1970s

Gay and lesbian activism really started to take off around the state during the 1970s. Gay pride events started gaining traction around the state as did many forms of activism. These activities, along with the removal of homosexuality as a mental disorder from the DSM in 1973, worked as a way to gain visibility for the community and to fight publically againist many forms of social and legal discrimination.

Ann Arbor Activism

LGBT activism exploded all across the country during the 1970s. Here just some examples what that activism looked like at the time in Ann Arbor.

Woman's Bookstore Flyer

Women's Bookstore Flyer

Pretzel Bell Demonstration

Pretzel Bell Demonstration

Little Lambda Review

Little Lambda Review

Scott Dennis & Jeff Schunk

Scott Dennis and Jeff Schunk

Mark Paron

Mark Paron

Leaping Lesbian Collective

Leaping Lesbian Collective

Leaping Lesbian Publication

Leaping Lesbian Publication

Detroit Events & People

LGBT activism exploded all across the country during the 1970s. Here just some examples what that activism looked like at time in Detroit. Included are images of some of Detroit's first gay pride parades.

Gay Pride Rally in Detroit (1973)

Gay Pride Rally in Detroit

Gay Liberation Front at Detroit Gay Pride Rally

Gay Liberation Front at Detroit Gay Pride Rally

John Kavanaugh

ONE in Detroit Picnic

Gay Protest: Chancery Building in Detroit

Gay Protest: Chancery Building in Detroit

ONE in Detroit Picnic

Andy Karagas, Tony Garneau, and Sam "Bookie" Stewart

Daniel Curzon

Daniel Curzon

Andy Karagas, Tony Garneau, and Sam "Bookie" Stewart

Andy Karagas, Tony Garneau, and Bookie Stewart

Game at Softball City

Game at Softball City

Palmer Park Area

Palmer Park Area

Detroit Publications

Many LGBT publications were started in the 1970s with the goals being to increase community visibility and advocate for LGBT rights.

Gay Liberator Detroit

Gay Liberator Detroit

Gayscene Detroit, no. 1

Gayscene Detroit No.1

Metro Gay News

Metro Gay News

Event Timeline: 1970s

1970: Detroit Free Press publishes feature on city's homosexual community.

1970: Activists form Detroit Gay Liberation Front, bringing militant gay activism to Michigan.

1970: Episcopal bishop withholds funds from Detroit church for allowing Gay Liberation Front meetings.

1970: Fire forces closure of Sam "Bookie" Stewart's Diplomat Bar in Detroit.

1970: Gay Liberation Movement registers as a student group at Michigan State University.

1970: University of Michigan President Robben Fleming denies Gay Liberation Front use of campus facilities for gay conference.

1970: Women's Liberation Movement first meets at Michigan State University.

1971: Gay groups from around Michigan march on state capitol in Lansing.

1971: Gay Liberation Front organizes at Wayne State University.

1971: Gayle Rubin calls a meeting of Ann Arbor lesbians, resulting in formation of the Radicalesbians at the University of Michigan.

1971: Grand Valley Gay Alliance holds public "pit session" featuring "real life" homosexual.

1971: Metropolitan Community Church of Detroit holds its first services.

1971: Short-lived Detroit chapter of Daughters of Bilitis forms.

1971: University of Michigan hires Jim Toy and Cyndi Gair as first human sexuality advocates.

1972: Gay Liberator reports on arrests for accosting and soliciting in Rouge Park in Detroit.

1972: Ann Arbor celebrates first officially designated "Gay Pride Week" in the U.S.

1972: Ann Arbor City Council adopts ordinance protecting individuals from discrimination based on sexual preference.

1972: Detroit voters reject new charter with sexual orientation provision.

1972: Detroit's first gay community center opens during Christopher Street celebrations.

1972: East Lansing City Council bans anti-gay discrimination in housing, employment, and public accomodations.

1972: East Lansing ends bias against homosexuals in city hiring.

1972: Effort begins to amend University of Michigan by-laws to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation.

1972: Effort to repeal Michigan sodomy law fails in state legislature.

1972: First statewide gay pride march held in Detroit.

1972: Lansing's first gay community center opens.

1972: Lt. Gov. James Brickley endorses repeal of laws against private homosexual activity.

1972: Picketers accuse Ann Arbor's Flame Bar of excluding drag queens.

1972: Skip Davis, chair of Detroit community center, is shot outside gay dance.

1973: Ann Arbor City Council members Nancy Wechsler and Jerry DeGrieck come out at meeting.

1973: Detroit's first gay tavern guild, Detroit Associates, is organized.

1973: First Everywoman's Weekend is held at Michigan State University.

1973: Gay Awareness Women's Kollective files complaint against Rubaiyat in Ann Arbor.

1973: Gay Radio Collective begins "Gayly Speaking," weekly program on WDET-FM in Detroit.

1973: Michigan Synod of the Christian Reform Church votes to welcome celibate homosexuals.

1973: Republican-controlled Ann Arbor City Council revokes Pride Week endorsement.

1973: Thieves steal Gay Pride Week banner at Michigan State University.

