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.

Hotter Than July 2019 Recap

By | 2019-07-30T13:21:14-04:00 July 30th, 2019|Michigan, News|

Last week royalty joined together for a multi-day celebration during the 24th annual Hotter Than July black gay Pride celebration. The theme of this year's event was Kings & Queens: Family, Friends, Faith, Fun. The [...]

Obituary: Clif Levin

By | 2019-07-18T11:30:12-04:00 July 15th, 2019|Michigan, News|

November 17, 1947 – July 9, 2019 Longtime community activist and committed volunteer Clif Levin died July 9. He was 71. Levin grew up just outside of Detroit in Oak Park and graduated from Oak [...]

Preview: Hotter Than July

By | 2019-07-12T02:54:54-04:00 July 12th, 2019|Michigan, News|

He’s the new project coordinator for Hotter Than July and he’s making things happen; Jerron Totten is planning a big HTJ this year. He has also served as LGBT Detroit’s legislative advocacy specialist and social [...]

Grace Jones Returns to Detroit for First Time in 18 years With Masonic Temple Show

By | 2019-06-26T16:03:09-04:00 June 26th, 2019|Entertainment, Features|

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.

First Ever Royal Oak Family Pride to Take Place June 12

By | 2019-05-15T16:54:44-04:00 May 15th, 2019|Entertainment, Features, Guides, Pride Guide|

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.

Affirmations ED Dave Garcia Holds First Community Chats

By | 2019-05-09T11:25:14-04:00 May 8th, 2019|Michigan, News|

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.

Art Deco Burlesque Brought Back by Tundra-Mae Fury

By | 2019-05-01T15:28:03-04:00 May 1st, 2019|Entertainment, Features|

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.

Como’s to Reopen Under New Ownership

By | 2019-05-03T14:32:23-04:00 May 1st, 2019|Entertainment, Features|

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.

Inclusive Justice to Host Gay Catholic Church Activist April 13

By | 2019-04-10T16:25:09-04:00 April 10th, 2019|Entertainment, Features|

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.

SAGE Table Looks to Link Up Different Age Groups

By | 2019-04-10T16:14:18-04:00 April 10th, 2019|Guides, Health & Wellness|

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.

Southeast Michigan Community Mourns Loss of Dani Som, 20

By | 2019-04-10T16:12:54-04:00 April 10th, 2019|Uncategorized|

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.

For Love and Faith

By | 2019-04-04T14:16:40-04:00 April 3rd, 2019|Michigan, News|

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.

Kelly Stough’s Murderer to Be Tried in Court

By | 2019-04-03T16:55:34-04:00 April 3rd, 2019|Michigan, News|

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.

Ruth Ellis Center’s Youth Advisory Board Visits UN

By | 2019-03-13T14:05:39-04:00 March 13th, 2019|Michigan, News|

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.

Aut Bar Sold

By | 2019-03-06T15:15:42-04:00 March 6th, 2019|Michigan, News|

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.

Transgender Thought Leader Says ‘Transphobia Is A Sin’

By | 2019-03-06T15:14:46-04:00 March 6th, 2019|Michigan, News|

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.

U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib Visits REC to Hear From LGBTQ Faith Leaders, Youth

By | 2019-03-01T13:49:52-04:00 February 27th, 2019|Michigan, News|

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.

Remembering Ruth Ellis

By | 2019-02-20T15:22:04-04:00 February 20th, 2019|Michigan, News|

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.

OBITUARY: Nathan D. Strickland Jr.

By | 2019-01-30T14:45:28-04:00 January 30th, 2019|Michigan, News|

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.