07-21-1899 – 04-27-1932 Hart Crane – Born in Garrettsville, Ohio. He was an American poet. Hailed by playwrights, poets, and literary critics (including Robert Lowell, Derek Walcott, Tennessee Williams, and Harold Bloom) as being one of the most influential poets of his generation. As a boy, he had a sexual relationship with a man. He associated his sexuality with his vocation as a poet. He never ceased to view himself as a social pariah. However, his poems such as Repose of Rivers makes it clear, he felt that this sense of alienation was necessary in order for him to attain the visionary insight that formed the basis for his poetic work. He had a problem with alcohol and depression. While onboard the steamship Orizaba en route to New York, he was beaten after making sexual advances to a male crew member. Just before noon on April 27, 1932, Crane jumped overboard into the Gulf of Mexico. Although he didn’t leave a suicide note, other passengers heard him exclaim, “Goodbye, everybody!” before he jumped. His body was never recovered.
07-21-1966 Sarah Waters – Born in Neyland, Pembrokeshire, Wales. She is a Welsh novelist. She is best known for her novels set in Victorian society and featuring lesbian protagonists, such as Tipping the Velvet and Fingersmith. With the exception of The Little Stranger, all her books contain lesbian themes, and she doesn’t mind being labeled a lesbian writer. Her latest novel, The Paying Guests, was published in 2014.
07-21-1955 Boris Dittrich – Born in Utrecht, Netherlands. He is a former Dutch politician, writer, and human rights activist. Dittrich was the first openly gay member of parliament who focused on LGBT rights. He embarked on a long campaign, which ended in 2001 with the introduction of same-sex marriage. The Netherlands became the first country in the world to introduce marriage equality. In 2013 Dittrich moved from New York to Berlin, Germany where he continues to work as advocacy director of the LGBT Right Program at Human Rights Watch. He remains a global advocate, with a special focus on Russia and Eastern Europe.