March 21st People

March 21st

03-21-1962 Roseann “Rosie” O’Donnell – Born in Commack, New York. She is an American stand-up comedienne, actress, singer, author, and media personality. She has also been a magazine editor and continues to be a celebrity blogger, LGBT rights activist, television producer, and collaborative partner in the LGBT family vacation company R Family Vacations. From 1996 to 2002, she hosted The Rosie O’Donnell Show, which won multiple Emmy Awards. O’Donnell came out, stating “I’m a dyke” two months before finishing her talk show run, saying that her primary reason was to bring attention to gay adoption issues. She is a foster and adoptive mother. She was named “Person of the Year” in a 2002 cover story by The Advocate. O’Donnell is well known as a moderator on The View. She continues to do charity work and remains involved with LGBT and family-related issues.

03-21-1928 – 11-29-2019 Ruth Anderson – Born in Kalispell, Montana. She was a composer, orchestrator, and flutist whose work is based on her study of Zen. New Music for Electronic and Recorded Media (1977). Her music is also available on the CD Lesbian American Composers. She received two Fulbright awards (1950-1960) to study composition with Darius Milhaud and Nadia Boulanger in Paris. Anderson was a freelance composer, orchestrator, and choral arranger for NBC-TV and the Lincoln Center Theatre. (Portrait by Manny Alban)

03-21-1944 Gaye Adegbalola – Born in Fredericksburg, Virginia. She is an African-American blues singer and guitarist, teacher, lecturer, activist, and photographer. As a founding member of Safire – the Uppity Blues Women, she became a full-time performer until 2009 when the group disbanded. In 1991 she met her life partner, Suzanne Moe. She was selected as one of the Outstanding Virginians of 2011 by Equality Virginia.

03-21-1954 Roy Ashburn – Born in Long Beach, California. He is an American Republican politician from Kern County, California. He had voted against every gay rights measure prior to his DUI arrest in 2010. On March 3, 2010, the Senator was pulled over in Sacramento by the California Highway Patrol shortly before 2 a.m., with sources saying he was leaving a Sacramento gay nightclub, Faces, in the Lavender Hill neighborhood, with an unidentified male passenger in a state-owned Chevy Tahoe. He then made a political shift by carrying an amendment section of the 1950 Welfare and Institutions Code which would eliminate a requirement of the Dept. of Mental Health to carry out research on “sexual deviants” (language used against homosexuals when the WCI was passed in 1950). The amendment of the bill by Ashburn, passed unanimously by the California Senate and was the first pro-gay act vetted by Ashburn in his career. In his 2013 radio interview at First Look with Scott Cox, Ashburn revealed that he had a gay brother, who died of AIDS-related illness 20 years ago.

03-21-1962 Zackie Achmat – Born in Cape Town, South Africa. He is a South African activist, most widely known as founder and chairman of the Treatment Action Campaign and for his work on behalf of people living with HIV and AIDS in South Africa. Achmat co-founded the National Coalition for Gay and Lesbian Equality in 1994, and as its director he ensured protections for gays and lesbians in the new South African Constitution, and facilitated the prosecution of cases that led to the decriminalization of sodomy and granting of equal status to same-sex partners in the immigration process.

03-21-1968 Jaye Davidson – Born in Riverside, California. He is an American-British actor and model. Best known for his roles as transgender woman “Dil” in the film The Crying Game (1992), which he received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. He was the first British actor of mixed race to be nominated for an Oscar. He is openly gay. At the time of his acting career, he said that his androgynous look alienated him within the gay community, saying “Homosexual men love masculine men. And I’m not a very masculine person.”

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