Karl Reichenbach

Karl Reichenbach pic

May 8, 1905 – July 10, 1989

A native of Connecticut, Karl Henry Reichenbach earned his graduate degree in history at Yale in 1929 and was assistant professor at the University of Michigan, teaching there for 44 years.  During the 1950s, he was part of an Ann Arbor gay crowd that attended parties hosted by Henry Van Dyke.  As his “drag” name at such events, Reichenbach was known as “Frieda.”

Ann Arbor News, July 12, 1989

Sherry Redding

Sherry Redding pic

May 22, 1936 – June 14, 2016

Born in Redding, Maine, Sherry Redding earned her B.A. from the University of Michigan and a Master’s from Michigan State University.  A longtime counselor, for many years she taught women’s studies at William James College at Grand Valley State University.  She was also a founding member in 1978 of the local lesbian organization Aradia.  Redding and her spouse Karen Clahassey shared 36 years together.

Grand Rapids Press, June 16, 2016

Sandra Cole

Sandra Cole pic

September 17, 1937 – May 15, 2017

Noted sexologist Sandra Cole founded the Comprehensive Gender Identity Program at the University of Michigan in 1993 and served as its director until retiring in 2000.  She was also a longtime advocate for transgender legal and civil rights, and helped secure gender identity as a protected category in the UM bylaws and Ann Arbor’s human rights ordinance.

Ann Arbor News, June 23, 2017

Sandra S. Cole papers at the Bentley Historical Library

 

Phyllis Erb

Phyllis Erb pic

January 19, 1932 – December 14, 2017

Grayling resident Phyllis Ann Erb worked for 24 years as a wound specialist with the University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor.  She met her life partner Patricia Teal in the mid-1960s when both were heterosexually-married housewives and mothers.  Erb and Teal operated the Heritage House Bed and Breakfast in Gaylord from 1991 to 1996.

Ann Arbor News, December 24, 2017

Avery Hopwood

Avery Hopwood pic

May 28, 1882 – July 1, 1928

A 1905 graduate of the University of Michigan, Avery Hopwood went on to enjoy a celebrated career as a playwright, once having four plays staged on Broadway simultaneously.  With friend Carl Van Vechten, Hopwood experienced the homosexual underworld of New York in the 1910s and ‘20s.  Much of his estate was bequeathed to fund annual literary awards for UM students.

New York Times, July 2, 1928

Michigan Daily, July 3, 1928

Harry Kevorkian

Harry Kevorkian pic

August 7, 1947 – February 3, 2002

Originally from Waterford, Harry “Kitty” Kevorkian became involved in the Gay Liberation Front in Ann Arbor during in the early 1970s.  He, took part in numerous protests, once crashing an event donned in skag drag at the home of the president of the University of Michigan.  Kevorkian was a candidate for the city’s mayor in 1974 and later headed the bus union during a 42-day walkout.

Between The Lines, February 21, 2002