11-08-1927 – 08-29-2009 Chris Connor – Born in Kansas City, Missouri as Mary Jean Loutsenhizer. She was an American jazz singer. At the age of 26, she became a best-selling solo artist for Bethlehem Records. With the expiration of her contract with Bethlehem Records, Connor became the first white female jazz singer to be signed by Atlantic Records. She was given free rein to choose her own songs and worked with the musicians she wanted. In 1962, her last Atlantic album, No Strings – An After Theatre Version was released. She spent the remainder of the 1960s and 1970s recording for various labels. Her final album, Everything I Love, was released in 2003. She died of cancer in 2009 and was survived by her life-partner of 47 years, Lori Muscarelle. Her obituary was the first public acknowledgment that she was a lesbian.
11-08-1883 – 10-23-1935 Charles Demuth – Born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He was an American artist known for his watercolors (later in life he painted in oils). Demuth developed a style of painting known as Precisionism. While studying art in Paris, France, he became a part of the avant-garde art scene. The Parisian artistic community didn’t care that Demuth was gay. Lancaster was always important to Demuth throughout his life. His family had owned a tobacco shop there since 1770. He had a long term relationship with Robert Locher, an Art Deco decorator, and stage designer, starting in 1909. Demuth died from complications from diabetes. His home, which he shared with his mother, in Lancaster is now the Demuth Museum.
11-08-1749 – 05-28-1828 Anne Seymour Damer – Born in Kent, United Kingdom. She was an English sculptor. From 1784 to 1818, Damer exhibited 32 works as an honorary exhibitor at the Royal Academy. She produced keystone sculptures of Isis and Tamesis for each side of the central arch on the bridge at Henley-on-Thames. Damer was also a writer, with one published novel, Belmour (first published in 1801). A number of sources have named Damer as being in lesbian relationships. In 1789, she was introduced to Mary Berry, with whom she lived with in her later years. Even during her marriage, her likings for male clothing and demonstrative friendships with other women were publicly noted and satirized. Author Hester Thrale mentioned a romance between Damer and actress Elizabeth Farren. The romance between the two women is the central storyline in the 2004 novel Life Mask by Emma Donoghue.
11-08-1955 Patricia Barber – Born in Chicago, Illinois. She is an American jazz and blues singer, pianist, songwriter, and bandleader. Barber was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship in 2003 in the Creative Arts – Music Composition field. Barber doesn’t hide the fact that she is a lesbian but ‘tires’ of the public interest in her sexuality and dislikes the fact that it contributes to her fame. In 2008, she was interviewed by Gregg Shapiro of Gay & Lesbian Times, a San Diego magazine.
11-08-1956 – 02-20-2014 Roy Simmons – Born in Savannah, Georgia. He was a gay former NFL player – offensive lineman for the Giants and Redskins. In 1992, he announced he was gay on The Phil Donahue Show. About 1997, he learned that he was HIV-positive. In his autobiography, Out of Bounds (written with Damon DiMarco), he speaks of drug addiction, prostitution, and promiscuity. He died in his Bronx, New York apartment at the age of 57.
11-08-1965 Craig Chester – Born in West Covina, California. He is an American actor and screenwriter. From the beginning of his career, he has been out as gay. He wrote, directed and starred in Adam & Steve, released in 2005. He was a screenwriter for season seven (final season) of the HBO series, True Blood.
11-08-1980 Laura Jane Grace – Born in Fort Benning, Georgia. She is a transgender pioneer. She is the founder, lead singer, songwriter, and guitarist in the punk band Against Me! Grace was married to visual artist Heather Hannoura from 2007 to 2014 when the two separated. Grace publicly came out as a transgender woman in 2012, ceasing to use her birth name and taking the name, Laura Jane Grace. Against Me!’s sixth studio album, Transgender Dysphoria Blues, was released on January 21, 2014.