1991 Javier Raya – Born in Madrid, Spain. He is a Spanish figure skater. Raya was the 2011 Spanish national senior champion and has competed at eight ISU Championships. In May 2016, he came out as gay in an Instagram post.

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