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

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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 for 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

T.J. Anthony

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July 10, 1956 – August 2, 1996

Raised in foster homes, Thesoloniki Richard “T.J.” Anthony entered politics as a campaign aide to U.S. Senator Donald Riegle.  He was a 26-year-old divorced father of two when hired in early 1983 as executive director of the Michigan Organization for Human Rights, a position he held for just one year.  After moving to San Francisco, he worked as an aide for two city supervisors.

Bay Area Reporter, August 8, 1996

T.J. Anthony papers at the San Francisco Public Library

Christopher Flynn

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April 29, 1931 – October 29, 1990

A onetime executive assistant with the Joffrey Ballet, Christopher Flynn operated a private dance studio in Rochester in the early 1970s and introduced his student and future superstar Madonna to gay nightlife at Menjo’s.  In 1977, Flynn served as a founding officer of the Michigan Organization for Human Rights.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 58.

Cruise, November 7, 1990

Ten Percent, January 1-14, 1991

Helen Gallagher

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December 18, 1948 – February 6, 2009

A former Catholic nun, attorney Helen Gallagher earned her law degree from the University of Michigan.  She went on serve as president of the Michigan Organization for Human Rights in the mid-1980s and as a member of the Ann Arbor Human Rights Commission.

Lesbian Connection, May/June 2009