Jim Toy

Jim Toy was a prominent LGBTQ activists in Michigan and the first person in Michigan to come out as gay. He was a founding member of the Detroit Liberation Front and would later develop what is now known as the Spectrum Center at the University of Michigan, an office where members of the LGBTQ Community on campus could receive support and counseling. He was also a pioneer in creating and engaging with many other organizations, which this page will outline below. Toy in many ways defies the “model minority” image, as he was a prominent Asian American man who was openly queer and a highly visible LGBTQ activist of color within spaces often defined by white activists. Although Toy is well-known in the LGBTQ community in Michigan, his Asian identity is often erased from broader discourse. The pages that follow discuss Toy’s life and work, including his Asian American identity as both influential and motivating factors to his activism.