09-10-1935 – 01-17-2019 Mary Oliver – Born in Maple Heights, Ohio. She was an American poet who has won the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. The New York Times described her as “far and away, America’s best-selling poet.” In the late 1950s, she met photographer Molly Malone Cook, who would become her partner for over forty years. Cook was Oliver’s literary agent. They made their home in Provincetown, Massachusetts, where they lived until Cook’s death in 2005. Mary Oliver continued living there for some time until she relocated to Florida. Greatly valuing her personal privacy, Oliver has given very few interviews, saying she prefers for her writing to speak for itself. Mary Oliver’s poetry is known for her clear and poignant observances of the natural world. She was influenced by both Whitman and Thoreau.
09-10-1886 – 09-27-1961 Hilda “H.D.” Doolittle – Born in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and moved to London in 1911. She was an American poet, novelist, and memoirist, known for her association with the early 20th-century avant-garde Imagist group of poets such as Ezra Pound and Richard Aldington. She published under the pen name H.D. She became a friend of Sigmund Freud during the 1930s and became his patient in order to understand and express her bisexuality. H.D. married once and had a number of relationships with both men and women. Close to the end of WWI, H.D. met the English novelist Bryher (Annie Ellerman). They lived together until 1946, and although they had other lovers, Bryher remained her lover for the rest of H.D.’s life. H.D. was unapologetic about her sexuality and became an icon for both LGBT rights and the feminist movements when her poems, plays, letters, and essays were rediscovered during the 1970s and 1980s.
09-10-1942 – 01-02-1991 Gilbert Price – Born in New York City, New York. He was an American operatic baritone and actor. Price was a protege of Langston Hughes. He was also a life member of New York’s famed Actors Studio. Price first gained notice in 1964, for his performances in Hughes’ Off-Broadway production of Jericho-Jim Crow. He made several guest appearances on many talk and variety TV shows, including The Ed Sullivan Show, Red Skelton, and The Merv Griffin Show. In 1971, he sang Leonard Bernstein’s Mass, as well as other oratorios. Hughes became smitten with Price. Unpublished love poems written by Hughes are believed to refer to Price. While there is no concrete evidence that they were romantically involved, it has been suggested by various biographers. He died in Vienna in 1991, when his propane heater malfunctioned during the night and he suffocated.
09-10-1937 Daniel Defert – Born in France, city unknown. He is a prominent French AIDS activist and founding president (1984-1991) of the first AIDS awareness organization in France, AIDES. He started the organization after the death of his partner, the French philosopher Michel Foucault. He and Foucault had been in a relationship from 1963 until Foucault’s death in 1984. Defert is a professor of sociology and has been active in many international AIDS organizations.
09-10-1960 Alison Bechdel – Born in Beech Creek, Pennsylvania. She is an American cartoonist. She was originally best known for her long-running comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For. In 2006, her graphic memoir Fun Home was adapted into musical and won a Tony Award for Best Musical in 2015. Fun Home was named one of the best books of 2006 by The New York Times, amazon.com, The Times of London, Publishers Weekly, salon.com, New York magazine, and Entertainment Weekly. In 2014, the anti-LGBT Republican-led South Carolina House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee cut the College of Charleston’s funding by $52,000, for selecting Fun Home for a reading program. Bechdel came out as a lesbian at age 19.
09-10-1961 Dr. Karla Drenner – Born in Charleston, West Virginia. American academic and politician. A Democrat, she is a member of the Georgia House of Representatives from the 85th district. Drenner has four degrees from four different universities, including a Ph.D. from La Salle University. A lesbian, Drenner was the first openly gay member of the Georgia General Assembly. Today, she is one of four LGBT members. Her campaigns have won the backing of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund.
09-10-1970 Molly McKay – Place of birth unknown. She is an attorney and civil rights activist for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals. McKay was the former Co-Executive Director of Marriage Equality California and former Media Director for Marriage Equality USA. McKay married her longtime partner Davina Kotulski in 2004 when Gavin Newsom made same-sex marriage legal for one day in San Francisco. In 2004, McKay and her ex-wife, Kotulski, appeared together on CNN, Newsweek, Time and USA Today. They are featured in three documentaries, including Freedom to Marry (2005), shown in seven countries and featured on PBS. In June 2011 McKay announced that she and Kotulski had separated, ending their 15-year relationship. In 2005, McKay received the Harvey Milk Democratic Club Community Service Award and in 2008 she received the Alice B. Toklas Community Service Award and the GLOBE Community Service Award.
9-10-1986 – Angel McCoughtry – Born in Baltimore, Maryland. At 6 feet 1 inch, she is an American professional basketball player for the Atlanta Dream of the WNBA. In 2015, she came out as a lesbian on her Instagram account with a picture of her with her girlfriend, actress Brande Elise. She stated, “Yes we been discriminated against! We lost friends! Family members are upset! They said I disgraced my religion! One thing I do know is that LOVE is a great feeling!” She went on to say, “…the more I speak to God I never feel judgment from the man upstairs, even tho he has all the power too! He tells me to fall, learn, and grow because that’s life. But to always keep my heart pure and believe totally in him. All I know love is a great feeling and GOD is Love.” McCoughtry was one of 49 out LGBT athletes at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.