05-01-1874 – 12-07-1970 Romaine Brooks (born Beatrice Romaine Goddard) – Born in Rome, Italy, the youngest of three children to wealthy Americans. She was an American painter. She is best known for her women in androgynous or masculine dress, including her self-portrait of 1923, which is her most widely reproduced work. In 1911, Brooks became romantically involved with Ida Rubinstein, the Russian actress and dancer. Although they broke up in 1914, Brooks painted Rubinstein more often than any other subject. At the beginning of WWI, she painted The Cross of France, it was reproduced in a booklet sold to raise funds for the Red Cross. After the war, she received the Cross of the Legion of Honor for her fundraising efforts. The longest and most important relationship she had was with Natalie Cifford Barney. It lasted for more than 50 years. Brooks died in Nice, France in 1970 at the age of 96. She and Barney are both buried at Passy Cemetery, Paris.
05-01-1915 — 05-15-1962 Michael Dillon (born Laura Maud Dillon) – Born in England and raised by his two aunts in Folkestone, Kent, England. He was the first person known to have transitioned both hormonally and surgically from female to male. He was a British writer, physician, philosopher, and Buddhist. In 1946 Dillon published Self: A Study in Endocrinology and Ethics, a book about what would now be called transsexuality, though that term had not been used yet.
05-01-1855 — 04-21-1924 Marie Corelli – Born in London, England to Elizabeth Mills, a servant of the Scottish poet and songwriter, Charles Mackay, her biological father. She was a British novelist. Corelli was the most published British author of the 1890s, overshadowing even Oscar Wilde. Her novels sold more copies than the combined sales of popular contemporaries, including Arthur Conan Doyle, H. G. Wells, and Rudyard Kipling. Corelli’s works were collected by Winston Churchill, Randolph Churchill, and members of the British Royal Family, among others. For over forty years, she lived with her companion, Bertha Vyver in Stratford-upon-Avon. When Corelli died, her estate was left to her companion. Descriptions of the deep love between the two women by their contemporaries have indicated that their relationship may well have been romantic.
05-01-1881 – 08-06-1929 Mary MacLane – Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, raised in Butte, Montana. She was a Canadian-born American writer whose explicit memoirs paved the way of confessional style autobiographical writing. Known as the “Wild Woman of Butte,” she was a popular author for her time. She was thought of as wild and uncontrolled, a reputation she encouraged, and was openly bisexual as well as a vocal feminist. For a period of time MacLane lived with her friend Caroline M. Branson, who had been the long-time partner of Maria Louise Pool, until Pool’s death in 1898. The greatest love of MacLane’s life was American editor, poet, and patron of the arts, Harriet Monroe. MacLane died at the age of 48 in Chicago, Illinois and was soon forgotten until 1993, when her work was republished in Tender Darkness: A Mary MacLane Anthology.
05-01-1974 Gavin Rayna Russom – Born in Providence, Rhode Island. She is an American musician, composer, and is known as “The Wizard” for her ability to build custom analog synthesizers. Her music has been under various names, including Black Leotard Front, Black Meteoric Star, The Crystal Arc, and the critically-acclaimed band, LCD Soundsystem . She has also collaborated with Delia Gonzalez. On July 6, 2017, Russom came out publicly as transgender in Pitchfork Magazine.
05-01-1950 Marianne Huguenin – Born in Bern, Switzerland. She is a Swiss politician, a member of the Swiss Party of Labour, and was a member of the Swiss National Council. She came out on October 3, 2004, saying she belonged to two minorities: that of women and women who prefer women. She also noted that it was important to her to help young people by showing them that they are not alone.