The Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame, celebrating its 30th year, held its annual induction ceremony for 2021 inductees October 6 at Sidetrack, sponsored by Sidetrack, J&L Catering, Rick Aguilar Photography, and Dalila Fridi and Elizabeth McNight. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot will presented the awards. The Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame will also present a virtual version of the awards presentation on October 28.
This year's inductees were:
Chicago Urban Pride: Planning events and programming for Chicago's African American LGBT community for more than twenty years.
Ginni Clemmens (posthumous): One of the earliest openly queer recording artists and was an important part of Chicago's folk music scene. Longtime Chicago bar owner Marge Summit accepted on her behalf.
Lisa Isadora Cruz: An advocate for transgender rights among minority communities.
Thomas Hunt: Better known in his persona of Mz. Ruff N Stuff, he is a nightclub promoter, entertainer, and fundraiser for many community organizations.
Wayne Johnson: The winner of the Today Show's national "Domestic Diva" contest and a contributor on local television shows.
Otis Mack: Comedian, promoter, host, and emcee extraordinaire and CEO, and founder of Heavy Diva Productions.
Claudia Mosier: A therapist and active member of Chicago's LGBT community for the last 43 years.
PRIDEChicago: The management and planning team for the annual Pride parade for the past 47 years. Tim Frye, husband of late Pride Chicago organizer Rich Pfeiffer, accepted the award on behalf of the committee.
Ralphi Rosario: DJ, producer, and Grammy nominee, he has released several full-length albums and remixed tracks by many headlining artists.
Betty Lark Ross: A founding member and later co-chair for the Chicago chapter of Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Teachers' Network (later renamed GLSEN.)
Kirk Williamson: A journalist who has covered Chicago nightlife decades, was art director for Windy City Times, and is production manager for the Chicago Reader.
The Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame also posthumously honored an ally, as a "Friend of the Community":
Lana Hostetler (posthumous): One of the earliest allies in Chicago's second wave of LGBT civil rights work in the 1980s, she co-founded Equality Illinois. Her son Branden accepted the award on her behalf.
The Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame is the first city-sponsored hall of fame dedicated to LGBT people, organizations, businesses, and communities in the United States. From its founding in 1991 until 2016 the Gay & Lesbian Hall of Fame relied on support from the City of Chicago. The city ceased funding the Gay & Lesbian Hall of Fame in 2016 as part of then-mayor Rahm Emanuel's cost-cutting programs. At that time, it was rechristened the Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame and has since been supported and maintained by the Friends of the Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame, a 501c3 not-for-profit organization, with approval and support from the City of Chicago.
Photos by Leni-Manaa Hoppenworth