01-25-1882 – 03-28-1941 Virginia Woolf (born Adeline Virginia Stephen) – Born in Kensington, London, England. She was an English writer and one of the foremost modernist of the twentieth century. Between WWI and WWII, she was a significant figure in London literary society and a central figure in the influential Bloomsbury Group of intellectuals. Her most famous works include Mrs. Dalloway (1925), To the Lighthouse (1927), and Orlando (1928). Also, a book-length essay, A Room of One’s Own (1929), with its famous dictum, “A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.” In 1912 she married the writer Leonard Woolf. The couple shared a close bond and also collaborated professionally, and in 1917 founded the Hogarth Press, which published her work, along with works by T.S. Eliot, Laurens van der Post, and others. In 1922 she met the writer and gardener Vita Sackville-West. They began to have a sexual relationship that continued into the early 1930s. After their affair ended, the women remained friends until Woolf’s death. Woolf suffered from severe bouts of mental illness throughout her life, thought to have been the result of what is now termed bipolar disorder, and committed suicide by drowning in 1941 at the age of 59.
01-25-1874 – 12-16-1965 Somerset Maugham – Born in Paris, France. He was born at the British embassy in France, where his father handled the legal affairs of the embassy. Maugham was an English playwright, novelist, and short story writer. He was among the most popular writers of his era and reputedly the highest paid author during the 1930s. At sixteen, Maugham’s uncle allowed him to travel to Germany, where he studied literature, philosophy, and German at Heidelberg University. During his year in Heidelberg, he met and had a sexual affair with John Ellingham Brooks, an Englishman ten years his senior. By 1914, Maugham was famous, with 10 plays produced and 10 novels published. During this time, he met Frederick Gerald Haxton, a young San Franciscan, who became his companion and lover until Haxton’s death in 1944. Of Human Bondage (1915) initially was criticized in both England and the United States. It was the influential American novelist and critic Theodore Dreiser that rescued the novel, referring to it as a work of genius. His review gave the book a lift, and it’s never been out of print since. Although homosexual, Maugham married Syrie Wellcome in May, 1917. They had a daughter. The marriage was unhappy, and she divorced him in 1929, finding the relationship and travels with Haxton too difficult to live with. During WWII, Maugham lived in the United States. After Gerald Haxton died in 1944, he returned to England. In 1946 he returned to his villa in France, where he lived until his death.
01-25-1952 Peter Tatchell – Born in Melbourne, Australia. To avoid conscription into the Australian Army, he moved to London in 1971. He had accepted being gay in 1969, and in London became a leading member of the Gay Liberation Front. Tatchell helped to organize Britain’s first Gay Pride march in 1972. In 2017 he praised the Church of England’s new ‘Valuing all God’s Children’ scheme for schools, which seeks to stop homophobic and transphobic bullying. On September 21, 2012, he was awarded a Lifetime Achievement award at the UK’s first National Diversity Awards. Tatchell was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Laws by De Montfort University in January 2014.
01-25-1931 – 06-09-1971 Harold Lloyd Jr. – Born in Beverly Hills, California. He was an American actor and singer, and the only son of silent film comedian Harold Lloyd and actress Mildred Davis. Lloyd Jr. was an alcoholic and gay at a time when it was not socially acceptable. Author Tom Dardis wrote that Lloyd Sr. was understanding about his son’s sexuality. Lloyd Jr. lived in Palm Springs, California, and was friends with Tab Hunter. In 1965 he suffered a massive stroke from which he never fully recovered. He died on June 9, 1971 at the age of 40, three months after the death of his father.
01-25-1914 – 01-10-1987 Ian Harvey – Born in Surrey, United Kingdom. He was an English businessman and politician, serving as a Conservative Member of Parliament and junior Minister until his resignation in 1958. In 1949, he married Clare Mayhew. The couple had two daughters. In November 1958, Harvey and a Guardsman from the Coldstream Guards were found in the bushes in St. James’s Park and arrested; Harvey tried to escape, and attempted to give a false name on arrest. Both were charged with gross indecency and breach of the park regulations; when tried on December 10, the indecency charge was dropped and both were fined 5 pounds. Harvey subsequently resigned his ministerial post and seat; he paid the guardsman’s fine as well as his own.
01-25-1949 Maaike Meijer (b. Maria Johanna Helena Meijer) – Born in Eindhoven, Netherlands. She is a professor at Maastricht University and works at the Center for Gender and Diversity. In 1972, Meijer was one of the founders of the lesbian feminist action group Purple September. In 1979 she edited the Lesbian Beautiful Book. Meijer was also a columnist for the lesbian magazine Diva and was one of the first editors of the lesbian magazine Lust en Grati.