July 17, 1905 – December 11, 1980
Born in Italy, Joseph Accardi immigrated to the U.S., married in 1937, and worked as a storekeeper and an autoworker in Detroit before moving to Grand Rapids. He owned and operated Papa Joe’s Show Bar from the late 1950s until his death.
Grand Rapids Press, December 13, 1980
Metra, December 18, 1980
September 17, 1937 – May 15, 2017
Noted sexologist Sandra Cole founded the Comprehensive Gender Identity Program at the University of Michigan in 1993 and served as its director until retiring in 2000. She was also a longtime advocate for transgender legal and civil rights, and helped secure gender identity as a protected category in the UM bylaws and Ann Arbor’s human rights ordinance.
Ann Arbor News, June 23, 2017
Sandra S. Cole papers at the Bentley Historical Library
July 7, 1923 – March 14, 2013
The Rt. Rev. H. Coleman McGehee of Bloomfield Hills served as bishop the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan from 1973 to 1990. A leading ally of the LGBTQ community for more than four decades, McGehee served on the Advisory Board for the Triangle Foundation and ordained some of the first openly gay priests in the Episcopal Church.
Between The Lines, March 21, 2013
March 3, 1961 – April 9, 2018
Athony Trupiano grew up in St. Clair Shores, graduated from Lakeland High School in White Lake in 1980, and later earned a degree in mass communications from Alma College. A devoted Democrat, Trupiano hosted a progressive radio program for more than 20 years, often showcasing LGBTQ causes and featuring queer and transgender activists as guests.
Press & Guide, April 12, 2018
January 18, 1925 – July 27, 2006
Longtime Detroit City Council president Maryann Mahaffey toured several gay bars on election eve during her first campaign for Council in 1973. In the decades that followed, she never wavered in her support for the LGBTQ community, from helping include sexual orientation in the city’s human rights ordinance to opposing the Prop 2 initiative that banned same-sex marriage in the state constitution.
Between The Lines, August 3, 2006
September 26, 1941 – December 10, 2010
Allegan resident Dianna “Jo” Bortz and her husband Jay were active in the Holland/Lakeshore chapter of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. She was a member of All Saints Episcopal Church in Saugatuck. Prior to retirement, Bortz worked in senior care and protective services.
Kalamazoo Gazette, December 16, 2010
April 23, 1917 – August 28, 1983
Harvey Blanchard grew up in Dexter and worked as a liquor store clerk and sales manager for a tombstone business before acquiring the Flame Bar in Ann Arbor in 1959. He went on to operate the Flame for 23 years.
Metra, September 15, 1983
January 16, 1927 – March 31, 2002
Born in Royston, Georgia, Sally Mae McCoy moved to Detroit following World War II and attended Fleming Beauty School in the 1950s. In addition to teaching cosmetology and operating a hair care business, she worked for 20 years as a custodian with the Detroit Public Schools. Rev. Renee McCoy was among her five children.
Between The Lines, April 11, 2002
May 28, 1944 – March 31, 2014
West Bloomfield resident Linda Lee became active in the Michigan Jewish AIDS Coalition in the early 1990s after learning of discrimination gay men were experiencing at the height of the epidemic. In her commitment to social justice she later founded Jewish Gay Network and was a tireless advocate for LGBTQ people in Southeast Michigan.
Between The Lines, May 1, 2014
November 4, 1914 – January 18, 1991
Pianist Stennis Ousley accompanied Bramwell “ChiChi” Franklin at the Golden Slipper and other venues in the 1950s. She performed solo at various straight and gay bars into the 1980s, including the Willis Show Bar, the Tryst Club, and the Deck.
No known obituary.