Who We Are

For over two decades, the members and community surrounding LGBT Detroit have been serving Detroit’s lesbian, gay, bi and transgender communities and advocating on their behalf. From forming community partnerships to testifying before local and state legislatures, and from providing safe gathering spaces to leading pride celebrations and rallies of national significance, LGBT Detroit has been living out its mission to increase awareness of and support to Detroit’s dynamic LGBT culture through education and advocacy with integrity and pride.

  • Individuals still involved with the agency have been actively serving Southeast Michigan since 1994. KICK started then as Kick Publishing Company and was the third Black American LGBT media company created in the country.
  • As a critical source of information, awareness, and an organizing tool in a time of both crisis (HIV/AIDS) and growing gay and lesbian visibility, KICK Magazine quickly gained national distribution and placed Detroit’s LGBT community “on the map.”
  • This set the stage for Hotter Than July, the nation’s second oldest “Black pride” celebration, started in 1995, which has grown into a social justice rally combining cultural, spiritual and educational components in its programming.
  • KICK – The Agency for LGBT African Americans was founded as a Michigan non-profit business in 2003.
  • In 2011, KICK secured a small rental facility to house programs and provide safe space.
  • In 2015, KICK became LGBT Detroit. After much reflection on who we are and from where we come, we decided to align our brand with what we have been doing: leading the change in Detroit.

Today, with local, regional, statewide and national partnerships and affiliations developed since 1994, LGBT Detroit continues advocacy to make Detroit and Michigan a fairer place to work, play and live. We have grown to now offer 15 programs, events and activities serving approximately 800 community members annually, plus Hotter Than July which hosts a gathering of nearly 20,000 people in Detroit each summer.

Our work to support and advocate for Detroit’s lesbian, gay, bi and transgender communities aims to transform their lives and increase their possibilities. LGBT Detroit stands as a symbol of transformation in Detroit, having been a major contribution to the revitalization of this quintessential American city for years.

LGBT Detroit is a proud member of the following:

  1. Midtown Detroit, Inc., a midtown local neighborhood association
  2. Unity Michigan, a coalition of Michigan progressive organizations
  3. CenterLink, a network of national LGBT community centers
  4. National Black Justice Coalition, a national black LGBT civil rights organization
  5. Center for Black Equity, a multi-national network
  6. Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce

Board of Directors

Antonio L. Johnson-Seals, President

LaKeshia Burchett, Secretary

M. Terrence Samson, Treasurer

Michael Goines

Montrice Bellamy, Posthumously Emeritus

Billy Herrod, Posthumously Emeritus

Board of Advisors

Howard Israel

Cornelius Wilson

Robert Tate

Terry Reeves

Marvin Lee

Young Adult Board of Advisors 

Alfredo Smith

Rhiannon Chester

Cierra Burks

David Nelson

Nathan Strickland

Chris Sutton


Curtis LipscombExecutive Director

Rhiannon L. Chester, Program Coordinator

David A. Nelson Jr., Executive Assistant

Kunto Howard, Project Coordinator 

Nathan Strickland, Health & Wellness Coordinator

Lawrence Pennymon, Administrative Assistant