The NAACP, at their 110th National Convention in Detroit, hosted a town hall on LGBT issues July 23 at Cobo Hall. The event, produced by the NAACP’s LGBTQ Taskforce, was titled The State of LGBTQ People of Color in America.
University of Michigan Professor and opera star David Daniels and his husband, former Out Loud Chorus Artistic Director (William) Scott Walters, were indicted in Houston July 25 on charges of sexual assault.
Jey’nce Poindexter Mizrahi has logged a lot of miles traveling across Michigan since starting as Equality Michigan’s transgender victim advocate in the fall of 2018.
A bill introduced in the Michigan House would ban the flying of the Pride flag – or any flag other than the Michigan or U.S. flags – from being flown from state office buildings. The [...]
The NAACP, at their 110th National Convention in Detroit, hosted a town hall on LGBT issues July 23 at Cobo Hall. The event, produced by the NAACP’s LGBTQ Taskforce, was titled The State of LGBTQ [...]
Anthony Brock and Darnell Wilson, both of Detroit, have been charged in the June 19 shooting death of Diano Johnson. Authorities believe Brock, 28, lured Johnson to meet with him after communicating with him via [...]
A panel discussion called The State of LGBTQ People of Color in America will be part of the 110th National NAACP Conference in Detroit this month. The panel discussion will take place Tuesday, July 23, [...]
In a new location inside the Education Building on Wayne State University’s main campus, the 9th annual SAGE Metro Detroit Older Adult Summit drew a crowd [...]
You probably remember Brian Justin Crum from Season 11 of NBC’s hit reality competition “America’s Got Talent.” He finished in fourth place, and videos of his performances blew up YouTube, especially when he returned earlier [...]
"Invisible No Longer: LGBTQ Detroit" is a new exhibit at the Detroit Historical Museum that takes a deep dive into the city's rich and varied history with the LGBTQ community. The exhibit, which features 26 [...]
Pull up to the bumper, baby, drive on in between Little Caesars Arena and the Temple Bar and head on inside the Masonic Temple on Monday, July 1, for what is sure to be a memorable musical experience. Well, musical, yes. But Grace Jones is so much more than a songstress. She is a performance artist, a supermodel, a fashion icon, a muse to the late, great Andy Warhol, a Studio 54 princess and just the type of bold black beauty that commoners look to in awe.
Devon Robinson. Devon Robinson of Detroit was charged last Thursday with three counts of first-degree murder in the shooting deaths of 21-year-old Alunte Davis, 20-year-old Timothy Blancher and 20-year-old Paris Cameron. Davis and [...]
It’s the state’s biggest Pride festival and this year it’s bigger than ever. Motor City Pride takes place Saturday, June 8, and Sunday, June 9, in downtown Detroit’s riverfront Hart Plaza.
A crowd of more than 100 showed up Wednesday, June 5, to watch the LGBT Pride flag be raised in Spirit Plaza just outside the Coleman A. Young Coleman A. Young Municipal Center in downtown [...]
The board of directors of Affirmations added five new members to their ranks at their May 22 meeting. Those new board members are Angela Gabridge, Donnie Johnson, Kathrine Lorenz, Kennedy Shannon and Cass Varner. “These [...]
Metro Detroit’s official Pride season kicks off this week with Ferndale Pride presented by the Candle Wick Shoppe, which takes place Saturday, June 1, in downtown Ferndale. More than 25,000 LGBTQ folk and their friends [...]
It’s a take on the ongoing community mail art project "Post Secret" by Frank Warren. In the fall, in the days leading up to National Coming Out Day, the newly created LGBTQ+ Alliance at Renaissance [...]
The first ever Royal Oak Family Pride will take place at the June Food Truck Rally at the Royal Oak Farmer’s Market on June 12. The event, which will feature a full schedule of fun and family friendly activities including drag queen story time, a dog fashion show, face painting, a bounce house, photo booth, a performance by the Sing Out Detroit Choir and more, was the brainchild of Royal Oak resident David Mates Knapp.
A total of 13 people came out to Affirmations April 30 for two community chats with returning executive director Dave Garcia who had just returned to the center the day before. Eight people, mostly members of the Senior Koffee Klatch, came out to the morning session and five to the evening. Four members of Affirmations' staff were present at each meeting and there were two board members at the morning section and three in the evening.
Billed as a musical tour of everything from vaudeville to low-down burlesque, dream ballets and other bombastic Broadway brevities, a highlight of the upcoming Detroit Modernism Week will be a benefit performance by Tundra-Mae Fury on Sunday, May 12, at the Willis Show Bar in Detroit’s historic Cass Corridor.
Popular Ferndale eatery Como’s is set to reopen in May. The new owners, check out Zack Sklar and his Peas & Carrots Hospitality Group, are planning to keep the restaurant’s focus on pizza. Beyond that, the restaurant is undergoing a complete renovation.
When Aaron Bianco, a gay layman, was brought in to manage St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in San Diego in 2016, he joined the church with great hopes. He had been invited by Bishop Robert W. McElroy to start an LGBTQ ministry at the church and become one of about 300 churches across the country that, in direct opposition of church policy, welcomed and embraced the LGBTQ community.
Edie Franklin, a mainstay in Detroit's drag scene for years, is set to be officially recognized for her contributions with the Living Legend award at the fourth annual Motown honors at Gigi’s Gay Bar on April 14.
