04-25-1284 – 09-21-1327 Edward II of England – Born in Windsor Castle, Berkshire, United Kingdom. Also called Edward of Caernarfon, he was King of England from 1307 until he was deposed in January 1327. In 1308, he married Isabella of France, the daughter of the powerful King Philip IV, as part of a long-running effort to resolve tensions between the English and French crowns. Edward had a close and controversial relationship with Piers Gaveston, who had joined his household in 1300. The precise nature of Edward and Gaveston’s relationship is uncertain; they may have been lovers or friends. The contemporary evidence supporting their homosexual relationship comes primarily from an anonymous chronicler in the 1320s who described how Edward “felt such love” for Galveston that “he entered into a covenant of constancy, and bound himself with him before all other mortals with a bond of indissoluble love, firmly drawn up and fastened with a knot.” The first specific suggestion that Edward engaged in sex with men was recorded in 1334, when Adam Orieton, the Bishop of Winchester, was accused of having stated in 1326 that Edward was a “sodomite”. The Meaux Chronicle from the 1390s simply notes that Edward gave himself “too much to the vice of sodomy”.
04-25-1964 Andy Bell – Bell grew up in the Dogsthorpe area of Peterborough, England. He is the lead singer of the English pop duo Erasure. The duo is popular in the UK, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, and in South America, especially Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Peru. Because Bell is openly gay, the band is also popular within the LGBT community. Erasure has penned over 200 songs and has sold over 25 million albums worldwide. On December 17, 2004, Bell publicly announced that he has been HIV-positive since 1998. Bell’s longtime partner, Paul M. Hickey died in April 2012 at the age of 62. In January 2013, Bell married Stephen Moss.
04-25-1886 — 02-06-1959 Cora (Concordia) Antarova – Born in Warsaw, Poland (called Russian Poland at the time of her birth). She was a Russian contralto who starred in the Bolshoi Theater for more than twenty years. After she retired, she wrote theosophical novels. Because she went to Theosophical Society meetings, Antarova was under constant surveillance. Stalin admired her voice, so she was never arrested. She was in a relationship with Olga Tsuberbiller, the Russian mathematician, until her death in 1959. Tsuberbiller died in 1975 and is buried next to Antarova in the Novodevichy Cemetery.
04-25-1895 – 01-09-1980 Raymond Mortimer – Born in Knightsbridge, London, United Kingdom. He is a British writer, critic, and literary editor. During WWII he worked at the BBC and was in liaison with the Free French Forces led by Charles de Gaulle. He had a long term relationship with diplomat Harold Nicolson, husband of Vita Sackville-West.
04-25-1918 – 11-04-2005 Graham Payn – Born in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. He was a South African-born English actor and singer, also known for being the life partner of the playwright Noel Coward. Coward continually promoted Payn’s career. Payn received good notices for his performances but lacked the drive and star quality. Coward also eventually came to realize it, writing: “He is, I fear, a born drifter. I know his theatrical career has been a failure but there are other ploys to go after. I love him dearly and for ever, but this lack of drive in any direction is a bad augury for the future. I am willing and happy to look after him for the rest of my life, but he must do something.” After Coward died in 1973, Payn’s career for the rest of his life became the administration of the Coward estate. Barry Day, an authority on Noel Coward, wrote of Payn, “ It was not a job he ever wanted or expected but he brought to it a dedication and focus that Noel would have been surprised and pleased to see. (Photo is of Graham Payn with Mary Martin)
04-25-1980 Sam Barnett – Born in Whitby, United Kingdom He is an English actor. He has performed on stage, film, television, and radio, and achieved recognition for his work on the stage and film versions of The History Boys by Alan Bennett. He also appeared on the BBC comedy Twenty Twelve. In 2014, Barnett received a nomination for a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play for his work in Twelfth Night. He is out gay.