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

Oscar Wilde

Born in Dublin, Ireland, Oscar Wilde became one of the most influential English-language writers of the nineteenth century. Best known for his plays, he used comedy as a way of exposing the hypocrisy and moralism of Victorian England. Plays like A Woman of No Importance, An Ideal Husband, and especially The Importance of Being Earnest, as well as the novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, established him as a major literary voice in late 19th-century London. Wilde got into trouble when he sued the Marquis of Queensberry for libel, after Queensberry had publicly attacked Wilde for immorality. Soon, Wilde found himself on trial, and then convicted in 1895, for gross indecency with men. The trial brought homosexuality, “the love that dared not speak its name,” into the open in a way not before seen. In jail Wilde wrote De Profundis, an early defense of homosexual love. He died in Paris in 1900.