January 27, 1958 – June 16, 2015
A Lincoln Park resident and New Jersey native, Grace McClelland worked for two decades in the non-profit sector before being tapped, in 2003, as first executive director of Ruth Ellis Center for LGBT youth in Metro Detroit. Following her departure from REC in 2009, she began her own consulting firm, Liberation Consulting.
Between The Lines, July 9, 2015
October 29, 1962 – August 16, 1980
James Dallas Egbert III was a gay 16-year-old computer science prodigy and Dungeons and Dragons fan who disappeared from his Michigan State University dorm room in August 1979, prompting a month-long search of steam tunnels beneath the university. He took his own life at age 17.
New York Times, August 25, 1980
March 10, 1962 – July 11, 2006
Douglas McIntosh earned a B.S. in architecture from the University of Michigan in 1984 and a Masters from Yale in 1990. Three years later, he co-founded McIntosh Poris Associates in Birmingham and soon became a central voice for historic preservation. McIntosh served as president of Preservation Wayne and, with his life partner Scotty James, restored the 1896 Julius Melchers home in Detroit’s West Village.
Between The Lines, July 20, 2006
Model D, July 29, 2015
April 22, 1925 – January 27, 2002
A native of Pennsylvania, Mabel “Billie” Hill moved to Detroit in her youth and discovered Detroit’s gay bar scene while working in an auto factory during World War II. She later owned an antiques business with her then-partner Rose Bonham. A longtime member of the Metropolitan Church of Detroit, Hill tended the door at the Underground and, as a lesbian senior, was profiled in the Detroit News.
Between The Lines, January 30, 2002
November 9, 1944 – November 7, 1994
A founder of the Lesbian and Gay Community Network of West Michigan, Dennis Komac served in Army from 1968 to 1970 and moved to Grand Rapids in 1984 to serve as executive director of the Grand Rapids Art Museum. Komac and his life partner Jeff Swanson later operated Sons and Daughters bookstore. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 49.
Network newsletter, December 1994
October 12, 1961 – November 19, 2013
Madison Heights High School grad Cheri Jo Fiebig performed for more than 30 years as a male impersonator, appearing at the State Bar in Flint, Silent Legacy in Inkster, and other bars in Metro Detroit in the 1980s and ‘90s. She was featured on such local TV shows as Good Morning Detroit and Kelly & Company. Fiebig later relocated to Nashville, Tennessee and died from lung cancer at age 52.
Detroit News, November 30, 2013
September 2, 1943 – November 24, 2015
Born in Pontiac, Randell “Randy” French served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, worked at the GM V-8 Engine Plant in Flint, and belonged to the Masonic Lodge in Ortonville. For a time, he also tended bar at the Interchange and other Detroit gay nightspots.
Flint Journal, May 15, 2016