12-14-1946 – 03-29-2016 Patty Duke – Born in Elmhurst, New York. She was an American actress of stage, film, and television. At the age of sixteen she won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker, which she had originated on Broadway. Her hit television show, The Patty Duke Show ran from 1963 to 1966. She was an advocate for mental disease and for the LGBT community. In June 2014 she became an ordained minister to marry as many gay couples as she could. The former 1960s star made her announcement in a tweet directed to President Obama: “as an ordained minister, I want to marry all the gay couples in our beloved country.” She also demonstrated her support by taking the role as a lesbian in the hit TV series Glee playing the partner of Meredith Baxter, a lesbian in real life. And in 1982 she played a lesbian fashion designer in the Canadian film By Design. She died from sepsis from a ruptured intestine.
12-14-1878 – 07-31-1969 Ruth Margarete Roellig – Born in Schwiebus, Poland. In 1887, her parents moved to Berlin, where she was raised. In Berlin, Roellig became famous as a writer because of her lesbian themes. In 1928, Roellig published a city guidebook to Berlin’s lesbian clubs, Berlins lesbishe Frauen (The Lesbians of Berlin) , the prologue is written by Magnus Hirschfeld, German sexologist and gay activist. It underwent several printings, letting isolated lesbians know that there was a larger lesbian community. Her book described 14 Berlin clubs and dance halls that catered to lesbians. In her last book written in 1937 there is antisemitic content. It is thought she wrote this because her writing was under the Nazis watchful eyes. It is known that she offered shelter to a Jewish acquaintance on at least one occasion during this period. In 1938 her writing was banned from circulation by the Nazis, appearing on a list of “harmful writings.” Her Berlin home was destroyed by Allied bombing in 1943. After the war, she and her partner, Erika, and Roellig’s sister went back to live in Berlin. In the 1980s and 1990s her work was reissued in German and French editions.
12-14-1903 – 03-13-1987 David Lewis (born David Levy) – Born in Trinidad, Colorado. He was a Hollywood film producer who produced such films as Dark Victory (1939), Arch of Triumph (1948), and, Raintree County (1957). He was also the longtime companion of director James Whale from 1930 to 1952.
12-14-1923 – 04-08-2006 Gerard Reve (Gerard Kornelis van het Reve) – Born in Amsterdam, Netherlands. He was a Dutch writer and is considered one of the great writers of Dutch post WWII literature. His 1981 novel De Vierde Man (The Fourth Man) was made into a film in 1983. Reve was one of the first gay authors to come out in the Netherlands. Much of his writing includes sexual scenes between men and it contributed to making homosexuality acceptable for many of his readers. In 2001, he was award the Prijs der Nederlandse Letteren, the most prestigious prized for Dutch-language authors, but King Albert II of Belgium refused to present it to him because Reve’s partner had been accused of pedophilia. The money was awarded by bank transfer and the certificate delivered. During the last years of his life, he suffered and then died from Alzheimer’s disease.
12-14-1951 Paul Zaloom – Born in Garden City, New York. He is an American actor and puppeteer, best known for his role as the character Beckman on the television show Beakman’s World. Zaloom has performed at the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, UCLA Performing Arts Series, and many other venues across the US. He’s also been granted a Guggenheim Fellowship, four Jim Henson Foundation grants, and four National Endowment for the Arts grants, just to name a few honors he has received. He is openly gay.
12-14-1955 Elisebeht Markstrom – Born in Nyköping, St Nicholas parish, Sweden. She is a Swedish social democratic politician who was a member of the Riksdag from 1995 to 2010. She was the initiator of the formation of the Swedish Women’s Shelters and was its first president in 1996 – 2002. She is an out lesbian.
12-14-1989 Amini Fonua – Born in Auckland, New Zealand. He is a competitive swimmer who was the first Tongan swimmer to win a gold medal in international competition when he took the gold in the 50 meter breaststroke at the 2010 Oceania Swimming Championships and is the only Tongan athlete in history to ever hold dual Oceania and Pacific Games titles. He is openly gay and was one of 49 out LGBT athletes to participate in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.