07-06-1925 – 08-12-2007 Merv Griffin – Born in San Mateo, California. He was an American TV host, singer, and media mogul. Griffin never acknowledged he was gay, though it became widely known in Hollywood, even as Eva Gabor played his beard. Griffin kept many details of his personal and business life private. In 1991, he was sued by Deney Terri, the host of Dance Fever, alleging sexual harassment. The same year, Brent Plott, a longtime employee who worked as a bodyguard, horse trainer, and driver, filed a $200 million palimony lawsuit. Ultimately, both lawsuits were dismissed. He consistently evaded answering questions about his sexuality with a characteristic quip. In an interview with The New York Times published on May 26, 2005, Griffin said: “I tell everybody that I’m a quarter-sexual. I will do anything with anybody for a quarter.” He was close personal friends with Ronald and Nancy Reagan and had he come out, at least to them, he could have influenced President Reagan to do something about the AIDS epidemic. Instead, he remained silent.
07-06-1900 – 08-25-1981 Kathryn Hulme – Born in San Francisco, California. She was an American author and memoirist most known for her novel The Nun’s Story. Published in 1956, The Nun’s Story was a best-selling novel and in 1959 was made into an award-winning film, starring Audrey Hepburn and Peter Finch. After WWII, she was the UNRRA (United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration) Director of the Polish Displaced Persons camp at Wildflecken, Germany. Her book about her experience there, Wild Place, won the Atlantic Non-Fiction Award in 1952. It was at Wildflecken that Hulme met a Belgian nurse and former nun Marie Louise Habets. They fell in love and were together for 33 years. The Nun’s Story is a slightly fictionalized biographical account of Habets’ life as a nun.
07-06-1907 – 07-13-1954 Frida Kahlo – Born in Coyoacán, Mexico City, Mexico. She was a Mexican painter best known for her self-portraits. She had a volatile marriage with the Mexican artist Diego Rivera. Kahlo was bisexual and had affairs with both men and women, including Isamu Noguchi, Josephine Baker, and Chavela Vargas.
07-06-1916 – 06-08-2009 Harold Norse (b. Harold Rosen) – Born in Brooklyn, New York to an unmarried Lithuanian Jewish immigrant. In the early 1950’s he came up with the new last name Norse, by rearranging the letters in Rosen. He was an American writer and poet. Norse’s writing used American idiom of everyday language and images. One of the expatriate artists of the Beat generation, he was widely published and anthologized. Norse never hid that he was gay and wrote openly of his sexual adventures in the 1940s and 1950s. Norse’s life partner was Chester Kallman, whom he met in 1938. Kallman at the time was the lover of W.H. Auden. In 2009, Norse died of natural causes in San Francisco where he had lived since 1972.
7-06-1935 14th Dalai Lama – Born in Amdo, Tibet. He is a supporter of LGBT rights. In the February/March issue of OUT magazine, the Dalai Lama said, “If someone comes to me and asks whether it is okay or not, I will first ask if you have some religious vows to uphold. Then my next question is, What is your companion’s opinion? If you both agree, then I think I would say, if two males or two females voluntarily agree to have mutual satisfaction without further implication of harming others, then it is okay.”
07-06-1943 – 06-22-1988 Leonard Matlovich – Born in Savannah, Georgia. He was a Vietnam War veteran, race relations instructor, and recipient of the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star. He was the first gay service member to purposely out himself to the military to fight their ban on gays. His tombstone reads, “When I was in the military, they gave me a medal for killing two men, and a discharge for loving one”.
07-06-1947 Katherine Collins – Born in Vancouver, Canada. She is a Canadian cartoonist, writer, media personality, stage performer, and composer. Her most famous creation is Neil the Horse. The series ran in Canadian newspapers from 1975 to 1982. It also appeared in fifteen comic book issues from 1983 to 1988. Collins has identified as a transgender woman since 1993. In 2013, she was inducted into the Joe Shuster Canadian Comic Book Creator Hall of Fame.
07-06-1942 – 04-28-1988 Michael Grumley – Born in Bettendorf, Iowa. He was an American writer and artist. He and his life partner, Robert Ferro, were founding members of The Violet Quill, a group of seven gay writers that met in 1980 and 1981 in New York City. Grumley wrote a regular column, Uptown, for the gay newspaper, the New York Native. Grumley also wrote a book on Bigfoot, titled There are Giants in the Earth (1975 and a later edition in 1976). He believed that anthropoid giants once roamed the earth and that today there are still isolated survivors which he claimed are living in underground tunnels and caves. Grumley and Ferro are buried together in New York. Following their deaths, the Ferro-Grumley Foundation, which manages their estate, created an annual Ferro-Grumley Award for LGBT fiction.