January 9, 1949 – February 19, 1996
Known as the Godfather of House, legendary DJ Ken Collier spun music around Detroit for more than 30 years at such gay clubs as Bookie’s Club 870, Heaven, Todd’s, the Chessmate, and L’uomo. His skill with the turntable inspired a new generation of DJs and helped put Detroit’s dance scene on the global musical map.
Metra, February 28, 1996
MetroTimes, May 15-21, 1996
August 22, 1945 – November 17, 1993
Wyandotte resident Gay Whiteside formed a chapter of the Daughters of Bilitis in Detroit in 1971. She was also active with the Gay Radio Collective and a longtime member of the Metropolitan Community Church of Detroit.
Detroit Free Press, November 19, 1993
October 24, 1995 -November 27, 2012
Josh Pacheco, a 17-year-old junior at Linden High, theater student, and Tim Horton’s employee, took his own life weeks after telling his mom he was gay. According to his mother, Pachero had experienced bullying at school.
Between The Lines, December 13, 2012
July 29, 1912 – March 1, 1976
For more than three decades, Danny Brown directed the Jewel Box Revue. Prior to establishing the famed touring company, Brown emceed female impersonation shows at the Club Frontenac in Detroit during the pansy craze of the 1930s.
Drag, volume 6, number 21, 1976
May 17, 1915 – May 16, 1996
The daughter of a coal miner, Olga Madar earned a degree in physical education from Eastern Michigan University and rose to become the first woman on the board of the United Auto Workers in 1966 and an international vice president of the union in 1970. Madar resided in Detroit’s Indian Village.
New York Times, May 18, 1996
August 15, 1926 – January 8, 2003
Delores “Dee” Sweet operated D’s Lounge in Mount Clemens during the 1970s and ’80s, at the time the only gay bar in operation in Macomb County.
No known obituary.
September 8, 1955 – October 2, 2014
Lansing resident Nancy Gardner worked as a computer analyst and volunteered with Capital Area Literacy, Haven House, and Edgewood United Church of Christ. She and her spouse Julia Grant were one of more than 300 Michigan same-sex couples to wed on June 21, 2014, the day after U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman ruled the state’s marriage ban unconstitutional.
Lansing State Journal, October 5, 2014