January 9, 1949 – February 19, 1996
Known as the Godfather of House, legendary DJ Ken Collier spun music around Detroit for more than 30 years at such gay clubs as Bookie’s Club 870, Heaven, Todd’s, the Chessmate, and L’uomo. His skill with the turntable inspired a new generation of DJs and helped put Detroit’s dance scene on the global musical map.
Metra, February 28, 1996
MetroTimes, May 15-21, 1996
July 29, 1912 – March 1, 1976
For more than three decades, Danny Brown directed the Jewel Box Revue. Prior to establishing the famed touring company, Brown emceed female impersonation shows at the Club Frontenac in Detroit during the pansy craze of the 1930s.
Drag, volume 6, number 21, 1976
August 15, 1926 – January 8, 2003
Delores “Dee” Sweet operated D’s Lounge in Mount Clemens during the 1970s and ’80s, at the time the only gay bar in operation in Macomb County.
No known obituary.
Died October 7, 1969
Sara “Jo” Estrada, a 42-year-old barmaid at the Twilight Zone in Detroit, was murdered during a robbery of the West Side gay bar in October 1969.
ONE in Detroit newsletter, December 1969
July 14, 1955 – June 11, 1999
For more than 25 years, Robert Brunner performed female impersonation in Detroit under the name Melba Moore, winning the Miss Gay Continental U.S.A. title for 1981-82 and honored for Lifetime Achievement by the Performers Awards of Detroit in 1999.
Cruise, June 16, 1999
Melba Moore Tribute at Our Community Roots
August 17, 1937 – September 2, 2014
From 1974 to 1979, Donna Chartier, her then partner Diane Bono, and their friend June Reynolds operated the Casbah, the first lesbian-owned lesbian bar in Metro Detroit.
Traverse City Record-Eagle, September 7, 2014
November 28, 1942 – February 15, 1986
A onetime store manager for Kmart, Bobby Calvert and his life partner Dan Campbell operated both Todd’s Sway Lounge and the Akron Health Club on Detroit’s East Side. Calvert also testified before city council in favor of including sexual orientation in the 1979 Omnibus Human Rights Ordinance. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 43.
Metra, February 26, 1986