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On This Gay Day | Musician Melissa Etheridge was born

Musician Melissa Etheridge celebrates her birthday today. Born in Leavenworth, Kansas she went on to study music at Berklee College of Music and began playing in 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 knocked back for being too polished. After returning to the studio in 1988 Etheridge returned with her self-titled debut record, which included the massive hits Somebody Bring Me Some Water, Similar Features and Like The Way I Do.

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The singer-songwriter went on to have further success with Brave and Crazy (1989) and Never Enough (1992).

In 1993 Etheridge publicly came out declaring she was a lesbian, and released her fourth album Yes I Am. It included the songs Come To My Window and I’m 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 until 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 her partner Linda Wallem, who is an actor, writer and producer. In 2020 tragedy stuck when her son Beckett Cypher died aged just 21, with his family revealing he had struggled with opiate addiction.

Over her career Etheridge has released 16 albums of material, including a Christmas collection and a covers album of soul classics. During her recent Perth show she shared that her next album will be a live recording of a show she performed at a women’s penitentiary in her hometown of Leavenworth, Kansas.

Melissa Etheridge spoke to OUTinPerth’s Zoe Carter back in 2012, and also chatted to Graeme Watson in 2016.


Religious Leader Gene Robinson was born on this day in 1947

Gene Robinson celebrates his birthday today, turning 75.

While a university student he was drawn to the Episcopal Church and later was ordained as 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 New Hampshire diocese. His history making appointment made headlines around the world.

He remained a bishop until 2013 when he retired from the church. he went on to work for a number of non-profit organisations. During his career Bishop Robinson often spoke about how the church needed to embrace LGBTIQA+ people.

Robinson and Andrew divorced in 2015, at the time the former Bishop said that marriages between same-sex couples were just the same as heterosexual marriages, and sadly not all of them go the distance.

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

OIP Staff, This post was first published in 2022 and has been updated.

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