11-09-1947 Kate Clinton – Born in Buffalo, New York, She is an American comedian specializing in political commentary from a gay/lesbian point of view. She began her stand up career in 1981 using her lesbianism, Catholicism, and current politics for her jokes. She was with her partner Urvashi Vaid from 1988 until Vaid passed away in May, 2022, from cancer. Clinton’s 2006 tour marked her 25th anniversary as a professional stand-up comedian. Clinton works extensively with social justice and nonprofit organizations, and has been a regular MC at major fundraising events and dinners for groups like the NYC LGBT Center; the National Center for Lesbian Rights; the ACLU; Out & Equal, among others.
11-09-1868 – 07-28-1934 Marie Dressler (born Lella Marie Koeber) – Born in Cobourg, Canada. She was a Canadian-American stage and screen actress. In 1914, she was in the first full-length film comedy. Dressler won the Academy Award for Best Actress in 1931 for the film Min and Bill. Time magazine put her on the cover on August 7, 1933—she was the first film actress to make the cover. She was married twice—George Hoeppert (m. 1899-1906) and James Dalton (m. 1904-1921). According to her biographers, Betty Lee, Dressler was either a lesbian or bisexual: “Certainly Dressler enjoyed, even preferred, the company of women—particularly after [Jim] Dalton’s death—and many of them were openly lesbian”. The actress is thought to have had an intimate association with astrologer Nella Webb and also a relationship with her personal secretary, Claire Dubrey. Composer David Diamond, who spent many years in the Hollywood of the 1930s, insisted that “Dressler was known as an active lesbian and was friendly with other well known lesbian actresses such as Thelma Todd and Patsy Kelly.” On July 28, 1934, Dressler died of cancer in Santa Barbara, California.
11-09-1988 Nikki Blonsky – Born in Great Neck, New York. She is an American actress, singer, dancer, and internet personality. She’s best known for her role as Tracy Turnblad in the film Hairspray (2007), for which she won a Critics’ Choice Award and received a nomination for a Golden Globe Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award. For her role as Willamena Rader in the ABC series Huge (2010), she received a Teen Choice Award nomination. In June 2020, Blonsky came out as gay.
11-09-1905 – 08-27-1969 Erika Mann – Born in Munich, Germany. She was a German actress and writer, the eldest daughter of novelist Thomas Mann. In 1936, she escaped Nazi Germany, going to Zurich. She was the last of the Mann family to leave Germany and she saved many of Thomas Mann’s papers from their Munich home. In 1937, she went to New York where she lived with her lover Therese Giehse, along with other artists in exile. After WWII, she was one of the few women who covered the Nuremberg Trials. She had numerous affairs with women, including journalists Betty Knox and Annemarie Schwarzenbach. In 1935 she married English poet W.H. Auden in order to get her British citizenship. It was a marriage of convenience, as Auden was gay. She and Auden never lived together, but remained friends and stayed technically married until Erika’s death.
11-09-1902 – 02-20-1968 Anthony Asquith – Born in London, England. He was a leading English film director. He was a closeted homosexual who never married. His films include Pygmalion (1938), French Without Tears (1940), The Way To The Stars (1945). and a 1952 adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest. In the 1960s, Asquith directed the Hollywood all-star production of the episodic film The Yellow Rolls-Royce (1964) and The V.I.P.s (1963) starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. He died from lymphoma at the age of 65.
11-09-1938 Ti-Grace Atkinson – Born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She is an American feminist and LGBT author. An early member of the National Organization for Women, she became the New York president in 1967. She was a member of the Daughters of Bilitis and advocated political lesbianism. Her best-known book, Amazon Odyssey, was published in 1974. In 2013, Atkinson, along with Carol Hanisch, Kathy Scarborough, and Kathie Sarachild, initiated Forbidden Discourse: The Silencing of Feminist Criticism of ‘Gender‘. which was described as an “open statement from 48 radical feminists from seven countries.” In August 2014 Michelle Goldberg in The New Yorker described it as expressing their “alarm” at “threats and attacks, some of them physical, on individual and organizations daring to challenge the currently fashionable concept of gender.”
1-09-1947 Pat Carey – Born in Castlemaine, County Kerry, Ireland. He is a former Irish politician. Before entering into politics, he was a teacher. Since leaving office, Carey has come out as gay. In 2015 he voiced support of marriage equality saying, “My only regret is that I didn’t have the courage or confidence to come out while in politics. When I look back it’s an awful pity I didn’t feel able to do that. Nobody stopped me, but I wasn’t sure how it would be received.”
11-09-1950 Liz Stefanics – Born in Dayton, Ohio. She is an American politician from New Mexico. A former member of the New Mexico Senate, she was the first openly gay LGBT member of the New Mexico legislature. She has spent almost two decades with her partner, Linda Siegle. On August 23, 2013, they became the first same-sex couple in Santa Fe County to receive a marriage license.
11-09-1961 Jackie Kay, CBE, FRSE, FRSL – Born in Edinburgh, Scotland to a Scottish mother and a Nigerian father. As a baby she was adopted by a white Scottish couple. She is a Scottish poet, playwright, and novelist, known for her works Other Lovers (1993), Trumpet (1998), and Red Dust Road (2011). From 2016 to 2021 Kay was the Makar, the poet laureate of Scotland. She was appointed as chancellor of the University of Salford in 2015. In 2006, she was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) and in 2020, appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to literature. Kay is a lesbian and had a 15-year relationship with poet Carol Ann Duffy.