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
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
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
May 8, 1925 – March 23, 1993
One of the most esteemed African American artists in Detroit history, LeRoy Foster was renowned for painting public murals in numerous buildings, including Cass Tech High School and the Frederick Douglass branch of the Detroit Public Library. As with many gay men of his generation, Foster was arrested on charges of accosting undercover vice in the 1950s.
Detroit Free Press, March 26, 1993
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
November 16, 1953 – November 16, 2004
Michael Sweazey of Canton and formerly of Garden City began bartending at Gigi’s in Detroit in the mid-1970s and was one of six employees to inherit ownership of the bar after the death of Tony Garneau. For many years he worked as Gigi’s show director and performed female impersonation under the name Vanessa LaSalle. Sweazey was survived by his life partner of 28 years Steven McAfee.
Between The Lines, December 2, 2004
February 2, 1936 – January 24, 2015
Patricia Margaret Wootton worked in health care at Zieger Osteopathic Hospital in Detroit. In retirement, she participated in the Western Wayne County Senior Olympics, medaling in golf. Wootton and her life partner Patricia Fair shared a home together in Garden City.
Detroit Free Press, January 25, 2015