05-26-1951 – 07-23-2012 Sally Ride – Born in Los Angeles, California. She was the first United States woman astronaut. Ride joined NASA in 1978 and, at the age of 32, became the first American woman in space and still remains the youngest American astronaut to travel to space. After flying twice on the space shuttle Challenger, she left NASA in 1987. She worked for two years at Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Arms Control, then the University of California, San Diego as a professor of physics. She served on the committees that investigated the Challenger and Columbia space shuttle disasters, the only person to participate in both. Ride was extremely private about her personal life. She married fellow NASA astronaut Steve Hawley in 1982; they divorced in 1987. After her death, her obituary revealed that Ride’s partner of 27 years was Tam O’Shaughnessy, a professor emerita of school psychology at San Diego State University. They were childhood friends and met when both were aspiring tennis players. O’Shaughnessy and Ride wrote six acclaimed children’s science books together. Ride died of pancreatic cancer on July 23, 2012. She is the first known LGBT astronaut.
05-26-1877 – 09-14-1927 Isadora Duncan – Born in San Francisco, California. She was an American-French dancer known for her innovative dance and choreography, she’s known as “The Mother of Dance.” Duncan was bisexual. She married Sergei Yesenin in 1922. They separated in 1923. Duncan had two children out of wedlock. In 1913, both children drowned while in the care of their nanny. Duncan spent several months recuperating in Corfu with her brother and sister. She then spent several weeks at the Viareggio seaside resort with the lesbian actress Eleonora Duse. Duncan had a relationship with the poet and playwright Mercedes de Acosta. Letters between the two document their affair. In one, Duncan wrote, “Mercedes, lead me with your little strong hands and I will follow you — to the top of a mountain. To the end of the world. Wherever you wish.” On September 14, 1927, in Nice, France, her scarf became entangled in the wheels and axle of the car in which she was riding and broke her neck.
05-26-1925 – 02-06-2017 Alex McCowen – Born Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England. He was an English actor known for his work in numerous film and stage productions. Films include A Night to Remember (1958), Alfred Hitchcock’s Frenzy, Travels With My Aunt (1972, for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe), and Never Say Never Again (1983). His partner, Geoffrey Burridge, died from AIDS complications in 1987. McCowen died in 2017 at age 91.
05-26-1944 – Emily C. Hewitt – Born in Baltimore, Maryland. Former Judge of United States Court of Federal Claims, appointed by President Clinton on October 22, 1998. In 2006, she was appointed by Chief Justice John Roberts to serve on the Financial Disclosure Committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States. President Obama designated Hewitt to serve as Chief Judge on March 11, 2009. She served as Chief Judge until October 21, 2013, when her 15-year term as judge of the Court ended. She was one of the first of eleven women ordained to the Episcopal priesthood in 1974. In addition to hundreds of legal opinions, Hewitt is the author and co-author of more than two dozen publications on legal and religious topics. She is married to Eleanor D. Acheson, who served as Assistant Attorney General of the United States during the Clinton Administration.
05-26-1957 Ulrike Lunacek – Born in Krems an der Donau, Austria. She is an Austrian politician. She attended school in Vienna and in Boone, Iowa. From 1999 to 2009 she was a member of parliament and the Green group’s spokeswoman on foreign and development policy as well as equality for lesbians, gays and transgender persons. She was the first openly lesbian politician in the Austrian Parliament. In 2009 she was awarded the Grand Gold Decoration for Services to the Republic of Austria. The Rosa Courage Award was given to her in 2013. She came out in 1980. Since 1994 she has been living with a woman from Peru.
05-26-1968 Kim Coco Iwamoto – Born in Kauai, Hawaii she is Japanese-American. Iwamoto, a trans woman was elected in November 2006, making her at that time the highest-ranking openly transgender elected official in the United States and the first openly transgender official to win statewide office. She is a commissioner on the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission, appointed by Governor Neil Abercrombie to serve the four-year term from 2012 to 2016. Iwamoto previously served two terms with the Hawaii Board of Education. She was reelected in 2010 with 25% more votes than in 2006. She publicly opposed passage of California’s Proposition 8, outlawing same-sex marriage.
05-26-1987 Tooji (b. Touraj Keshtkar) – Born in Shiraz, Iran, moved to Norway when he was one year old. He is an Iranian-Norwegian singer, painter, model, and television host. He holds a bachelor’s degree in child welfare. Tooji has worked in asylum reception centers helping children and teenage refugees and victims of human trafficking. In June 2015, he came out as gay to the Norwegian website Gaysir, stating that he hoped he could make it easier for young gay people by being open about his own sexuality. He is also a supporter of women’s rights.
05-26-1954 Alan Hollinghurst – Born in Stroud, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom. He is an English novelist, poet, short story writer, and translator. In 1989 he won the Somerset Maugham Award and in 2004 he won the Booker Prize. From 1985 to 1990, he was The Times Literary Supplement‘s deputy editor. Hollinghurst is openly gay.