Gay History 101: November 4, 2015

Ellen Page (Facebook)

Nathan Berkus (1971) is an American interior designer, author, TV host and television personality. He runs the Chicago interior design firm Nate Berkus Associates and has been a regularly featured guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show,   offering design advice to viewers, as well as coordinating surprise make-overs for people's homes. He has released numerous lines of products, and authored several books.  December 2004 Berkus and his partner, photographer Fernando Bengoechea, were vacationing at a beach resort in Sri Lanka when the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami hit. While Berkus survived, Bengoechea is missing and presumed dead. Berkus appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show on January 17, 2005, to talk about this ordeal and the loss of his partner. After nearly a year of dating, Berkus became engaged to Jeremiah Brent in April 2013. They were married on May 3, 2014 in New York City. In early 2014, the couple was featured in clothier Banana Republic’s "True Outfitters" ads in InStyle   and Rolling Stone, among other magazines.The New York Times noted they were the first same-sex couple to be featured in ads for the magazines. Berkus announced on March 25, 2015, that the couple's daughter via surrogate, Poppy Brent-Berkus, was born March 23.

Mathilde "Tig" Notaro (1971) is a Grammy Award   nominated American stand- up comedian,, writer, and radio contributor. On her approach to comedy (and if she considers herself a dark comic): "I'm always going to do whatever I think is funniest. If something's dark, I'll do it. If it's a sock puppet, if it's a stool, I'll do it. There's no preconceived idea of who I think I might be now. Notaro said that since her cancer diagnosis, she has shifted not to darker comedy, but rather to personal comedy. Previously she was more distant and observational, but now she reflects on her childhood and her life. Notaro was diagnosed with cancer   in both breasts on July 30 2012. On August 3, she addressed her recent cancer treatments and other personal difficulties during her live stage show at Largo in Los Angeles. The set has been described as "instantly legendary," with many comedians praising her work. Notaro sometimes discusses her romantic relationships in her act, but tries to maintain a level of privacy. Notaro met her fiancée, Stephanie Allynne, on the set of the movie, In a World.

Alec Mapa (1965) is a Filipino American actor, comedian and writer. He got his first professional break when he was cast to replace B.D. Wong for the role of Song Liling in the Broadway production of M. Butterfly. He later gained notoriety for the roles of Adam Benet inHalf & Half and Suzuki St. Pierre in Ugly Betty which are his best known roles. He is also known for his recurring role as Vern in Desperate Housewives. Mapa is openly gay and lends his support to various projects supporting the gay, lesbian, and Asian American communities. In 2008, Mapa legally married Jamison Hebert, after dating since 2002. On the TV series The Gossip Queens, Mapa stated in the opening episode that he and his husband adopted a 5-year-old African American boy.

Ellen Page (1987), Canadian actress courageously came out in 2014. The Juno actress said, "I suffered for years because I was scared to be out. My spirit suffered. My mental health suffered. And my relationships suffered. And I am standing here with all of you today on the other side of that pain.” Page was included as part of the Advocate’s  annual "40 Under 40" list.


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