06-17-1943 Barry Manilow (born Barry Alan Pincus) – Born in Brooklyn, New York, He is an American singer-songwriter and producer. He is best known for his recordings of Mandy, Can’t Smile Without You, and Copacabana (At the Copa). In 1978, five of his albums were on the best-seller charts simultaneously, a feat equaled only to Herb Albert, The Beatles, Frank Sinatra, Michael Jackson, Bruce Springsteen, and Johnny Mathis. On April 17, 2015, in a Huffington Post article, Suzanne Somers opened up about Barry Manilow’s gay marriage to longtime manager and partner Garry Kief. “They’re married,” Somers said, “and really happy, and I was there when it was announced.” They have been together for 30+ years. Citing unnamed sources, People magazine reported that Manilow and Kief had married in a private ceremony at the star’s Palm Springs home in 2014. Although they apparently did not sign any paperwork, according to People, both men wear wedding bands and “are committed to one another and have been for a very long time.” Manilow officially came out as gay in April 2017. He and his husband married in 2014 after same-sex marriage became legal in California.
06-17-1900 – 04-03-2000 Evelyn Irons – Born in Govan, Glasgow, Scotland. She was a Scottish journalist and the first female war correspondent to be decorated with the French military medal, Croix de Guerre. She had a brief affair with Vita Sackville-West and the two remained lifelong friends. In 1932, Irons met fellow journalist Joy McSweeney. They were together until McSweeney’s death in 1978. In 1935, Irons won the Royal Humane Society’s Gold Medal “for the bravest deed” of 1935. She “rescued a woman from drowning under very courageous circumstances at Tresaith Beach, Cardiganshire.” It was the first time the medal had been awarded to a woman. Irons died in Brewster, New York at the age of 99, two months short of her 100th birthday.
06-17-1880 – 12-21-1964 Carl Van Vechten – Born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He was an American writer and photographer who was a patron of the Harlem Renaissance and the literary executor of Gertrude Stein. He was the first American critic of modern dance. At that time, Isadora Duncan, Anna Pavlova, and Loie Fuller were performing in New York. Although he was married, he was gay and his home in New York City was the scene of many sensational soirees throughout the 20s and 30s, attended by the likes of George Gershwin, Bessie Smith, and Paul Robeson. During the 1920s he became one of the most visible non-black figures in the Harlem Renaissance writing essays praising the movement. He befriended many of the era’s most gifted artists, including Langston Hughes and Countee Cullen.
06-17-1957 Phyllida Lloyd – Born in Bristol, England. She is a British director, best known for her work in theatre and as the director of Mamma Mia! and The Iron Lady. Oxford University named her the Cameron Mackintosh Visiting Professor of Contemporary Theatre in 2006, the same year she was awarded an honorary degree by Bristol University. She was named one of the 101 most influential gay and lesbian people in Britain by The Independent newspaper in 2008 and 2010. Lloyd was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2010 New Year Honours.
06-17-1986 Steven Davies – Born in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, England. He is an English cricketer, a wicket-keeper-batsman who currently plays for Surrey. Davies is openly gay, coming out publicly on February 2, 2011, in an interview with The Daily Telegraph. He had come out to his family five years earlier and was also already out to his teammates. He became the first international cricketer to come out as gay.