Win Wells

Win Wells pic

April 3, 1933 – December 6, 1983

Originally from Arkansas, Winfred Wells was raised in Detroit and in the 1950s became a noted local beatnik poet.  In the 1960s he performed female impersonation under his own name at the Diplomat Lounge.  Wells subsequently moved to England, where he wrote screenplays and lived with his longtime companion, director Silvio Narizzano.

London Times, December 8, 1983

Gilbert Whelden Jr.

Gilbert Whelden Jr pic

March 23, 1921 – June 12, 2018

Detroit native Gilbert Hart Whelden Jr. attended Cranbrook Academy and Olivet College before serving in the U.S. Army during World War II.  He later graduated from Michigan State University and worked as an interior designer for J.L. Hudson.  He was also a member of the Forum Foundation and Unlimited Seniors.  In retirement, Whelden shared a home in Leland with his partner Paul Kieren.

Leelanau Enterprise, June 21,2018

Bill Cornell

Bill Cornell pic

October 24, 1927 – July 6, 1961

Born in Detroit, William John Cornell attended Wayne University and, as one of city’s premier theatrical press agents in the 1950s, represented various stars when they visited the Motor City, including Ethel Merman and Marlena Dietrich.  Cornell and his partner Peter Prass were killed when a fire gutted their Chicago Boulevard apartment.

Detroit Free Press, July 7, 1961

Amber MonRoe

Amber MonRoe pic

May 23, 1995 – August 8, 2015

According to Detroit police, 20-year-old Amber Monroe was engaged in sex work In August 2015 when she was shot and killed near Six Mile and Woodward.  She was the twelfth trans woman of color murdered in the U.S. that year.  Monroe attended Oak Park High School, studied at Wayne State, and was a familiar face at the Ruth Ellis Center.

Between The Lines, August 20, 2015

David Adamany

David Adamany pic

September 23, 1936 – November 10, 2016

David Adamany served as president of Wayne State University from 1982 to 1997.  A native of Janesville, Wisconsin, he earned his B.A. and J.D. from Harvard and his doctorate from the University of Wisconsin.  During his tenure at the helm of Wayne, he remained discrete about being gay.  His sexuality was an open secret, however, and behind the scenes Adamany lent his support to various LGBT causes.

Between The Lines, November 24, 2016