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]
January 4, 1934 – May 9, 1999
Civil rights activist Harold McCormick was born in New Orleans, Louisiana and served in the U.S. Army from 1956 to 1962. After moving to Metro Detroit, he was engaged in social work and became CEO of Quality Human Services. McCormick led a largely closeted life until he was found murdered in his Royal Oak Township apartment, the victim of a man he met at an adult book store.
Detroit Free Press, May 13, 1999
Between The Lines, June 10, 1999
Between The Lines, July 1, 1999
March 23, 1960 – March 8, 2020
Longtime African American LGBTQ activist and Chicago resident Marcus Zohntell Loveless graduated from Redford High School in 1978 and earned his Bachelor’s from Wayne State University. In 1988, he helped form the Michigan Lesbian/Gay Democratic Caucus. Loveless was later an instrumental force with the Detroit Area Gay/Lesbian Anti-Violence Project and active in the founding of Affirmations.
Windy City Times, March 9, 2020
Hyde Park Herald, March 10, 2020
May 30, 1949 – November 21, 2010
Roger Stanley Reisdorf graduated from Redford Union High School and earned his B.S. from Ferris State University. He held positions with Grandview Nursing Home, McWilliams Credit Reports, and the Detroit Transportation Corporation. In the early 1990s, Reisdorf became active with Affirmations, later served on the board of directors, and helped raise more than $5 million for its new building.
Between The Lines, December 9, 2010
February 7, 1957 – April 27, 2003
Port Huron native David Quinn graduated with the class of 1975 from Port Huron High School and was employed with Kroger for 18 years. He was a founding member of and served on the board for Blue Water Pride. Quinn also helped to plan and organize the international Sarnia-Port Huron Pride celebration.
Port Huron Times-Herald, April 29, 2003
Between The Lines, May 8, 2003