May 23, 1995 – August 8, 2015
According to Detroit police, 20-year-old Amber Monroe was engaged in sex work In August 2015 when she was shot and killed near Six Mile and Woodward. She was the twelfth trans woman of color murdered in the U.S. that year. Monroe attended Oak Park High School, studied at Wayne State, and was a familiar face at the Ruth Ellis Center.
Between The Lines, August 20, 2015
January 27, 1948 – May 16, 2015
Kathleen Canteen was born in Jackson and earned for B.A. in political science from Eastern Michigan University. As a resident of Royal Oak and Lansing, she played fast-pitch softball. Canteen worked as a supervisor with the Center For Forensics Psychiatry for the State of Michigan before moving to Los Angeles, where she was employed in the motion picture industry.
Lesbian Connection, November/December 2015
December 18, 1999 – April 9, 2015
Sam Taub was a ninth grader at West Bloomfield High School who identified as trans and skated with the Darlings of Destruction Junior Roller Derby League in Roseville. Taub struggled with anorexia and anxiety and took his own life at age fifteen.
The Advocate, April 16, 2015
Detroit Free Press, July 16, 2015
Wujek-Calcaterra & Sons
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
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
January 27, 1958 – June 16, 2015
A Lincoln Park resident and New Jersey native, Grace McClelland worked for two decades in the non-profit sector before being tapped, in 2003, as first executive director of Ruth Ellis Center for LGBT youth in Metro Detroit. Following her departure from REC in 2009, she began her own consulting firm, Liberation Consulting.
Between The Lines, July 9, 2015
September 2, 1943 – November 24, 2015
Born in Pontiac, Randell “Randy” French served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, worked at the GM V-8 Engine Plant in Flint, and belonged to the Masonic Lodge in Ortonville. For a time, he also tended bar at the Interchange and other Detroit gay nightspots.
Flint Journal, May 15, 2016