Dennis Komac

Dennis Komac pic

November 9, 1944 – November 7, 1994

A founder of the Lesbian and Gay Community Network of West Michigan, Dennis Komac served in Army from 1968 to 1970 and moved to Grand Rapids in 1984 to serve as executive director of the Grand Rapids Art Museum.  Komac and his life partner Jeff Swanson later operated Sons and Daughters bookstore.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 49.

Network newsletter, December 1994

Vicki Marlane

Vicki Marlane pic

September 5, 1934 – July 3, 2011

Minnesota native Vicki Marlane was among a troupe of female impersonators who performed at the Diplomat Lounge in Detroit in the early 1960s.  Born Donald Sterger, Marlane underwent gender affirmation surgery in San Francisco, where she continued to perform into her 70s.  She was subject of the 2009 documentary Forever’s Gonna Start Tonight.  She died from AIDS-related complications at age 76.

Bay Area Reporter, July 14, 2011

Vicki Marlane photographs and artifacts at the GLBT Historical Society

Forever’s Gonna Start Tonight on Vimeo

Allen Robinson

Allen Robinson pic

March 9, 1947 – March 31, 1987

Allen Robinson grew up in Port Huron and served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War.  Robinson moved to Detroit in his early 20s, lived for a time in San Francisco, and in the early 1980s returned to Michigan, where he worked at Tiffany’s and the Interchange, and at Metra magazine as managing editor.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 40.

Cruise, April 8, 1987

Christopher Case

October 24, 1962 – July 22, 1994

Christopher Case attended Washtenaw Community College for his LPN and worked for many years in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Michigan Hospital.  Case was also active in the Ann Arbor theater scene.  He died of complications from AIDS at age 31.

Between The Lines, September 1994

Kraig Debus

Kraig Debus pic

February 23, 1958 – August 11, 1990

Kraig Debus grew up in Warren and earned his B.A. in advertising in 1981 from Michigan State University, where he served on the staff of the State News.  After graduation, Debus moved to Chicago.  He died of complications from AIDS at age 32.

Chicago Tribune, August 14, 1990