07-28-1913 – 12-09-1944 Laird Cregar – Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was an American stage and film actor. Cregar knew gay rights activist Harry Hay in the 1930s when the actor was living with a boyfriend. “There was no attempt to hide it. He wasn’t troubled by being gay.” Cregar was in a lot of films including Charley’s Aunt (1941), I Wake Up Screaming (1941), Rings on Her Fingers (1942), and The Lodger (1944). He died of a heart attack at the age of 31. His last film, Hangover Square, was released two months after his death.
07-28-1927 – 09-03-2017 John Ashbery – Born in Rochester, New York. He is an American poet and has won nearly every major American award for poetry, including a Pulitzer Prize in 1976. One of his most notable works is Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror. Ashbery once joked, “that some critics still view him as ‘a harebrained, homegrown surrealist whose poetry defies even the rules and logic of Surrealism.'” Ashbery and his partner of more than 30 years, David Kerman (who is also his bibliographer) had homes in Hudson, near Bard, and a Manhattan apartment. Ashbery says he became aware of his sexuality when very young.
07-28-1940 Judy Grahn – Born in Chicago, Illinois. She is an American poet and author. Her work focuses on feminist and lesbian experiences. She joined the U.S. Airforce and was discharged in 1961 for being a lesbian. Grahn was a member of the Gay Women’s Liberation Group, the first lesbian-feminist collective on the West Coast, founded in 1969. The group established the first women’s bookstore, A Woman’s Place, as well as the first all-woman press. In 1997, Publishing Triangle, an association of lesbians and gay men in publishing, established the Judy Grahn Award for Lesbian Nonfiction to recognize the best nonfiction book of the year affecting lesbian lives. Grahn is also seen in the 1993 film Last Call at Maud’s. Maud’s was a San Francisco bar for women from 1966 until 1989.
07-28-1958 Sarah Schulman – Born in New York City, New York. She is an American lesbian novelist, historian, and playwright. Schulman is a Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at College of Staten Island and a Fellow at the New York Institute for the Humanities. In 1987, Schulman and filmmaker Jim Hubbard founded the New York Lesbian and Gay Experimental Film Festival, now called MIX and is now in its twenty-eighth year. She was also a member of ACT UP and was arrested when ACT UP occupied Grand Central Station protesting the First Gulf War. Schulman has received many honors and awards including a Guggenheim for Playwrighting, a Kessler Prize for Sustained Contribution to LGBT Studies, a Stonewall Award for Improving the Lives of Gays and Lesbians in the United States, and 10 Lambda Literary Award Nominations. In 2018, the Second edition of her 1994 collection My American History: Lesbian/Gay Life During the Reagan/Bush Years was published. In 2021, Let the Record Show: A Political History of the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACTUP) will be published.
07-28-1975 Imke Duplitzer – Born in Karlsruhe, Germany. She is a German épée fencer. She has competed in the Olympics, World Championships, and European Championship games. In the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens, she and the German team won the Silver Medal. She is openly lesbian.
07-28-1977 Wade Davis – Born in Little Rock, Arkansas. Davis is an American speaker, activist, writer, educator, and former American football player. He played professional football from 2000 to 2003. He retired in 2003 due to injury. In 2012, Davis came out publicly speaking about what it was like to be closeted and gay in the NFL. Davis joined the Advisory Board of You Can Play, an organization dedicated to fighting homophobia in professional sports. On August 20, 2013, he was named executive director of the organization.
07-28-1989 Susannah Townsend – Born in Blackheath, London. She is a British field hockey player. At the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, she and her team won the gold medal. Townsend was one of 49 out LGBT athletes ate the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.