November 28, 1931 – April 16, 2012
Dolores Jan Harris was active with the Genesee County chapter of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. Born in Lansing, she married in 1950, worked as a paraprofessional with Brandon Schools, served as a Girl Scout leader, and sang in the choir of Ortonville United Methodist Church.
Oakland Press, April 18, 2012
December 28, 1958 – January 3, 2012
Born in Pontiac, Mark George Bidwell earned his bachelor’s at Lawrence Technological University. He also attended SS. Cyril and Methodius Seminary and earned a master’s in pastoral ministry at the Samaritan Institute of Sunshine Cathedral. In 1989, Bidwell joined the Metropolitan Community Church of Detroit, rose to the position of deacon, and later served as senior pastor until his resignation in 2011.
Between The Lines, January 20, 2012
August 7, 1952 – January 12, 2012
Detroiter Leon Smith attended Murray-Smith High School and became active in the local LGBT community in the 1980s. He helped launch the Men of Color Motivational Group, was one of the original organizers of the Hotter Than July pride celebration, and took part in a support group for HIV+ men sponsored by what was then known as Kick!.
Between The Lines, January 26, 2012
August 11, 1938 – October 16, 2012
Sabra Fischer grew up in Glencoe, Illinois and attended Ohio Wesleyan University. She later earned her M.S.W. from Wayne State University in Detroit, owned a private practice in social work and later massage therapy, and raised two children in Harper Woods. She and her partner Sue Grywalski moved to Lexington along Lake Huron in 1994.
Port Huron Times Herald, October 17, 2012
Pomeroy Funeral Home memorial
June 2, 1940 – January 29, 2012
A graduate of Mott Community College and the University of Michigan, Mary Ellen Raleigh taught English and business writing at UM-Flint from 1975 to 1995. She served on the campus Task Force on Sexual Orientation, played competitive Scrabble, and authored a longtime column for East Village Magazine.
Flint Journal, January 31, 2012
July 8, 1929 – September 23, 2012
A native of Breckinridge, Texas, Nita Hardie served as political science professor from 1964 to 1992 at Western Michigan University. There, she inaugurated courses on race and gender, established the Women’s Studies Program. Hardie was also a founding member of the Michigan Democratic Party Women’s Caucus.
Kalamazoo Gazette, October 14, 2012
October 1, 1976 – April 3, 2012
Coko Williams, a 35-year-old transgender woman who sometimes worked as a hairstylist, was found shot to death in Detroit’s Palmer Park neighborhood. After Fox 2 Detroit identified her as a “male prostitute” in its report of the crime, activists launched a protest against the station for being transphobic. There was also no evidence that Williams engaged in sex work.
Between The Lines, April 5, 2012