Sunday, April 11, 2010

GLBTQ Birthdays

Writing this post on a Sunday night, it occurs to me that I have been 40 years old for over 27 hours now. Yes, readers, April 10th was a milestone birthday, and I had a wonderful celebration with 20 good friends all packed into my Brooklyn brownstone apartment. It was definitely a successful party: it took until 2:30 this afternoon for me to get rid of my hangover. As I mentally prepared myself the past two weeks or so for this occasion, I began to think about other people whose birthdays are taking place these first few weeks of April. This actually all started because I was pleasantly surprised to discover recently that my fantasy boyfriend Ewan McGregor (image: Best of Ewan website) celebrates his birthday on March 31. The Scot just celebrated his 39th birthday! Okay, so admittedly he's not gay, but with more than one "gay/bisexual" role on his resume (from The Pillow Book and Velvet Goldmine to the recent I Love You Phillip Morris, which for ridiculously homophobic reasons still has not been able to get a distributor in the US), Ewan is arguably the most open-minded queer actor out there, with varied major roles from Trainspotting to Moulin Rouge. He was fantastic also in the current film The Ghost Writer which I saw last week with RK.

But moving on from my Ewan obsession, this post actually is about birthdays. We all like to know that we were born on the same day as someone famous. It somehow makes us feel special. My cousin DG, for instance, shares her birthday with Queen Victoria (about which we ARE quite amused!). Comparatively speaking, when I was growing up I was always depressed to know that the two people who shared my birthday were the actor Harry Morgan and the football player Don Meredith. But now, thanks to the GLBTQ Encyclopedia, a free resource that tells you everything you ever wanted to know about the gay world, I'm pleased to discover I also share my birthday with famous queers like the English playwright and poet John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester (b. 1647), and the landscape architect and philanthropist James Ogilvy, Earl of Findlater (b. 1750). Now, admittedly, Rochester was a bit of a rake, a free-spirited sex addict who didn't discriminate in his partners too much, but Findlater was probably more of a self-identifying homosexual, living in Europe with his partner Johann Georg Fischer.

Some other gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender/queer birthdays for this month include:
April 2: Danish fairy tale author Hans Christian Andersen (b. 1805), who was probably bisexual, and lesbian social commentator and literary critic Camille Paglia (b. 1947);
April 3: gay actor David Hyde Pierce (b. 1959);
April 5: Victorian English poet Algernon Charles Swinburne (b. 1837, dying on April 10, 1909), who was probably more auto-erotic than gay or bisexual;
April 9: lesbian actress Cynthia Nixon (b. 1966);
April 14: gay actor Sir John Gielgud (b. 1904);
April 15: gay Renaissance artist and scientist Leonardo da Vinci (b. 1452), gay-but-never-out Anglo-American writer Henry James (b. 1843), and lesbian blues singer Bessie Smith (b. 1894).
And of course let's not forget bisexual playwright and poet William Shakespeare, who will celebrate his 446th birthday on April 23rd. Happy Birthday, fellow queers!

1 comment:

Donald's Garden said...

Happy Belated! 40 and Fabulous!

I'm celebrating a big one too in July. 10 years 'bigger' than yours! ;)