March 3, 1945 – December 6, 1992
Native Detroiter Bruce Leonard Allen attended Lutheran West High School. He was a member of Tribe and a co-founder of Baccus and worked as a bartender at the R&R, the E-Ramp, and Ruby’s. Allen also performed as Tracy Daye, notably as a member of the house cast at Gigi’s, receiving the Performers Awards of Detroit Lifetime Achievement in 1992. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 47.
Cruise, December 16, 1992
June 9, 1969 – November 15, 2020
An early member of the House of Chanel, Jennifer Holiday Chanel graduated with the class of 1987 from Flint Central High School and went on to attend Eastern Michigan University. She performed at the Nectarine in Ann Arbor, later worked at Gigi’s in Detroit, and won the Miss Gigi’s title in 1997. The Performers Awards of Detroit honored Chanel with its Bookie Stewart Hall of Fame Award in 2017.
Between The Lines [online only], November 19, 2020
November 21, 1967 – October 10, 1994
Born in Lincoln Park, Darin Travis Huff graduated with the class of 1986 from John F. Kennedy High School in Taylor and performed with the Taylor Ballet Company. Huff came out at age 16 and for many years worked as a go-go dancer at the Gold Coast, was active in the Performer’s Awards of Detroit, and was also a Mr. Gas Station titleholder. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 26.
No known obituary
February 15, 1958 – February 20, 2015
Antony Eugene “Tony” Brown of Madison Heights was born in England and graduated from Dondero High School in Royal Oak. He later studied voice at Michigan State University and in the early 1980s was a noted singer at Detroit gay bars. Brown served on the board of the Performers Awards of Detroit and received multiple PAD honors, including best go-go boy and Male Entertainer of the Year.
No known obituary
January 22, 1943 – June 23, 2005
Erroll Wayne Hert took his mother’s name Vaunda for his stage name, wowing audiences as the renowned Vaunda Lee at Menjo’s, the Gold Coast, Triple XXX, and other Detroit bars in the 1970s and 1980s. He won the Camp Prize from the Performer Awards of Detroit in 1982. Hert resided in his hometown of Bedford, Indiana at the time of his death.
Our Community Roots
August 9, 1973 – September 30, 2010
Born in Detroit, Aaron-Carl attended Detroit schools and graduated from Harry S Truman High School in Taylor. An electronic musical artist and DJ known for house, techno, and electro-funk, he received three Performers Awards of Detroit nominations and had a Top 40 hit on Billboard’s dance chart with “My House” in 1998. He died at age 37 from lymphoma and was survived by his partner Mel Winders.
Between The Lines, October 7, 2010
September 13, 1950 – December 19, 2011
Originally from Pine Bluff, Arkansas, Al Brewer sang at such gay Detroit clubs as Bookie’s, My Fair Lady, and the Other Side in the 1970s. He received multiple nominations for best live male vocalist from the Performers Awards of Detroit. Toward the end of his life, Brewer served as Karaoke host at the Temple Bar.
No known obituary
July 14, 1955 – June 11, 1999
For more than 25 years, Robert Brunner performed female impersonation in Detroit under the name Melba Moore, winning the Miss Gay Continental U.S.A. title for 1981-82 and honored for Lifetime Achievement by the Performers Awards of Detroit in 1999.
Cruise, June 16, 1999
Between The Lines, June 24, 1999
Melba Moore Tribute at Our Community Roots
June 13, 1952 – April 6, 1986
Born and raised in Detroit, Sindy Dawkins enjoyed writing, skiing, and shooting pool. She served on the board for the Performers Awards of Detroit and held the title of Ms. Gigi’s 1980-81.
Metra, May 7, 1986
May 22, 1941 – February 24, 2011
Joyce Kershner was a board member of the Performers Awards of Detroit, manager of the Palmwood, resident of the Palmer Park apartment district, and longtime staff poet for Metra magazine.
Metra, March 9, 2011