February 22nd People

February 22nd

02-22-1892 – 10-19-1950 Edna St. Vincent Millay – Born in Rockland, Maine. She was an American lyrical poet and playwright. Her collection A Few Figs from Thistles (1920) attracted a lot of attention for its portrayal of female sexuality and feminism. She received the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1923, she was the third women to do so. She was also known for her feminist activism and her many love affairs with both men and women. She was openly bisexual. After Millay’s death, her sister Norma took over her house and in 1973 established the house and grounds as the Millay Colony for the Arts.

02-22-1917 – 05-04-1973 Jane Auer Bowles – Born in New York City, New York. She was an American writer and playwright. In 1938 she married composer and writer, Paul Bowles. Their marriage was a sexual one for about a year and a half. After that, she and her husband were platonic companions. They were both bisexual and preferred to have sex outside their marriage. They were unashamed of their bisexuality and marriage allowed them to express it. Her novel, Two Serious Ladies, was published in 1943. In 1948, the couple lived in Tangier, Morocco. While in Morocco, Jane had an intense and complicated relationship with a Moroccan woman. She also had a relationship with torch singer Libby Holman. Jane wrote the play In the Summer House, which was performed on Broadway in 1953 to mixed reviews. Tennessee Williams, Truman Capote, and John Ashbery all highly praised her work.

02-22-1937 – 04-29-2011 Joanna Russ – Born in The Bronx, New York City, New York. She was an American writer, academic, and feminist. Russ is the author of a number of works of science fiction, fantasy and feminist literary criticism, including How to Suppress Women’s Writing. She is best known for The Female Man. After teaching at several universities, including Cornell, she became a full professor at the University of Washington. Her work is used in courses on science fiction and feminism throughout the English speaking world. Russ was named to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame in 2013. She was openly lesbian.

02-22-1940 – 07-18-2016 Billy Name (b. William George Linich) – Born in Poughkeepsie, New York. He was an American photographer, filmmaker, and lighting designer. Because of his affair and then friendship with Andy Warhol, he became the archivist of Warhol’s New York studio, The Factory, from 1964 to 1970. Name was also responsible for “silverizing” Warhol’s New York studio. In 2001, the United States Postal Service used one of Name’s portraits of Warhol for its commemorative stamp of the artist. His photographs are important for documenting the pop art era.

02-22-1944 Felice Picano – Born in New York City, New York. He is an American writer, publisher, and critic who has encouraged the development of gay literature in the United States. In his memoir Men Who Loved Me, he writes about his close friendship with poet W.H. Auden. His later memoir, Art & Sex in Greenwich Village, he wrote about his contacts with Gore Vidal, James Purdy, Charles Henri Ford, Edward Gorey, Robert Mapplethorpe, and many other authors. His publishing company has introduced many other authors, including Dennis Cooper, Harvey Fierstein, and Jane Chambers. Several of his novels have been national and international best-sellers and have been translated into fifteen languages. Picano now lives in West Hollywood, California. In 2010, he received the Lambda Literary Foundation’s Pioneer Award and in 2013, the City of West Hollywood’s Rainbow Award and Citation.

02-22-1947 Karla Jay – Born in Brooklyn, New York. She is a distinguished retired professor at Pace University, where she taught English and directed the women’s and gender studies program between 1974 and 2009. She is a pioneer in the field of lesbian and gay studies and is widely published. Jay was a founding member of the Gay Liberation Front. She was also a member of the Lavender Menace—a group of women who were responding to a lack of lesbian presence in the women’s movement. They spoke out on May 1, 1970, at the Second Congress to Unite Women. This event was a huge turning point for lesbian feminism.

02-22-1966 Brian Greig – Born in Fremantle, Australia. He was an Australian politician, member of the Australian Senate from July 1, 1999 to June 30, 2005 representing the state of Western Australia. He began to get involved in gay rights activism during the 1990s, and helped establish an Australian Council for Lesbian and Gay Rights. On June 13, 2011, Greig was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for service to the community as a social justice advocate for the gay and lesbian community.

02-22-1975 Drew Barrymore – Born in Culver City, California. She is an American actress, film director, producer, model, and author. She came out as bisexual in an interview with Contact Music in 2003 and has always considered herself to be bisexual. Barrymore was named Ambassador Against Hunger for the UN World Food Programme. She has donated over $1 million dollars to the program. In 2010, she was awarded the Screen Actors Guild Award and the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Miniseries or Television Film for her portrayal of Little Edie in Grey Gardens.

02-22-1981 Dan Choi – Born in Orange County, California. He is a former American infantry officer in the U.S. Army who served in combat in the Iraq war during 2006-2007. He became an LGBT rights activist following his coming out on The Rachel Maddow Show in March 2009 and publicly challenged America’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.

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