07-10-1640 – 04-16-1689 Aphra Behn – Born in Canterbury, United Kingdom. She was a British playwright, poet, translator, and fiction writer. Behn was one of the first women to earn her living writing. She broke cultural barriers and served as a literary role model for generations of women authors. Homoeroticism is often found in Behn’s verse, including male to male relationships or in portrayals of her own attractions to women. Behn was married and widowed early, and as a mature woman, her primary publicly acknowledged relationship was with John Hoyle, who was gay. She is famously remembered in Virginia Woolf’s, A Room of One’s Own: “All women together ought to let flowers fall upon the tomb of Aphra Behn which is, most scandalously but rather appropriately Westminster Abbey, for it was she who earned them the right to speak their minds.”
07-10-1871 – 11-18-1922 Marcel Proust – Born in Auteuil, France. Proust was a novelist, essayist, and critic. He was a closeted homosexual. He was one of the first European novelists to mention homosexuality openly and at length. In Search of Lost Time, he discusses homosexuality and features several principal characters, both males and females, that are either homosexual or bisexual.
07-10-1931 – 12-26-2019 Jerry Herman – Born in Manhattan and raised in Jersey City, New Jersey by middle-class Jewish parents. At the age of seventeen, he was introduced to songwriter Frank Loesser, who urged him to continue composing. Herman is best remembered for the musicals Hello Dolly, Mame, and La Cage aux Folles. He is the only composer/lyricist to have had three original productions open on Broadway at the same time. In 1982 he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. In 1985 Herman was diagnosed HIV-positive. His life-partner at the time, Martin Finkelstein, died of AIDS in 1990. In 1996, Herman’s memoir, Showtune, was published. Herman was openly gay and at the time of his death was with real estate broker, Terry Marler.
07-10-1954 Neil Tennant – Born in North Shields, Northumberland, England. He is an English musician, singer, songwriter, journalist, and co-founder of the duo Pet Shop Boys. In the 80s, he wrote for the magazine Smash Hits and was an assistant editor for a while. Tennant has been openly gay since 1994, coming out publicly in an interview with Attitude magazine. He is also a patron of the Elton John AIDS Foundation. (2013 photo by Henry Laurisch – Berlin)
07-10-1965 Dominic Hannigan – Born in Drogheda, County Louth, Ireland. He is an Irish politician. Hannigan was Senator from July 2007 to February 2011. In the 2011 general election, he topped the poll in Meath East. In doing so he became one of the first of two openly gay people to be elected to Dáil Éireann (the lower house and principal chamber of the Irish legislature). In January 2012, Hannigan was elected Chairman of the Joint Committee on EU Affairs. Hannigan also became the first member of the Irish legislature to enter a same-sex marriage, although he had to travel to London to do it. He married his partner of over two decades on New Year’s Eve, 2014.
07-10-1991 Angel Haze – Born Raykeea Raeen-Roes Wilson in Detroit, Michigan. Her father was African-American, her mother is a Native American Cherokee. She is an American rapper and singer. She raps homophobia, rape culture, and racism. Wilson is pansexual and genderqueer. In a 2016 interview with BuzzFeed, she stated, “I sound like four people when I get written about as ‘they’. It drives me crazy. If you call me ‘him’ or ‘her’ it doesn’t matter to me. I don’t consider myself of any sex. I consider myself an experience.” Wilson is self-taught in Cherokee language and celebrates her multiracial heritage. In 2014, she was in a relationship with Ireland Baldwin. They broke up a year later.
07-10-1965 Alec Mapa – Born in San Francisco, California. He is an American-Filipino actor, comedian, and writer. His first professional break was when he was cast for the role of Song Liling in the Broadway production on M. Butterfly. He later gained notoriety for the roles of Adam Benet in Half & Half and Suzuki St. Pierre in Ugly Betty. Mapa is also known for his recurring role as Vern in Desperate Housewives. He is openly gay and lends his support to various projects supporting the LGBT and Asian American communities. In 2008, he married Jamison Hebert. They had been dating since 2002.
07-10-1969 Alexandra Hedison – Born in Los Angeles, California, She is an American photographer, director, and actress. She has appeared on television, including Showtime’s The L Word (she was the character, Dylan Moreland). Her photographs are represented in public and private collections worldwide. She has had solo and group exhibitions in galleries and museums throughout the US and Europe. Hedison was in a relationship with Ellen DeGeneres from 2001 to 2004. In April 2014, she married actress Jodie Foster.