04-22-1946 John Waters – Born in Baltimore, Maryland. He is an American film director, screenwriter, actor, stand-up comedian, journalist, visual artist, and art collector. Known for his cult films of the 1970s with Divine and later for the film Hairspray. An out gay man, he is also an avid supporter of gay rights and gay pride.
04-22-1986 Amber Heard – Born in Austin, Texas. She is an American actress and model. Heard came out in 2010, at GLAAD’s 25th anniversary event. She has said, “ I don’t label myself one way of another – I have had successful relationships with men and now a woman. I love who I love; it’s the person that matters.” Heard is an activist in LGBT rights, abolishing slavery, and is a supporter of Habitat for Humanity.
04-22-1956 Phill Wilson – Born in Chicago, Illinois. He founded the Black AIDS Institute in 1999 and is a prominent African-American HIV/AIDS activist. Wilson career in activism started after he and his lover, Chris Brownlie, were diagnosed with HIV in the early 1980s. This was when the AIDS epidemic was just starting in the US, and Wilson felt no one was bringing together the black community to solve the problem. In 1989, Wilson’s partner died of an HIV-related illness. He channeled his grief into activism. After graduating college, Wilson moved to Los Angeles in 1982, and got involved with the National Association of Black and White Men Together. From 1990 to 1995, Wilson served as the co-chair of the Los Angeles HIV Health Commission. In 2010, he was appointed by President Obama’s Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS. He has published articles in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, LA Weekly, Essence, Ebony, Jet, and other media outlets. Wilson has said that when he dies, he hopes people will remember him for not giving up. His biggest fear is that the black community will give up fighting against the disease.
04-22-1982 – 05-07-2011 Thomas Bridegroom – Born in Knox, Indiana. He was an American actor and songwriter. On May 7, 2011, he accidentally fell off of the roof of his friend’s four story building. At the time of his death, he had been in a five year relationship with Shane Bitney Crone. When Tom had come out to his family, they blamed Crone for “making” him gay. After Tom’s death, the family threatened Crone with physical violence if he attended Tom’s funeral. Crone released a YouTube video, This Could Happen To You, as an emotional plea for same-sex couples that are deprived of any legal protection. Bridegroom: A Love Story, Unequaled, a documentary directed by Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, based on the story of Crone’s and Bridegroom’s relationship and the difficulties Crone faced after his partner’s death, premiered on April 23, 2013.