12-19-1960 Michelangelo Signorile – Born in Brooklyn, New York City, New York. He is a gay American journalist, author, and national talk radio host. His 1993 book, Queer In America, explored the negative effects of the LGBT closet and provided one of the intellectual justifications for outing public officials. His radio show airs weekdays across the United States and Canada on Sirius XM Radio, and globally online. He is also editor-at-large for Queer Voices on Huffington Post, where he writes regularly. Signorile was inducted in the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association’s LGBT Journalist Hall of Fame in August 2011. In April 2015, his fifth book, It’s Not Over: Getting Beyond Tolerance, Defeating Homophobia and Winning True Equality was published.
12-19-1987 – Ronan Farrow – Born in New York City, New York. He is the son of actress Mia Farrow and filmmaker Woody Allen. Farrow is an American journalist and lawyer. On October 10, 2017, The New Yorker published an investigative article by Farrow detailing allegations of sexual misconduct against film producer Harvey Weinstein five days after the New York Times published its own findings on Weinstein. The New Yorker won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for Farrow’s reporting, sharing the award with The New York Times. Interesting to note that in 2016, NBC had decided against airing Farrow’s findings. Farrow is openly gay. His partner is podcast host and former presidential speech writer, Jon Lovett. They have been together since 2011
12-19-1985 Lady Sovereign (Louise Amanda Harman) – Born in Wembley, London, England. She is an English rapper, songwriter, singer, and grime artist. Her best known song is Love Me or Hate Me. She is noted for her professional success in performing styles of music dominated by males. In 2010 in an interview in Diva magazine, she came out as gay.
12-19-1985 Shane Bitney Crone – Born in Kalispell, Montana. He is an American filmmaker, writer, speaker, and advocate for LGBT rights. Crone made headlines in May 2012 when he release a video on YouTube titled It Could Happen to You. He spoke of the devastation he faced after the unexpected death of his longtime life partner, actor Tom Bridegroom, who fell to his death while photographing a friend on the roof of her four-story apartment building in the Silverlake-Los Feliz area of Los Angeles. Crone’s family accepted his sexual orientation but Bridegrooms family had not. Crone was threatened with physical violence if he attended the funeral of his lover and was not mentioned in the obituary or memorial. He had also been denied hospital visitations and other rights accorded to married couples because he was not recognized as Bridegroom’s partner or as family. April 23, 2013, Bridegroom, a documentary directed by Linda Bloodworth-Thomason was shown at the Tribeca Film Festival and was endorsed by former President Clinton, who introduced the documentary. Clinton stated, “This is really, on one level, a wonderful, sad, heartbreaking yet exhilarating and life-affirming story…and on another level, it’s a story about our nation’s struggle to make one more step in forming a more perfect union, for which marriage is both the symbol and substance.” Bridegroom won the Tribeca Film Festival Audience’s non-fiction award. On February 15, 2016, Crone announced that he is a relationship with American Idol finalist Rayvon Owen. March 3, 2018 they announced that they would be getting married. (Photo by Scott Davis)
12-19-1898 – 08-05-1973 Barbette (Vander Clyde) – Born in Round Rock, Texas. He was an American female impersonator, high-wire performer, and trapeze artist. Barbette made his European debut in 1923 and appeared in such venues as Casino de Paris, the Moulin Rouge, the Empire, and the Folies Bergère. He returned to America in 1924 and became a featured attraction with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. While touring in London he was found having sex with another man, his contract was cancelled and he was never able to obtain a work permit in England again. It was the avant garde artist Jean Cocteau that came to his rescue. They had a brief affair. Barbette worked as a consultant on a number of films, including the circus sequences for Til the Clouds Roll By (1946) and The Big Circus (1959), and was hired to coach Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis on gender illusion for the film Some Like It Hot (1959). The end of his career is attributed to a number of causes including a fall, pneumonia, polio, or some combination of the three. Whatever the cause, it left Barbette in extreme pain. He committed suicide by overdose on August 5, 1973.
12-19-1908 – 03-31-2000 Gisèle Freund – Born in Schöneberg, Germany. She was a photographer and photojournalist, famous for her documentary photography, and portraits of writers and artists. Her subjects included James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, Eva Peron, and Frida Kahlo. Freund became lovers with Adrienne Monnier while her lover, Sylvia Beach was in the United States. One of Freund’s most famous work was for Life magazine, which published “Northern England,” her photo documentary of economic hardship in Britain, on December 14, 1936. Because she was Jewish, she had to flee Germany and France. She spent time in Argentina and then in Mexico with the bisexual artist Frida Kahlo. In 1953, she returned to France. She died on March 31st, 2000 in Paris. She is celebrated as one of the best portrait photographers of the twentieth century. French Presided Jacques Chirac praised her as “one of the world’s greatest photographers.”
12-19-1910 – 04-15-1986 Jean Genet – Born in Paris, France. He was a controversial French novelist, playwright, poet, essayist, and political activist. Early in his life he was a vagabond and petty criminal, but later took to writing. At the age of 18 he joined the Foreign Legion. He was given a dishonorable discharge having been caught in a homosexual act. After returning to Paris in 1937, he was in and out of prison for theft, use of false papers, lewd acts, and other offenses. In prison he wrote his first poem and novel. Genet introduced himself to Jean Cocteau, who was impressed by his writing. Cocteau used his contacts to get Genet’s work published. By 1949 he had completed five novels, three plays, and numerous poems, many controversial for their explicit and often deliberately provocative portrayal of homosexuality and criminality.
12-19-1883 – 05-31-1968 Abel Bonnard – Born in Poitiers, France. He was a French poet, novelist, and politician. Politically, a follower of Charles Maurras, his views evolved towards fascism in the 1930s. He collaborated with Germany in WWII and was one of the ministers of National Education under the Vichy regime (1942-44). He was condemned in absentia to death for wartime activities. However, Francisco Franco granted him political asylum in Spain. He was nicknamed la Gestapette — tapette meaning gay by the political satirist Jean Galtier-Boissière.