A SAGE Table is a program of SAGE Metro Detroit, an agency dedicated to improving the lives of LGBTQ older adults, and is an intergenerational dinner event designed to start conversations with those of varying generations. The latest SAGE Table took place at the Ferndale Affirmations LGBTQ community center on April 4, and I was invited as a reporter to attend and experience the evening firsthand. Upon arrival, I was greeted at the door by Judy Lewis, SAGE Metro Detroit’s training and education manager.
Though he had relocated to Portland, Oregon, last summer, when word traveled back to Detroit that 20-year-old Dani Som, aka Dani Sommerville, had taken his own life in February, his friends here were devastated. By all accounts, Som was bold, audacious and outgoing. He was confident in his identity as a trans man who was disabled, and he advocated for all the communities of which he was a part.
A United Methodist Church minister in Lansing has declared he will perform same-sex weddings despite a recent denominational decision continuing the prohibition of gay marriage. At the church’s annual conference, which took place last month in St. Louis, delegates voted 438-384 in favor of what was called the Traditional Plan. The Plan continues the church’s ban on the ordination of LGBTQ clergy and the performing of same-sex weddings.
Albert Weathers, pastor of the Logos Church in Detroit, was ordered Friday, March 29 to stand trial for open murder in the death of Kelly Stough. Stough, a transgender woman, was shot and left to die in the area of Six Mile Road and Brush Street in the early morning hours of Dec. 7, 2018.
A group of six members of the youth advisory board of the Ruth Ellis Center traveled to New York from Feb. 21 through 24 to take part in the 2019 U.N. Global Engagement Summit at the United Nation’s headquarters. The opportunity came about as part of a collaboration between attorney London Bell and the Bell Global Justice Institute and the Ruth Ellis Center. Bell, a member of the United Nations Association of Greater Detroit, had been preparing the youth for the trip since last June.
Owners Martin Contreras and Keith Orr recently announced the sale of Aut Bar, the popular LGBT owned restaurant and bar in Ann Arbor’s Braun Court. Aut Bar will now be owned by BarStar Group, which currently owns and operates several successful establishments in Ann Arbor including Lo-Fi, Nightcap and Babs’ Underground.
Poet, educator and self-described thought leader, J. Mase III will be speaking at the opening ceremony for LGBTQ Week at Oakland University on March 12. Mase will be speaking about faith and the criminalization of the black trans body through poetry and a discussion. As a trans man, Mase said he was a unique insight into the issue.
Former bar owner and gay rodeo enthusiast James Osmond Brown II, known to many as Diamond Jim, died Feb. 11 from congestive heart failure. He died at his home in Detroit with his rescue dog Diamond by his side. He was 58.
It’s been 30 years since his death and still Robert Mapplethorpe remains a provocative figure. In a new performance piece, titled "Triptych (Eyes of One on Another)" presented by the University of Michigan's University Musical Society March 15 to 16, music, poetry and photography come together in a theatrical context.
U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib visited the Ruth Ellis Center Feb. 21 for the second time, to hear from faith leaders and LGBTQ youth about the importance of LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections. The visit, which drew an invited crowd of about 20, was sponsored by Inclusive Justice, a statewide Michigan faith organization dedicated to addressing LGBTQ inclusion issues within the faith community. Tlaib received a warm welcome.
The year was 1978 and Jaye Spiro was teaching self-defense classes at senior citizen centers around Detroit. At one such complex, whose name she no longer recalls, Spiro met a feisty senior citizen named Ruth Ellis.
Black Bear Brotherhood Forum Examines Intersections of Sex Work and Increased Usage of Crystal Meth Among Black Gay Men
The Black Bear Brotherhood is a Detroit social collective aimed at connecting black LGBTQ men of size and their allies. Part of the group's mission is furthering the wellbeing of its members and on Feb. [...]
It’s a new concept. A nude art show aimed at attracting an audience of queer folks of color. FreQshow, which will be co-produced by artist and local style icon DL Perrett and Imagine This Productions, [...]
Last June, Jackson Mayor Derek Dobies appointed local activist Julia Josling to the volunteer position of LGBTQ liaison to the mayor’s office. Now, after seven months on the job, Josling chatted with BTL to reflect on her new position and her plans for the future.
He had, friends say, warm eyes and a nice smile and always a kind word for everyone. Community activist Nathan D. Strickland Jr., widely recognized as an up and coming leader in the LGBTQ community, succumbed to his lengthy battle with cancer Jan. 24. He passed just two weeks before what would have been his 28th birthday.
Despite temperatures topping out in the teens, a crowd of more than 200 came out Saturday to support the Drag Queen Story Time program at the Huntington Woods Public Library. After right wing fringe groups [...]
Detroit Police Department LGBT Liaison Cpl. Dani Woods has agreed to participate in the National LGBT Task Force's Creating Change conference following a lengthy meeting on Thursday, Jan. 24 with Director Andy Garcia and other [...]
There were two obvious takeaways from last week’s installment of Affirmations’ ongoing monthly community chats. First, Affirmations Board President Mike Flores, who conducted the chat, wants the community to know that the center is continuing [...]
Racist hate literature was found on cars in Ferndale New Year’s Eve. The fliers, created by a white supremacist group based out of Texas, were met with disdain and disapproval by local community leaders.
For the Huntington Wood Library’s Drag Queen Story Time, a glittering drag queen comes to the library to read to young children once a month. The program, said to be the third of its kind [...]