April 7, 1984 – June 23, 2015
Birmingham native Jessie Makaila Shipps was a decorated veteran the U.S. Air Force, serving from 2003 to 2014. She was active in SPARTA, an organization for trans military members, and produced a number of YouTube videos documenting her gender transition. Shipps and her spouse Leeanna resided in Hampton, Virginia with their daughter Grace.
The Advocate, June 24, 2015
Detroit News, July 5, 2015
May 12, 1984 – June 27, 2006
Known for his “fallout” dance move, Robert “Reebe” Hatcher became involved in the Ruth Ellis Center for homeless LGBT youth in Highland Park in his late teens. He died of complications from a heart condition at age 22.
Between The Lines, July 20, 2006
June 1, 1984 – June 12, 2016
Detroit native Christopher Andrew “Drew” Leinonen moved to Florida just before high school and made a career as a psychologist. He was killed in the mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando on June 12, 2016 at age 32.
Between The Lines, June 30, 2016