Michael Scott

Michael Scott pic

June 26, 1947 – December 7, 2010

Michael David Scott was born in Lansing and graduated from Central High School in Kalamazoo in 1966.  He later worked as a chef in Lansing and at Michigan State University.  Scott was a noted local drag performer and in June 1972 won the Miss Capital City title at a pageant held at Joe Covello’s.  Days later he led the first-ever Pride parade down Woodward in Detroit and sang at the rally in Kennedy Square.

Lansing State Journal, December 13, 2010

Patricia Woods

Pat Woods pic

November 9, 1956 – December 16, 2020

Patricia Mae Woods, known to loved ones as “Patty Cakes,” was born in Detroit and graduated with the class of 1974 from Central High School.  She attended the Michigan Barber School and worked in area nursing homes before going into business owning and operating Woods Home Improvement.  For many years Woods attended Full Truth Fellowship Church.

O.H. Pye III Funeral Home

Billi Gordon

Billi Gordon pic

September 2, 1954 – February 22, 2018

Wilbert Anthony “Billi” Gordon Jr. graduated from Union High School in Dowagiac, class of 1972.  He left seminary to attend the University of Michigan, where he became involved in gay activism, including as spokesperson for the Ann Arbor Black Gay Caucus.  Gordon went on to become a celebrated model, entertainer, writer, and neuroscientist.  He was survived by his spouse of 30 years Robert Schallert.

Los Angeles Times, March 10, 2018

Eric Jordan

Eric Jordan pic

June 20, 1965 – June 18, 1995

Originally from Nashville, Tennessee, Eric Leroy Jordan moved to Detroit following high school and became active in Men of Color, Full Truth Fellowship Church, and the James Baldwin/Pat Parker Society.  From 1993 to 1995, Jordan was employed as a case worker for the AIDS Consortium of Southeastern Michigan.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 29, two days shy of his 30th birthday.

Between The Lines, July 1995

LeRoy Scott

LeRoy Scott pic 2

June 2, 1917 – March 23, 2009

LeRoy Raymond Scott was born in Detroit, graduated from Cass Tech, and attended Wayne State.  For three decades he resided in New York, where his drag persona Madame X was photographed by Diane Arbus.  After returning to Michigan, he became active in Unlimited Seniors and Black and White Men Together.  Metro Detroit’s LGBT community honored Scott with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007.

Between The Lines, March 26, 2009

Jennifer Holiday Chanel

Jennifer Holiday Chanel pic

June 9, 1969 – November 15, 2020

An early member of the House of Chanel, Jennifer Holiday Chanel graduated with the class of 1987 from Flint Central High School and went on to attend Eastern Michigan University.  She performed at the Nectarine in Ann Arbor, later worked at Gigi’s in Detroit, and won the Miss Gigi’s title in 1997.  The Performers Awards of Detroit honored Chanel with its Bookie Stewart Hall of Fame Award in 2017.

Between The Lines [online only], November 19, 2020

Gary Patterson

Gary Patterson pic

October 12, 1961 – March 8, 1995

Native Detroiter Gary Patterson graduated from Cass Tech High School in 1979 and earned his B.A. in psychology from Kalamazoo College in 1984.  After serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Gabon, Africa, Patterson worked as a counselor and educator for AIDS Care Connection and pursued a degree from Unity Union Ministerial School of Detroit.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 33.

Between The Lines, April 1995

Billy Herrod

Billy Herrod pic

October 26, 1957 – December 19, 2003

Activist and Joliet, Illinois native Billy Wayne Herrod Jr. began his career in retail following community college and moved to Detroit in 1996 as a manager for Sam’s Club.  He served on the board for Kick!, predecessor to LGBT Detroit, and as a member of the Detroit Black Gay Pride board helped to organize the annual Hotter Than July in the early 2000s.

Between The Lines, January 8, 2004

Brent Dorian Carpenter

Brent Dorian Carpenter pic

April 19, 1964 – March 23, 2020

Writer and artists Brent Dorian Carpenter was born in Detroit and graduated from Cass Tech in 1981.  His entrée into Detroit’s African American LGBTQ community came in 2001 when he approached Hotter Than July planners to promote his first novel, Man of the Cloth.  Carpenter became and AIDS activist and he worked as a reporter and regular columnist for Between The Lines before moving to Atlanta in 2006.

Between The Lines, April 16, 2020

Nikki Nicholas

Nikki Nicholas pic

October 1, 1983 – February 21, 2003

Southfield resident Nikki Nicholas, an entertainer in Detroit gay bars, was found slain at age 19 in what the Triangle Foundation identified as an anti-trans hate crime in an abandoned house in Green Oak Township.  The Washtenaw Rainbow Action Project held a candlelight vigil in her memory and the National Association for the Advancement of Transgender People later marched in Lansing in her honor.

Between The Lines, March 6, 2003

The Final Assault on Nikki