06-06-1875 – 08-12-1955 Thomas Mann – Born in the Free City of Lûbeck, German Empire. He was a German novelist, short story writer, social critic, philanthropist, essayist, and won the 1929 Nobel Prize in Literature. In 1905, Mann married Katia Pringsheim, daughter of a wealthy, secular Jewish industrialist family. She later joined the Lutheran church. The couple had six children. The two oldest, Erika and Klaus, were gay. The outbreak of WWII on September 1, 1939, motivated Mann to make anti-Nazi speeches (in German) to the German people via the BBC. He was one of the few publicly active opponents of Nazism among German expatriates in the U.S. The Mann family emigrated to the U.S. in 1939, where he taught at Princeton University. In 1942, the family moved to the Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles, California, where they lived until after WWII. On June 23, 1944, Mann became a naturalized citizen of the United States. He returned to Europe in 1952, but never lived in Germany again. Mann’s diaries, unsealed in 1975, tell of his struggles with his bisexuality, which found reflection in his works, most prominently in his novella, Death In Venice.
06-06-1952 Harvey Fierstein – Born in Brooklyn, New York. He is an American actor, playwright, and voice actor. Fierstein won the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play for his own play Torch Song Trilogy and the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical for playing Edna Turnblad in Hairspray. He wrote the book for the musical La Cage aux Folles, for which he won the Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical and the book for the Tony Award-winning Kinky Boots. In 2007 he was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame. He appeared in Showtime’s Nurse Jackie in 2014. Fierstein is openly gay and came out at a time when very few celebrities did. Occasionally he writes columns about gay issues. He now resides in Ridgefield, Connecticut.
06-06-1955 Sandra Bernhard – Born in Flint, Michigan, her family moved to Scottsdale, Arizona when she was ten. She is an American comedian, singer, actress, and author. She first gained attention in the late 1970s with her stand-up comedy. In 1977 she was cast as a supporting player on The Richard Pryor Show. Her big break came in 1983 when she was cast by Martin Scorsese to star as a stalker and kidnapper Marsha in the film King of Comedy for which she won the National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress. In 1985 she began performing her first one-woman show. In 1988 she launched an Off-Broadway show called Without You I’m Nothing, with You I’m Not Much Better. In 1990 it was turned into a film and a double album. She was a frequent guest on David Letterman’s NBC program. She was on the show with her then-good-friend (and rumored lover) Madonna. The two alluded to their romantic relationship. In 1991, Bernhard began playing the role of Nancy Barlett on the hit sitcom Roseanne. She appeared in 33 episodes between 1991 and 1997 and was one of the first actresses to portray a lesbian recurring character on American television. Bernhard is openly bisexual and a strong supporter of LGBT rights.
06-06-1949 Holly Near – Born in Ukiah, California. She is an American singer-songwriter, actress, teacher, and activist. Her television career began in 1969 with a part on The Mod Squad. She also appeared on Room 222, All in the Family and The Partridge Family, as well as other shows. In 1970, Near became a member of the Broadway musical Hair. In her long career in folk and protest music, she has worked with many other musicians, including Ronnie Gilbert, Pete Seeger, Arlo Guthrie, Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne, Joan Baez, and Harry Belafonte. In the early 1990’s she wrote an autobiography, Fire in the Rain, Singer in the Storm. In 1976, Near came out as a lesbian. She had a three-year relationship with musician Meg Christian. Near was the first out lesbian to be interviewed by People Magazine.
06-06-1913 – 07-13-1988 Hilda Gobbi – Born in Budapest, Austria-Hungary (at the time she was born, Budapest was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire). She was an award-winning Hungarian actress best known for her portrayals of elderly women. Gobbi as Aunt Szabo in the radio soap opera The Szabo Family was well-loved. She was contracted with the National Theater in 1935. During WWII she was a resistance fighter. After the war, she worked at the National Theater until 1959. In 1960, she began working at the József Attila Theatre. At a time when homosexuality was illegal, Gobbi was openly lesbian and often dressed in men’s clothing. She had a long relationship with actress Hédi Temessy in the late 1950s to the 1960s. After their relationship ended, Gobbi became involved with writer, Erzsébet Galgóczi. In 1982, Gobbi published her autobiography. Her career on film, radio, and stage spanned over fifty years. She died in 1988 leaving her estate to the National Theater and set up an annual award for the best theater production of the season. A statue of her is outside of the National Theatre.
