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.”
08-14-1876 – 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 has 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 the 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 didn’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.
08-14-1959 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 showed that MLB and the insurance company recognized their relationship. They got married in November 2014. They have been together for over 28 years.
08-14-1948 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, 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.
08-14-1964 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 gay-bashing 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.
08-14-1961 Susan Olsen – Born in Santa Monica, California. Straight ally to the LGBT community. She is an American former child actress, an animal welfare advocate, radio host, and creator of pop art. Olsen is known for her role as Cindy Brady, the youngest child in the 1970s sitcom The Brady Bunch for the full run of the show, from 1969 to 1974. When her TV dad, Robert Reed, died she paid tribute to her gay Brady Bunch dad, saying that he was “a true king among men”. She said, “I can also say that being gay killed him. Because it was so taboo, he could never make peace with himself. He was forever taunted by his own disdain for the natural inclinations that he was BORN WITH. To me, the vilification of homosexuality is exactly like the primitive practice of people who killed babies who were born with cleft palates or birthmarks. It is a worship not of God but of fear itself in the form of a God who hates. …And so, any ideology that demonized such a good man would have to be evil itself. Robert Reed, unwittingly, showed me the true nature of religion. And this is why I steer clear of it to this day.” In December 2016, Olsen was fired from her radio show as a result of engaging in a feud with openly gay actor Leon Acord-Whiting, in which Olsen used gay slurs. Olsen did apologize to the LGBT community. Also, Olsen’s former co-host, Sheena Metal, stated that in the seven years she had been friends with Olsen, she had never heard Olsen say anything homophobic or derogatory. Metal wrote, “However, none of those things made what she said ‘right’ or ‘okay,’ by any means or for any reason.”