May 1, 1923 – January 11, 1986
In the early 1940s, Frederick Strowan Robertson attended the University of Michigan, where he roomed with W.H. Auden’s lover Chester Kallman. Robertson finished his B.A. at the University of British Columbia then returned to Ann Arbor to earn his M.A. at UM. He was active in community theater and gay social circles there in the 1950s. In later life, he worked for the National Film Board of Canada.
Montreal Gazette, January 22, 1986
June 8, 1923 – February 27, 2015
Nationally renowned Episcopal priest, civil rights activist, and author Rev. Malcolm Boyd made headlines in the mid-1970s when he came out as gay. During the early 1960s, he served as chaplain at Wayne State University in Detroit. His many books included Take Off the Masks and Gay Priest: An Inner Journey. Boyd was survived by his husband Mark Thompson.
New York Times, March 2, 2015
Between The Lines, March 12, 2015
Malcolm Boyd Papers at the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center
December 1841 – September 5, 1898
Born in Nova Scotia, Sarah Emma Edmonds began presenting herself as Frank Thompson at age 15. Thompson moved to Flint in the 1860s and was considered “quite a lady’s man.” After serving as a male nurse in Second Michigan Volunteer Infantry the Civil War, Edmonds resumed living as a woman. Her memoir Nurse and Spy in the Union Army became a best seller.
No known obituary
May 28, 1882 – July 1, 1928
A 1905 graduate of the University of Michigan, Avery Hopwood went on to enjoy a celebrated career as a playwright, once having four plays staged on Broadway simultaneously. With friend Carl Van Vechten, Hopwood experienced the homosexual underworld of New York in the 1910s and ‘20s. Much of his estate was bequeathed to fund annual literary awards for UM students.
New York Times, July 2, 1928
Michigan Daily, July 3, 1928
June 2, 1940 – January 29, 2012
A graduate of Mott Community College and the University of Michigan, Mary Ellen Raleigh taught English and business writing at UM-Flint from 1975 to 1995. She served on the campus Task Force on Sexual Orientation, played competitive Scrabble, and authored a longtime column for East Village Magazine.
Flint Journal, January 31, 2012
October 4, 1942 – September 26, 1987
Dean of the Wayne State University College of Lifelong Learning, Lawrence Murphy served as an institute director at Central Michigan University prior to moving to WSU. He was the author of the book Perverts by Official Order and was survived by his partner of 13 years Russell Len Griffin.
Detroit News, September 28, 1987
November 26, 1924 – October 4, 1996
Born in Traverse City, Alma Routsong served in the WAVES during World War II and graduated from Michigan State University. After moving to New York City, she authored the pioneering novel Patience and Sarah under the pen name Isabel Miller.
Gay Community News, Winter 1996
Lesbian Herstory Archives oral history of Alma Routsong
January 8, 1901 – January 10, 1996
A native of Otsego, Forman Brown attended the University of Michigan in the early 1920s and, with cousin Harry Burnett and companion Roddy Brandon, formed the famed Yale Puppeteers. In his eighties, Brown revealed that he was the author of the 1933 gay novel Better Angel written under the penname Richard Meeker.
Los Angeles Times, January 12, 1996
Bay Area Reporter, January 18, 1996
Forman Brown scrapbook at the Bentley Historical Library
May 12, 1941 – March 19, 2014
Milton Ford taught liberal studies at Grand Valley State University and served as founding director of the campus LGBT Resource Center from 2008 to 2010. He authored the book Playing It Straight: Gay Men and Heterosexual Marriage.
Courier-Journal, March 23, 2014
October 3, 1928 – December 22, 2011
Born in Allegan, Henry Lewis Van Dyke Jr. served in the U.S. Army and earned a B.A. and M.A. at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where he developed lifelong gay friendships. He later authored several novels and taught as a writer-in-residence at Kent State.
Akron Beacon Journal, January 8, 2012
Henry Van Dyke papers in the Labadie Collection