Marjorie Lyda

Marj Lyda pic

July 20, 1930 – January 21, 2009

Marjorie Ann Lyda earned her MSW from Wayne State and in 1967 became the first African-American woman to open a psychotherapy practice in Birmingham.  She was one of the earliest therapists in Metro Detroit to provide positive counseling to gay clients and offered pioneering treatment for people now termed transgender.  Lyda also served as pastor for churches in Ferndale and Detroit.

Detroit News, January 28, 2009

Nancy Ledins

Nancy Ledins pic

July 27, 1932 – July 18, 2017

Nancy Ledins was born in Cleveland, Ohio as William Griglak, was ordained as a Catholic priest in 1959, and served as an assistant rector at St. Anthony parish in Detroit in the early 1960s.  After leaving the priesthood to marry a nun, William transitioned to Nancy in 1979 and was obliged to divorce.  In her last years, Rev. Ledins resumed ministering with a congregation in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Charlotte Observer, July 22, 2017

Nancy S. Ledins profile at LGBT Religious Archives Network

Rodger Williams

Rodger Williams pic

March 28, 1964 – April 3, 2019

Canton resident Rodger Lynn Williams was born in Detroit, graduated from Clarenceville High School in Livonia, and later studied at William Tyndale College in Farmington Hills.  Rev. Williams received his religious training at Concordia Seminary in Missouri and for 13 years served as pastor of Divine Shepherd Lutheran Church in Ann Arbor.

Observer & Eccentric Newspapers, April 11, 2019

Senia Taipale

Senia Taipale pic

April 29, 1949 – January 25, 2018

A native of Warren, Ohio, Rev. Senia Taipale attended Wittenberg University and earned her Master of Divinity degree from Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio.  After moving to Michigan, she became Director of Pastoral Care at Sparrow Hospital in 1992, a position she held for 18 years.  She and Jo Hartwell, her life partner of 31 years, were married in December 2015.

Lansing State Journal, January 28, 2018

Malcolm Boyd

Malcolm Boyd pic

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

Jim Beates

Jim Beates pic

December 9, 1954 – June 13, 1999

Raised in a military family, Rev. James Joseph Beates earned his theology degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.  He moved to Michigan from West Falls, New York and lived in Detroit and Garden City.  Beates was the first openly gay pastor to serve in the Presbytery of Detroit and was active in Friends Alliance.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 44.

Detroit Free Press, June 16, 1999

Cruise, June 23, 1999

Between The Lines, June 24, 1999

Shearon Dudley

Shearon Dudley pic

April 30, 1924 – October 31, 1989

Navy veteran and 1954 University of Michigan graduate Shearon Dudley was a 36-year-old Ypsilanti resident when he was charged in November 1959 with attempting to procure gross indecency as part of an undercover police crackdown on homosexual activity at UM.  Married with six children, he had a career in marine biology and later became a minister in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

Obituary unknown

H. Coleman McGehee

Coleman McGehee pic

July 7, 1923 – March 14, 2013

The Rt. Rev. H. Coleman McGehee of Bloomfield Hills served as bishop the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan from 1973 to 1990.  A leading ally of the LGBTQ community for more than four decades, McGehee served on the Advisory Board for the Triangle Foundation and ordained some of the first openly gay priests in the Episcopal Church.

Between The Lines, March 21, 2013

Mark Bidwell

Mark Bidwell pic

December 28, 1958 – January 3, 2012

Born in Pontiac, Mark George Bidwell earned his bachelor’s at Lawrence Technological University.  He also attended SS. Cyril and Methodius Seminary and earned a master’s in pastoral ministry at the Samaritan Institute of Sunshine Cathedral.  In 1989, Bidwell joined the Metropolitan Community Church of Detroit, rose to the position of deacon, and later served as senior pastor until his resignation in 2011.

Between The Lines, January 20, 2012

Janine Denommé

Janine Denomme pic

February 17, 1965 – May 17, 2010

Janine Denommé was born in Detroit and majored in religious studies at the University of Detroit Mercy.  She later earned her doctorate at the University of Pennsylvania and served as director of youth programs at the Center on Halsted in Chicago.  In April 2010, Denommé fulfilled a lifelong dream and was ordained by the Roman Catholic Womenpriests contrary to the Church’s ban on women priests.

Huffington Post, May 19, 2010

Detroit News, May 28, 2010

Elegy for Janine Denommé