12-22-1881 – 08-1972 Edith Lewis – Lincoln, Nebraska. She was a magazine editor at McClure’s Magazine, the managing editor of Every Week Magazine, and an advertising copywriter at J. Walter Thomspon Company. Lewis graduated from Smith College in 1902. After graduation, she returned to Lincoln, Nebraska to teach. While in Lincoln, she met Willa Cather. She and Cather became lovers and lived in New York City together for almost 40 years. They also shared a summer cottage on the island of Grand Manan in New Brunswick, Canada. Lewis had a significant impact upon Willa Cather’s creative process. Lewis is buried beside Willa Cather in Jaffrey, New Hampshire. (Photo Edith Lewis, left, with Willa Cather in Jaffrey, New Hampshire, 1926 – from Special Collections, University of New Brunswick)
12-22-1960 – 08-12-1988 Jean-Michel Basquiat – Born in Brooklyn, New York City, New York. He was an African-American artist, musician, and producer. His Neo-expressionist and Primitivist paintings were exhibited internationally in the 1980s. In 1992, the Whitney Museum of American Art held a retrospective of his art. In 1984 and 1985 he collaborated with Andy Warhol. He was known to be bisexual. His first sexual encounters were gay, and as a teenager he often worked as a gay street hustler. He died of a heroin overdose at the age of 27.
12-22-1897 – 05-05-1988 Katharine Du Pre Lumpkin – Born in Macon, Georgia. She was born to a prominent Georgia family and as the daughter of a Confederate veteran, she was raised in the cultural mythologies of the “Lost Cause” and white supremacy. Lumpkin was a sociologist, teacher, and writer. Her autobiography, The Making of a Southerner (1947), is what she is best remembered for. She spent a her life studying and combating economic and racial oppression. According to author Jonathan Gould in his book, Otis Redding: An Unfinished Life, she was a closeted lesbian.
12-22-1900 – 11-03-1973 Marc Allégret – Born in Basel, Basel-Stadt, Switzerland. He was a French screenwriter, film director, and lover of French writer and Nobel Prize winner, Andre Gide. After filming a 1927 trip to the Congo with Glide, he chose to pursue a career in the motion picture industry. His relationship with Glide ended after that trip, although they remained close friends until Glide’s death in 1951. He is noted for discovering new talent including: Jean-Paul Belmondo, Louis Jourdan, and Roger Vadim, who became his directing assistant. Allegret wrote numerous scripts and directed more than fifty films.
12-22-1943 David Parks – Born in Boston, Massachusetts. He is an American politician. A Democrat, he is a member of the Nevada Senate. Parks was elected to the State Senate in November 2008. Prior to 2008, he had served in the Nevada Assembly since 1996. He was the first openly gay member of the Nevada Legislature. He served in the Air Force between 1967 and 1971.
12-22-1946 – 12-13-1986 Kuwasi Balagoon (born Donald Weems) – Born in the United States, place unknown. He was a Black Panther and a member of the Black Liberation Army. Arrested and convicted of various crimes, he spent most of his life in prison. He authored several texts while in prison, writings that have become influential among black and other anarchists . He was bisexual. He died in prison of an AIDS-related illness.
12-22-1947 Margaret L. McIntosh – Born in Quinter, Kansas. She is an American politician from the state of Maryland. She has been a member of the House of Delegates since November 1992. McIntosh is the only woman to serve as Maryland’s House Majority Leader. She is also the first gay person to serve in the Maryland General Assembly. McIntosh was also co-sponsor of Marriage Equality legislation.
12-22-1992 Mélanie Henique – Born in Amiens, France. She is a French swimmer who won a bronze medal in the 50 meter butterfly at the 2011 World Championships in Shanghai. In 2015, being openly lesbian, she was a victim of a homophobic attack in Amiens, suffering from a broken nose and forcing her to withdraw from the French Swimming Open. In 2016 she was one of 49 out LGBT athletes to participate in the 2016 Summer Olympics at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.