April 12, 1938 – October 23, 2010
Huntington Woods resident Frank Gordon Martin was born in Detroit, graduated with the January 1957 class from Pershing High, and attended Wayne State University. Martin later operated a textbook store near campus and in the 1980s was president of the Association of Suburban People. He was survived by Al Vezza, his life partner of 54 years. The two met on a streetcar just before Martin’s 18th birthday.
Between The Lines, November 4, 2010
May 8, 1945 – November 22, 1991
Queens, New York native Michael Jay “Mica” Kindman attended Michigan State University in the mid-1960s and edited East Lansing’s first alternative newspaper The Paper. Kindman later lived in Boston and San Francisco and became active in the Radical Faeries. His autobiography, My Odyssey through the Underground Press, was published posthumously. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 46.
Bay Area Reporter, December 5, 1991
February 20, 1966 – July 19, 2000
Stephen Gendin was a teenage member of Mensa and valedictorian of the Ypsilanti High School class of 1984. While studying at Brown University, he learned he had HIV. Gerdin went on to become a leading activist in ACT UP/New York, a columnist for POZ magazine, and the founder of Community Prescription Service, a mail-order pharmacy distributor. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 34.
New York Times, July 22,2000
Remembering Stephen Gendin on YouTube
Stephen Gendin Papers at Yale University
January 7, 1967 – June 26, 2004
Schawne Anthony Parker grew up in Detroit, graduated from Chadsey High School in 1985, and attended General Motors Institute before completing his B.S. in chemistry at Michigan State University. He served as first president of Men of Color Motivational Group and was later executive director of the HIV/AIDS agency Center Health Outreach Workers. Parker was survived by his longtime partner Marius Padieu.
Between The Lines, July 8, 2004
March 5, 1951 – April 17, 1996
Native Detroiter Floyd Dunn was a playwright, civil rights activist, and leader in the 1980s of the Detroit Coalition of Black Lesbians and Gays. Dunn later served as the founding director of the Black AIDS non-profit organization Project Survival and advocated for the inclusion of men and women of color in clinical trials. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 45.
No known obituary
May 8, 1998 – July 3, 2018
Al Davey attended East Kentwood High School in Kentwood and went on to study communications and creative writing at Eastern Michigan University. They also edited Cellar Roots, the EMU literary and arts magazine and authored At the Close: A Collection of Poems. Davey was non-binary and active with the campus group QUEST, Queer Unity for Eastern Students. They took their own life at age 20.
Grand Rapids Press, July 4, 2018
Eastern Echo, July 9, 2018
September 16, 1955 – April 19, 1993
Dallas Skeet Williams Jr., from Detroit, moved to San Francisco to live a more openly gay life. He worked as a nurse and a massage therapist and became involved in modeling, bodybuilding, doing drag, photography, and performing in adult videos. As a revolutionary HIV+ union activist, he protested with ACT UP and fought police brutality. Williams lost his life to diabetes.
Bay Area Reporter, May 13 1993
October 28, 1941 – June 15, 2001
Sylvia Robinson moved to Detroit at age 10, attended Northwestern High School, and earned her MSW from Wayne State. In 1977, she was appointed liaison to the gay community for the city’s Human Rights Department. Robinson also co-founded the Detroit Coalition of Black Gays in 1979, served as education officer for the Michigan Organization for Human Rights, and later attended Full Truth Fellowship Church.
No known obituary
March 13, 1931 – April 20, 2015
Marvin Phillip Marks of Southfield started his own accounting firm in the early 1960s. In the 1970s and 1980s, he held leadership positions in numerous local gay organizations, including Dignity/Detroit, the Motor City Business Forum, the Detroit Area Gay/Lesbian Council, the Forum Foundation, and Wellness Networks. Marks received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the annual Pride Banquet in 2009.
Between The Lines, April 23, 2015
Marvin P. Marks Papers at the Reuther Library
December 7, 1960 – May 12, 2020
Originally from North Carolina, Redford resident and trailblazing activist Aimee Stephens was fired from her job as a funeral director in Garden City in 2013 when she revealed she was transgender and would be living as a woman. She filed suit against her employer but did not live to witness the Supreme Court decision that her firing violated the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Stephens was survived by her wife Donna.
New York Times, May 12, 2020
Between The Lines, May 18, 2020 [online only]