November 15, 1953 – October 24, 1991
Dale Allen Cramton grew up in Jackson and graduated from Parkside High School. As a first-year college student, he was founder of the Gay Liberation Front at Central Michigan University in September 1971. Cramton later moved to Los Angeles where he made a life for himself as an artist. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 37.
Jackson Citizen-Patriot, October 26, 1991
May 13, 1953 – February 16, 2018
White Lake resident and transgender activist Rachael Stephaine Two-Spirit Jackson had a 47-year career in flexographic printing and was employed at the FSI Label Company in Roseville. She was active in Affirmations and PFLAG Plymouth-Canton, as well as the Native American community, serving on the board for American Indian Services, Inc. Jackson was survived by her wife Marie.
O’Brien & Sullivan Memorial Services
September 15, 1963 – December 16, 2007
Lansing native James Michael Nickoff was kicked out of his home at age 15. He survived on dishwashing jobs and worked his way through college, earning his B.A. in accounting at Michigan State, where he was active in the Lesbian-Gay Council. After he moved to San Francisco, he served on the founding board of Equality California and married his partner Dave Lawson in 2004. Nickoff took his own life at age 44.
Bay Area Reporter, December 27, 2007
September 2, 1954 – February 22, 2018
Wilbert Anthony “Billi” Gordon Jr. graduated from Union High School in Dowagiac, class of 1972. He left seminary to attend the University of Michigan, where he became involved in gay activism, including as spokesperson for the Ann Arbor Black Gay Caucus. Gordon went on to become a celebrated model, entertainer, writer, and neuroscientist. He was survived by his spouse of 30 years Robert Schallert.
Los Angeles Times, March 10, 2018
November 17, 1947 – July 9, 2019
Clifford Alan “Clif” Levin graduated with the class of 1965 from Oak Park High School, earned his B.A. at Wayne State, and went on to receive his law degree there. In 1973 he began a 30-year career with the Wayne County Friend of the Court. Lemon served on the boards of the Triangle Foundation and the Detroit Together Men’s Chorus. He was also active in community theater in Grosse Pointe.
Between The Lines, July 25, 2019
September 13, 1945 – November 26, 2019
William “Bill” Galligan Jr. grew up in a Chicago suburb and earned his Bachelor’s at Western Michigan University. Following a career as an educator, Galligan moved to Saugatuck, where he became a beloved retailer, operating the Old Post Office Shop and later Spice Crazy Cottage. He was active in efforts to enact a gay rights ordinance in the late 1990s and was also a strong supporter of local arts.
Commercial Record, December 5, 2019
June 1, 1950 – May 11, 2007
A founding member of the Detroit Gay Liberation Front, Vaughn Perry Grubbs was born in Detroit, attended Redford High School, and completed two years at Wayne State University. Grubbs was later employed as regional manager for a rental car agency. His life partner Marque Sime preceded him in death by two weeks.
Detroit Free Press, May 11, 2007
June 25, 1940 – August 26, 1993
Native Detroiter Daniel Ross Sivil graduated from Cooley High School, earned his B.A. in English from Wayne State University, and worked as a computer analyst for General Motors for 18 years. Later as a resident of Troy, Sivil served as president of the Association of Suburban People from 1979 tp 1982. He was also active in MOHR, the Motor City Business Forum ,and the Detroit Area Gay/Lesbian Council.
Cruise, September 22, 1993
Daniel R. Sivil Papers at the Bentley Historical Library
October 26, 1957 – December 19, 2003
Activist and Joliet, Illinois native Billy Wayne Herrod Jr. began his career in retail following community college and moved to Detroit in 1996 as a manager for Sam’s Club. He served on the board for Kick!, predecessor to LGBT Detroit, and as a member of the Detroit Black Gay Pride board helped to organize the annual Hotter Than July in the early 2000s.
Between The Lines, January 8, 2004
April 19, 1964 – March 23, 2020
Writer and artists Brent Dorian Carpenter was born in Detroit and graduated from Cass Tech in 1981. His entrée into Detroit’s African American LGBTQ community came in 2001 when he approached Hotter Than July planners to promote his first novel, Man of the Cloth. Carpenter became and AIDS activist and he worked as a reporter and regular columnist for Between The Lines before moving to Atlanta in 2006.
Between The Lines, April 16, 2020