11-02-1961 k.d. lang (Kathryn Dawn Lang) – Born in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. She is a Canadian pop/country singer-songwriter and occasional actress. Lang has won both Juno Awards and Grammy Awards for her musical performances. She has contributed songs to movie soundtracks and has teamed with musicians such as Roy Orbison, Tony Bennett, Elton John, Anne Murray, Ann Wilson, and Jane Siberry. Lang, who came out as a lesbian in a June 1992 article in the LGBT news magazine The Advocate, is an LGBT rights activist. She has supported many causes over the years, including HIV/AIDS care and research. She is also an animal rights activist. Her “Meat Stinks” campaign in the 1990s created a lot of controversy, especially in her hometown, in the middle of Alberta’s cattle ranching industry. She was banned from more than 3 dozen Alberta radio stations. More than a dozen radio stations in the U.S., throughout Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Montana, and Nebraska also boycotted playing her records due to her “Meat Stinks” campaign. In 2011, Lang was inducted to Q Hall of Fame Canada in recognition of the work she has done to further equality for all peoples around the world. In 2018 Lang was appointed the Alberta Order of Excellence.
11-02-1906 – 03-17-1976 Luchino Visconti – Born in Milan, Italy. He was an Italian theatre, opera, and film director, as well as a screenwriter. His best-known films are The Leopard (1963) and Death in Venice (1971). Visconti was openly gay. His last lover was Austrian actor Helmut Berger, who played Martin in Visconti’s film The Damned (1969). Visconti was also involved with director and producer Franco Zeffirelli. In 1976, Visconti died in Rome of a stroke at the age of 69.
11-02-1980 Karamo Brown – Born in Houston, Texas to Jamaican parents. He is an American television host, reality television personality, psychotherapist, and activist. Brown came out as gay at the age of 15. His career began in 2004 when he hosted the MTV reality show, The Real World: Philadelphia. Brown currently stars as the culture expert in the Netflix series Queer Eye. He co-founded an organization that works to combat HIV stigma, provides mental health support, and HIV education to the black LGBT community. He also volunteers as a youth counselor at the Los Angeles LGBT Center. In 2018, Brown was the recipient of the Human Rights Campaign’s Visibility Award. In May 2018, Brown became engaged to his partner of eight years, Ian Jordan.
11-02-1977 Randy Harrison – Born in Nashua, New Hampshire. He is an American actor best known as Justin Taylor in Queer As Folk (American Showtime drama). Harrison is openly gay. He dated Advertising Age columnist Simon Dumenco from 2002 to 2008. As of 2009, Harrison lives in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York City with his cats Ella and Aggie.
11-02-1916 – 09-14-2008 John Lyon Burnside III – Born in Seattle, Washington. He was the inventor of the teleidoscope, the darkfield kaleidoscope, and the Symmetricon. Because he rediscovered the math behind kaleidoscope optics, for decades every maker of optically correct kaleidoscopes sold in the United States paid him royalties. Burnside was the life partner of Harry Hay for 40 years, from 1962 until Hay’s death in 2002. Burnside and Hay formed a group in the early 1960s called the Circle of Loving Companions that promoted gay rights and gay love. In 1966 they were major originators of one of the first gay parades, a protest against the exclusion of homosexuals from the military, held in Los Angeles. In 1967, they appeared as a gay couple on the Joe Pyne television show. In the late 1970s, they founded, with Don Kilhefner and Mitch Walker, the Radical Faeries.
11-02-1946 – 06-12-2016 Michelle Cliff – Born in Kingston, Jamaica. Her family moved to New York City when she was three years old. She was an Jamaican-American author whose notable works include No Telephone to Heaven, Abeng, and Free Enterprise. Cliff has also written short stories, poetry, and literary critiques. In 1983, Cliff contributed to the Black feminist anthology Home Girls. Openly lesbian, she was partners with the poet Adrienne Rich from 1976 until Rich’s death in 2012. Cliff died of liver failure in June 2016.
11-02-1951 Thomas Mallon – Born in Glen Cove, New York. He is an American novelist, essayist, and critic. His novels are well known for their historical detail. Mallon is the author of nine novels, as well as nonfiction works. He is the former literary editor of Gentleman’s Quarterly and has contributed often to The New Yorker, The New York Times Book Review, The Atlantic Monthly, and other periodicals. His novel, Fellow Travelers (2007), is about a gay romance during the McCarthy era. Mallon’s latest novel called Finale (2015) is set in 1986 during the Reagan years. Mallon is openly gay. He lives with his longtime partner in Washington, D.C. and is a professor emeritus of English at The George Washington University.