Jan Morris (b.
1926) is a Welsh author and historian. She is best known for her Pax Britannica
trilogy, a comprehensive history of the British Empire.
Assigned male at birth, she underwent surgery in
1972 and published the autobiography Conundrum two years later, one of
the first books to discuss the personal experience of a trans person. She
received the Golden PEN Award for a “Lifetime’s Distinguished Service to
Literature” in 2005.
Cherríe Moraga (b. 1952) is a feminist activist and author. She is the founder of
La Red Xicana, an activist group fighting for indigenous rights, culture and
Born in Los Angeles, she obtained a master’s in
Feminist Writings from San Francisco State University. She is one of the first
writers to introduce theories on Chicana lesbianism. In 1983, she founded
Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press, alongside Audre Lorde and Barbara Smith;
this was the first publisher in the United States dedicated to writings by
women of colour.
Anne Whitney (1821-1915) was a prominent American sculptor. Her works often featured
important historical figures, or depicted her liberal views on abolition or
women’s rights, among others.
Among the subjects of her sculptures were
Harriet Martineau, Lucy Stone and Harriet Beecher Stowe. Her works can now be
admired in places such as the United States Capitol, at Harvard, or around
Left: Anne Whitney with her partner, Abby
Right: Lady Godiva, 1864, Dallas
Museum of Art
Bi-Positive: Three TV Shows Doing it Right:
Please enjoy this article I wrote for Restless Magazine, and check out the other brilliant articles on themes of feminism, politics and mental health!
Diana Nyad (b.
1949) is a long-distance swimmer, author and journalist. Among her feats are
swimming around Manhattan in 1975, and being the first person to swim from Cuba
to Florida without a shark cage. She was 64 when she achieved this in 2013.
In 1970, during her first ever race, she
set a world record in women’s marathon swimming. She then broke many others,
such as the record for non-stop swimming without a wetsuit in 1979. In 2013,
she swam continuously for 48 hours, a charitable effort which raised more than $105,000
for victims of Hurricane Sandy.
Ruth Ellis (1899-2000)
was an important LGBT rights activist in the United States. At the time of her
death at the age of 101, she was the oldest ‘out’ lesbian in the world.
She was born in Illinois, but moved to Detroit,
Michigan later in life, with her partner Ceciline Franklin. Their house became
a safe haven for the African-American LGBT community. Today, a centre that
bears her name is dedicated to helping homeless LGBT youth.
Sylvia Rivera (1951-2002) was a legendary figure of the gay rights and trans
rights movements in the United States. She was a founding member of the Gay
Liberation Front and of STAR (Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries).
Her activism began in 1970, when she
started advocating not only for gay rights, but for the inclusion of drag queens
such as herself in the LGBT community. The same year, she founded STAR along
with Marsha P. Johnson, in order to help homeless LGBT youth.
May 17 is the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.
I would like to address the matter that is most personal to me:
We are not secretly straight or secretly gay.
We are not undecided, going through a phase, or greedy.
We are here, we exist, we deserve respect and recognition.
That being said, a lovely day to all my followers, part of the LGBTQ community or allies!
Brooks (1874-1970) was a painter who specialised in
portraits. She is best known for her paintings of women in masculine or
She started studying art in Rome, where she
was the only female student in her life drawing class – a very unusual place for
a woman at the time. She later moved to Capri, where she lived and worked in
poverty; she found success later on, in the art circles of Paris. She was also
well known for her uninhibited lifestyle and sexuality, and the love triangle
she formed with Natalie Clifford Barney and Lily de Gramont.
Above, right: Miss Natalie Barney, 1920
(1791-1840) was an English diarist and traveller. She is best known for
her very detailed diaries, of which significant parts were written in code,
covering her lesbian relationships.
She is referred to as “the first modern lesbian” for her open homosexuality,
very uncommon for the time. She was nicknamed “Gentleman Jack” and often mocked
for her masculine appearance. In 2011, her diaries were
added to the register of the UNESCO Memory of the World Programme, not only for
their frank accounts of lesbianism, but also for providing valuable records of
social and political events of her time.