09-21-1945 Kay Ryan – Born in San Jose, California. She is an American poet and educator. She was the 16th United States Poet Laureate and won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 2011. Ryan has published seven volumes of poetry and an anthology of selected and new poems. Since 1971, she has lived in Marin County, California, and has taught English part-time at the College of Marin in Kentfield. Carol Adair was also an instructor at the College of Marin. She married Carol Adair twice – once in San Francisco City Hall in 2004, the second time at the Marin Civic Center in 2008, the same day she had been named US poet laureate. They were together for 30 years until Adair’s death in 2009.
09-21-1969 Billy Porter – Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is a Broadway performer, pop singer, film and television actor, and vocal coach. Porter achieved fame performing on Broadway before going off on a solo career as a singer. He won the 2013 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical for his role as Lola in Kinky Boots. He also won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical and Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical for the same role. Porter wrote and performed in his one-man autobiographical show, Ghetto Superstar (The Man That I Am) at Joe’s Pub in New York City in February and March 2005. He was nominated for “Outstanding New York Theater: Broadway and Off-Broadway Award” at the 17th GLAAD Media Awards. He has released two albums. Porter also wrote the play While I Yet Live, which premiered Off-Broadway at Primary Stages on September 24, 2003. In 2019, Porter became the first openly gay black man to win an Emmy for Lead Actor In A Drama.
09-21-1944 Fannie Flagg – Born in Birmingham, Alabama. She is an American actress, comedian, and author. From 1973 t0 1982, she was a regular panelist on the game show Match Gamer. Her 1987 novel, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, was adapted into the 1991 motion picture Fried Green Tomatoes. She was nominated for an Academy Award for the screenplay adaptation. In the late 1970s, Flagg had a relationship with American writer Rita Mae Brown. Prior to that, she had an eight-year relationship with former The Bold and the Beautiful actress Susan Flannery.
09-21-1970 Melissa Ferrick – Born in Ipswich, Massachusetts. She is an American singer-songwriter and Professor of the Practice at Northeastern University. Her 1998 album Everything I Need was nominated for Album of the Year by the Gay & Lesbian American Music Awards. Ferrick is openly queer.
09-21-1969 Anne Burrell – Born in Cazenovia, New York. She is an American chef and TV personality. She was also an instructor at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City until 2007. Burrell is the host of the Food Network show Secrets of a Restaurant Chef and co-host of Worst Cooks in America. She also hosted the series Chef Wanted with Anne Burrell in 2012-2013. Burrell released a statement to the New York Post confirming that she is a lesbian and has been in a relationship with her girlfriend for two years, after cookbook author, Ted Allen, outed her on a radio show. Burrell disputed the notion she had been outed, saying she had not kept her sexuality a secret. On December 31, 2012, Anne publicly tweeted she is engaged to fellow chef Koren Grieveson, her partner of two years.
09-21-1898 – 07-31-1957 Pavel Tchelitchew – Born in Kaluga, Russia (near Moscow). He was a Russian-born surrealist painter, set designer, and costume designer. In 1923 he moved to Paris and became acquainted with Gertrude Stein. His first U.S. show was at the newly opened Museum of Modern Art in 1930. In 1934, he moved to New York with his lifetime partner, writer Charles Henri Ford. From 1940 to 1947, he provided illustrations for the Surrealist magazine View. He became a U.S. citizen in 1952.
09-22-1902 – 1980 Toyen (b. Marie Čermonová) – Born in Smichov, Bohemia. She lived in Paris for most of her life. Toyen was a Czech transgender artist involved with the surrealist movement. She took on the name Toyen and referred to herself as a man. He/she had a 60-year career as an artist. His works included paintings, drawings, collages, illustrations, and book covers. Toyen’s work often showed lesbian themes. Toyen regarded painting as a natural need free of any ambition and painted whatever came into his mind. The Czech press made no mention of the death of the great artist known only as Toyen and the estate was sold in three auctions under the pseudonym Toyen.
09-21-1926 – 02-06-1999 Donald Allan Dunstan – Born in Suva, Fiji. He grew up and was schooled in Adelaide, the capital city of the state of South Australia. He was a South Australian politician. Dunstan entered politics as the Member for Norwood in 1953, became state Labor leader in 1967, and was Premier of South Australia between June 1967 and April 1968, and again between June 1970 and February 1979. A reformist, Dunstan brought profound change to South Australian society. His socially progressive administration saw Aboriginal land rights recognized, homosexuality decriminalized, the first female judge appointed, the first non-British governor, Sir Mark Oliphant, and later, the first indigenous governor Sir Douglas Nicholls. He enacted consumer protection laws, reformed and expanded the public education and health systems, abolished the death penalty, and created a ministry for the environment. In 1986 he met his life partner, Stephen Cheng. They were together until Dunstan’s death in 1999 from cancer. Dunstan was openly gay.
09-21-1960 Kelley Eskridge – Born in Florida (city unknown). She is an American writer of fiction, non-fiction, and screenplays. In 1988 she attended the Clarion Writers Workshop where she met her wife, English novelist Nicola Griffith. In 1995 her story Alien received a TV adaptation on the short-lived Sci-Fi Channel Series Welcome to Paradox. Eskridge is a full-time writer, screenwriter, and independent editor/writing coach. She is currently the Board Chair of the Clarion West Writers Workshop. She and her wife live in Seattle.
09-21-1973 Edgars Rinkēvičs – Born in Jümala, Soviet Union. He is a Latvian politician and current Minister of Foreign Affairs of Latvia. He is a member of the Unity Party. On November 6, 2014, he publicly announced on his Twitter profile that he is gay. This made him the first lawmaker in Latvia to announce he is gay, as well as the most prominent openly gay politician in a former Soviet Bloc state at the time.
09-21-1983 Scott Evans – Born in Boston, Massachusetts. He is an American actor, best known for his role as the police officer Oliver Fish on the ABC daytime soap opera One Life to Live.