July 31, 1955 – November 8, 2021
Bloomfield Hills resident and Detroit native Treva Bell Bass graduated from Cass Tech High School and pursued acting in Los Angeles. On returning to Detroit, Bass attended Specs Howard University and became a chief engineer with her family’s radio stations. Bass and June Washington, her partner of 33 years, gave generously to Affirmations, the Ruth Ellis Center, Hotter Than July, and other causes.
Between The Lines, November 25, 2021
March 3, 1961 – April 9, 2018
Athony Trupiano grew up in St. Clair Shores, graduated from Lakeland High School in White Lake in 1980, and later earned a degree in mass communications from Alma College. A devoted Democrat, Trupiano hosted a progressive radio program for more than 20 years, often showcasing LGBTQ causes and featuring queer and transgender activists as guests.
Press & Guide, April 12, 2018
July 29, 1937 – September 21, 2011
Miami native Frimmitte “Louise” Griffin attended the University of Michigan in the 1950s and went on to become a pioneering female voice on Black radio in South Florida. She later served with a medical unit in the Women’s Army Corps during the Vietnam War. Griffin and her life partner Maryanne Powers met in 1963.
Lesbian Connection, January/February 2012
April 2, 1949 – June 30, 1996
Jim Paffenbarger, also known as Jimmy Leather, attended the University of Michigan for one year from 1967 to 1968 before going to work for radio station WABX. He soon returned to Ann Arbor where he was employed with the student station WCBN and later served as chief engineer at WUOM.
Between The Lines, August 1996
November 7, 1955 – January 7, 2009
A community producer with the Flint radio program “Face the Music” and organizer of the LGBT arts celebration Out ‘N About, Joann Downing attended Grand Blanc High School and graduated from Michigan State University. Her long career with non-profits included 22 years with the Girl Scouts.
Flint Journal, January 12, 2009
Lesbian Connection, May/June 2009
August 22, 1945 – November 17, 1993
Wyandotte resident Gay Whiteside formed a chapter of the Daughters of Bilitis in Detroit in 1971. She was also active with the Gay Radio Collective, was a longtime member of the Metropolitan Community Church of Detroit, and volunteered on the Affirmations telephone hotline.
Detroit Free Press, November 19, 1993
Affirmations Newsletter, January 1994
September 2, 1938 – May 18, 2009
A graduate of Harvard, Carrie Robertson was a community producer on the radio program Face the Music and a beloved member of Flint’s LGBT community. Her friends took her to the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival despite its womyn-born-womyn policy.
Lesbian Connection, September/October 2009
December 29, 1949 – December 30, 2004
Deb LeVoir was a co-founder in 1978 of Moonrise, the first organization for lesbians in Flint, and volunteered as a community producer for the radio program Face the Music on public station WFBE.
Between The Lines, January 13, 2005