06-26-1890 – 10-03-1929 Jeanne Eagels – Born in Kansas City, Missouri. She was an American stage and film actress. About 1911, she moved to New York and became a Ziegfeld Girl. Her first appearance in a film was in 1915. Between 1919 and 1921, she was in several Broadway shows. Her favorite role was that of Sadie Thompson in Rain. Eagels was married twice, the first time when she was a teenager. Her second marriage was in 1925 and ended in divorce in 1928. It is also known that she had an affair with Libby Holman and with Mercedes de Acosta. She was addicted to heroin and as well as an alcoholic. Her death in 1929 was attributed to an overdose of chloral hydrate, a sedative that Eagels regularly took to sleep. For her 1929 role in the film, The Letter, she became the first person nominated posthumously for an Academy Award. In 1957, a mostly fictionalized film biography, titled Jeanne Eagels, was made by Columbia Pictures, starring Kim Novak.
06-26-1911 – 09-27-1956 Mildred “Babe” Didrikson Zaharias – Born in Port Arthur, Texas. She was an American athlete who achieved a great deal of success in golf, basketball, and track and field. In the 1932 Summer Olympics, she won two gold medals in track and field. Becoming a professional golfer, she won 10 LPGA major championships. The Associated Press named her Female Athlete of the Years six times between 1932 and 1954. The press labeled her “muscle moll,” “mannish,” and “unnatural.” While she was acknowledged for her athletic victories, the press implied that she succeeded because she was lacking in femininity. More than likely this type of press made her marry professional wrestler George Zaharias in 1938. In 1950 at an amateur golf tournament in Miami, Babe met another woman golfer, Betty Dodd. The two became close and as her marriage became troubled, she spent more time with Dodd. The women toured together on the golf circuit, and eventually, Dodd moved in with Zaharias and Babe. Because of the homophobia at the time, they never used the word “lesbian” to describe their relationship, but there is little doubt that Dodd and Babe were intimate and loving partners. Babe Didrikson died of colon cancer at the age of 45.
06-26-1993 Ariana Grande – Born in Boca Raton, Florida. She is an American singer, actress, and LGBT straight ally. As of June 2017, Grande’s music videos had been viewed more than nine billion times online. She has received three American Music Awards, three MTV Europe Music Awards, and four Grammy Award nominations. All three of her albums have gone platinum. In 2016, Time magazine named her one of the 100 most influential people in the world. Grande was raised Roman Catholic but abandoned the religion because of the church’s stance on homosexuality. Her half-brother, Frankie, is gay. A few of her songs, including Break Your Heart Right Back, are supportive of LGBT rights. Photo by Emma, 2017.
06-26-1941 Virginia “Ginny” Apuzzo – Born in The Bronx, New York City, New York. At the age of 26, she became a nun. Apuzzo knew she was a lesbian and later recounted her experience, saying’ “I tried to play by the rules. I thought I’d have to live my life with this deep dark secret.” In 1969, days after the Stonewall riots, she left the convent. In 1980 she became a delegate to the Democratic National Convention where she co-authored the first gay and lesbian civil rights portion of the Democratic party platform. She is a former executive director of the National LGBYQ Task Force. She also served as executive deputy of the New York State Consumer Protection Board and as the vice chair of the New York State AIDS Advisory Council.
06-26-1913 – 08-03-2011 Rudolf Brazda – Born in Meuselwitz, Germany. He was one of the last known survivors of Nazi Germany’s persecution of gays. After the war, Brazda settled in Alsace, France, near the French-German border. He met his partner, Edi, in 1950, and they remained together until Edi’s death in 2002. In 2008, when Brazda learned that a memorial was to be unveiled in Berlin to homosexual victims of Nazism, he made himself known. In April 2011, he was awarded the French Legion d’Honneur for promoting awareness of the deportation of homosexuals. When he traveled to Germany to see his records from Buchenwald, Brazda noted that millions were broken by the Nazi regime. “But they were never able to destroy me. I am not ashamed,” he said. “I have made my peace with the past.”
06-26-1970 Sean Hayes – Born in Chicago, Illinois. He is an American actor, voice artist, and comedian. He is widely known for his role as the campy gay character, Jack McFarland in the NBC sitcom Will & Grace for which he won an Emmy Award, four SAG Awards, and one American Comedy Award. Hayes refused to discuss his sexual orientation for many years, saying he believed that the audiences would be more open-minded about his characters. In a 2010 interview with The Advocate he implied that he was gay. In November 2014 Hayes announced that he had married his partner of eight years, Scott Icenogle.
06-26-1982 Joanna Lohman – Born in Silver Springs, Maryland. She is an American professional soccer player who plays for the Washington Spirit. In 2010 she met fellow teammate Lianne Sanderson. The two became lovers and moved to Spain where they founded JoLi Academy, a training center for young female soccer players. The couple has since spit up. Lohman helped launch an organization called Go! Athletes that encourages schools to create a safer space for LGBT athletes. She also helped create the first “carbon neutral calculator” for office buildings and received an invitation to meet former Vice President Al Gore.
06-26-1984 Aubrey Plaza – Born in Wilmington, Delaware. She is an American actress and comedian. She played April Legate on Park and Recreation. In 2012, she had her first leading role in the comedy Safety Not Guaranteed. Regarding her sexuality, Plaza told The Advocate in 2016, “I fall in love with girls and guys. I can’t help it.”