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Gay History: Chicago Whispers
Part 2 of the Chicago Gay Crusader series.
by Sukie de la Croix
2003-10-08

This article shared 4947 times since Wed Oct 8, 2003
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Last week we looked at the premiere issue of the Chicago Gay Crusader monthly newspaper in May 1973. This week we turn our attention to the June 1973 Pride issue.

I've often talked to young lesbians about how separate the gay male and lesbian communities were back then, so I'm listing in full the Gay Pride Week festivities to highlight the point.

Gay Pride week …

Between June 22 and July 1, 1973, a week of celebrations was planned by a Pride committee comprising members of nearly 40 gay organizations and businesses in Chicago. A Gay Pride Dance was scheduled for Friday, June 22, when over 1,000 Gay Pride balloons dropped to the dance floor to kick-off a week of events. It was held at The Post at 1720 N. Cleveland.

The following day a Gay Pride Picnic took place in Lincoln Park at Armitage and in the evening the Lesbian Feminist Theatre Group performed 'Trevor' at an undisclosed address. You had to phone a number for more information. I'm told this was because only women were told of the location.

On Sunday June 24, the Gay Pride Parade left from Belmont Harbor, west on Belmont to Broadway, then south on Broadway, ending at the Lincoln Park Forum at 1800 N. for the rally. June 25 saw a candlelight vigil at Cook County Jail, at 2600 S. California, sponsored by the Gay Caucus of Youth Against War and Fascism.

On June 26 at Grace Lutheran Church at 555 W. Belden the Gay Social Work Association and Gay Teachers Association held workshops and a social. June 27 saw the showing of a UCLA documentary 'Some of Your Best Friends Are' at Lincoln Park Presbyterian Church at 600 W. Fullerton, followed by Self Help slides from Chicago Lesbian Liberation. That same night at the Left Bank gay bar at 2140 N. Lincoln Park, a buffet and Open House was sponsored by Chicago Nites.

On June 28 at noon the Chicago Gay Alliance held a Rally and Kiss-In at the Chicago Civic Center Plaza at Clark and Washington. At 7 p.m. there was a Gay Law Forum at DePaul University sponsored by the Gay Law Students Association. At 7.30 p.m. the U. of Chicago Gay Liberation group hosted a Bisexuality Rap at Ida Noyes Hall at 1212 E. 59th. Also that night at an undisclosed address there was a workshop on the relationship between Women's Liberation and Lesbian Liberation, by Chicago Women's Liberation Union.

On June 29 at 8 p.m. there was a Family of Woman concert at the Columbia Dance Center at 4730 N. Sheridan, presented by the 'Family of Women' lesbian feminist musicians. At 8.30 p.m. that night there was a Clergy-Gay Rap at 7070 N. Ridge, sponsored by Unity.

On June 30 there was a Lesbian Counseling Information Exchange at Lincoln Park Presbyterian Church sponsored by the Lesbian Counseling Group. That same day between 1-5 p.m. a Workshop on Lesbian Publications and Writers event was held by Chicago Lesbian Liberation. In the evening there was a Talk by Jill Johnston of the Village Voice, and at 8 p.m. another performance of 'Trevor.'

Ending Gay Pride Week there was a Gay Art Fair and Flea Market sponsored by Chicago Lesbian Liberation on the afternoon of July 1, and a third performance of 'Trevor.' The last five events were held at undisclosed locations.

Bars …

Britt Top's Wooden Barrel Pub at 2326 N. Clark advertised a Dating Game on Thursday nights and a Talk Show on Fridays. The Twenty-One Club (now Legacy 21) at 3042 W. Irving Park opened a dining room on June 8. Food was served from 6 p.m.-Midnight. The Chicago Gay Crusader reported on a new bar that opened May 31. It was Dugan's Bistro at 420 N. Dearborn. Gay Teachers … The Gay Teacher's Association held its third meeting June 9. At the previous meeting on April 28, Margaret Wilson (Skeeter) and John Keller were elected coordinators. Next week we will look at some of the other events and happenings reported in the Chicago Gay Crusader June 1973 issue. E-mail sukie@windycitymediagroup.com . If you have memories to share, contact Sukie de la Croix at Windy City Times. You can leave a message on his voicemail at (773) 871-7610. He collects memories and interviews over the phone, in person, or via e-mail sukie@windycitymediagroup.com ----------------------------------------


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