05-18-1921 – 08-16-1963 Joan Eardley – Born at Bailing Hill Farm in Warnham, Sussex, England. She was a British artist noted for her portraiture of street children in Glasgow and for her landscapes of the fishing village of Catterline and the surrounding area along the North-East coast of Scotland. From 1950 to 1957, Eardley’s work focused on the slum area of Townhead, located within the city of Glasgow. In the late 1950s, she spent much of her time in and around Catterline, moving there permanently in 1961. Seascapes and landscapes dominated her work once she moved to Catterline. In 1952, while living in Glasgow, she met photographer, Audrey Walker. In 2013, a collection of letters written by Eardley to Audrey Walker were released, having been placed under an embargo by Walker until decades after she had died. Walker was ten years older than Eardley and married to a prominent Scottish Barrister. When the two women were not together, Eardley wrote to Walker nearly every day. The letters show Eardley’s intense love for Walker. As a lesbian at a time when it was not ok to be out, she was accepted by the village people of Catterline and lived openly with partners, including Dorothy Steel and Lil Neilson. Early in 1963, Eardley consulted a homeopathic doctor about a lump on her breast but was told not to be concerned. By May 1963, she was diagnosed with breast cancer that had spread to her brain. She died at the age of 42 with her mother, sister, and Audrey Walker at her bedside.
05-18-1941 Miriam Margolyes – Born in Oxford, Oxfordshire, England, and raised by a Jewish family. She is a British-Australian actress and voice artist. She won a BAFTA Award for her role in Martin Scorsese’s The Age of Innocence (1993) and played Professor Sprout in the Harry Potter film series. In 2002, she was honored by Queen Elizabeth II as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for Services to Drama. In 2013, Morgolyes became an Australian citizen and holds both British and Australian citizenship. On becoming an Australian citizen on Australia Day 2013, Margolyes referred to herself as a “dyke” live on national television and in front of Prime Minister Julia Gillard. Since 1967 her life-partner has been Heather Sutherland, a retired Australian professor of Indonesian studies.
05-18-1913 – 02-19-2001 Charles Trenet – Born in Narbonne, Aude, France. He was a French singer and songwriter. Trenet wrote close to a thousand songs, the most famous being La Mer, with more than 400 recorded versions. His other hit songs include Boum!, Y’a d’la joie, and Que reste-t-il de nos amours?. In 1963, Trenet spent 28 days in prison in Aix-en-Provence charged with corrupting the morals of four young men under the age of 21 (they were 19). His chauffeur claimed that Trenet was using him as a pimp. The charges were dropped, but it became public knowledge that Trenet was gay. He never spoke of it publicly and in private spoke of it rarely. In the 1940s, Maurice Chevalier and actress Mistinguett informed the French police that Trenet was gay.
05-18-1980 Felicia Pearson – Born in Baltimore, Maryland. She is an American actress, author, and rapper. She is best known for playing a character of the same name, Felicia “Snoop” Pearson on The Wire. She wrote a memoir titled Grace After Midnight detailing her troubled childhood and the time she spent in prison for second-degree murder. Pearson was born in Baltimore, Maryland, the daughter of two incarcerated drug addicts, and raised in an East Baltimore foster home. Pearson said her life turned around at the age of 18 when Arnold Loney, a local drug dealer who looked out for her and sent her money in prison, was shot and killed. While in prison she earned her GED and was released in 2000. She is openly lesbian. In an interview, the question that was asked was; “I know you’re from East Baltimore, would you say there are a lot of Black lesbians in your hood?” Pearson answered, “ I’d say that out of 100 people 35 or 40 percent are Black lesbians.” Pearson has volunteered as a prison visitor, worked on anti-violence and literary campaigns for youth, and supported The Stay Strong Foundation.
05-18-1955 Ed Smart – Born in Salt Lake City, Utah. He is a businessman and the father of Elizabeth Smart, who was abducted in 2002 and rescued after nine months. In 2019, Ed Smart came out as gay. Smart, who was raised in the Mormon faith, said he was only able to acknowledge his sexual orientation after leaving the church. “I was told it was being deviant, being abnormal, being mentally sick,” he said. All six of his children have accepted him and said something like, “Dad, if that’s the way you are, that’s the way you are, and I still love you.” At an LGBTQ conference in Utah, Smart that he has experienced two miracles in his life. The first was the safe return of his daughter, Elizabeth and the second was his decision to share his truth. “How often do you get to have a miracle happen in your life that is truly a miracle?” Smart asked. “To get to the point that I have…accepting myself for who I am, really has been another miracle.”
05-18-1934 Don Bachardy – Born in Los Angeles, California. He is an American portrait artist. Bachardy has had many one-man exhibitions in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Houston, and New York. In 2004-2005, he exhibited at the Huntington Library in San Marino, California. His works reside in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the M.H. de Young Memorial Museum of Art in San Francisco, the Smithsonian Institution, and the National Portrait Gallery, London. He resides in Santa Monica, California. Bachardy was the life partner of writer Christopher Isherwood.
05-18-1918 – 01-01-1951 R. H. Barlow – Born in Leavenworth, Kansas. He was born at a time when his father Lieutenant Colonel Everett Barlow, was serving with the American forces in France, Barlow spent much of his youth at Fort Benning, Georgia, where his father was stationed. Barlow was an American author, avant-garde poet, anthropologist, and historian of early Mexico and an expert in the Nahuatl language. He was also a correspondent and friend of horror writer H. P. Lovecraft and was appointed by Lovecraft to be the executor of his literary estate. Barlow committed suicide in 1951, apparently fearing the exposure of his homosexuality by a disgruntled student.