John Monahan

John Monahan pic

May 10, 1945 – January 1, 2002

Colorado native and longtime Saginaw resident John Michael Monahan worked as a rehabilitation therapist.  During the 1980s, he became active in the Michigan Organization for Human Rights and in 1990 co-founded the Triangle Foundation and served as its president.  Following a heart transplant in 1993, Monahan moved to Detroit to engage in activism full time.

Between The Lines, January 10, 2002

Saginaw News, January 16, 2002

Cappisene Ford

Cappisene Ford pic

January 11, 1953 – December 26, 1995

Cappisene Ford, known to most in the gay community as Ms. L.T.D. (for La Twiggy Darling), began to entertain in the 1970s at the Escape, My Fair Lady, and other Detroit bars.  She later went on to perform in Paris and Hong Kong.  From 1979 to 1980 she served as Records Officer for the Michigan Organization for Human Rights.  She died from AIDS-related complications at age 42.

No known obituary

Hal Lawson

Hal Lawson pic

January 28, 1925 – June 21, 2003

Hal Lawson, a graduate of Wayne State University, was founding chair from 1958 to 1960 of the Detroit Area Council of the Mattachine Society, the first known organization for homosexuals in Michigan.  He was later involved in ONE in Detroit, the Association of Suburban People, the Michigan Organization for Human Rights, the Unitarian-Universalist Gay Caucus, and Dignity/Flint.

Between The Lines, July 17, 2003

Richard Villaire

Richard Villaire pic

May 8, 1948 – January 19, 1995

Ferndale resident and pioneering AIDS activist Richard William Villaire was born in Wyandotte and attended Roseville High School and Ferris State University before earning his B.A. in psychology at Eastern Michigan University.  He was an officer of the Michigan Organization for Human Rights and was a founder of Wellness Networks, Friends Alliance, and the Midwest AIDS Prevention Project.

Between The Lines, February 1995

Metra, February 15, 1995

Between The Lines, March 1995

Charles Tyson

Charles Tyson pic

April 12, 1944 – August 27, 1986

Charles Tyson served as vice president of the Michigan Organization for Human Rights in the mid-1980s.  He and his business partner Kathie Dannemiller formed the consulting firm Dannemiller Tyson Associates in Ann Arbor.  He was also active in the Human Rights Campaign Fund and the Republican Party.

Cruise, September 3, 1986

MOHR newsletter, October-November 1986

Henry Messer

Henry Messer pic

September 22, 1927 – February 18, 2014

From 1976 to 2014, Dearborn Heights neurosurgeon Dr. Henry Messer was a tireless advocate for gay rights in Michigan, active in the Association of Suburban People and the Michigan Organization for Human Rights.  In 1991, Messer played an instrumental role in establishing the Triangle Foundation, which later became Equality Michigan.

Between The Lines, February 20, 2014

Bradley Grant

Bradley Grant pic

June 4, 1963 – July 19, 1993

Bradley Grant was a longtime member of the Detroit chapter of Black and White Men Together.  He served on the board of the Michigan Organization or Human Rights and was active with the Detroit Area Gay/Lesbian Council.  He also performed as a female impersonator under the name Peaches la Fleur.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 30.

BWMT Detroit newsletter, August 1993