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

E. Lynn Harris

Everett Lynn Jeter, who went by E. Lynn Harris throughout his career, was born to African American parents on June 20, 1955, in Flint, Michigan. Harris graduated from the University of Arkansas in the 1970s and moved to Dallas to work at IBM. In the 1980s, he moved to the East Coast, where he witnessed the devastating effects of the AIDS epidemic on LGBTQ+ and African American communities. The struggles he witnessed during that time influenced his best-selling novel Invisible Life (1991). He was awarded Novel of the Year by the Blackboard African American Bestsellers for Just As I Am (1995), Any Way the Wind Blows (2002), and A Love of My Own (2003). In 1998 Harris won the James Baldwin Award for Literary Excellence for If This World Were Mine. He was named one of the leading LGBTQ+ and African American voices of his generation by Ebony, The Los Angeles Times, and New York Magazine. He died on July 23, 2009. To learn more about E. Lynn Harris, see LGBT African American By Kali Henderson and Dionn McDonald.