Bella Bruinekool

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November 3, 1999 – May 19, 2013

Weeks after posting a YouTube video describing herself as a lesbian, eighth-grader Isabella “Bella” Bruinekool took her own life.  An honor roll student at Milwood Magnet School in Kalamazoo, she enjoyed reading, skateboarding, photography, baking, and her friends.

Between The Lines, June 6, 2013

C. Bruce Lee

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November 16, 1921 – August 10, 2015

C. Bruce Lee served with the Tuskegee Airmen in World War II, after which he earned an M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan and later held a high-level position with the federal government. He appeared in the documentary film Coming Out Under Fire.

Memorial website for C. Bruce Lee

Beth Brant

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May 6, 1941 – August 6, 2015

Born in Detroit of Mohawk heritage, Beth Brant was a poet, essayist, and author whose writings bridged multiple identities.  Her publications include Mohawk Trail and Testimony from the Faithful.

What Remains: Remembering Michelle Cliff, Beth Brant, and Stephania Byrd

Remembering Beth Brant

Mary Beth Dietz

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April 1, 1967 – March 18, 2016

Mary Beth Dietz earned a B.A. in English from Michigan State University and taught English in Wisconsin before returning to school to become a chiropractor.  She and LeAnne Ray became the first same-sex couple married in Michigan City, Indiana.

Grosse Pointe News, March 24, 2016

John Kellogg

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January 12, 1951 – August 10, 1995

A descendant of the Kellogg cereal family, John Kellogg in the 1970s migrated from west Michigan to San Francisco where he worked in gay businesses, including the adult film industry.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 44.

Bay Area Reporter, August 31, 1995