December 1, 1960 – December 4, 1994
Detroit native Roger Alan McKinney graduated from Fraser High School in 1979. McKinney bartended at the Back Pocket and the CCW in the early 1980s before moving to South Haven, where he worked as a nurse’s aide at St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Rapids. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 34.
Cruise, December 14, 1994
April 22, 1925 – January 27, 2002
A native of Pennsylvania, Mabel “Billie” Hill moved to Detroit in her youth and discovered Detroit’s gay bar scene while working in an auto factory during World War II. She later owned an antiques business with her then-partner Rose Bonham. A longtime member of the Metropolitan Church of Detroit, Hill tended the door at the Underground and, as a lesbian senior, was profiled in the Detroit News.
Between The Lines, January 30, 2002
October 12, 1961 – November 19, 2013
Madison Heights High School grad Cheri Jo Fiebig performed for more than 30 years as a male impersonator, appearing at the State Bar in Flint, Silent Legacy in Inkster, and other bars in Metro Detroit in the 1980s and ‘90s. She was featured on such local TV shows as Good Morning Detroit and Kelly & Company. Fiebig later relocated to Nashville, Tennessee and died from lung cancer at age 52.
Detroit News, November 30, 2013
September 2, 1943 – November 24, 2015
Born in Pontiac, Randell “Randy” French served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, worked at the GM V-8 Engine Plant in Flint, and belonged to the Masonic Lodge in Ortonville. For a time, he also tended bar at the Interchange and other Detroit gay nightspots.
Flint Journal, May 15, 2016
March 9, 1947 – March 31, 1987
Allen Robinson grew up in Port Huron and served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War. Robinson moved to Detroit in his early 20s, lived for a time in San Francisco, and in the early 1980s returned to Michigan, where he worked at Tiffany’s and the Interchange, and at Metra magazine as managing editor. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 40.
Cruise, April 8, 1987
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 Club, the Tryst Club, and the Deck.
No known obituary.
Dates of birth and death uncertain
Stephen Franklin held retail jobs at Silverman’s and National T-Shirt. As manager of Bonnie and Clyde’s disco, he testified before the Lansing City Council in 1980 about police harassment of gay men at the nightclub. He later migrated to Texas. He died of complications from AIDS.
No known obituary.