04-27-1927 – 01-30-2006 Coretta Scott King – Born in Heiberger, Alabama. She was an American author, activist, and civil rights leader. Married to Martin Luther King, Jr., she played a prominent role in the years after her husband’s 1968 assassination when she took on the leadership of the struggle for racial equality, became active in the Women’s Movement, and LGBT rights movement. She was an early supporter in the struggle for lesbian and gay civil rights. In August 1983, in Washington, D.C., she urged the amendment of the Civil Rights Act to include gays and lesbians as a Protected Class. On April 1, 1998, at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago, Mrs. King called on the civil rights community to join in the struggle against homophobia and anti-gay bias. “Homophobia is like racism and anti-Semitism and the forms of bigotry in that it seeks to dehumanize a large group of people, to deny their humanity, their dignity, and personhood”, she stated. “This sets the stage for further repression and violence that spreads all too easily to victimize the next minority group.” Coretta Scott King’s support of LGBT rights was strongly criticized by some black pastors. She called her critics “misinformed” and said that Martin Luther King’s message to the world was one of equality and inclusion.
04-27-1759 – 09-10-1797 Mary Wollstonecraft – Born in Spitalfields, United Kingdom. She was an English writer, philosopher, and advocate for women’s rights. She is best known for A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792), in which she argues that women are not naturally inferior to men, but appear to be only because they lack education. She suggests that both men and women should be treated as rational beings and imagines a social order founded on reason. She also wrote Mary, A Fiction, which is the earliest example of a novel about a lesbian relationship written by a woman. It is the story of a woman who marries a man she does not love and with whom she does not have sex. When he leaves on an extended voyage, her girlfriend Ann moves in. “Mary” may be based on the author’s close and passionate relationship with a woman named Fanny Blood. Wollstonecraft was bisexual and married. Her daughter, also named Mary, married poet Percy Shelley and wrote Frankenstein.
04-27-1917 – 11-15-2002 Mary Meigs – Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She was an American painter and writer. She studied at Bryn Mawr College, graduating in 1939, and later taught English literature and creative writing at that school. She served in the United States Navy’s WAVES during WWII. Her first painting exhibit was in New York in 1950. Openly lesbian, Meigs met author Barbara Deming in 1954. In 1963, Meigs met Marie-Claire Blais, a writer from Quebec, who became romantically involved with Meigs and Deming. The three women lived together for six year. Meigs and Deming parted and in 1972, Meigs and Blais moved to Canada, where she lived the remainder of her life. In the 1970s, Meigs turned to writing. In addition to her writing, she became a prominent spokesperson in Canada for lesbians, feminists, and seniors’ issues.
04-27-1937 – 03-02-1992 Sandy Dennis – Born in Hastings, Nebraska. She was an American stage and film actress. In the 1960s she won two Tony Awards, as well as an Oscar for her performance in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?. She was also in the films The Fox (1967), That Cold Day in the Park (1969) and Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean (1982). In 1968 she was voted the 18th biggest star in the US. Dennis has been identified as a lesbian by a number of Hollywood historians. According to Dennis’ biographers, Peter Shelley and Eric Roberts, upon being asked if Dennis was bisexual, they spoke of her telling them about her many lesbian relationships and said that she, “appreciated the beauty of women. But Sandy also liked and appreciated what a very, very young man could do to a woman”.
04-27-1939 – 09-03-2015 Judy Carne – Born in Northampton, England. She was an English actress best remembered for the phrase “Sock it to me!” on Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In. She also appeared in many other television shows, including The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Bonanza, The Big Valley and I Dream of Jeannie. She was married to Burt Reynolds from 1963 to 1965 and to producer Robert Bergman from 1970 to 1971. Carne was addicted to heroin. Her autobiography, Laughing on the Outside, Crying on the Inside: The Bittersweet Saga of the Sock-It-To-Me Girl (1985) tells of her difficulties with drugs, her failed marriage to Reynolds, and her bisexuality. She died of pneumonia on September 3, 2015 in England.
04-27-1948 Kate Pierson – Born in Weehawken, New Jersey. She is an American vocalist, lyricist, and one of the founding members of the B-52’s. A multi-instrumentalist, she played guitar, bass, and various keyboard instruments. In February 2015, Pierson released her first solo album, Guitars and Microphones, featuring material co-written by Sia Furler. She and her partner, Monica Coleman, own two hotels, Kate’s Lazy Desert in Landers, California and Kate’s Lazy Meadow in Mount Tremper, New York. The couple have been together since 2003.
04-27-1978 Rachel Morrison – Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She is an American cinematographer. The films she is known for are Cake, Fruitvale Station, Sound of My Voice, and Mudbound. Her work on Mudbound earned her a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Cinematography, making her the first woman and lesbian ever recognized in the category. Also for her work on Mudbound, she became the first woman to win the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Cinematographer, and the first woman to be nominated for the feature category or the American Society of Cinematographers Outstanding Achievement Awards. She was also the cinematographer for Marcel’s Black Panther. Morrison has a wife and a son.
04-27-1987 Alexandra Lacrabere – Born in Pau, Pyrenees-Atlantiques, France. In 2012 she was an Olympic Athlete who played handball for the French national team. She participated at the 2008 Summer Olympics in China, where the French team placed fifth, and in the 2011 World Women’s Handball Championship where the French team placed second. She is an out lesbian.