10-18-1956 Martina Navratilova – Born in Prague, Czech Republic. She is a retired Czech-American professional tennis player. She has won 177 career titles, an all-time record for men or women. Billie Jean King said in 2006 that she is “the greatest singles, doubles, and mixed doubles player who’s ever lived.” She is the only player in history to hold the top spot in both singles and doubles for over 200 weeks. She is involved with charities that benefit animal rights, underprivileged children, and gay rights. On September 6, 2014, Martina proposed to her longtime girlfriend Julia Lemigova at the US Open. They married on December 15, 2014.
10-18-1947 – 04-08-1997 Laura Nyro – Born in The Bronx, New York City, New York. She was an American songwriter, singer, and pianist. Her hit songs include Wedding Bell Blues, Stoned Soul Picnic, Save The Country, And When I Die, Eli’s Comin, Stoney End, Time and Love, and Hands off the Man (Flim, Flam Man). She was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2012. In October 1971, Laura married David Bianchini. The marriage lasted three years. She then had a short term relationship with an Indian, Harindra Singh, which resulted in Nyro’s son, Gil Bianchini (she gave him her ex-husbands surname). In the early 1980s, Laura began living with painter Maria Desiderio, a relationship that lasted 17 years, the rest of Laura’s life. She died of ovarian cancer at the age of 49, the same age at which the disease had claimed the life of her mother.
10-18-1914 – 11-26-2003 Rhoda Bubendey Métraux – Born in Prospect Park South, New York City, New York. She was a prominent anthropologist, specializing in Haitian voodoo and the Latmul people of the Sepik River in Papua New Guinea. Métraux was an important professional and personal partner of Margaret Mead (b. 12-16-1901). Together they wrote several books and many articles from the 1950s to the late 1970s. The women lived together in Greenwich Village, New York City from 1955 to 1966, and from 1966, they moved to an apartment on Central Park West, until Mead’s death in 1978. Letters between the couple were published in 2006, with the permission of Mead’s daughter, clearly expressed a romantic relationship.
10-18-1940 Uzi Even – Born in Haifa, Israel. He is an Israeli professor of chemistry and a politician. Well known to be the first openly gay member of Knesset(Israel’s parliament). In 1993 he revealed that the Israel Defense Forces, where he served as a Lieutenant Colonel, fired him and removed his security clearance after they discovered he was gay. His testimony led to Rabin’s government changing the law and regulations to allow homosexuals to serve in the army in any position, including one requiring high security clearance. In 1995 he successfully challenged Tel Aviv University, where he worked, for spousal rights for his partner. In December 2012 Even set another legal precedent by divorcing his partner Amit Kama, whom he married in Canada in 2004. The divorce was granted by the Family Court, since the Rabbinical Court does not recognize same-sex marriage. This opened the way for straight couples to bypass the religious establishment as well, which in Israel holds a monopoly on marriage and divorce proceedings.
10-18-1946 – 11-05-1997 James Robert Baker – Born in Long Beach, California. He was an American author of sharply satirical, predominantly gay-themed transgressional fiction. He grew up in a “stifling Republican Southern California household.” Rebelling against his parents, he became attracted to the fringe elements of society. In high school during the 1960s he explored his sexuality at underground gay teen nightclubs, while living in fear that his abusive father would find out. At one point, his father hired a private detective to follow him, when he suspected him of having an affair with a male neighbor. The dynamics of his family is seen in many of his novels, especially Boy Wonder. His work was very controversial, several critics calling him “The Last Angry Gay Man.” Addicted to drugs and alcohol, he committed suicide on November 5, 1997. Baker’s life partner, Ron Robinson, believes that his increasing difficulty with getting a publisher for his work and his finances caused Baker to go into an emotional downward spiral that led to his death.
10-18-1990 Brittney Yevette Griner – Born in Houston Texas. She is an American out lesbian basketball player. In the 2013 WNBA Draft, the Phoenix Mercury selected her as the 1st overall pick. She played women’s college basketball at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. She is the first NCAA basketball player to score 2,000 points and block 500 shots. She also got an endorsement deal with Nike. She is very passionate about the issue of bullying, especially in the LGBT community.