01-28-1873 – 08-03-1954 Colette (Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette) – She was a French novelist nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948. Her best known work is the novella Gigi (1944). In 1949, it was made into a French film, then in 1951 adapted for the stage with the then unknown Audrey Hepburn in the title role, picked by Colette personally. In 1958, the Hollywood musical starring Leslie Caron and Louis Jourdan, with a screenplay by Alan Jay Lerner won the Academy Award for Best Picture. Colette was also a mime, an actress, and a journalist. She was married several times and had a series of relationships with women, notably with Mathilde de Morny, Marquise de Belief (Missy), with whom she sometimes shared the stage. On January 3, 1907, an onstage kiss between Missy and Colette caused a near-riot, and as a result they were no longer able to live together openly, although their relationship continued for another five years. When Colette died, she became the first French woman to be given a state funeral.
01-28-1901 – 03-05-1989 Richmond Barthé – Born in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. He was an African-American LGBT pioneer, sculptor, and key figure in the Harlem Renaissance in the 1930s. Because he was a gay man who expressed his orientation in his work, he fell into obscurity by the 1940s. Much of his art depicted African-American men in sensual poses, often nude. Today his work doesn’t seem that confrontational, but in a racist, sexually uptight America in the middle of the last century, it is remarkable that his work received the acclaim that it did. In 1935, his work was included in an exhibit of African-American art at the New York Museum of Modern Art. In 1975, he moved to Pasadena, California, and a year later curators at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art included his work. The attention to his work, the growing respect of a younger audience to artists of the Harlem Renaissance, and the support of his friends brought stability into his life. He lived out his later years as a treasured part of the art community.
01-28-1952 — 03-10-2015 Richard Glatzer – Born in Flushing, Queens. He grew up in Westbury, Long Island, and Livingston, New Jersey. Glatzer was an American writer and director. He entered the film world in the mid-1980s, working on TV shows such as Divorce Court, The Osbournes, and America’s Next Top Model. Glatzer taught screenwriting at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. He married writer and director Wash Westmoreland in September 2013. The couple were a married writing and directing team based in Los Angeles who made an eclectic set of independent movies. Their last film, Still Alice, with Julianne Moor, Alec Baldwin, and Kristen Stewart, premiered at Toronto 2014 and was considered the surprise hit of the festival. Sony Pictures Classics released the film in December 2014. In 2015, Glatzer died of complications from ALS.
01-28-1969 Mo Rocca (Maurice Alberto) – Born in Washington, D.C. He is an American actor, director, writer, journalist, comedian, and political satirist. Rocca was On Out’s 3rd Annual 100 Most Eligible Bachelors (2013) and November of the same year, Rocca came out of the closet, saying it made him finally feel “comfortable.” Speaking to The Six Pack in a podcast interview, he said, “I’m just more comfortable with myself now. It’s taken me until 42 to begin to feel this way.” He is a CBS Sunday Morning contributor and a panelist on NPR. He’s has worked as a contributor to The Daily Show with Jon Stewart for 5 years, and also was a correspondent for The Tonight Show.
01-28-1978 Big Freedia (b. Freddie Ross Jr.) – Born in New Orleans, Louisiana. He is an American Rapper known for his work in the New Orleans genre of hip hop called bounce music. Freedia identifies himself as a gay man and has stated that he does not care which pronoun is used to refer to him. In 2011, he was named Best Emerging Artist and Best Hip-hop/Rap Artist in January’s Best of the Beat Awards and was nominated for the 2011 22nd GLAAD Media Awards. He operates an interior design in New Orleans. Freedia has stated, “I am not transgendered, I am just a gay male…I wear women’s hair and carry a purse, but I am a man.” He also stated, “I love my feminine side. She is the diva in me.”