10-14-1888 – 01-09-1923 Katherine Mansfield – Born in Wellington, New Zealand. She was a prominent modernist writer of short fiction. At 19, Mansfield left New Zealand and settled in the United Kingdom, where she became friends with modernist writers D.H. Lawrence and Virginia Woolf. Mansfield had two romantic relationships with women that are notable for their pre-eminence in her journal entries. She also had male lovers. In 1911 she and John Middleton Murry began a relationship that culminated in their marriage in 1918. Their relationship became increasingly distant after 1918 and the two often lived apart. In 1917 she was diagnosed with extrapulmonary tuberculosis, which led to her death at the age of 34. She was the subject of the 1973 BBC miniseries A Picture of Katherine Mansfield starring Vanessa Redgrave.
10-14-1856 – 02-13-1935 Vernon Lee (born Violet Paget) – Born on Château St. Leonard, Boulogne, France to British expatriate parents. She wrote volumes of essays on art, music, and travel. What she’s remembered for today is her supernatural fiction, the most famous were Hauntings (1890) and her story Prince Alberic and the Snake Lady (1895). She was a lesbian and had notable relationships with three women, Mary Robinson, Clementina “Kit” Anstruther-Thomson, and British author Amy Levy.
10-14-1905 – 12-18-2006 Ruth Bernhard – Born in Berlin, Germany. She was a German-born American photographer. By the late 1920s, while living in Manhattan, Bernhard was involved with the lesbian sub-culture of the artistic community, becoming friends with photographer Berenice Abbott and her lover, critic Elizabeth McCausland. Bernhard wrote about her “bisexual escapades” in her memoir. Her photography of nude women would become what she is best known for. In 1944 she became involved with artist and designer Eveline Phimister. The couple remained together for ten years. In 1967, Bernhard met and become lovers with U.S. Air Force Colonel Price Rice, an African American man two years younger than her. They remained together until his death in 1999. In her 90s, Bernhard worked with biographer Margaretta K. Mitchell in the book Ruth Bernhard, Between Art and Life, publicly revealing her many affairs with women and men throughout her lifetime. Ansel Adams said she was, “the greatest photographer of the nude.” Bernhard died in San Francisco at the age of 101.
10-14-1944 Udo Kier – Born in Cologne, Germany. He is a German actor, known primarily for his work in horror, vampire, and exploitation movies. He has appeared in over 200 films. One of the most important films in his early career was Andy Warhol’s Frankenstein in 1973. Kier also made an appearance in Madonna’s 1992 book called Sex, as well as the video for her disco hit “Deeper and Deeper” from the album Erotica. He is openly gay.
10-14-1951 Janet Cooling – Born in Chester, Pennsylvania. She is an American painter that helped bring lesbian imagery into mainstream art. Her series “Painting from Hell’s Kitchen” was awarded the Marie Walsh Foundation Space Grant in 1998. Cooling’s work continues to bring her recognition as a major contemporary artist and bridges lesbian art further into the mainstream. She and her partner of many years, Jackie Corlin, have formed a foundation to collect under-recognized and under-collected women painters, especially lesbians and women of color.
10-14-1956 Jennell Jaquays – Born in Michigan, city unknown. She is an American game designer and artist of table-top role-playing games and video games. Her notable works include Dungeons & Dragons modules “Dark Tower” and “Caverns of Thracia.” Some of her best-known works as a fantasy artist are the cover illustration of TSR’s Dragon Mountain adventure. Jaquays says that she accepted late in life that she was transgender. Part of her transitioning was to be open about the idea that she might not be only attracted to women. But, she found that she was still attracted to women and became involved in a same-sex relationship. In December 2011, Jaquays announced that she identifies as a lesbian and trans woman. She resides in Seattle, Washington with her wife Rebecca Heineman (also transgender).
10-14-1959 – 03-24-2004 Dominic Agostino – Born in Sicily, Italy. Agostino was raised in Hamilton, Ontario, He was a Canadian politician who represented the district of Hamilton East for the Liberal Party in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from 1995 until his death from liver cancer in 2004. Shortly after his death, the Toronto-based LGBT community magazine, Fab, published a piece by Eleanor Brown titled, Why Did He Die a Straight Man? She alleged that Agostino was in the closet. She stated that Agostino enjoyed the gay clubs and was well known in Toronto’s Church and Wellesley area. He also attended Gay Day at Canada’s Wonderland in 1997. Agostino supported legislation granting spousal benefits to same-sex partners. His friends and family have remained silent on the matter. Agostino was quoted as saying: “As long as you are consistent, your private life should remain private.” According to Dave Flynn, a close friend of Agostino’s, at a memorial service, the Premier hugged Agostino’s partner of several years. His lover was also a pallbearer at his funeral.
10-14-1961 Mark Nadler – Born in Waterloo, Iowa. He is a New York City-based cabaret performer, actor, and comedic pianist. He has been described as “one of New York’s most acclaimed singer/pianists” and a “virtuoso” of classical music. Nadler has won five MAC Awards, three Bistro Awards, and two Nightlife Awards. He also received a Drama Desk nomination and two Lucille Nortel nominations for his review, “American Rhapsody,” celebrating the music of George Gershwin. When asked about growing up in Iowa, he stated, “I don’t know if they were as homophobic and anti-Semitic as I perceived them to be, but my perception was that everything I was, was wrong and everything I did was unacceptable. I was really a queen. I got beat up a lot, but that may not have had anything to do with being gay and Jewish. Maybe they beat me up because I was entertaining their parents and making a living.” He has performed all over the world.
10-14-1980 Ben Whishaw – Born in Clifton, Bedfordshire, England. He is an English actor best known for stage and television. Whishaw played the role of Q in the James Bond film Skyfall. He was also the voice of Paddington Bear in the 2014 film, Paddington. A representative for Whishaw confirmed that he entered into a civil partnership with Australian composer Mark Bradshaw on August 2012. He later publicly discussed his coming out as a gay man in 2014, saying that it was a tense experience for him but “everyone was surprisingly lovely.”