September 7, 1922 – May 30, 1997
Detroit native Augustus Herman Rissman was better known to members of the local gay community as Gorgeous Gussy. Noted for “a gravelly voice and gruff manner,” Rissman entertained audiences throughout the 1950s, ‘60s, and ‘70s at such Detroit bars as the Golden Slipper, LaRosa’s, the Diplomat, and the Gold Dollar.
Cruise, June 18, 1997
December 20, 1922 – August 6, 2019
Lake Ann resident and Clare native Betty Jane Finout worked on the assembly line in Flint during World War II and earned her B.S. from Central Michigan University. She went on to coach and teach physical education at schools in Fenton, Holly, Lake Fenton, and Owosso. Finout enjoyed an active retirement into her 90s and was survived by two children and by longtime partner Samantha Niergarth.
Lesbian Connection, January/February 2020
August 14, 1922 – June 6, 1993
Finley Hooper grew up in Detroit and was an assistant professor of Greek and Roman history at Michigan State University in the mid-1950s when he was discovered to be homosexual and forced to leave. He subsequently enjoyed a long and esteemed academic career at Wayne State University.
Grosse Pointe News, June 17, 1993
September 14, 1922 – April 11, 2006
A native of Rochester, New York, Edward Weber earned his library degree from the University of Michigan in the early 1950s and went on the serve as curator of the renowned Labadie Collection from 1960 to his retirement in 2000.
Between The Lines, April 20, 2006
Edward Weber remembrance
Edward C. Weber papers in the Labadie Collection
October 5, 1922 – April 28, 2002
Leo Janas worked in the shipping industry and resided over the years in Wyandotte, Melvindale, and Dearborn. In 1953, he became the first person from Metro Detroit to subscribe to ONE magazine.
Heritage Sunday, May 1, 2002
August 19, 1922 – May 18, 2016
Renowned art historian Marvin Eisenberg hosted discreet parties at the center of Ann Arbor’s gay social scene during the 1950s, a time when university and city officials frowned on any open homosexuality.
Ann Arbor News, June 12, 2016