Jamie Phillips-Fox

Jamie Phillips-Fox pic

March 2, 1953 – June 7, 2006

Detroit native and Center Line resident Jamie Marie Phillips-Fox was a pioneering transgender volunteer and activist in South East Michigan.  With her future wife Michelle Fox-Phillips, she founded what was then known as Transgender Detroit.  Phillips-Fox was also involved in Crossroads, Transgender Michigan, Affirmations, and PFLAG Detroit.

Detroit News, June 10, 2006

Between The Lines, June 15, 2006

Angela Romagnoli

Angela Romagnoli pic

October 19, 1949 – July 5, 2017

Born in Allegheny, Virginia, Angela Romagnoli grew up within a union family in Dearborn and retained a passion for social justice her whole life.  At the University of Michigan she took part in the Students for a Democratic Society in the late 1960s and helped found the campus Radicalesbians in 1970.

San Francisco Chronicle, August 13, 2017

Cody Petzold

Cody Petzold pic

August 12, 1993 – December 26, 2014

Cody Petzold was valedictorian of his class at Holly High School in 2011 and went on to become a student leader and LGBT activist at Oakland University.  In addition to studying human resources, he served as the vice president of the campus Gay Straight Alliance and interned with the Chrysler Corporation.

Daily Tribune, December 30, 2014

Oakland Post, January 8, 2015

Dennis Komac

Dennis Komac pic

November 9, 1944 – November 7, 1994

A founder of the Lesbian and Gay Community Network of West Michigan, Dennis Komac served in Army from 1968 to 1970 and moved to Grand Rapids in 1984 to serve as executive director of the Grand Rapids Art Museum.  Komac and his life partner Jeff Swanson later operated Sons and Daughters bookstore.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 49.

Network newsletter, December 1994

Leon DeMeunier

Leon DeMeunier pic

August 15, 1914 – December 23, 1985

A native of Charleston, South Carolina, Leon DeMeunier grew up in Detroit and earned a degree in business administration from the University of Detroit, after which he operated his own tax and accounting service.  He chaired the Detroit Congress of Racial Equality in the early 1960s and was active in the early gay organization ONE in Detroit.

No known obituary

Leon DeMeunier papers at the Bentley Historical Library

Charles Tyson

Charles Tyson pic

April 12, 1944 – August 27, 1986

Charles Tyson served as vice president of the Michigan Organization for Human Rights in the mid-1980s.  He and his business partner Kathie Dannemiller formed the consulting firm Dannemiller Tyson Associates in Ann Arbor.  He was also active in the Human Rights Campaign Fund and the Republican Party.

Cruise, September 3, 1986

MOHR newsletter, October-November 1986

Henry Messer

Henry Messer pic

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