07-01-1961 – 08-31-1997 Diana, Princess of Wales – Born in Sandringham, Norfolk, England. Diana was born into British nobility. Her engagement to Prince Charles in 1981 brought her into prominence. The royal couple had two sons and the marriage ended in divorce in 1996. The day after her divorce, she announced resignation from over 100 charities and retained patronages of only six, which included the National AIDS Trust. The Princess began her work with AIDS victims in the 1980s. Diana was the first British royal figure to make contact with AIDS patients. In 1987, she held hands with an AIDS patient in one of her early efforts to de-stigmatize the disease. It was in April 1987, she was responsible for opening Britain’s first-ever AIDS ward at London Middlesex Hospital. In 1989, she opened the Landmark Aids Centre in South London. In October 1990, Diana opened Grandma’s House, a home for young AIDS victims in Washington, D.C. She later established and led fundraising campaigns for AIDS research. Two of her closes friends were LGBT icons Gianni Versace and Elton John. Howard Berman, a Boston rabbi, and gay-rights activist said in an interview with the BBC, “Gay people particularly felt more and more protective (of her) — more and more wanting to be her champion, the way she was ours.” On August 31, 1997, the People’s Princess died in a car crash in Paris while the driver was fleeing the paparazzi.
07-01-1951 Fred Schneider – Born in Newark, New Jersey. He is an American vocalist, best known as the frontman of the rock band the B-52’s. He was a founding member. Schneider discussed his experience of coming out to his mother with Howard Stern on Stern’s radio broadcast on February 22, 2010. He said he came out of the closet while she was vacuuming. His mother replied with “Oh I know, Freddie” and continued vacuuming without missing a beat. Schneider said his reaction was: “It’s like, wee, OK. I guess I’ll go back outside and smoke some pot.” He is a lifelong vegetarian, and he appeared in a PETA ad campaign discouraging people from eating lobsters.
07-01-1925 – 03-27-2011 Farley Granger – Born in San Jose, California. He was an American actor, best known for his two roles in Alfred Hitchcock’s films, Rope (1948) and Strangers on a Train (1951). He also appeared on stage and television. While in the Navy during WWII, he became aware that he was attracted to both men and women. It was while he was stationed in Honolulu that Granger had his first sexual experiences, one with a woman and the other with a Naval officer, both on the same night. In his memoir, he stated, “I finally came to the conclusion that for me, everything I had done that night was as natural and as good as it felt…I never have felt the need to belong to any exclusive, self-defining, or special group…I was never ashamed, and I never felt the need to explain or apologize for my relationships to anyone…I have loved men. I have loved women. He had a long affair with Shelly Winters. From 1959 to 2008, he was with Robert Calhoun. (Robert Calhoun died in 2008.)
07-01-1913 – 04-04-1995 Jo Sinclair (b. Ruth Seid) – Born in Brooklyn, New York. She was an American lesbian novelist. Publishing only four novels in her career, she was much more at home with the short story, many of which have appeared in anthologies. She also produced a volume of memoirs. Many of Sinclair’s works explore the difficulties of being Jewish and she often used that knowledge of antisemitism as a touchstone for examining other prejudices. Considered her best work, The Changelings (1955) compares the history of Jewish oppression with the history of slavery and contemporary discrimination against African-Americas in the United States. Her work also explored family relations, repression of women’s sexual energy, and sexual orientation. She died of cancer on July 4th, 1995. She was survived by her partner Joan Soffer.
07-01-1949 – 07-17-1996 David Hogan – Born in Nokesville, Virginia. He was an American composer and musical director of CIGAP (Le Choeur Int’l Gai de Paris), a choir composed of openly gay men. During his career, Hogan had been a tenor soloist with the Washington National Cathedral (Episcopal) in Washington, D.C. Hogan was killed when TWA Flight 800 exploded off the coast of Long Island, killing all 230 passengers and crew on board.
07-01-1976 Haaz Sleiman – Born in Beirut, Lebanon. He is a Lebanese-American television and film actor. He co-starred as Tarek, an undocumented Syrian immigrant in the 2007 independent film The Visitor, directed by Tom McCarthy. The film was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award and an Academy Award. Sleiman played gay nurse Mohammed “Mo-Mo” De La Cruz in the first season of Showtime’s series Nurse Jackie, which premiered in June 2009. On August 22, 2017, Sleiman came out as gay via a Facebook video.
07-01-1980 Fortune Feimster – Born in Belmont, North Carolina. She is a lesbian comedian, writer, and actress. Fortune was a full-time writer and performer on E!’s popular late night talk show Chelsea Lately with Chelsea Handler.
07-01-1981 Orlando Cruz – Born in Yabucoa, Puerto Rico. He is a professional boxer. As an amateur, Cruz represented Puerto Rico at the 2000 Olympic Games in Australia. He made his professional debut on December 15, 2000. He was undefeated until 2009. Cruz is ranked number 4 among featherweights by the World of Boxing Organization. On October 4, 2012, he became the first boxer to come out as gay while still active professionally, stating that “I have and will always be a proud Puerto Rican. I have always been and always be a proud gay man”. He was among the first class of inductees into the National Gay and Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame on August 2, 2013.