Jerry Palmer

Jerry Palmer pic

October 11, 1925 – Jun 19, 2012

Jerry Mae Palmer served as a role model for masculine-identified lesbians in Detroit’s African American LGBTQ community.  Born in Alabama, she later moved to Michigan where she worked on the line as an assembler for one the automobile manufacturers.  Before her death at age 86, Palmer and her friends provided vital safe spaces for people to proudly be themselves through a variety of social events.

Stinson Funeral Home

Howard Baver

Howard Baver pic

September 10, 1925 – December 20, 2014

Longtime Farmington Hills psychologist Howard Norton Baver began his career in Hartford, Connecticut before moving to Metro Detroit.  As a straight therapist with a number of gay and bisexual clients, he founded The Gay Connection as a monthly discussion group in 1985 when many of them told him the only places they would meet were gay bars.  Haver was also a key supporter of the Jewish Gay Network.

Between The Lines, January 8, 2015

John DeCecco

John DeCecco pic

April 18, 1925 – November 2, 2017

Erie, Pennsylvania native John DeCecco, a pioneering scholar of sexuality and longtime editor of the Journal of Homosexuality, taught at the University of Detroit from 1953 to 1955 and at Michigan State University from 1955 to 1960.  Turning his interests to psychology, he moved on to an esteemed career at San Francisco State University until his retirement in 2003.

Windy City Times, November 12, 2017

San Francisco Chronicle, April 26, 2018

John DeCecco papers at the GLBT Historical Society

Hal Lawson

Hal Lawson pic

January 28, 1925 – June 21, 2003

Hal Lawson, a graduate of Wayne State University, was founding chair from 1958 to 1960 of the Detroit Area Council of the Mattachine Society, the first known organization for homosexuals in Michigan.  He was later involved in ONE in Detroit, the Association of Suburban People, the Michigan Organization for Human Rights, the Unitarian-Universalist Gay Caucus, and Dignity/Flint.

Between The Lines, July 17, 2003

Thomas Lohr Sr.

Thomas Lohr Sr pic

May 31, 1925 – March 13, 1918

Thomas Lohr Sr. was born in Saginaw, attended Arthur Hill High School, and served in the U.S. Army during World War II.  After graduating from NYU, he earned his M.D. from Harvard, then served in the Air Force before returning to Michigan, where he practiced medicine for 39 years.  In retirement, he and his husband Robert Rousch spent winters in New Mexico and summers in East Tawas.

Saginaw News, April 29, 2018

Kenneth Garnett

Kenneth Garnett pic

January 18, 1925 – September 4, 2015

Kenneth Garnett grew up in Bay City and for many decades owned and operated the Art Shoppe in Flint.  Toward the end of his life, he was a familiar face at the Pachyderm Pub.  Garnett was preceded in death by his life partner of 47 years Beverley Dunnington Wayt Jr. in 1994.

Flint Journal, September 6, 2015

Max Toy

Max Toy pic

August 3, 1925 – June 11, 2008

Max Edward Toy was schooled in Lansing and graduated from Albion College.  He served as a sonar operator in the U.S. Navy during World War II.  Before his retirement, Toy was employed at Michigan Employment Security Commission offices in Niles and Detroit.  Toy was a subscriber to ONE magazine in the 1950s.

Lansing State Journal, June 13, 2008