05-05-1921 – 08-27-2008 Del Martin (born Dorothy Louise Tallaferro) – Born in San Francisco, California. She and Phyllis Lyon were an American lesbian couple that were feminists and gay-rights activists. Martin and Lyon met in 1950, became lovers in 1952, and moved in together on Valentine’s Day 1953 in an apartment on Castro St. in San Francisco. They had been together for three years when they founded the Daughters of Bilitis (DOB) in 1955, which became the first social and political organization for lesbians in the United States. They also published DOB magazine The Ladder. They remained involved with the DOB until they joined the National Organization for Women (NOW) and were the first open lesbian couple to do so. In 1995 they were named delegates to the White House Conference on Aging, Martin by Senator Dianne Feinstein and Lyon by Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi. They were married in San Francisco on June 16, 2008. Martin died from complication of an arm bone fracture. San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom ordered that the flags at City Hall be flown at half-staff in her honor.
05-05-1903 – 01-23-1985 James Beard – Born in Portland, Oregon. He was an American cookbook author, teacher, and television personality. Beard briefly attended Reed College in Portland, Oregon. In 1922, he was expelled for homosexuality. In 1976, the college granted Beard an honorary degree. He had the first TV show on cooking and championed American cuisine. Beard wrote twenty books on cooking. In 1955, he established The James Beard Cooking School and taught for the next thirty years. According to Beard’s memoir, “By the time I was seven, I knew I was gay. I think it’s time to talk about that now.” Beard died of heart failure at the age of 81. After his death, Julie Child wanted to preserve his home in New York City. Peter Kump, a former student, spearheaded efforts to purchase the house and created the James Beard Foundation. Located at 167 West 12th St., Greenwich Village, New York, it’s North America’s only historic culinary center. (Photo – 1981 in Manhattan)
05-05-1970 Kyan Douglas – Born in Miami, Florida. He was the grooming expert on the show Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. In 2004 he published Beautiful, his own book on grooming for women, and became a spokesman and product advisor for L’Oreal. In 2009 he became the host of TLC’s Ten Years Younger, its fourth season.