08-01-1936 – 06-01-2008 Yves Saint-Laurent – Born in Oran, Algeria, he was an Algerian-born French fashion designer and is regarded as one of the greatest names in fashion history. In 1985, Carolina Rennolds Milbank wrote, “The most consistently celebrated and influential designer of the past twenty-five years.” He is credited with having introduced the tuxedo suit for women and was known for his use of non-European cultural references, and non-white models. He was the first French couturier to come out with a ready-to-wear line. Saint-Laurent died June 1, 2008, of brain cancer at his residence in Paris. His long-time partner was Pierre Bergé, an industrialist. According to The New York Times, a few days prior to his death, he and Bergé were joined in a same-sex civil union in France.
08-01-1949 Ellen Hart – Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She is the award-winning mystery author of the Jane Lawless and Sophie Greenaway series. Hart is a five-time winner of the Lambda Literary Award for Best Lesbian Mystery, a three-time winner of the Minnesota Book Award for Best Popular Fiction, and has won other awards as well. In 2005 she was made an official LGBT Literary Saint at the Saints & Sinners Literary Festival in New Orleans. In 2010, Hart received the GCLS Trailblazer Award for lifetime achievement in the field of lesbian literature. She has been dubbed the “lesbian answer to Agatha Christie.” In an interview, she stated, “ I do a lot of traveling with two other authors, William Kent Krueger, and Carl Brookins. When we give a presentation, it’s always interesting to watch the people that come up afterward. Some of them won’t even touch my books. It’s like they’re made of plutonium. Had I written the same stories with a straight character, I would probably be making a lot more money and be far better known.” There are no sex scenes in her novels and she gets slammed for that by the gay community. “I seem to be either too gay or not gay enough.” She lives with her wife, Kathleen Kruger. They have been together for over thirty-five years and live in Eden Prairie, Minnesota.
08-01-1949 – 02-14-1995 Nigel Finch – Born in Tenterden, Kent, England. He was an English film director and filmmaker whose career influenced the growth of British gay cinema. Finch began working as co-editor for the BBC television documentary series Arena in the early 1970s. He rose to prominence with his documentary Chelsea Hotel (1981). Finch’s documentary subjects include Robert Mapplethorpe (1988), Kenneth Anger (1991), and Louise Bourgeois (1994). Finch died from AIDS-related illness in London in 1995 during post-production of his first full-length film Stonewall, a docudrama.
08-01-1962 Mark Adamo – Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is an Italian-American composer and librettist. In 2009, the San Francisco Opera Company commissioned Adamo to compose both the score and libretto for an opera entitled The Gospel of Mary Magdalene. The company premiered the work on June 19, 2013. Adamo, who is openly gay, married composer John Corigliano in California before Prop. 8 passed. The couple lives in New York City.
08-01-1962 Toni Atkins – Born in Wythe County, Virginia. She is an American Democratic politician from San Diego, California. She was the Speaker of the California State Assembly and is the third woman as well as the first acknowledged lesbian to be elected to that position. Atkins is also the first lawmaker from San Diego to be elected Speaker. Because the governor, lieutenant governor and the state Senate president were all out of town at the same time, Atkins served as the acting governor of California for nine hours on July 30, 2014, making her the first openly gay governor of California. She is currently a member of the California State Senate.