Jason A. Michael

About Jason A. Michael

Jason A. Michael earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Wayne State University before joining Between The Lines as a contributing writer in 1999. Jason has received both the Spirit of Detroit Award (presented by the Detroit City Council) and the Media Award from the Community Pride Banquet & Awards Ceremony for his writing and activism. Jason is also an Essence magazine bestselling author having written the authorized biography "Strength Of A Woman: The Phyllis Hyman Story," which he released on his own JAM Books imprint.

San Francisco Opera cancels David Daniels’ Performance Amid Sexual Assault Allegations

By | 2018-11-16T13:08:21+00:00 November 14th, 2018|Michigan, News|

In a press release posted on their website Nov. 8, the San Francisco Opera announced it was removing University of Michigan professor and countertenor David Daniels from the role of Medoro in Handel’s "Orlando." Initially planning to present the opera next summer, the announcement comes in the wake of a lawsuit filed last month against Daniels in which it is alleged that he sexually assaulted one of his students.

Common Language Bookstore to Close

By | 2018-11-14T16:06:51+00:00 November 14th, 2018|Michigan, News|

They held out as long as they could. Keith Orr and Martin Contreras, owners of Common Language Bookstore in Ann Arbor, recently announced that they plan to close their feminist, LGBTQ store at the end of the year. The announcement comes after years of dwindling sales that they attribute at least in part to internet sales and the rise of online giant Amazon.com

‘OutCasting’ LGBTQ Youth Radio Program Founder Receives AARP Purpose Prize

By | 2018-11-14T16:03:13+00:00 November 14th, 2018|Entertainment, Features|

AARP's Purpose Prize is designed to honor extraordinary individuals who use their life experience to make a better future, each year selecting winners who have gone above and beyond to achieve that goal. In the case of one of this year's winners, Marc Sophos, his focus has been on LGBTQ youth. The New York-based journalist is the founder and executive director of Media for the Public Good — a nonprofit that focuses on creating media from underrepresented points of view. Putting his nearly two decades of radio experience to use, Sophos created "OutCasting" a youth LGBTQ public radio program, and the accompanying podcast "OutCasting Overtime." Each episode is created by LGBTQ teens.

Creating Change Co-Chair Q&A: Bridie Johnson

By | 2018-11-07T16:45:07+00:00 November 7th, 2018|Michigan, News|

Creating Change is an annual LGBTQ conference put on by the National LGBTQ Task Force. Hosting hundreds of workshops, caucus sessions, keynote speakers and more, the more than 30-year-old event tours across the U.S., every year choosing a city in which to showcase the LGBTQ community's local and national community. This year, Creating Change 2019 is coming to Detroit in January. In advance of the event, BTL has reached out to interview four local co-chairs who are involved in putting on this Detroit-specific event. This interview is part of that series.

Affirmations Hosts ‘Transgender and Thriving’ Workshop via MCC-D

By | 2018-11-07T16:43:16+00:00 November 7th, 2018|Michigan, News|

Rev. Dr. Justin Tanis is known by many in the LGBTQ community for his book that explores the relationship of the transgender community to religion: "Transgender: Theology, Ministry and Communities of Faith." The 2003 work has helped give Tanis, who is not only transgender himself but also the managing director for the Center for LGBTQ and Gender Studies at the Pacific School of Religion, a unique outlook on the topic.

Standing Up To Trump

By | 2018-10-31T16:00:24+00:00 October 31st, 2018|Michigan, News|

The rally was called We Will Not Be Erased and the message was clear: no matter what he tries to do, Donald Trump cannot redefine the transgender community out of existence. The rally, which drew a crowd of about 120 to the Ruth Ellis Center parking lot Friday, was organized after The New York Times reported on a leaked memo from the Trump administration that revealed its desire to define gender as a “biological, immutable condition determined by genitalia at birth.”

SAGE Table Comes to Detroit

By | 2018-10-31T15:34:11+00:00 October 31st, 2018|Michigan, News|

Its aim is to promote intergenerational conversation over a nice meal. For the second year in a row, SAGE Table, sponsored by SAGE — an organization that provides advocacy and services for LGBTQ older adults — will bring together the old, the young and those inbetween as part of a nationwide initiative. Last year, there were 232 SAGE Tables across 40 states involving more than 3,000 participants.

From Injury to Industry

By | 2018-10-31T15:03:21+00:00 October 31st, 2018|Guides, Health & Wellness|

Oct. 5, 2010 started off just like any other day for Brandon La Forest. He woke up a little early, had a meeting at the office and was on his way to an appointment in Lansing. But just outside the city, while La Forest stopped to avoid an accident that had just happened in front of him, his life changed forever.

