09-15-1924 – 03-21-2005 Bobby Short – Born in Danville, Illinois. Two of his classmates were Dick Van Dyke and Donald O’Connor. He left home at the age of eleven with his mother’s permission and became a busker (a person that performs music in the street for monetary donations). His musical career in clubs began in the 1940s. In 1968 he began playing at the Café Carlyle in New York City and remained as a featured performer for over 35 years. He is best known for his interpretations of songs by Rodgers and Hart, Cole Porter, Jerome Kern, Harold Arlen, George & Ira Gershwin, and many others. He also championed African-American composers such as Eubie Blake, Fats Waller, Duke Ellington, and Billy Strayhorn. Although he never publicly stated that he was gay, it was well known among his friends, fellow musicians, and even among some of his fans. When asked by a friend why he hadn’t taken part in any gay pride marches of the 1970s and 1980s, Short response was, “I have a living to make! I can’t afford to march in the Gay Pride Parade.” He died in 2005 of leukemia and is buried in Danville, Illinois, where he was born. A documentary about the Carlyle Hotel, titled Always at The Carlyle, has footage of Bobby Short performing.
09-15-1932 Ann Bannon (born Ann Weldy) – Born in Joliet, Illinois. She is an American author who, from 1957 to 1962, wrote six lesbian pulp fiction novels known as The Beebo Brinker Chronicles. She is known as “The Queen of Lesbian Pulp Fiction.” For an entire generation, The Beebo Brinker Chronicles provided the first representation in literature that they had ever read of women loving women without killing themselves. Bannon and others helped to end the isolation and ignorance that had kept thousands of gay women in emotional prisons, and paved the way for the new generation of lesbian writers who were to follow. Back in the repressive 1950s and 1960s, her books were a lifesaver for many women, as the avalanche of letters Bannon received from that time attest.
09-15-1881 – 05-22-1955 Lena Madesin Phillips – Born in Nicholasville, Kentucky. She was an American lawyer who founded the National Business and Professional Women’s Clubs in 1919 and by 1930, the International Federation of Business and Professional Women. Phillips studied law at the University of Kentucky. She was the first women to graduate from law school in 1917 with full honors, plus she had the highest marks for her law class. In 1919, she met Marjory Lacey-Baker, an American playwright and actress. They had a relationship for 36 years. Phillips described their relationship with Lacey-Baker as “the woman with whom I share my home.”
09-15-1937 Jacques d’Ancona – Born in Groningen, Netherlands. He is a Dutch actor, media-critic, and journalist. d’Ancona has been in the following films: We Will Rock You Musical Premiere (2010), Happy Family (2006), and Knevel & van den Brink (2007). He is openly gay and is married to Hans Langhout.
09-15-1941 – 10-26-2011 Aristide Lamet – Born in Magnolia Springs, Alabama. He was an early advocate of gay rights and co-founder of The Advocate in 1967. (photo of Lamet unavailable)
09-15-1956 Cathy Connolly – Born in Troy, New York. She is an American professor and politician. A Democrat, she is a member of the Wyoming House of Representatives representing the 13th district. She is the first-ever openly gay member of the Wyoming State Legislature. Connolly has authored a number of articles on sexuality including Out in the cowboy state: a look at lesbian and gay lives in Wyoming, published in the Journal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services in 2007. Connolly represents Laramie, the city in which Matthew Shepard was murdered in 1998 in an anti-gay hate crime that made headlines worldwide.