06-22-1953 Cyndi Lauper – Born in Queens, New York. She is an American musician, songwriter, producer, actress, and LGBT straight ally. Her sister, Ellen, is an out lesbian and Cyndi considers her to be a role model. As a big supporter of LGBT rights, she was honored by PFLAGG for her support of gay families after appearing with her Lesbian sister in a PFLAGG sponsored campaign in 2005. In 2012 Lauper started the Forty to None Project after learning that 40% of homeless American youth are LGBT. She set up the True Colors Resident in New York City for LGBT homeless youths. The 40-bed facility offers temporary shelter and job placement help. Lauper’s song Time After Time has been covered by over 100 artists and was ranked at #22 on Rolling Stone’s 100 Best Songs of the Past 25 years and #19 on VH1’s 100 Greatest Songs of the 80s. Her song True Colors is recognized by many as an LGBT anthem. Lauper composed music for the Broadway musical Kinky Boots with Harvey Fierstein. The musical was based on the 2006 independent film Kinky Boots. It opened in Chicago in 2012 and on Broadway in 2013. The musical led the 2013 Tony Awards with 13 nominations and six wins including Best Musical and Best Actor. Lauper won the award for Best Original Score. She was the first woman to win solo in this category.
06-22-1947 – 02-24-2006 Octavia E. Butler – Born in Pasadena, California. She was an American science fiction writer. She was a recipient of both the Hugo and Nebula awards. In 1995 she became the first science fiction writer to receive the MacArthur Fellowship, nicknamed the “Genius Grant.” She is best known for her novel Kindred. Butler was a pioneering figure in the white, male-dominated field of American science fiction. A reclusive lesbian, she lived a fairly anonymous and solitary life in Seattle. At the age of 58, Butler fell and struck her head on the cobbled walkway outside her home. She died at the scene.
06-22-1949 Meryl Streep – Born in Summit, New Jersey. She is an American actress and philanthropist. Nominated for 20 Academy Awards, Streep has more nominations than any other actor. She has supported the LGBT community for over four decades. Accepting her Golden Glove in 2004, she spoke out in favor of same-sex marriage. On February 11, 2017, HRC (Human Rights Campaign), the largest LGBT civil rights organization, presented her with the Ally for Equality Award, which recognizes “outstanding efforts of those who use their voice and publicly stand up for the LGBTQ community.”
06-22-1961 Jimmy (James) Somerville – Born in Glasgow, Scotland. He is a Scottish pop singer and songwriter. In the 1980s, he was with the pop groups Bronski Beat and The Communards, and also had a solo career. His song Smalltown Boy contains political commentary on gay-related issues, as did many of his songs. He also had an acting career, appearing in Sally Potter’s 1992 film of Virginia Woolf’s Orlando, in Isaac Julien’s 1989 Looking for Langston, and in an episode of the cult science fiction television series Lexx. In February 2021, Somerville teamed up with producer Sally Herbert to record “Everything Must Change” by Bernard Ighner as a charity record for End Youth Homelessness.
06-22-1979 Jai Rodriguez – Born in Brentwood, New York. He is an American actor and musician best known as the culture guide on the Bravo network’s Emmy-winning American reality television program Queer Eye For The Straight Guy. He has also co-authored a book with the other Queer Eye hosts. He starred as Geoffrey, in the ABC sitcom Malibu Country from 2012 to 2013.
06-22-1968 Kevin Aviance (birth name Eric Snead) – Born in Richmond, Virginia. He is an American female impressionist, Club/Dance musician, and fashion designer and nightclub personality in New York City’s gay scene. He has performed throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. He was the victim of a hate crime in 2006 in New York. He was beaten and robbed by a group of men who yelled anti-gay slurs at him. Four assailants were arrested and pled guilty.