07-15-1953 Alicia Bridges – Born in Lawndale, North Carolina. She is an American singer. Co-wrote and performed her international hit I Love the Nightlife in 1978. Bridges is openly lesbian. She stated that as a teenager, she realized she was “different from the rest,” as discussed during a 1998 interview for The Advocate. In 2009 Bridges was inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame.
07-15-1890 – 01-21-1972 Florence Yoch – Born in Santa Ana, California. She was an American landscape architect in California. After graduating from college in 1915, she set up her business in Orange County and Pasadena. In 1921, she hired Lucile Council to work as her apprentice. The two women fell in love and became partners in work and in life. Her career included commissions for private residential clients, such as Jack Warner, George Cukor, and David O. Selznick, public parks, and film sets for Hollywood movies, including the grounds for Tara in Gone With the Wind. In 1960, Yoch and Council moved to the Monterey Peninsula. They focused on smaller commissions, creating personal gardens for clients in Carmel and Monterey. Yoch continued to work after Council’s death in 1964. In 1971 she wrote, “I am having fun this year doing the garden for the oldest wooden house in Monterey. A few days before her death in 1972, Yoch was at the garden she had designed for the Florence Doud House overlooking Monterey Bay, raking and planting, making sure everything was right. Her papers and sketchbooks are housed at the Huntington Library, San Marino, California.
The top photo is of Florence Yoch 1915 – the bottom photo is of Florence Yoch & Lucile Council, courtesy of James & Nancy Yoch, Huntington Library, San Marino, California
07-15-1894 – 01-15-1978 Thérèse Bonney – Born in Syracuse, New York. She was an American photographer and publicist. Bonney is best known for her photos taken during WWII on the Russian-Finnish front. It earned her the Croix de Guerre in May 1941. Her books depicting the war include: War Comes to the People and Europes’ Children. Bonney engaged in “truth raids” in order to bring greater visibility to the world about the horrors of war. She was twice decorated for military honor and was the official photographer for the French Military. It is unknown if she was a lesbian, but she was friendly with other known lesbians. Bonney never married and was extremely private about her love life, which was common for LGBT people during the time she lived. She died in Paris, France in 1978.
07-15-1919 – 02-08-1999 Dame Iris Murdoch – Born in Dublin, Ireland. She was an Irish author and philosopher, best known for her novels about good and evil, sexual relationships, morality, and the power of the unconscious. Her first novel, Under the Net, was selected in 1998 as one of Modern Library’s 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century. She married in 1956. The marriage lasted more than 40 years, even though her husband knew that she had “multiple affairs with both men and women, which on occasions he witnessed for himself.” She was made Dame in 1987. Murdoch was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 1997 and died in 1999 at Oxford.
07-15-1949 Peter Murphy – Born in Washington, D.C. He is an American politician and member of the Democratic Party. He was one of eight out LGBT members of the Maryland General Assembly. In 2014, he was elected President of the Charles County Board of Commissioners.
07-15-1961 David Cicilline – Born in Providence, Rhode Island. He is the first openly gay mayor of a U.S. State Capital – Providence, Rhode Island. He served in that position form 2003 to 2011. Before he became mayor, he had been elected in 2010 as a U.S. Representative for Rhode Island’s 1st congressional district.
07-15-1991 Zach Wahls – Born in Marshfield, Wisconsin. He was raised by two moms. On January 31, 2011, Wahls addressed the Iowa House Judiciary Committee in a public hearing on a proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage in Iowa. A video of his testimony posted on YouTube went viral. He is an advocate for LGBT rights, and co-founder of Scouts for Equality. Wahls is an Eagle Scout.