Brenda Blizzard

December 15, 1952 – December 19, 2000

Brenda Joyce Blizzard was born in Columbia, South Carolina.  She moved to Michigan in her 20s, worked for the Southland Corporation, and was a longtime member of the Metropolitan Community Church of Detroit, where she served as a deacon.  In 1992, Blizzard moved to Washington State and became assistant pastor of MCC Seattle.  She was survived by her partner Loran Timmons.

Tacoma News Tribune, December 21, 2000

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

Linda Ann Reuther

Linda Reuther pic

August 24, 1942 – September 30, 2013

Linda Ann Reuther, the daughter of UAW founder Walter P. Reuther, grew up in Detroit and Rochester and earned her Bachelor’s in education from the University of Michigan in 1965.  She taught head start for several years, operated a quilt store in Marin County, California, and later created a meditation retreat center to the north in Albion.  Reuther was survived by her life companion Michele Tellier.

Fort Bragg Advocate-News, October 10, 2013

Vaughn Grubbs

Vaughn Grubbs pic

June 1, 1950 – May 11, 2007

A founding member of the Detroit Gay Liberation Front, Vaughn Perry Grubbs was born in Detroit, attended Redford High School, and completed two years at Wayne State University.  Grubbs was later employed as regional manager for a rental car agency.  His life partner Marque Sime preceded him in death by two weeks.

Detroit Free Press, May 11, 2007

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

Christopher Leland

Christopher LeLand pic 2

October 17, 1951 – July 23, 2012

Hailing from Oklahoma, Christopher Towne Leland earned degrees at Pomona College and UC San Diego before moving from California to Detroit’s Indian Village.  He taught at Wayne State University as a professor of English from 1990 until his death and authored ten books, including five novels.  He was survived by his partner of 33 years Osvaldo Sabino.

Detroit News, July 29, 2012

A.L. Desmond & Sons Funeral Directors

Paul Steczek

Paul Steczek pic

July 22, 1957 – April 17, 2013

Paul Edward Steczek of Royal Oak grew up in Detroit and was on the staff of the Backstage in the 1980s.  He later worked as manager for 24 Hour Video and then operated Blue Moon Video for 11 years.  Steczek was preceded in death by his partner Richard Shank in 1992 and survived by Daniel Christine, with whom he was joined in a civil union in 1995.

Between The Lines, May 2, 2013

Dan Sivil

Dan Sivil pic

June 25, 1940 – August 26, 1993

Native Detroiter Daniel Ross Sivil graduated from Cooley High School, earned his B.A. in English from Wayne State University, and worked as a computer analyst for General Motors for 18 years.  Later as a resident of Troy, Sivil served as president of the Association of Suburban People from 1979 tp 1982.  He was also active in MOHR, the Motor City Business Forum ,and the Detroit Area Gay/Lesbian Council.

Cruise, September 22, 1993

Daniel R. Sivil Papers at the Bentley Historical Library

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

Bruce Hays

Bruce Hays pic

February 26, 1968 – pronounced dead November 6, 1999

Mundy Township resident Bruce Michael Hays attended Grand Blanc High, came out as a teen sneaking into Detroit bars, and in the mid-1980s started a computer dating service for Flint-area gay youth.  He later completed three years of college and worked as a bartender.  Hays gained national notoriety for swiping Michael Jackson’s glove from the Motown Museum.  He took his own life at age 31.

Flint Journal, November 12, 1999