1973: Two lesbian mothers from Lapeer win child custody case.

1973: Voters accept new Detroit charter with sexual orientation provision.

1974: Lesbian Connection begins publishing in East Lansing.

1974: Michigan Catholic drops Brian McNaught's column after he comes out as gay.

1974: Activists zap American Psychiatric Association convention in Detroit urging further reforms regarding gays.

1974: Gay Awareness Women's Kollective disrupts Ann Arbor City Council for inaction on Rubaiyat complaint.

1974: Gold Coast Saloon opens on E. Seven Mile in Detroit.

1974: Kathy Kozachenko is elected as an open lesbian to the Ann Arbor City Council.

1974: Lesbians and gays urge House committee to add protections for gays in proposed Michigan civil rights law.

1974: Menjo's opens on W. McNichols in Detroit.

1974: Michigan State University professor Marilyn Frye begins teaching feminist philosophy course.

1974: Six gay men are arrested by plainclothes Niles police for accosting and soliciting at a public restroom.

1974: Students at Central Michigan University urge the hiring of a gay advocate.

1975: Annual convention of Episcopal Diocese of Michigan rejects opening of ministries to homosexuals.

1975: Association of Suburban People forms in suburban Detroit.

1975: By a 64-36 margin, Ypsilanti voters reject a proposed human rights ordinance which would end discrimination based on sexual preference.

1975: Collective organizes A Woman's Bookstore, later Womanspace, in Ann Arbor.

1975: Dignity becomes Flint's first gay organization.

1975: Gay Academic Union holds regional conference at the University of Michigan.

1975: Graduate employees at the University of Michigan secure protections for gays in union contract.

1975: Lesbian group Aradia forms in Grand Rapids.

1975: Slim turn-out disappoints organizers of Gay Pride Week in Detroit.

1975: Todd's opens on E. Seven Mile in Detroit.

1976: Gay Liberator publishes final issue.

1976: Leaping Lesbian begins publishing in Ann Arbor.

1976: Daniel Tsang, freelancing for the Michigan Free Press, questions Pres. Gerald Ford on gay rights during his visit to Ann Arbor.

1976: David Krumroy begins publishing Metro Gay News.

1976: Detroit gay man Brian Hyman killed while walking in Palmer Park neighborhood.

1976: Dignity chapter is started in Grand Rapids.

1976: First Michigan Womyn's Music Festival is held on original site in Hesperia.

1976: Gay Community Center opens on S. Forest in Ann Arbor.

1976: Michigan legislature enacts Eliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act without protections for lesbians and gays.

1976: Michigan State Police launch summer campaign against homosexual activity at I-75 and I-96 rest areas.

1976: The Deck opens on E. Jefferson in Detroit.

1976: University of Michigan campus radio station begins broadcasting "Closets Are For Clothes."

1977: Ann Arbor-Washtenaw NOW takes stance against A Woman's Bookstore policy of excluding men.

1977: Detroit police arrest up to sixty men in crackdown on public sex in Rouge Park.

1977: Former Radicalesbians member Denise Turner starts Alleycat/Prostitution Education Project in Ann Arbor.

1977: Frontrunner, new organization for black gay men, forms in Detroit.

1977: Michigan House resolution honoring anti-gay crusader Anita Bryant dies in committee.

1977: Michigan Organization for Human Rights holds founding meeting.

1977: Michigan State University includes sexual orientation in its non-discrimination policy.

1977: Michigan's first transgender organization Crossroads is founded for Flint and Detroit area crossdressers.

1977: Motherwit Books and More opens in Lansing.

1977: ONE in Detroit board of directors considers motion to dissolve organization.

1977: Ruby's Flaming Bar, later the R&R, opens on Michigan Avenue in Detroit.

1977: Warren City Council endorses Anita Bryant's crusade against gay rights.

1978: Metro Gay News ceases publication.

1978: Bill Kain opens the Department Store, later the Copa, on S. Saginaw Street in Flint.

1978: Dignity chapter forms in East Lansing.

1978: Gay Youth Group for Ann Arbor area high school students begins meeting at Ozone House.

1978: Michigan Appeals Court upholds child custody ruling against Ann Arbor lesbian Margareth Miller.

1978: Michigan State University elects openly gay Dan Jones student body president.

1979: Bomb threat fails to disrupt MOHR annual convention in Southfield.

1979: Detroit enacts human rights ordinance with provisions barring bias based on sexual orientation.

1979: Gay Michigan State University sophomore James Dallas Egbert III disappears into campus steam tunnels.

1979: Gov. William Milliken denies stifling data on homosexuality in state prisons.

1979: Hundreds from Michigan take part in first National March on Washington for Gay and Lesbian Rights.

1979: Kalamazoo Police arrest 42 for homosexual activity in sting operation in a public restroom.

1979: Lansing Association for Human Rights is founded.

1979: Michigan Supreme Court restores custody of Jillian Miller to her lesbian mother Margareth.

1979: TNT Health Club opens on W. Eight Mile in Detroit.

1979: Two month crackdown on public sex in Detroit parks and rest areas leads to arrests of 73 men.