04-30-1877 – 03-07-1967 Alice B. Toklas – Born in San Francisco, California. She was an American-born member of the Parisian avant-garde of the early 20th century. Her life partner was writer Gertrude Stein until Stein’s death in 1946. She was Stein’s confidante, lover, cook, secretary, muse, editor, critic, and general organizer. Toklas remained in the background, chiefly in the shadow of Stein, until Stein published her memoirs in 1933 under the teasing title The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas. It became Stein’s bestselling book. Toklas published her own literary memoir, a 1954 book that mixed reminiscences and recipes under the title The Alice B. Toklas Cookbook. The most famous recipe was called “Haschich Fudge,” a mixture of fruit, nuts, spices, and “cannibus sativa,” or marijuana. Her name was later lent to the range of cannabis concoctions called Alice B. Toklas brownies. When Stein died in 1946, she left most of her estate to Toklas, including their art collection. Stein’s relatives disputed her right to have or sell the art because their relationship was not legally recognized. The paintings were locked in a Paris bank vault at the insistence of the Steins. Toklas began writing to earn an income and published three books. In 1963, her own memoir, What Is Remembered, was published. Her later years were spent in financial difficulties and in poor health.
04-30-1951 Craig Lucas – Born in Atlanta, Georgia. He was found in an abandoned car and was adopted when he was eights months old by a conservative Pennsylvania couple. His father was an FBI agent; his mother was a painter. She was born Jewish but suppressed the identity. He is an American playwright, screenwriter, theatre director, musical actor, and film director. In the 1960s and 1970s, Lucas became interested in the political left and discovered he was attracted to men. He is openly gay. In 1991 he was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for Prelude to a Kiss.
04-30-1954 – 04-27-1989 Howard Brookner – Born in New York City, New York. He was an American film director. Brookner produced and directed the documentary of William S. Burroughs, Burroughs: the Movie (1983) and the documentary on theatre director Robert Wilson, Robert Wilson and the Civil Wars (1986). Bloodhounds of Broadway (1989), was his last film. He died of AIDS just before his 35th birthday. He left this quote on his refrigerator door, “There’s so much beauty in the world. That’s what got me into trouble in the first place.” (Photo by Paula Court, Paris, 1986)
04-30-1976 Amanda Palmer – Born in New York City, New York. She is an American performer, singer, pianist, and lyricist/composer. Palmer first came to prominence as part of the duo The Dresden Dolls and continued to have a successful solo career. She is openly bisexual. Palmer practices meditation and wrote an article titled Melody vs. Meditation for the Buddhist publication Shamblhala Sun, that described her struggle between songwriting and being able to clear the mind to meditate.
04-30-1984 Seimone Augustus – Born in Baron Rouge, Louisiana. She is an American professional basketball player. She was on the team that won gold medals at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, and at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Augustus is openly lesbian and had been a prominent figure in the battle for marriage equality. She married her long time girlfriend LaTaya Varner.
04-30-1989 Anastasia Bucsis – Born in Calgary, Canada. She is an Olympic Canadian speed skater. She came out publicly as a lesbian in 2013 at Calgary Pride and marched in the 2014 Calgary Pride Parade. In June 2014, it was revealed that Bucsis is in a same-sex relationship with women’s hockey goaltender and three-time Winter Games gold medalist Charline Labonté.