July 31st People

July 31st

07-31-1932 – 02-18-2007 Barbara Gittings – Born in Vienna, Austria. Her father was an American diplomat. She was a prominent American activist for gay equality. She organized the New York chapter of the Daughters of Bilitis from 1958 to 1963 and edited the national DOB magazine The Ladder from 1963 to 1966. Gittings worked closely with Frank Kameny in the 1960s on the first picket lines that brought attention to the ban on employment of gay people Barbara Gittingsby the US government. In the 1970s, she became involved with the American Library Association, especially its gay caucus, the first in a professional organization, in order to promote positive literature about homosexuality in libraries. She was also part of the movement to get the American Psychiatric Association to drop homosexuality as a mental illness in 1972. Gittings was with her partner, Kay Tobin for 46 years. In 1999, she summed up her inspiration for her activism: “As a teenager, I had to struggle alone to learn about myself and what it meant to be gay. Now for 48 years, I’ve had the satisfaction of working with other gay people across the country to get the bigots off our backs, to oil the closet door hinges, to change prejudiced hearts and minds, and to show that gay love is good for us and the rest of the world too.” In 2003, the American Library Association rewarded her with its highest tribute, lifetime honorary membership. She also earned the first John E. Fryer Award from the American Psychiatric Association in 2006 with Frank Kameny. Gittings was inducted into the Legacy Walk, an outdoor public display which celebrates LGBT history and people, in 2012.

07-31-1943 Sab Shimono – Born in Sacramento, California. He is a Japanese-American character actor. His more memorable film roles include Hiroshi Kawamura in the 1990 dramaSab Shimono Come See the Paradise, the coroner in 1990s Presumed Innocent and Lord Norinaga in 1993s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III. He has also appeared in Asian American independent films. Shimono has been in a relationship with writer Steve Alden Nelson since 2001. The couple registered their domestic partnership in April 2005 and married in San Diego on June 23, 2008.

07-31-1939   Susan Flannery – Born in Jersey City, New Jersey. She is an American actress and director best known for her roles in the soap operas The Bold and the Beautiful (1966 – 1975) and Days of Our Lives (1987 – 2012). She won the Golden Glove Award for New Star of the Year for her role as Lorrie in The Towering Inferno (1974). In 2010, Flannery came in at #1 in the Top 50 Soap Actresses of All Time poll on the internet blog We Love Soaps. Flannery had an 8 year relationship with actress and author, Fannie Flagg. Gay rights activist Rita Mae Brown socialized with both women in the mid-1970s and wrote about Flannery in her 1997 memoir Rita Will.  

07-31-1944 David Norris – Born in Leopoldville, the Belgian Congo, raised by his mother in Ireland. Norris is credited with having “managed, almost single-handedly, to overthrow the anti-homosexuality law which brought about the downfall of Oscar Wilde” — a feat he achieved in 1988 after a fourteen-year campaign. Norris was the first out gay person to be elected to public office in Ireland. Until 1985, Norris was in a long-term relationship with Israeli activist Ezra Nawi. He spoke out against the Catholic Church’s stand on homosexuality, especially statements made by Pope John Paul II, saying that the pope was an “instrument for evil as far as I’m concerned because these constant, unremitting, ignorant, ill-informed attacks on the gay community have led to violence against the gay community.”

07-31-1965   Ian Roberts – Born in London, England, raised in Australia. He is an Australian former professional rugby player (1980s and 1990s), and actor. In 1995 Roberts became the first high-profile Australian athlete and first rugby footballer in the world to come out to the public as gay. Roberts stated he was a sex abuse victim and gave evidence to the State Coroner of New South Wales in regard to the murder of Arron Light, a street prostitute, who was going to give evidence against a pedophile syndicate. Light disappeared in 1997. His remains where found in 2002. Roberts accused the same man who molested him in his teens of being behind Light’s death. On September 26, 2005, the story was the subject of an episode of the Australian TV program Australian Story, entitled “Lost Boy.” In 2012 Roberts starred in the film Saltwater, which was his first role-playing a gay man.

07-31-1988 Charlie Carver – Born in San Francisco, California, seven minutes before his brother Max Carver, born on August 1, 1988. He is an American actor known for his role as Porter Scavo in the ABC television series Desperate Housewives. He was also well known for his role Charlie Carveron Teen Wolf as Ethan, along with his brother Max who played Aiden. They both currently star on the HBO series The Leftovers. On January 11, 2016, Charlie came out as gay on his official Instagram account. Charlie said he’s known he was gay since the age of 12, and that he’s grown up “in a family where [his] orientation was celebrated.” “I now believe that by omitting this part of myself from the record, I am complicit in perpetuating the suffering, fear, and shame cast upon so many in the world.”

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