December 28, 1958 – January 3, 2012
Born in Pontiac, Mark George Bidwell earned his bachelor’s at Lawrence Technological University. He also attended SS. Cyril and Methodius Seminary and earned a master’s in pastoral ministry at the Samaritan Institute of Sunshine Cathedral. In 1989, Bidwell joined the Metropolitan Community Church of Detroit, rose to the position of deacon, and later served as senior pastor until his resignation in 2011.
Between The Lines, January 20, 2012
August 7, 1943 – February 28, 1991
Flint native William James Kain was a school teacher before entering the gay bar business. Kain worked as a manager at Stober’s Disco in Lansing and Sylvia’s Club Oasis in Flint in the mid-1970s before opening his own Flint bar the Downtowner’s Club, later renamed the Copa. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 47.
Flint Journal, March 2, 1991
Cruise, March 6, 1991
January 27, 1948 – May 16, 2015
Kathleen Canteen was born in Jackson and earned for B.A. in political science from Eastern Michigan University. As a resident of Royal Oak and Lansing, she played fast-pitch softball. Canteen worked as a supervisor with the Center For Forensics Psychiatry for the State of Michigan before moving to Los Angeles, where she was employed in the motion picture industry.
Lesbian Connection, November/December 2015
January 19, 1932 – December 14, 2017
Grayling resident Phyllis Ann Erb worked for 24 years as a wound specialist with the University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor. She met her life partner Patricia Teal in the mid-1960s when both were heterosexually-married housewives and mothers. Erb and Teal operated the Heritage House Bed and Breakfast in Gaylord from 1991 to 1996.
Ann Arbor News, December 24, 2017
March 17, 1960 – November 18, 1993
Redford resident John Frush was one of nine children and was a familiar presence in Detroit’s gay bar scene. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 33.
Cruise, November 24, 1993
March 19, 1958 – October 17, 2017
Lifelong Muskegon resident Barbara Ann Thomas graduated from Orchard View High School in 1976. She shared a home with her wife and partner of 29 years Julienne Little.
Muskegon Chronicle, October 19, 2017
May 8, 1925 – March 23, 1993
One of the most esteemed African American artists in Detroit history, LeRoy Foster was renowned for painting public murals in numerous buildings, including Cass Tech High School and the Frederick Douglass branch of the Detroit Public Library. As with many gay men of his generation, Foster was arrested on charges of accosting undercover vice in the 1950s.
Detroit Free Press, March 26, 1993