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
June 11, 1936 – May 4, 2005
Known as the “Worm Woman,” Kalamazoo resident Nary Arlene Appelhof became a world-renowned expert on using earthworms for composting. She was born in Detroit, grew up in Alma, and attended high school in Ohio. She earned a B.S. and two Masters from Michigan State and taught in Kalamazoo and at Interlochen. Appelhof was survived by her partner of 27 years Mary Frances Fenton.
Kalamazoo Gazette, May 5, 2005
Lesbian Connection, September/October 2006
July 30, 1936 – October 5, 2006
Originally from Amherstburg, Ontario, Anna Mae Kiraly went to school in Windsor to become a Registered Nurse and was employed by Detroit Receiving Hospital as a critical care nurse for more than 40 years. Kiraly lived in and around Metro Detroit, including Warren, Farmington, and Sterling Heights. She was survived by Judith Cook, her partner of 24 years.
Detroit News, October 9, 2006
May 22, 1936 – June 14, 2016
Born in Redding, Maine, Sherry Redding earned her B.A. from the University of Michigan and a Master’s from Michigan State University. A longtime counselor, for many years she taught women’s studies at William James College at Grand Valley State University. She was also a founding member in 1978 of the local lesbian organization Aradia. Redding and her spouse Karen Clahassey shared 36 years together.
Grand Rapids Press, June 16, 2016
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
February 2, 1936 – January 24, 2015
Patricia Margaret Wootton worked in health care at Zieger Osteopathic Hospital in Detroit. In retirement, she participated in the Western Wayne County Senior Olympics, medaling in golf. Wootton and her life partner Patricia Fair shared a home together in Garden City.
Detroit Free Press, January 25, 2015
February 19, 1936 – December 14, 2013
At age 15, after Flint native Marvin Burrows started dating his life partner Bill Swenor, his father kicked him out of the house. Swenor’s mother welcomed Burrows into their home. The couple moved to California in the mid-1960s. When then-Mayor Gavin Newsom authorized same-sex marriages in San Francisco in 2004, the couple was married at City Hall.
Bay Area Reporter, December 19, 2013
Huffington Post, December 23, 2013