08-22-1812 – 09-23-1880 Geraldine Jewsbury – Born in Measham, Derbyshire. She was an English novelist, book reviewer and prominent figure in London literary life. Her novels questioned the idealized role of wife and mother and her female characters were often wiser and more capable than the male ones. Her first novel, Zoe: the History of Two Lives (1845), was an immediate success. She never married and had affairs with women, including the actress Charlotte Cushman. Her most significant relationship was with Jane Carlyle, the wife of the essayist Thomas Carlyle. Their relationship, which lasted over 25 years, is reflected in Jewsbury’s writings.
08-22-1894 – 07-01-1943 Willem Arondeus – Born in Naarden, Netherlands. He was a gay Dutch artist and author, who joined the anti-Nazi resistance movement during WWII. He lived as an openly gay man. He was involved with a group that hid Jews among the local population with forged documents. To hinder the Nazis, on March 27, 1943, Arondeus led a group in bombing the Amsterdam Public Records Office. Thousands of files were destroyed, and the attempt to compare forged documents with the registry was hindered. He was arrested by the Nazis, his last message before his execution was “Let it be known that homosexuals are not cowards.”
08-22-1895 – 03-22-1951 László Almásy – Born in Borostyánkö, Austria-Hungary. He was a Hungarian aristocrat, motorist, desert researcher, aviator, Scout-leader, and soldier who also served as the basis for the protagonist in the 1992 novel, The English Patient and the movie based on it. Letters discovered in 2010 in Germany written by Almásy proved he was gay. His lover was a young soldier named Hans Entholt, who was killed after stepping on a landmine. The letters (located at the Institute of African Studies) also confirm that “Egyptian princes were among his lovers.”
08-22-1914 – 04-26-1992 Jack Dunphy (born John Paul Dunphy) – Born in Atlantic City, New Jersey and raised in a working-class neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was an American novelist and playwright, and partner of American author Truman Capote. Dunphy was a trained ballet dancer and danced at the 1939 New York World’s Fair. He also toured with the George Balanchine company in South America in 1941. In 1939, he married Joan McCracken, another dancer. Both appeared in the original Broadway production of Oklahoma! in 1943. In 1944, Dunphy enlisted in the U.S. Army. During his service, he published his first work, The Life of a Carrot, in Short Story magazine. Dunphy met Capote in 1948. At that time he was just getting over a painful divorce from McCracken. His novel John Fury had also been published at this time. In 1950, the two writers settled in Taormina, Sicily in a house that D.H. Lawrence had once lived. Although Dunphy was ten years older than Capote, the couple stayed together until Capote’s death in 1984. Dunphy was named as the chief beneficiary. Eight years later, Dunphy died of cancer in New York. Following his death, some of the money from their estates was donated to The Nature Conservancy, which was used to acquire Crooked Pond on the Long Island Greenbelt. The ashes of both men were scattered there and a marker near the pond commemorates them.
08-22-1924 – 04-21-1989 James Kirkwood, Jr. – Born in Los Angeles, California. He was an American playwright, author, and actor. In 1976 he received the Tony Award, the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Book of a Musical, and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for the Broadway hit A Chorus Line. Though Kirkwood was heavily involved with ballerina Muriel Bentley, among other women as a young man, by his forties he was exclusively gay. His public stance on homosexuality was confused, to say the least. He frequently exhibited terror at the prospect of being outed but at the same time insisted on planting clues to his sexuality in his work by playing gay supporting characters.
08-22-1949 Diana Nyad – Born in New York City, New York. She is an American world record-holding swimmer, author, journalist, motivational speaker, and public radio contributor. In 1979 she swam for Bimini to Florida, setting a distance record for non-stop swimming without a wetsuit that still stands today. At the age of 60, after swimming 53 hours, she finished her swim from Cuba to Key West on September 2, 2013. Nyad is openly lesbian and is an atheist. She released a memoir in 2015 titled Find A Way.
08-22-1979 Steve Kornacki – Born in Groton, Massachusetts. He is an American political writer and television host, known for his work as the senior political writer at salon.com, co-host of The Cycle on MSNBC and host of Up on MSNBC. He has written articles for The New York Observer, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, the New York Daily News, the New York Post, The Boston Globe, and The Daily Beast. In a 2011 Salon magazine column, he came out as a gay.