On this gay day: Musician Melissa Etheridge was born | OUTInPerth

Melissa Etheridge was born on this day in 1961

Musician Melissa Etheridge celebrates her birthday today. Born in Leavenworth, Kansas, she went on to study music at Berklee College of Music and started playing clubs around Boston. She dropped out after three semesters and moved to Los Angeles to pursue her rock ‘n roll dreams.

She was signed to Island Records, but her first attempt at recording an album was pushed back for being too polished. After returning to the studio in 1988, Etheridge returned with her self-titled debut album, which included the huge hits Someone bring me water, similar characteristics and Like my way.

The singer-songwriter then enjoyed further success with Brave and Crazy (1989) and Never enough (1992).

In 1993, Etheridge came out publicly as a lesbian and released her fourth album. Yes. He understood the songs Come to my window and I am the only one.

Etheridge had a long term relationship with Julie Cypher. The couple had two children, later sharing that rock musician David Crosby had been their sperm donor. The couple separated in 2000.

From 2002 to 2010, Etheridge was in a relationship with actress Tammy Lynn Michaels, during their relationship Michaels gave birth to twins. During their relationship, Etheridge had a public battle with breast cancer.

In 2014, Etheridge married his partner Linda Wallem, who is an actress, writer and producer. In 2020 tragedy stalled when her son Beckett Cypher died aged just 21, with his family revealing he had battled opiate addiction.

Over the course of her career, Etheridge has released 16 albums of material, including a Christmas collection and an album of covers of soul classics.

Melissa Etheridge spoke to Zoe Carter of OUTinPerth in 2012 and also chatted with Graeme Watson in 2016.

Religious leader Gene Robinson was born on this day in 1947

Gene Robinson celebrates his birthday today, he is 75 years old.

While a college student, he was drawn to the Episcopal Church and later was ordained a minister. In 1986 Robinson separated from his wife and shared that he was gay. The following year he met his partner Mark Andrew, and in 2008 the couple joined in a civil ceremony.

Robinson continued his career in the church and in 2003 was elected bishop of the Diocese of New Hampshire. Her dating story made headlines around the world.

He remained bishop until 2013, when he retired from the church. he then worked for a number of non-profit organizations. Throughout his career, Bishop Robinson has often spoken of the need for the church to welcome LGBTIQA+ people.

Robinson and Andrew divorced in 2015, when the former bishop said same-sex marriages were the same as heterosexual marriages, and unfortunately not all go far.

“It is at least a small comfort to me, as an advocate for gay rights and marriage equality, to know that, like any marriage, gay and lesbian couples are subject to the same complications and difficulties that plague marriages between heterosexual couples,” Robinson wrote in an article for The daily beast. “We all sincerely intend when we take our wedding vows to live up to the ideal until death do us part.” But not all of us are able to see this until death does indeed do us part.

OIP staff

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