05-25-1937 – 02-22-2019 Victor J. Banis – Born in Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania. He was an American author and has been called “the godfather of modern popular gay fiction.” His first published work was a short story, Broken Record, that appeared in the Swiss gay publication Der Kreis in 1963. His novel, The Affairs of Gloria, a heterosexual romance with a few lesbian scenes was published in 1964 by Los Angeles publisher, Brandon House. The novel was indicted by a federal grand jury in Sioux City, Iowa, for conspiracy to distribute obscene materials. Banis was acquitted. In 1966, his gay novel, The Man from C.A.M.P. was published and was so successful, that he went on to write eight sequels. This was the first gay mystery series ever published. And the C.A.M.P. novels depicted the first openly out and joyfully unrestrained gay hero in American fiction. Banis was openly gay. He passed away in 2019 from liver cancer.
05-25-1939 Sir Ian McKellen, CH, CBE – English actor born in Burnley, Lancashire, United Kingdom. He is the recipient of six Laurence Olivier Awards, a Tony Award, a Golden Globe Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, a BIF Award, two Saturn Awards, four Drama Desk Awards, and two Critics’ Choice Awards. He has also received two Academy Award nominations and five Emmy Award nominations. McKellen’s work spans genres ranging from Shakespearean and modern theatre to popular fantasy and science fiction. His notable film roles include Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies as well as Magneto in the X-Men films. He was knighted in 1991 for services to the performing arts. McKellen and his first serious partner, Brian Taylor, a history teacher from Bolton, began their relationship in 1964 and ended in 1972. In 1978 he met his second partner, Sean Mathias, at the Edinburgh Festival. This relationship lasted until 1988. While McKellen had made his sexual orientation known to his fellow actors early on in his stage career, it was not until 1988 that he came out to the general public. He is very active in LGBT rights. He is a co-founder of Stonewall, an LGBT lobby group in the United Kingdom, named after the Stonewall riots. He is also patron of LGBT History Month, Pride London, GAY-GLOS, The Lesbian & Gay Foundation, and FFLAG where he appears in their video “Parents Talking.”
05-25-1969 Stacy London – Born in New York City, New York. She is of Sicilian descent on the mother’s side and Jewish descent on the father’s side. She is an American stylist/fashion consultant, author, and magazine editor and is best-known as co-host on What Not to Wear, a reality TV show. On December 31, 2019, she announced that she was in her first serious relationship with a woman, musician Cat Yezbak, for over a year. On her Instagram, she wrote, “So I used to date men. Now I date her.”
05-25-1981 Anette Trettebergstuen – Born in Hamar, Norway. She is a Norwegian politician. She was elected to the Norwegian Parliament from Hedmark in 2005, representing the Labour Party. Trettebergstuen was the out openly lesbian politician in the Norwegian Parliament. In January 2008, the Norwegian website Gaysir named her Norway’s second most powerful lesbian.
05-25-1986 Neon Hitch – She is an English singer and songwriter. Born in Kingston-Upon-Thames, United Kingdom. Neon is her real name — her father is a lighting technician. When their house burned down, her mother, Irene Gardiner, bought a caravan to live in. They then began street performing, making and selling jewelry and clothing around Europe. Consequently, Neon never attended school. By the age of four, she was traveling and performing with the Archaos circus. At age ten, she began writing poetry which led to her writing lyrics. Her family was featured in a BBC documentary. She has many tattoos including one that says “Gypsy” on her wrist, which represents her caravan upbringing and Romani ancestry. Hitch met Amy Winehouse at a party and told Amy that she was homeless. Amy took her in and helped her get her act together before she went to New York to record. Hitch said, “She was like a big sister to me. I owe her a lot for that. I am absolutely devastated about what happened. Her spirit will live on forever.” Hitch is openly bisexual.
05-25-1959 Julian Clary – Born in Surbiton, Surrey, England. He is an English comedian, actor, presenter, and novelist. He began appearing on television in the mid-1980s. In 2012, he was the winner of Celebrity Big Brother. Clary often performs comical renditions of musical numbers in his stage and television appearances. He released a music single in 1988, a humorous rendition of Leader of the Pack. It reached no. 60 in the UK Singles Chart. He is married to Ian Mackley. The couple have been together since 2005 and married on November 19, 2016. They live at Goldenhurst Farm, a seventeenth-century manor house once owned by Noël Coward.