May 23, 1995 – August 8, 2015
According to Detroit police, 20-year-old Amber Monroe was engaged in sex work In August 2015 when she was shot and killed near Six Mile and Woodward. She was the twelfth trans woman of color murdered in the U.S. that year. Monroe attended Oak Park High School, studied at Wayne State, and was a familiar face at the Ruth Ellis Center.
Between The Lines, August 20, 2015
May 3, 1952 – November 23, 2016
Born in Byron Center, Portage resident Sheila Fortuin graduated from Byron Center High School in 1970, and attended Ferris State University for a short time before taking a job with the city of East Grand Rapids. She later worked at the Rock-Tenn paper plant in Otsego until its closure in 2004. Fortuin and her life partner Trish Breithaupt shared 21 years together.
September 23, 1936 – November 10, 2016
David Adamany served as president of Wayne State University from 1982 to 1997. A native of Janesville, Wisconsin, he earned his B.A. and J.D. from Harvard and his doctorate from the University of Wisconsin. During his tenure at the helm of Wayne, he remained discreet about being gay. His sexuality was an open secret, however, and behind the scenes Adamany lent his support to various LGBT causes.
Between The Lines, November 24, 2016
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