Judy Freespirit

Judy Freespirit poc

April 3, 1936 – September 10, 2010

Born in Detroit, poet, activist, and educator Judy Freespirit studied drama and speech at Michigan State University.  After being heterosexually married, she came out in the feminist movement in California.  In 1973, Freespirit coauthored the Fat Liberation Manifesto and in 1978 helped defeat the Briggs’ Initiative.  Among her other publications was the 1982 chapbook Daddy’s Girl: An Incest Survivor’s Story.

The Reporter, December 2010

In Memory: Poet, Essayist, Activist Judy Freespirit

Judy Freespirit papers at the GLBT Historical Society

Chet Sampson

Chet Sampson pic

October 15, 1916 – October 2, 2010

Chester James “Chet” Sampson of Los Angeles was born in Hubbell and attended Michigan Tech before transferring to the University of Michigan.  During World War II he produced variety shows in the U.S. Navy.  He later taught high school in Grosse Pointe before opening his own travel agency.  In 1965, he founded ONE in Detroit, only the second formal homosexual organization in Michigan.

Grosse Pointe News, November 4, 2010

Cheryl Grout

January 25, 1957 – October 24, 2008

Born in Detroit, Cheryl Ann Marie Grout of Houston, Texas earned her B.S. from Central Michigan University in 1980.  She worked as an in vitro fertilization technician at Hutzel Hospital in Detroit before moving to Texas, where she worked for Baylor College of Medicine.  Grout was survived by her partner Mary Louise Sorensen.

Detroit News, October 26, 2008

David Blair

David Blair pic 2

September 19, 1967 – July 23, 2011

David Blair, better known as Blair, was born in Newton, New Jersey and moved to Detroit in the 1990s.  He achieved national recognition as an openly queer socialist poet, artist, singer-song writer, and activist.  Blair also taught poetry to Detroit Public School students and at the Ruth Ellis Center.  Among his many achievements were a National Poetry Slam title and the BENT Writing Institute Mentor Award.

Between The Lines, July 28, 2011

Metro Times, August 3, 2011

Carl Jennings

Carl Jennings pic

September 23, 1938 – February 3, 2019

Born in Lewiston, Idaho, Carl Ivan Jennings served in the U.S. Air Force before making his way to Michigan, where, in the late 1960s, he met his life partner and later husband Lawrence Gammons.  In 1981, they opened Douglas Dunes Resort and in 2012 helped to found West Shore AWARE.  The two were featured in the 2015 WGVU documentary Michigan Hometown Stories: Saugatuck/Douglas.

Holland Sentinel, February 6, 2019

Debbie Goodnough

Debbie Goodnough pic

July 18, 1962 – December 5, 2018

Deborah Jo “Debbie” Goodnough was born in Escanaba and resided in Clyde Township.  She married her longtime partner Angela Sarazin in Port Huron in 2016.  Goodnough worked at Subway and was a devoted fan of the New York Yankees.

Port Huron Times Herald, December 6, 2018

W. Hawkins Ferry

Hawkins Ferry pic

November 18, 1914 – January 27, 1988

William Hawkins Ferry grew up in Detroit and attended Cranbrook before studying at Harvard University.  The grandson of a founder of the Detroit Institute of Arts, Ferry became a noted collector, patron, and champion of 20th century art.  An expert of architectural history, as well, his modernist 1964 home in Grosse Pointe Shores was featured in House Beautiful and Interiors magazines.

New York Times, January 28, 1988

Hawkins Ferry: The Original A-Gay