May 7th People

May 7th

05-07-1840 – 11-06-1893 Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky – Born in Volkinsk, Russian Empire. He was a Russian composer whose works included symphonies, concertos, operas, ballets, chamber music, and a choral setting of the Russian Orthodox Divine Liturgy. He was the first Russian composer whose music made a lasting impression internationally, which he bolstered Peter Ilyich Tchaikovskywith appearances as a guest conductor later in his career in Europe and the United States. One of these appearances was at the inaugural concert of Carnegie Hall in New York City in 1891. Tchaikovsky was honored in 1884 by Emperor Alexander III, and awarded a lifetime pension in the late 1880s. Tchaikovsky’s homosexuality was denied by Soviet musicologists until fairly recently, and much material still remains to be retrieved from Russian archives and published in English. His lovers included Alexey Apukhtin, Vladimir Shilovsky, Alexei Sofronov (his valet from 1872 to the end of his life), Eduard Zak, Joseph Kotek, his nephew Vladimir Davidov, and Vassily Sapelnikov. In addition, many brief affairs are recorded in his cryptographic diary; e.g., on March 22, 1889, he records that a “Negro came in to me” (to his hotel room in Paris). Tchaikovsky had a hard time with his sexuality, where as Modest, his brother who was also gay, accepted his sexuality better and had a long time boyfriend, Nikolai Hermanovich Konradi (1868-1923).

05-07-1913 – 03-07-2006   Mary Spencer Watson – Born in London, England. She was an English sculptor. Her father was artist George Spencer Watson and her mother, Hilda, was a dancer and mime artist. In 1923, her family moved to Dunshay Manor in Dorset, which became Watson’s home for the rest of her life. Her first solo exhibition was in 1937. After WWII, Watson received several public commissions. For fifty years until her death, she was in a relationship with Margot Baynes who lived at Dunshay Manor with her children. Watson bequeathed the property to the Landmark Trust (British building conservation charity) who, after a legal argument with Margot’s daughter, Hetty Baynes, restored the Manor and began hosting public events there in April 2019. (1930 Painting of Mary Spencer Watson by her father, artist George Spencer Watson)

05-07-1975   Jennifer Storm – Born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Her struggles with addiction is documented in her trilogy of books: Blackout Girl: Growing Up and Drying Out in America, Leave the Light On, and Picking Up the Pieces Without Picking Up. Storm started drinking at the age of 12 and became an alcoholic by the time she was 15. She has appeared on national talk shows. She is the current Victim Witness Advocate of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Storm lives with her wife in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania.

05-07-1979 Frenchie Davis – Born in Lawndale, California. She is an African-American broadway performer and singer. She first came to public Frenchie Davisattention on the singing competition show American Idol. Davis began performing in Rent on Broadway soon afterwards and was a member of the cast for four years. In 2012, Davis came out as bisexual. She continues to be a strong and outspoken advocate for the bisexual community, LGBTQ youth, and the LGBTQ people of colour.

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