11-28-1944 Rita Mae Brown – Born in Hanover, Pennsylvania. She is an American writer and feminist. She is best known for her novel Rubyfruit Jungle. Her novel, published in 1973, deals with lesbian themes in an explicit manner which was unusual for the time. She also has written a mystery series staring her tiger cat, Sneaky Pie. Brown has had relationships with Martina Navratilova, Fannie Flagg, Judy Nelson, and politician Elaine Noble. Notable quotes of Rita Mae Brown: “The reward for conformity was that everyone liked you except yourself.” and “One of the keys to happiness is a bad memory.”
11-28-1898 – 01-21-1993 Lotte Laserstein – Born in Preussisch Holland, German Empire (now Paslęk, Poland) into a Jewish family (her father was half Jewish). She was a German-Swedish painter and portraitist. She studied at the Berlin Academy of Arts and won the schools highest honors. With the rise of the Nazis, in 1933, she was profiled as “a 3/4 Jew” and prohibited from exhibiting her work and was fired from her position on the executive committee of the National Arts Association. By 1937, things became so difficult for her that she moved to Sweden. She was successful in getting her sister out of Germany, but her mother died in Ravensbrück concentration camp (her father had already died). In 1938, she married a Swedish man, Sven Marcus, in order to obtain her Swedish citizenship. The couple never lived together as husband and wife since Laserstein was a lesbian, but they remained friends throughout their lives. In 2003 an exhibit of Laserstein’s work was held in Berlin. An exhibition catalogue was written by Anna-Carola Krausse titled, Lotte Laserstein: My Only Reality. It was published in English in October, 2004.
11-28-1928 – 07-30-2002 A.E. Dyson (Tony Dyson) – Born in Paddington, London, England. He was a British literary critic, university lecturer, educational activist, and gay rights campaigner. In 1958, he formed the Homosexual Law Reform Society (HLRS) to repeal the law regarding homosexuality (The law was repealed in 1967). It was during this time that Dyson met Cliff Tucker, a senior executive at British Petroleum, a Labor Party councillor and a magistrate. They lived together for 35 years until Tucker’s death in 1993. Dyson followed Tucker’s final wishes and bequeathed the proceeds of their Hampstead home to Tucker’s alma mater, the University of Wales, Lampeter. As a result, there is now a scholarship and lecture theatre which is named after Tucker and a Fellowship in Poetry named for Dyson. In July 2002, Dyson died from leukemia.
11-28-1978 Siri Hall Arnøy – Place of birth unknown. She is a former Norwegian politician. Arnøy was a member of Parliament from 2001 to 2005,. From October 2005 to January 2006, she was the political advisor for the Minister of Finance and a deputy representative for the term 2005 – 2009. She is openly lesbian. In 2012, she earned a PhD from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
11-28-1983 Rostam Batmanglij – Place of birth unknown. He grew up in Washington D.C. His parents are both Iranian and arrived in D.C. in 1983. He is an American songwriter, musician and producer and multi-instrumentalist. He was with the group Vampire Weekend and electro-soul group Discovery. He is openly gay and talked about his sexual orientation in the magazine Out. He was on Out’s 3rd Annual 100 Most Eligible Bachelors (2013).
11-28-1983 Omar Sharif Jr. – Born in Montreal, Canada to a Jewish mother and Muslim father. He is a model, writer and activist. He is the grandson of Omar Sharif. He received international attention from his ads for Calvin Klein and Coca Cola. In 2013, shortly after the Muslim Brotherhood was elected to parliament in Egypt, Omar published an open letter in The Advocate, in which he came out as gay and half-Jewish and questioned the new Egyptian government’s commitment to basic human rights and diversity. He is the first public personality to come out as openly gay in the Arab world. He faced an onslaught of condemnation, criticism, and threats of violence. Omar was on Out’s 3rd Annual 100 Most Eligible Bachelors (2013). From 2013 to 2015, Omar served as Eastern National Spokesperson for GLADD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation). Omar stated, “My grandfather didn’t care that I’m gay. Before anything, in the eyes of my grandparents, I was a grandson.”
11-28-1983 Tyler Glenn – Born in Temecula, California. Glenn was raised a Mormon. He is an American vocalist and keyboardist for the American alternative rock band Neon Trees. He came out as gay in the March 24, 2014 issue of Rolling Stone magazine. He discussed keeping his sexuality a secret throughout his life. Glenn says he’s known he was gay since he was a child. In 2014, he was featured as lead vocalist on Born to Run, a song on Afrojack’s debut studio album, Forget the World.
11-28-1986 Daniel Mallory Ortberg – Place of birth unknown. She grew up in northern Illinois and then in San Francisco. Her parents are evangelical Christian pastors. Ortberg is an American author, editor, and co-founder of the feminist site The Toast. Her books include Texts from Jane Eyre (2014) and The Merry Spinster: Tales of Everyday Horror (2018). Ortberg identifies as queer and in February 2018, has come out as transgender. (Photo courtesy of kellywritershouse CC 2.0)