Frank Bigger

Frank Bigger pic

July 23, 1927 – March 5, 1998

Originally from Illinois, Frank Lloyd Bigger Jr. worked as manager and bartender at Joe Covello’s in Lansing from 1975 to 1991.  He went on to manage JB’s Saloon for three years before helping launch the Esquire Bar in 1994.  The Lansing Association for Human Rights recognized Bigger with a Prism Award in 1995.  Following his death in a car accident, an annual euchre charity event was named in his honor.

Between The Lines, April 16, 1998

Tony Rome

Tony Rome pic

November 19, 1936 – April 29, 2021

Klaus Reich, better known to gay Metro Detroiters by Tony Rome, was born in Berlin, Germany and immigrated to the U.S. in the mid-1950s.  After serving in the U.S. Air Force, he began an aircraft servicing business in Ypsilanti.  He later operated Foof’s Down Under downstairs at Gigi’s nightclub in Detroit.  From 1979 to 1999, Rome published Cruise magazine before retiring to warmer climates.

Desert Sun, May 13, 2021

Kurt Tamm

October 26, 1966 – December 21, 2007

Born in Los Angeles, Kurt Andrew Tamm went to Bentley High School in Livonia.  He later tended bar at Backstreet in Detroit and Cobalt in Ferndale.  In his last years, Tamm made a home in Puerto Rico.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 41.

Between The Lines, January 17, 2008

Bruce Allen

Bruce Allen pic

March 3, 1945 – December 6, 1992

Native Detroiter Bruce Leonard Allen attended Lutheran West High School.  He was a member of Tribe and a co-founder of Baccus and worked as a bartender at the R&R, the E-Ramp, and Ruby’s.  Allen also performed as Tracy Daye, notably as a member of the house cast at Gigi’s, receiving the Performers Awards of Detroit Lifetime Achievement in 1992.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 47.

Cruise, December 16, 1992

Terry Romatz

Terry Romatz pic

December 5, 1949 – October 27, 2004

Born in Mount Clemens, Terrance Jacob “Terry” Romatz of Fraser graduated with the class of 1968 from Fraser High School.  He later worked at Sears and was self-employed cleaning houses.  Romatz was also a longtime Metra magazine employee who organized the Metra Picnic and delivered the publication at bar throughout Metro Detroit.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 54.

OutPost, November 10, 2004

Between The Lines, November 11, 2004

Faulmann & Walsh Golden Rule Funeral Home

Bruce Andrews

Bruce Andrews pic

June 25, 1959 – October 17, 1992

Bruce Michael Andrews was born in Detroit and attended school in Troy and Sterling Heights.  He worked for a time for a construction firm and on the assembly line for Ford Motors before taking a position as maintenance supervisor for a senior living complex.  Andrews also tended bar part-time at the Gas Station.  At age 33, he was found murdered in his Sterling Heights home.

Cruise, October 28, 1992

Andy Karagas

Andy Karagas pic

January 1, 1921 – May 14, 1997

Indian Village homeowner Andrew “Andy” Karagas was the son of Greek and Italian immigrants and served in the Pacific during World War II.  Brother to Woodward Lounge owner William Karagas, he served as the nighttime host there for more than 40 years and was active in the Detroit Bar Guild.  Generations of customers recalled Karagas booming bar “Tonight’s the Night!” as he strolled the bar.

Detroit Free Press, May 19, 1997

Cruise, May 21, 1997

Between The Lines, June 1997

Harold “Buddy” Bigham

Harold Bigham pic

August 17, 1915 – December 27, 1977

Harold James “Buddy” Bigham grew up in Royal Oak and had a long career as a photographer in the research department of General Motors.  A homeowner in Detroit’s Boston-Edison neighborhood, Bigham was a familiar patron for many years at the Diplomat, Bookie’s Club 870, and other local gay bars.

Detroit Free Press, December 28, 1977

Thomas Kyewski

Tommy Kyewski pic

October 27, 1961 – May 21, 2005

Known in Detroit’s gay community as Tommy K, Thomas Patrick Kyewski attended Hamtramck High School.  At various local nightspots in the 1980s and ‘90s, he did go-go dancing and performed as Tina Wells, and held the distinction of winning both the Miss Gay Detroit and Mr. Gay Detroit competitions.  Kyewski also won female impersonation titles at Gigi’s, the Gold Coast, Club Incognito, and Footlights.

Our Community Roots

Danny Lightcap

Danny Lightcap pic

April 3, 1962 – October 19, 1989

Daniel Patrick “Danny” Lightcap was born in Pontiac and was active in the drama club at Pontiac Northern High School, where he graduated with the class of 1980.  Lightcap worked a waiter at the Woodward Lounge in Detroit and at the time of his passing was pursuing a B.A. in creative writing at Wayne State.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 27.

Cruise, October 25, 1989