LGBTQ STEAM Leaders Needed

By | 2018-10-24T16:01:24+00:00 October 24th, 2018|Michigan, News|

According to Dr. Truman Hudson everyone starts life with a "blank canvas." “Which oftentimes is shaped by the decisions that others have made for us," he said. He is a lecturer of multiculturalism at the [...]

UM Dearborn Lecturer Earns Support from Ford Fund

By | 2018-10-18T10:24:54+00:00 October 17th, 2018|Automotive, Guides|

Dr. Truman Hudson is a lecturer of multiculturalism at the University of Michigan–Dearborn. Hudson, who won the 2018 Ford Fund Community Corps award, is currently conducting a class, EDA 515 – Communities and Schools: Building and Sustaining Partnerships, that will require students to work with LGBT Detroit and Ford GLOBE to co-design a leadership development supplementary educational curriculum. The effort is called the Blank Canvas Project.

Local Author is Divinely Queer in New Book

By | 2018-10-10T13:45:50+00:00 October 10th, 2018|Michigan, News|

They say that everyone has at least one book in them. However, it’s in the getting it out and on paper where complications sometime arise. Jennifer Miracle-Best, the author of the soon-to-be-released book "Divinely Queer: My Journey to Spirituality through Sexuality" is all too familiar with that process. She is gearing up to sign copies of the book at a launch party at Metropolitan Community Church-Detroit in Clawson on Friday, Oct. 19.

Inclusive Justice Brings LGBTQ Conference to MCC-D

By | 2018-10-10T13:42:04+00:00 October 10th, 2018|Michigan, News|

Inclusive Justice will present a day-long conference called Faith, LGBT Inclusion & Human Rights on Friday, Oct. 19. Inclusive Justice is a statewide, faith-based coalition inclusive of all traditions that affirms the inherent dignity and worth of every human being as a matter of spiritual conviction, and its conference will take from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Metropolitan Community Church – Detroit in Clawson.

Local Domestic Violence Group Turns a ‘House into a Home’

By | 2018-10-03T20:08:46+00:00 October 3rd, 2018|Guides, Home|

The group is called Phoemale and, for anyone wondering, is pronounced just like the word "female." The unique spelling represents the words “phoenix” and “female” combined and the group celebrates women rising from the ashes. More specifically, Phoemale is a non-profit organization that enables women to empower fellow women in Metro Detroit who are rebuilding their lives after overcoming domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking or homelessness.

‘Not in my House’ Gives Dance New Meaning

By | 2018-10-03T19:19:53+00:00 October 3rd, 2018|Entertainment, Features|

Coming out stories. In the LGBTQ community, we all have one. Now, a unique collaboration between Kristi Faulkner Dance and the Ruth Ellis Center is turning those stories into art. "Not in my House' radically shifts the narrative about LGBTQ identity through the creative re-imagining of coming out stories in an evening-length performance blending vogue, contemporary dance and storytelling,” said event organizers.

MCC-D 201: Ministry Releases First Publication on 46th Anniversary, Seeks to Become ‘Program-Size’ Church

By | 2018-09-19T12:34:48+00:00 September 19th, 2018|Michigan, News|

At its 46th anniversary service on Sunday, Sept. 16, Metropolitan Community Church – Detroit debuted its new publication called "Ignite." The 24-page glossy magazine features information on all the events and new programing happening at the church through the end of the year, as well as some spiritually enlightening information and lessons. The publication was a dream 10 years in the making for assistant pastor Rev. Deb Cox.

The Struggles of Organizing as Trans Women of Color

By | 2018-09-12T11:08:54+00:00 September 12th, 2018|Michigan, News|

Trans Sistas of Color Project Detroit (TSCOPD) Founder and Executive Director Bre’ Campbell shocked many at the beginning of the summer when she announced in a post on Facebook that she had actually left Detroit and relocated to New Mexico more than six months ago. She made this announcement while expressing resentment toward a funder, who she did not name, that Campbell said had threatened to take back their money upon learning that Campbell was no longer living in Michigan.

Fourth Annual Stand with Trans Youth Empowerment Workshop

By | 2018-09-24T09:58:59+00:00 September 12th, 2018|Michigan, News|

The fourth annual Stand with Trans Youth Empowerment Workshop is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 6. The workshop is open to gender expansive young children, trans youth ages 12 to 24 and parents and caregivers of trans youth. It will once again take place at the Orchard United Methodist Church in Farmington Hills. This year’s theme is "I Am."

