08-29-1857 – 08-29-1928 Mary Garrett Hay – Born in Charlestown, Indiana. She was a suffragist, community organizer, and president of the Women’s City Club of New York and the Woman Suffrage Party. At a suffrage group meeting, she met Carrie Chapman Catt. They lived together for a while in the summer of 1895. When Catt’s husband died in 1905, she moved in with Catt permanently. Hay took over the household responsibilities. Both women worked tirelessly to get the Nineteenth Amendment passed, giving voter’s rights to women. In 1899, she and Catt traveled through 20 different states, made numerous speeches and attended 15 conventions. In 1920, Hay and Catt cast ballots for the first time for president. In 1928, Hay died of a heart attack. Catt created a monument to Hay where she was buried, Woodlawn Cemetery. When Catt died in 1947. she was buried next to Hay. They were together for over twenty years.
08-29-1880 – 10-16-1942 Elisabeth Irwin – Born in Brooklyn, New York. She was an educator, psychologist, reformer, and declared lesbian, living with her life partner Katharine Anthony and the two children they adopted. She was the founder of the Little Red School House in Manhattan, New York. It is regarded as the city’s first progressive school. Created as a joint public-private educational experiment, the school tested principles of progressive education that had been advocated since the turn of the 20th century by John Dewey. At first, only primary education was available, but in 1940 a high school was added and named after Elisabeth Irwin. Irwin died in New York Hospital in October 1942. Her funeral was conducted in Gaylordsville, Connecticut where she and Anthony maintained a summer home, having called themselves the “gay ladies of Gaylordsville.” The Little Red School House” (LREI) in Manhattan is still going strong today with progressive teaching that remains faithful to the spirit of its founder.
08-29-1844 – 06-28-1929 Edward Carpenter – Born in Hove, Sussex, England. He was an English socialist poet, philosopher, anthologist, and early LGBT activist. A leading figure in the late 19th and early 20th century Britain, he was instrumental in the foundation of the Fabian Society and the Labour Party. He was a friend and lover of Walt Whitman. An early advocate of sexual freedoms, he had a profound influence on both D. H. Lawrence and Aurobindo and inspired E. M. Forster’s novel, Maurice. In 1891, he met George Merrill, a working-class man from Sheffield. The two men became involved in a relationship and eventually moved in together in 1898. They remained partners for the rest of their lives, a fact made all the more extraordinary by the hysteria about homosexuality generated by the Oscar Wilde trial of 1895, and the Criminal Law Amendment Bill passed a decade earlier “outlawing all forms of male homosexual contact.” Carpenter drew a great deal of inspiration from Plato’s idealized view of same-sex love, popular with Victorian gay men, who used classical allusions to ‘Greek Love’ as a coded language to discuss their sexual orientation.
08-29-1939 Joel Schumacher – Born in New York City, New York. He is an American filmmaker. Schumacher directed three hit films in a row: St. Elmo’s Fire (1985), The Lost Boys (1987), and Flatlines (1990). He also directed two of the Batman film series. Schumacher has been openly gay throughout most of his career.
08-29-1966 Stephanie Theobald – Born in Ipswich, Suffolk, England. She is a British novelist and broadcaster. TheTimes described her as “One of London’s most celebrated literary lesbian.” She is the author of Biche (2000) and three other novels. Her latest work, Sex Drive: On the Road to A Pleasure Revolution, was published in 2018.
08-29-1968 Meshell Ndegeocello – Raised in Washington, D.C. (born in Germany to Army Sergeant Major & saxophonist father and health care worker mother Helen). She is an American singer-songwriter, rapper, and bassist. Throughout her career she has received significant critical acclaim, nominated for eleven Grammy Awards, and winning one. Her music has been featured in a number of film soundtracks including How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Lost & Delirious, Batman & Robin, Love & Basketball, The Best Man, Noah’s Arc: Jumping the Broom, and Soul Men. On The Rolling Stones’ 1997 album Bridges to Babylon she plays bass on the song Saint of Me. Madonna used her on the song I’d Rather be Your Lover as both bass player and rapper for the album Bedtime Stories. Ndegeocello also performed rap on Chaka Khan’s single Never Miss the Water. In June 2021, The Beatles Channel on Sirius XM Radio began broadcasting A Shot of Rhythm and Blues: Exploring The Beatles and Black Music, a four part series hosted by Ndegeocello. Ndegeocello is bisexual and had a relationship with feminist author Rebecca Walker. Since 2005, she has been married to Alison Riley.