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Michael Hess

When Irish teenager Philomena Lee gave birth to Michael Hess in 1952, she never could have anticipated that he would go on to provide legal counsel for the Republican National Committee during the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations, nor that he would be one of the few openly gay lawyers on Capitol Hill in that period. Nor could she have predicted that, as an unwed mother of 18, she would be forced to give the child up, and see him shipped off to America. But it was exactly this event that spurred the 2009 novel The Lost Child of Philomena Lee and the 2013 movie adaptation starring Judi Dench. While Michael Hess succumbed to AIDS-related illness before he and his mother could reunite, their story continues to inspire.

The True Story Behind Philomena (Caution: Spoilers Ahead!)

Who was Philomena Lee's gay Republican son?