October 1, 1983 – February 21, 2003
Southfield resident Nikki Nicholas, an entertainer in Detroit gay bars, was found slain at age 19 in what the Triangle Foundation identified as an anti-trans hate crime in an abandoned house in Green Oak Township. The Washtenaw Rainbow Action Project held a candlelight vigil in her memory and the National Association for the Advancement of Transgender People later marched in Lansing in her honor.
Between The Lines, March 6, 2003
The Final Assault on Nikki
December 18, 1999 – April 9, 2015
Sam Taub was a ninth grader at West Bloomfield High School who identified as trans and skated with the Darlings of Destruction Junior Roller Derby League in Roseville. Taub struggled with anorexia and anxiety and took his own life at age fifteen.
The Advocate, April 16, 2015
Detroit Free Press, July 16, 2015
Wujek-Calcaterra & Sons
February 14, 1996 – February 12, 2016
Born in Tecumseh, Saja Mykel Nieto graduated in 2014 from Adrian High School, where he was active in the LGBT Club and the Color Guard. In addition to studying zoology at Northern Michigan University, Nieto worked at Pet Supplies Plus, as a supervisor at Adrian Image Center, and as a manager at B Fit.
Adrian Daily Telegram, February 15, 2016
October 29, 1962 – August 16, 1980
James Dallas Egbert III was a gay 16-year-old computer science prodigy and Dungeons and Dragons fan who disappeared from his Michigan State University dorm room in August 1979, prompting a month-long search of steam tunnels beneath the university. He took his own life at age 17.
New York Times, August 25, 1980
October 24, 1995 -November 27, 2012
Josh Pacheco, a 17-year-old junior at Linden High, theater student, and Tim Horton’s employee, took his own life weeks after telling his mom he was gay. According to his mother, Pachero had experienced bullying at school.
Between The Lines, December 13, 2012
November 3, 1999 – May 19, 2013
Weeks after posting a YouTube video describing herself as a lesbian, eighth-grader Isabella “Bella” Bruinekool took her own life. An honor roll student at Milwood Magnet School in Kalamazoo, she enjoyed reading, skateboarding, photography, baking, and her friends.
Between The Lines, June 6, 2013
Died October 23, 2011
Michelle Hilliard, a 19-year-old trans sex worker who enjoyed photography and music, was slain in Detroit in the early morning hours of October 23, 2011.
Between The Lines, November 17, 2011
Between The Lines, December 8, 2011
Trailer for Treasure: From Tragedy to Trans Justice, Mapping a Detroit Story