05-24-1941 Bob Dylan (born Robert Allen Zimmerman) – Born in Duluth, Minnesota. He is an American singer-songwriter and straight ally. He has been influential in popular music for more than five decades. Dylan has sold more than 100 million records and has received numerous awards, including eleven Grammy Awards, a Golden Globe Award, and an Academy Award. In 2008, he was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for “his profound impact on popular music and American culture, marked by lyrical compositions of extraordinary poetic power.” In 2016, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.” In April 2018, Dylan recorded the 1929 song, He’s Funny That Way, for a compilation EP with a same-sex love theme called Universal Love. He not only agreed to contribute to the CD but actually chose the song. The album was funded by MGM Resorts International and its songs are intended to function as wedding anthems for same-sex couples. Gay weddings account for between 20 percent and 30 percent of the ceremonies performed at the company’s 15 hotels in Las Vegas, said Jim Murren, its chief executive. (Photo credit William Claxton CC2.0)
05-24-1883 – 11-01-1963 Elsa Maxwell – Born in Keokuk, Iowa. She was an American gossip columnist, author, songwriter, and professional hostess best known for her parties for royalty and the famous. She was raised in San Francisco. Maxwell had a gift for staging games and diversions at parties for the rich and famous and began making money by devising treasure-hunt parties, come-as-your-opposite parties, and more. In 1927, she had a scavenger hunt in Paris that created disturbances all over the city. In Venice in the early 1920s, her parties attracted stars like Cole Porter, Tallulah Bankhead, Noël Coward, and Fanny Brice. Cole Porter was a life-long friend and she is mentioned in several of his songs. Following WWII, she had an audience of millions as a newspaper gossip columnist. Maxwell was responsible for the success of ventriloquist Edgar Bergen. She was a closeted lesbian who publicly condemned homosexuality despite having an almost fifty-year relationship with Scottish singer Dorothy Fellowes-Gordon. The two met in 1912 and remained together until her death in 1963.
05-24-1946 – 03-29-2013 Cheryl Chow – Born in Seattle, Washington, she was one of the most respected Asian-American leaders in Washington state. From 1990 – 1997, she served as a Seattle City Council Member. In 2012 she revealed on KING-TV that she was gay – a secret she kept her whole life. She and her partner Sarah Morningstar had been together for more than 10 years. She died of brain cancer at 66.
05-24-1972 Greg Berlanti – Born in Rye, New York. He is an American film and television writer, producer, and director. He is well known for his work on the television series Dawson’s Creek, Everwood, Political Animals, Arrow, The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow. Berlanti co-wrote and co-produced the DC Comics film Green Lantern. Berlanti has been in a relationship with LA Galaxy soccer player Robbie Rogers since mid-2013. On February 18, 2016, the couple welcomed their first son via surrogacy.
05-24-1988 Billy Gilman (born William Wendell Gilman III) – Born in Westerly, Rhode Island. He is an American country music artist. In 2000, at the age of 11, he debuted with the single “One Voice”, a Top 20 hit on the country music charts. He is the youngest singer to do so. An album of the same name was released later that year on Epic Records and was certified Double Platinum in the United States. In a video posted on November 20, 2014, Gilman came out as gay and stated that he had been with his current boyfriend, Chris Meyer, for five months. Gilman said he was “scared to death” of the announcement and the implications it could have on his career. “It’s difficult for me to make this video, not because I’m ashamed of being a gay male artist, or a gay artist or a gay person, but it’s pretty silly to know that I’m ashamed of doing this knowing that I’m in a genre and an industry that’s ashamed of me for being me.”