Sensational Showboys

By | 2018-09-17T12:29:29+00:00 September 12th, 2018|Michigan, News|

They call themselves showboys. They are boys, men actually, who sing and dance. And, just as often, one can find them lip-syncing at gay bars or competing in male beauty pageants across the state and [...]

Michigan Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination

By | 2018-10-10T14:50:31+00:00 September 5th, 2018|Michigan, News|

As BTL continues the Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination series, we hear from Southfield Mayor Kenson Siver who pledged his oath as the first openly-gay mayor in the city of Southfield on Nov. 16, 2015. Despite running a campaign distracted and disrupted by people writing "fag," "rapist," "sodomite," and "racist" on his campaign signs, Siver said at the time, "it is a testament to the people of this city that they saw through the hatred, bigotry, homophobia and dirty tricks and elected their first gay mayor."

Christ Church Cranbrook Gets Gay Associate Rector

By | 2018-09-06T20:29:32+00:00 September 5th, 2018|Guides, Michigan, News, Worship|

Christ Church Cranbook, Michigan’s largest Episcopal church, will be getting a new associate rector – and he happens to be gay. From San Diego, his name is Rev. Chris Harris and he stepped into the post Sept. 1. Harris said he is relocating to Michigan to give his twin daughters a familial connection.

Man arraigned in shooting of trans woman in Detroit

By | 2018-08-29T16:27:59+00:00 August 29th, 2018|Michigan, News|

Deonton Rogers was arraigned in 3rd Circuit Court in Detroit on August 15. The 29-year-old was accused of pulling a gun on a trans woman in a gas station on the city’s west side and shooting her while in a scuffle, Rogers is charged with discharging a firearm causing serious injury, felonious assault, being a felon in possession of a firearm, fourth-degree child abuse and ethnic intimidation based on gender and a felony firearms violation.

Michigan Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination Series

By | 2018-10-10T14:50:53+00:00 August 29th, 2018|Michigan, News|

As BTL continues the Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination series, we hear from Highland Park Mayor Hubert Yopp who was sworn in on Jan. 1, 2016 for a second non-consecutive four-year term. Yopp has a varied background of experience with over 40 years in the operation and administration of local government, serving in various positions in Highland Park, including Highland Park Police and Fire Manager for 31 years and Highland Park City Council for four years.

Meet Manny Killa: Q&A with HTJ 2018 Visiting Entertainer

By | 2018-07-11T15:45:09+00:00 July 11th, 2018|Detroit, Michigan, News|

He’s the newest sensation from porn site BlackBoyAddictionz.com. At 24 years old, 6' 4" tall and equipped a trim, muscular physique he is known simply as Manny Killa. He is also one of the entertainers set to visit during LGBT Detroit's Hotter Than July festivities. Born and raised on the south side of Chicago, Manny admits to losing his virginity when he was only 14 years old.

Moving for Love: The Gaffney Couple Builds a Life After Long Distance

By | 2018-07-11T15:45:15+00:00 July 11th, 2018|Entertainment, Features, Wedding|

Khiana Gaffney was living in Birmingham, Alabama, in 2016 when she made a quick trip home to Detroit to celebrate her grandmother’s 90th birthday. While back in the Motor City, Khiana spent a little time on social media to learn a bit about the local girls. One of those girls, one of those who caught her eye, was the woman who is now her wife, Aleeya Gaffney.

The Detroit Queens

By | 2018-06-24T09:54:44+00:00 June 22nd, 2018|Entertainment, Features|

Menjos Entertainment Complex Hosts History of Detroit Drag Queens Panel The Menjos Entertainment Complex and specifically the Olympus Theater are hosting their second of a three-part series of panel discussions on the stories of gay [...]

Q&A with Jackson Mayor Derek Dobies

By | 2018-06-20T09:14:55+00:00 June 15th, 2018|Michigan, News|

As BTL continues the Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination series, we hear from Jackson Mayor Derek Dobies who was first elected in 2011 as the city of Jackson's 6th Ward representative before winning the election in 2017 to serve his first term as Jackson Mayor.

GenderSpark

By | 2018-06-06T15:43:09+00:00 June 6th, 2018|Uncategorized|

When Nick Daughtry first visited Metropolitan Community Church – Detroit four months ago, it was absolutely the right fit. “It was one of things where going in I instantly knew that it was where I belonged,” he said. “It’s a very calming feeling when you find a spiritual place and you know you belong there.”