Birthdays

Profiles of LGBT people, from the past and today – and celebrating their birthdays! All Birthdays →

Jane Rule

Jane Rule was born in Plainfield, New Jersey. But the political climate of the 1950s in the U.S. made for a very terrifying and harsh existence for gays and lesbians. Rule relocated permanently to Canada with her life partner, Helen Sontoff, and became a Canadian citizen in the 1960s. Rule's first novel was published in 1964 and titled Desert of the Heart. This novel was groundbreaking in that it presented the themes of lesbian love and partnership at a time when gay life was either shoved into invisibility or painted in the most negative terms. Her other novels, which include This Is Not For You, Against the Season, and After the Fire, center around lesbian characters and themes that defy stereotypes and examine the lives and relationships specific to lesbians, as well as the relationship between racism and homophobia. Rule's books have become staples in the world of gay literature. She dedicated the latter portion of her life not to writing but to battling censorship and to participating in other forms of gay activism. Her partner Helen died in 2000. Jane died on November 27, 2007.