February 17th People

February 17th

02-17-1905 — 08-31-1937   Ruth Baldwin (born Catherine Ruth Baldwin) – Place of birth unknown. She was an American-born English socialite, part of the Bright Young Things crowd. In the 1920s in London she was known for her use of heroin, cocaine, and alcohol. Baldwin was the first important lover of American heiress Marion Barbara  “Joe” Carstairs (b. February 1, 1900). She turned the kitchen in the house she shared with Carstairs into a bar. Carstairs friends later said, “She was wild. She was such fun. Ruth, she was really wild.” She told Carstairs, “The world is one’s oyster if taken at will.” When Carstairs purchased her first motorboat, Baldwin gave her a Steiff doll that Carstairs named Lord Tod Wadley (She kept the doll until her death). Baldwin was also involved with photographer Olivia Wyndham. Baldwin died of a suspected overdose at a Chelsea party at the home of  actress Gwen Farrar on August 31, 1937, while her friends listened to a boxing match in the next room. The London newspaper The Times announced her death and described her as having short hair and a mannish tie, alluding to the fact that she was a lesbian. The article also said she was sharing a house with Carstairs. Baldwin’s ashes were taken by Carstairs to her private island, Whale Cay in the Bahamas, where she built a church to house them. When she sold Whale Cay, she removed the ashes. When Carstairs died in Naples, Florida, in 1993, Lord Tod Wadley was cremated with her. Their ashes and those of Ruth Baldwin were buried in Oakland Cemetery in Sag Harbor, New York.

02-17-1934 – 12-27-2003 Alan Bates – Born in Allestree, Derby, United Kingdom. He was an English actor. Known for his roles in Zorba the Greek, King of Hearts, Georgy Girl, Far From the Madding Crowd, and The Fixer, which he was nominated for best actor by the Academy Awards. He also starred in Women in Love. He was married but had numerous gay relationships throughout his life, including those with actors Nickolas Grace, and Peter Wyngarde, and Olympic skater John Curry.

02-17-1942 – 08-22-1989 Huey Newton – Born in Monroe, Louisiana. He was an African-American political activist and revolutionary who, along with Bobby Seale, co-founded the Black Panther Party in 1966. Newton supported LGBT rights back in 1970. On August 15, 1970, Newton delivered a speech in New York titled A Letter to the Revolutionary Brothers and Sisters About the Women’s Liberation and the Gay Liberation Movements. His address pointed to the intersectionality of racism, sexism, and homophobia. He told the audience that may not have been totally sympathetic, that “the women’s liberation front and gay liberation front are our friends, they are our potential allies, and we need as many allies as possible.” At the time, mainstream society treated LGBT people like pariahs. But Newton urged his fellow activists to be compassionate and inclusive. He had no time for gay slurs.

02-17-1961 Angela Eagle – Born in Bridlington, United Kingdom. She is a British Labour Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament for Wallasey since 1992. She gained the distinction of becoming the British Parliament’s first openly lesbian member by coming out in September 1997 in an interview with The Observer . In September 2008, Eagle entered into a civil partnership with Maria Exall. In 2009 she was ranked in the top 50 on The Independent’s Pink List of the 101 most influential gay men and women in Britain.

02-17-1962 Cheryl Ann Jacques – Place of birth unknown. She is a Massachusetts administrative judge in the Department of Industrial Accidents, and former politician who served six terms in the Massachusetts Senate. She also worked as the president of the Human Rights Campaign for 11 months and addressed the 2004 Democratic National Convention. In 2004, Jacques married Jennifer Chrisler. They have three sons.

02-17-1972 Billie Joe Armstrong – Born in Oakland, California. He is an American rock musician and occasional actor, best known as the lead vocalist, main songwriter, and guitarist for the American punk rock band Green Day. The band’s album, Dookie (1994) broke through into the mainstream, and they had remained one of the most popular rock bands of the 1990s and 2000s with over 60 million records sold. Armstrong has identified himself as bisexual, saying in a 1995 interview with The Advocate, “I think I’ve always been bisexual.”

02-17-1979   Conrad Ricamora – Born in Santa Maria, California. He is an American actor and singer. Ricamora is best known for his portrayal of Oliver Hampton on the ABC television series How to Get Away with Murder (2014-2020). He is openly gay and was honored with the Human Rights Campaign’s Visibility Award. 

02-17-1991   Raymix (b. Edmundo Gómez Moreno) – Born in San José El Vidrio, Mexico. He is a Mexican musician and aerospace engineer. On June 5, 2020, Raymix released a video where he came out as gay, saying “Today I am freer, happier than ever because I know that I can express myself as I really am”, and added that some acquaintances advised him not to do so because they consider that people are not prepared for a gay regional or cumbia musician. In 2021, along with Paulina Rubio, Raymix was nominated for Regional Mexican Cumbia Song of the Year for Tú y Yo at the 33rd Lo Nuestro Awards.

Leave a Reply