September 22, 1927 – February 18, 2014
From 1976 to 2014, Dearborn Heights neurosurgeon Dr. Henry Messer was a tireless advocate for gay rights in Michigan, active in the Association for Suburban People and the Michigan Organization for Human Rights. In 1991, Messer played an instrumental role in establishing the Triangle Foundation, which later became Equality Michigan.
Between The Lines, February 20, 2014
October 21, 1916 – July 3, 2007
Born in Tawas City, Dorothy Hoogterp grew up in Grand Rapids, earned her nursing degree from St. Mary’s Hospital School of Nursing. She was a poet, feminist, an early supporter of Lesbian Connection and the Lansing Lesbian Center, and was considered the matriarch of the Grand Rapids lesbian community.
Lesbian Connection, September/October 2007
June 4, 1963 – July 19, 1993
Bradley Grant was a longtime member of the Detroit chapter of Black and White Men Together. He served on the board of the Michigan Organization or Human Rights and was active with the Detroit Area Gay/Lesbian Council. He also performed as a female impersonator under the name Peaches la Fleur. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 30.
BWMT Detroit newsletter, August 1993
August 18, 1949 – September 2, 2010
A retired social studies teacher with the Dowagiac Union School District, Terry Kuseske became one of the state’s leading LGBTQ rights advocates of the new millennium. He served on the board of the newly rechristened Equality Michigan, led a successful ballot initiative to secure a gay-rights ordinance in Kalamazoo, and won a seat as an openly gay candidate to the Kalamazoo City Commission.
Kalamazoo Gazette, September 2, 2010
August 25, 1948 – January 19, 1993
A graduate of Farmington High School, Alan Redner was deployed to Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War, received a Bronze Star for his service, and rose to the rank of captain with the Michigan National Guard. Employed with Estate Motors in Birmingham and later with BMW, Redner was also active with the Association of Suburban People. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 44.
Cruise, January 27, 1993
October 12, 1950 – January 7, 2017
Business owner Arlene Kish attended Shafer High School in Southgate and studied marketing and advertising at Ferris State University. A devoted transgender community organizer and activist, Kish served on the board of Affirmations. As a conservative political independent, she often took flack for supporting Republican causes.
Heritage Newspapers, January 11, 2017
October 5, 1980 – December 13, 2014
Activist Robert Clark was past president of the Black Pride Society, which produces Detroit’s annual Hotter Than July celebration. He served on the Michigan HRC Steering Committee and was active in the Peninsula Group.
Between The Lines, December 18, 2014