September 17, 1953 – April 4, 2006
Michele “Mickie” Janisse attended Utica High School, graduated from the Wayne State University School of Mortuary Science, and resided in Hazel Park and Ferndale. A longtime and compassionate funeral director in Ontario and Michigan, Janisse also practiced a form of massage called myomassology. She was survived by her beloved partner Lynne Rose.
Windsor Star, April 6, 2006
September 20. 1953 – December 12, 1992
Detroit native Allen Wallace majored in art history at Wayne State University and led protests in the 1970s to save the MacKenzie House, an effort that gave birth to Preservation Wayne. Wallace later worked with the Martha Graham Center in New York and as a publicity agent in Los Angeles, where he resided with his companion Michael Lombardo. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 39.
Detroit Free Press, December 17, 1992
WSU Alumni News, Winter 1993
June 2, 1917 – March 23, 2009
LeRoy Raymond Scott was born in Detroit, graduated from Cass Tech, and attended Wayne State. For three decades he resided in New York, where his drag persona Madame X was photographed by Diane Arbus. After returning to Michigan, he became active in Unlimited Seniors and Black and White Men Together. Metro Detroit’s LGBT community honored Scott with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007.
Between The Lines, March 26, 2009
June 1, 1950 – May 11, 2007
A founding member of the Detroit Gay Liberation Front, Vaughn Perry Grubbs was born in Detroit, attended Redford High School, and completed two years at Wayne State University. Grubbs was later employed as regional manager for a rental car agency. His life partner Marque Sime preceded him in death by two weeks.
Detroit Free Press, May 11, 2007
October 17, 1951 – July 23, 2012
Hailing from Oklahoma, Christopher Towne Leland earned degrees at Pomona College and UC San Diego before moving from California to Detroit’s Indian Village. He taught at Wayne State University as a professor of English from 1990 until his death and authored ten books, including five novels. He was survived by his partner of 33 years Osvaldo Sabino.
Detroit News, July 29, 2012
A.L. Desmond & Sons Funeral Directors
June 25, 1940 – August 26, 1993
Native Detroiter Daniel Ross Sivil graduated from Cooley High School, earned his B.A. in English from Wayne State University, and worked as a computer analyst for General Motors for 18 years. Later as a resident of Troy, Sivil served as president of the Association of Suburban People from 1979 tp 1982. He was also active in MOHR, the Motor City Business Forum ,and the Detroit Area Gay/Lesbian Council.
Cruise, September 22, 1993
Daniel R. Sivil Papers at the Bentley Historical Library
July 27, 1944 – June 21, 2020
Dearborn Heights resident Joy Estelle Geng graduated from Plymouth High School, earned her MBA at Wayne State, and worked for Ford Motors from 1967 to 1997. Geng was an early board member of the Triangle Foundation, initially using Jay Grange to protect her job, and remained active with the organization after it became Equality Michigan. She was survived by her partner Maria Winiarski.
Between The Lines, July 9, 2020
April 24, 1928 – May 22, 2020
Jerry Abraham Moore grew up in Detroit, graduated from Redford High School, and attended Wayne State before being drafted into the U.S. Army in 1950. Following his military service he became immersed in Detroit’s gay bar scene and from 1958 to 1960 served as secretary of the short-lived Detroit Area Council of the Mattachine Society, the first ever formal homosexual organization in Michigan.
Between The Lines [online only], June 12, 2020
April 3, 1962 – October 19, 1989
Daniel Patrick “Danny” Lightcap was born in Pontiac and was active in the drama club at Pontiac Northern High School, where he graduated with the class of 1980. Lightcap worked a waiter at the Woodward Lounge in Detroit and at the time of his passing was pursuing a B.A. in creative writing at Wayne State. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 27.
Cruise, October 25, 1989
July 15, 1968 – February 4, 1996
AIDS activist Steven Martin Korzetz graduated from Anderson High School in Southgate. He went on to earn a Bachelor’s in business from Wayne State University and later worked in the hotel industry in Dearborn. Given six months to live in 1992, Korzetz left his job and traveled to more than 40 countries. He became involved in Wellness Networks as well. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 27.
Detroit Free Press, February 7, 1995
Stephen Korzetz Papers at the Bentley Historical Library