07-12-1866 – 01-29-1929 La Goulue (b. Louise Weber) – Born into a Jewish family from Alsace, France. The family moved near Paris, where her mother worked in a laundry. Weber loved to dance as a young girl. At the age of 16, she would “borrow” a customer’s dress and sneak off to the dance halls. Dancing at small clubs around Paris, Weber became a popular personality, liked for both her dancing skills, charm, and audacious behavior. Because of her habit of picking up a customer’s glass and quickly downing the contents while dancing past his table, she was affectionately nicknamed La Goulue (The Glutton). Weber became the dance partner of Valentin le Désossé, a wine merchant who danced in his spare time. When the Moulin Rouge opened in Montmartre they performed the cancan. Weber stole the show and was booked as a permanent headliner. She was the highest-paid entertainer of her day and one of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec’s favorite subjects. Her lover was La Môme Fromage (The Cheesy Girl), another famous cancan dancer at the Moulin Rouge. In 1895, she left the Moulin Rouge and invested in a show of her own, which failed. Weber became depressed and drank heavily. In 1928, alcoholic and destitute, she ending up selling peanuts, cigarettes, and matches near the Moulin Rouge. Few recognized the severely overweight and haggard former Queen of Montmartre. She died a year later.
07-12-1934 – 02-27-2013 Van Cliburn (Harvey Lavan “Van” Cliburn Jr.) Born in Shreveport, Louisiana. He was an American pianist who achieved worldwide recognition in 1958, at the age of 23, when he won the International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in Moscow at the height of the Cold War. Van Cliburn toured domestically and overseas. He played for royalty, heads of state, and every U.S. president from Harry S. Truman to Barack Obama. In 1998, Cliburn was named in a lawsuit by his domestic partner of seventeen years, mortician Thomas Zaremba. Zaremba claimed entitlement to a portion of Cliburn’s income. The lawsuit was rejected because palimony suits are not permitted in Texas unless the relationship is based on a written agreement. On August 27, 2012, Cliburn’s publicist announced that the pianist had advanced bone cancer. Cliburn died in 2013. His obituary lists as his only survivor his “friend of long-standing,” Thomas J. Smith. It was well known in the music world that Van Cliburn was gay.
07-12-1918 Doris Grumbach – Born in New York City, New York. She is an American novelist, biographer, literary critic, and essayist. She taught at the College of Saint Rose in Albany, New York. In 1971, after raising her children, Grumbach left her husband. In 1972, she divorced her husband and began a relationship with Sybil Pike, who became and remains her life partner. Among the books she has written is The Ladies, published in 1984. It’s the true story of Eleanor Butler and Sarah Ponsonby, who defied all conventions of their eighteenth-century Irish homeland and eloped to Llangollen, Wales, where they lived as a married couple. Grumbach was also the literary editor of The New Republic for several years. She taught creative writing at the Writer’s Workshop at the University of Iowa. Since 1985, she and her partner, Sybil Pike, own and operate their bookstore, Wayward Books, in Sargentville, Maine. In 2009, they sold their house and bookstore and moved to a Quaker retirement community in Pennsylvania. Grumbach continues to write, contributing pieces of memoir and articles on old age to the American Scholar. She turned 100 years old.
07-12-1948 Richard Simmons – Born in New Orleans, Louisiana. He is an American fitness personality and actor. Simmons is well known for his weight-loss aerobic videos Sweatin’ to the Oldies and for his eccentric, flamboyant, and energetic personality. Simmons had a four-year period playing himself on the American soap opera General Hospital. He had his own television show, The Richard Simmons Show, which he focused on personal health, fitness, exercise, and healthy cooking. He has never publicly discussed his sexuality. It is accepted that he is gay.
07-12-1970 Jaason Simmons – Born in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. He is an Australian actor best known for the role of Logan Fowler on the TV series Baywatch. He came out in March 2008 issue of Australian New Idea magazine with his fiancé, Irish actor John O’Callaghan.
07-12-1978 Michelle Rodriquez – Born in San Antonio, Texas. She is an American actress, screenwriter, and disc jockey. She is known for her role as Letty Ortiz in the blockbuster film The Fast & Furious (2001), reprising her role in its sequels Fast & Furious (2009), Fast & Furious 6 (2013), and Furious 7 (2015). In October 2013, she came out as bisexual during an interview with Entertainment Weekly.
07-12-1975 Cheyenne Jackson – Born in Spokane, Washington. He is an American actor and singer-songwriter. His credits include leading roles in Broadway musicals and other stage roles, as well as film and television roles, concert singing, and music recordings. He appeared in the 2006 Academy Award-nominated film United 93, in which he portrayed Mark Bingham. In concert, Jackson has sold out Carnegie Hall twice. Jackson is an LGBT rights supporter. He is an international ambassador for amfAR (The Foundation for AIDS Research) and is also a national ambassador and spokesperson for the Hetrick-Martin Institute, a non-profit organization devoted to serving the needs of LGBT youth. In October 2013, Jackson announced he was dating actor Jason Landau. They were married in September 2014.
07-12-1976 Kyrsten Sineman – Born in Tucson, Arizona. She is an American Democratic politician and a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Arizona’s 9th district. She is openly bisexual.