April 29, 1930 – January 1, 2022
Denison University graduate James Willis Toy moved to Detroit in the late 1950s to become a church organist. In 1970, he helped co-found the Detroit Gay Liberation Front and the Ann Arbor GLF. A year and a half later co-founded the Human Sexuality Office at the University of Michigan, where he earned his MSW in 1981. Toy’s activism and achievements for Michigan’s LGBTQ community are unparalleled.
Between The Lines, January 13, 2022
James W. Toy papers at the Bentley Historical Library
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
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
June 8, 1937 – October 19, 1986
Fr. James Markunas was a graduate of Detroit’s Cody High School and Albion College. While serving as associate rector of St. Joseph’s Episcopal Church in Detroit, Fr. Markunas was arrested for peaceably demonstrating after the assassination of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 49.
Bay Area Reporter, October 23, 1986
March 22, 1959 – August 31, 2015
Ordained into the priesthood in 2007, Rev. Karen Johanns moved to Michigan in 2008 to become rector at All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Pontiac, a position she held until cancer forced her into “grouchy” retirement. Johanns was survived by her wife Claire Dodds.
Oakland Press, September 2, 2015
January 19, 1911 – February 8, 2004
Rev. Anne Garrison was a longtime ally who joined Michigan State University campus ministries after retiring as a business professor. She served on the bishop’s committee that produced a pioneering 1973 report that recommended greater inclusions for gay people within the Michigan Diocese of the Episcopal Church.
Detroit Free Press, February 17. 2004
January 13, 1949 – November 24, 2015
A graduate of Oakland University, Rev. Rod Reinhart left teaching to attend divinity school and became one of the nation’s first openly gay priests ordained in the Episcopal Church. He helped found the annual ecumenical worship service People Who Care About People with AIDS.
Windy City Times, December 2, 2015
Between The Lines, December 3, 2015