12-29-1914 – 01-21-1989 Billy Tipton (Born Dorothy Lucille Tipton) – Born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Transgender pioneer. He was an American jazz musician, saxophone, and piano player. Tipton was also a bandleader in the 1940s and 1950s. It was when he began a more serious music career that he adopted his father’s nickname, Billy, and more actively worked to pass as male by binding his breasts and padding his pants. At first, Tipton only dressed as male when performing, but by 1940, was living as a man in private life as well. Tipton was never formally married but several women had drivers’ licenses identifying them as Mrs. Tipton. It was only after his death that it was discovered that he was born biologically female.
12-29-1898 – 06-08-1986 Elsa Gidlow – Born in Kingston upon Hull, United Kingdom. She was a British-born, Canadian-American poet, freelance journalist, and philosopher. Gidlow is best known for writing On A Grey Thread (1923), possibly the first volume of openly lesbian love poetry published in North America. In the 1950s, she helped found Druid Heights, a bohemian community in Marin County, California. While living there, she socialized with many famous artists, radical thinkers, mystics, and political activists, including, Dizzy Gillespie, Neil Young, Tom Robbins, Margo St. James, Alan Ginsberg, Baba Ram Dass, Robert Shapiro, Maude Oaks, Sara Bard Fields, and Maya Angelou. She was the author of thirteen books and appeared as herself in the documentary film, Word Is Out: Stories of Some of Our Lives (1977). Completed just before her death, her book Elsa, I Come with My Songs (1986), became the first published lesbian autobiography where the author didn’t use a pseudonym. It gives a personal and detailed account of her life seeking, finding, and creating a life with other lesbians at a time when little was recorded on the topic.
12-29-1966 Jason Gould – Born in New York City, New York. He is an American actor, writer, director, producer, and singer. He is the son of singer/actress Barbara Streisand and actor Elliott Gould. Since appearing in the film Prince of Tides (1991), he has rarely appeared in front of the camera. He wrote, produced, and directed the short comedy film Inside Out (1997). His short film was later combined with other features for the compilation film Boys Life 3 (2000). In recent years Gould has started singing and has released two EPs. He has performed with his mother during her 2012 North American/Canada tour and also during her 2013 European tour. Around 1988, he came out to his parents that he was gay. The tabloids outed him around 1991. In an interview with The Advocate published August 17, 1999, Streisand said: “I would never wish for my son to be anything but what he is. He is bright, kind, sensitive, caring, and a very conscientious and good person. He is a very gifted actor and filmmaker. What more could a parent ask for in their child? I have been truly blessed. Most parents feel that their child is particularly special, and I am no different. I have a wonderful son. My only wish for my son, Jason, is that he continues to experience a rich life of love, happiness, joy, and fulfillment, both creatively and personally.”
12-29-1967 Lilly Wachowski (formerly Andy Wachowski) – American film director, screenwriter, and producer. She is the sister of Lana Wachowski. They are both openly transgender women. The pair made their directing debut in 1996 with Bound. Their second film was The Matrix, which won the Saturn Award for Best Director. They wrote and directed its two sequels: The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions (both in 2003). In 2016, in response to repeated threats of being outed by the press, Lilly came out as a transgender woman.