08-14-1876 – 01-13-1960 Sibilla Aleramo – Born Rina Faccio in Alessandria, Italy. She was an Italian author and feminist. She is best known for her autobiographical depictions of life as a woman in late 19th century Italy. Her first novel followed her life. It illustrated her decision to leave her brutal husband, so her son would have a better life. Aleramo moved to Rome in 1901. She had a brief affair with Felice Damiani, a young artist. She then lived with writer and journalist Giovanni Cena. In 1908, while still involved with Cena, she met Cordial “Lina” Poletti at a woman’s congress, and their one-year lesbian relationship was recounted in the novel Il passaggio (1919). Aleramo would go on to be one of Italy’s leading feminists. Her personal writing to Poletti have been studied in more recent years due to the more open minded views of Italians and the world toward homosexual relationships. Her first book, Una donna, is now considered a classic of Italian literature, and the first outspokenly feminist novel written by an Italian author.
08-14-1894 – 02-01-1984 Ada “Bricktop” Smith – Born in Alderson, West Virginia to an Irish father and a black mother. She was an American dancer, singer, vaudevillian and self-described saloon-keeper who owned the nightclub Chez Bricktop in Paris from 1924 to 1961, as well as clubs in Mexico City and Rome. Cole Porter hired her as an entertainer for many of his parties that he hosted in Paris. The Cole Porter song Miss Otis Regrets, was written especially for her to perform. F. Scott Fitzgerald mentions her club in his 1931 short story Babylon Revisited. Her proteges included Duke Ellington, Mabel Mercer and Josephine Baker. She married singer Peter DuConge in 1929. They separated after a few years but never divorced because Bricktop was Catholic and did’t recognize divorce. According to Jean-Claude Baker, author of Josephine: The Hungry Heart, one of Josephine’s children stated that Baker and Bricktop were involved in a lesbian affair for a time, early in their careers.
08-14-1903 – 03-04-1966 Rupert Doone – Born in Redditch, Worcestershire, England. He was
a British dancer, choreographer, theatre director, and teacher in London. He left home at sixteen to begin his career as a dancer, and in 1925 was the last premier danseur by Diaghilev for the Ballets Russes. Upon the death of Diaghilev, he returned to England. In 1926, he met and fell in love with artist Robert Medley. In the 1950s, Doone founded the Theatre School at Morley College. He worked there until he was forced to retire as a result of multiple sclerosis. Morley and Doone were together until Doone’s death in 1966. Photo credit: Salford Museum & Art Gallery – painting of Rupert Doone by Robert Medley.
08-14-1906 – 11-18-1999 Horst P. Horst (born Horst Paul Albert Bohrmann) – born in WeiBenfels-an-der-Saale, German Empire (present-day Saxony-Anhalt, Germany). He was a German-American fashion photographer. In 1930 he met Vogue photographer Baron George Hoyningen-Huene, a half-Baltic, half-American nobleman, and became his photographic assistant, occasional model and lover. In 1931, Horst began his association with Vogue. His first exhibit in 1932 in Paris made him instantly famous. In the same year, Horst made a portrait of Bette Davis, the first in a series of celebrities he would photograph during his life. Horst rented an apartment in New York in 1937, and while residing there met Coco Chanel, whom Horst called “the queen of the whole thing.” He would photograph her fashions for three decades. In 1938 he met Valentine Lawford, a British diplomat. The couple would live together until Lawford’s death in 1991. They adopted and raised a son, Richard J. Horst, together.
08-14-1948 Carole Migden – Born in New York City, New York. She is an American politician from San Francisco, California. She was a member of the California Senate from the 3rd District from December 6, 2004 to December 1, 2008. In February 2004, she married Cristina Arguedas, a criminal defense attorney and her partner since 1985, in a ceremony at San Francisco City Hall officiated by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. The marriage was later annulled by the California Supreme Court.
08-14-1956 Cheryl Chase (Born Bonnie Sullivan) – Born in New Jersey, city unknown. She legally changed her name to Bo Laurent in 1995 but she is known better by her pseudonym Cheryl Chase. She is an American intersex activist and the founder of the Intersex Society of North America. Chase was born with ambiguous genitalia that baffled doctors. According to the New York Times, her parents originally named her Brian Sullivan, noting that “Chase is XX, and the reason for her intersex condition has never been fully understood. Chase told Salon she was born with “mixed male/female organs” and after the discovery of ovaries and a uterus, a clitoridectomy was performed to remove her oversized clitoris when she was 18 months old. She is the creator of Hermaphrodites Speak (1995), a 30 minute documentary film in which several intersex people discuss the psychological impact on their condition and the medical treatment and parenting they received. Chase has written about being openly lesbian since her 20s. She married her partner of five years, Robin Mathias, in San Francisco in 2004 (before it was legal). They live on a farm in Sonoma and remarried in 2008 before the passing of Proposition 8 in California.
08-14-1959 Earvin “Magic” Johnson Jr. – Born in Lansing, Michigan. He is a retired American professional basketball player who played point guard for the Los Angeles Lakers. After a physical before the 1991-92 NBA season, Johnson discovered that he had tested positive for HIV. He stated that his wife and their unborn child did not have HIV, and that he would dedicate his life to “battle this deadly disease”. He made headlines in 2013 after he announced his support for his 20-year-old gay son. He and his wife, Cookie, have long supported EJ (Earvin Johnson III) for exactly who he is. The former Los Angeles Lakers superstar said he knew his son, EJ, was gay before he told him. A representative for GLAAD said the organization was proud of the Johnson family. “Magic’s and his wife’s unconditional support for EJ is a perfect example of the love and care that all of our children need, especially those who come to identify as LGBT.”
08-14-1959 Dale Scott – Born in Eugene, Oregon. He is the first active MLB umpire to come out publicly. He is also the first official to come out in any of the major sports leagues. He is thought of as one of the best umpires in MLB. Major League Baseball has always been aware that Scott was gay. His partner Mike is on his insurance policy, which shows that MLB and the insurance company recognized their relationship. They got married in November, 2014. They have been together for over 28 years.
08-14-1964 Mark Pocan – Born and raised in Kenosha, Wisconsin. He is an American politician and businessman who has served in the United States House of Representative. He is a member of the Democratic party, representing Wisconsin’s 2nd congressional district. He is a longtime friend and ally of Tammy Baldwin and is also openly gay. Pocan was followed by two men after he left a gay bar, and was beaten with a baseball bat while they called him “faggot” and other slurs. This gaybashing incident spurred him to become active in the Madison LGBT community. On November 24, 2006, Pocan and his long-time partner, Phillip Frank, were legally married in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.