06-06-1942 Ulrike Ottinger – Born in Konstanz, Germany. She is a German filmmaker and photographer. She wrote her first screenplay in 1966. In 1969, she founded the film club “Visueli” in West Germany and directed it until 1972. Her film, Joan of Arc of Mongolia, was entered into the 1989 Berlin International Film Festival. Her film style has been referred to as bizarre and surrealistic. Ottinger has also worked as a photographer, lithographer, and painter. Since 2019, she has been a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. She has lived in Berlin since 1973 and has always been openly lesbian.
06-06-1894 – 02-29-1972 Violet Trefusis – Born in London, England. She was an English socialite and author. She was married to Denys Trefusis from 1919 until his death in 1929. Violet is best remembered for her long affair with Vita Sackville-West. Both women wrote about their affair in novels. Their affair was also written about in Virginia Woolf’s novel Orlando: A Biography. Violet wrote novels and non-fiction, both in English and in French. In 1921, the two women went to France where they spent six weeks together. Their affair ended when Vita’s husband threatened to break off their marriage. From 1923 on, Violet was one of the many lovers of the Singer sewing machine heiress Winnaretta Singer, wife of the gay Prince Edmond de Polignac. In 1940 Violet and Vita met again and they kept in touch for the rest of their lives. A lot of their love letters and poems written to each other have survived.
06-06-1950 – 10-05-2015 Chantal Akerman – Born in Brussels, Belgium. She is a Belgian film and TV director, screenwriter, producer, cinematographer and professor of film at the City College of New York. Her best-known film is Jeanne Dielman, 23 qui du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975). According to film scholar Gwendolyn Audrey Foster, Akerman’s influence on feminist filmmaking and avant-garde cinema has been substantial. Her latest film, No Home Movie, was being shown at the 2015 New York Film Festival. She committed suicide on October 5, 2015. According to her sister, she had been hospitalized for depression. She was known as being openly lesbian.
06-06-1958 Tracey Adams – Born Debra Blaisdell in Severna Park, Maryland. She is an American porn superstar whose career has spanned three decades. Comfortable sexing with men and women in film but is openly a lesbian. She has appeared in over 300 movies during the 1980s and 90s. She also appeared in mainstream movies, such as the 1986 comedy film Wimps and in the French TV movie La femme en noir in 1988.
06-06-1961 Grace Ross – She grew up in New York (birthplace unknown) before she moved to Worcester, Massachusetts. In 2006 Ross became the first open lesbian to run for Governor of Massachusetts. She lost to Deval Patrick receiving only 1.95% of the total vote. In December 2006, she was named “Person of the Year” by the New England gay-orientated magazine, IN News Weekly. In 2008, Ross helped found the Massachusetts Alliance Against Predatory Lending, a coalition of over 30 community organizations, housing counseling agencies, legal services groups and others who have come together to work on the sub-prime foreclosure crisis in Massachusetts. She is also active in the Worcester Anti-Foreclosure Team (WAFT).
06-06-1970 J.C. Adams – Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is an American author, magazine editor, and reporter whose work focuses on the adult pornographic industry. He is also a director of gay phonographic films. Since 2003, Adams has been a regular guest on the Derek and Romaine Show, on SIRIUS OutQ Satellite Radio. He is known to be bisexual.
06-06-1978 Mondo Guerra (Armando Thomas “Mondo” Guerra) – Born in the Denver, Colorado area. Guerra is a fifth-generation Mexican-American from the Denver area. He is a fashion designer and activist. Guerra finished as runner-up on Season 8 of Project Runway, and later won the series’ first All-Stars season. He was also the first contestant on the show to come from Denver, Colorado. On November 30, 2010, Guerra appeared with Liza Minnelli, Kenneth Cole, and Cheyenne Jackson on the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange to ring the opening bell and usher in World AIDS Day. He is HIV positive. Guerra was listed on Out’s 3rd Annual 100 Most Eligible Bachelors (2013).
06-06-1988 Gideon Glick – Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is an American stage performer and movie actor. His Broadway work includes the role of Ernst in the musical Spring Awakening. Glick is openly gay and has stated in interviews that he came out when he was in the seventh grade. He was listed on Out’s 3rd Annual 100 Most Eligible Bachelors (2013).
06-06-1991 Park Cannon – Born in Albany, Georgia. She is an American politician that serves in the Georgia House of Representatives, representing the 58th district. On March 25, 2021, as Governor Kemp was signing the controversial voting legislation, Cannon knocked on the Governor’s office doors in an attempt to discuss her concerns about the bill. She was arrested by Georgia State Patrol officers and charged with “Preventing or disrupting General Assembly sessions or other meetings of members.” The incident sparked backlash towards both the officers and Georgian Republican lawmakers. She was not prosecuted.