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Generation Stonewall, the courage of generations

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The journey to LGBTQ equality in Chicago—to the point where we have an openly lesbian mayor—was made possible by the courage of several generations of activists.

Starting with postal worker Henry Gerber and the short-lived Society for Human Rights he helped launch in 1924, there have been tens of thousands of activists who have made progress possible.

But in the last century, prior to the Stonewall riots in 1969 sparking a new surge in the push for LGBTQ equality, there were just a few dozen brave individuals who allowed their faces and real names to be associated with Chicago's fight for "homosexual" rights.

Most of those people have died, including Gerber. Pioneers from earlier eras included jazz musicians Tiny Davis, Ruby Lucas, and Tony Jackson; bar owners Chuck Renslow, Jim Flint, and Marge Summit; attorneys Pearl Hart, Renee Hanover, Ralla Klepak, William B. Kelley, and Ed Mogul; and activists Vernita Gray, Marie Kuda, Jackie Anderson, George Buse, and Henry Weimhoff.

In this week's editions of the Chicago Reader and Windy City Times, we are looking back at a few of the "Stonewall Generation" who are still alive and able to tell their stories. The people below are just a small slice of the community, from activists to cultural pioneers, but they represent the names and voices of thousands of others.

The movement grew after those riots at the Stonewall gay bar in New York City 50 years ago this month. But it did not grow from nothing—many of the people below helped plant the seeds, while others provided the nourishment to help them grow.

If you want to know more about Chicago's LGBTQ history, you can read my book Out and Proud in Chicago, watch the companion film WTTW produced, or check out the website for oral histories. Owen Keehnen and I wrote biographies of Renslow, Flint, and Gray, and I have a collection of Kuda's essays, Kuda: Gay and Proud, now available. More information on many of these pioneers is also available at the LGBTQ Hall of Fame website. Other resources include the Gerber/Hart Library, the Leather Archives & Museum, and books by Sukie de la Croix and Owen Keehnen.

—Tracy Baim, publisher of the Chicago Reader and owner of the Windy City Times

Gloria "Mama Gloria" Allen

Gloria Allen, now in her mid-70s, has been an out-and-proud transgender woman fighting for rights and dignity for decades. But it has only been in recent years that her life has been amplified through a play and, soon, a documentary.

"You can't fit me into a pigeonhole," she told Windy City Times in 2015. "I'm just a person who's out there, in love with life. I really do everything that I can when I can, and if I'm needed to be there, I'm there.

"So many trans women of color don't make it to my age. There's a few out there, and you can count them on your fingers. I am blessed and proud to be here to talk, because older trans women should be heard. We walked that long mile to get here."

"The [1963] March on Washington had a big impact on me," Allen said. "I remember Martin Luther King coming to Cicero. But if I went over to Cicero, I would have either been lynched or murdered. The north side wasn't any better. Blacks coming up north were all carded and profiled [by the Chicago Police Department]. We had to have at least three pieces of ID with the same name on it. Halsted had so many clubs and a lot of gay men, but transgender girls just did not exist."

Allen spent her weekend evenings performing at clubs on the south side. "There was the Bonanza Club and the Burning Spear," she said. "The girls would put on shows there. My mother gave me her old dresses. But they were good clothes, designer clothes."

She moved to New York's Greenwich Village in 1969 looking to perform on Broadway, a dream that would be forever deferred. She did experience the NYPD of 1969. "The police were vicious," she said. "They'd arrest you if you rolled your eyes at them. The violence against transgender women was horrific. They were being stabbed and found in garbage cans with their bodies chopped up. The police were killing us too. They would raid the clubs and drag us out. It was like living in Salem during the witch hunts. If you were Black and transgender, it was bad."

She recalled June 1969 at the gay Stonewall Inn: "We just got tired of it. The girls decided, 'We're going to fight,' and we fought because we weren't going to take it anymore."

"Trans people weren't in existence at all," she said. "A lot of people would come to the clubs just to see the trans girls perform, and we would put on a good show. They put us into categories—sex workers or entertainers. They didn't realize we were educated. The lesbians hated us and we couldn't understand why. It's changed now, but when I was coming up, lesbians would fight us just because we were trans girls. The gay men didn't like us because we were feminine."

She returned to Chicago in 1974 and started working the clubs, but citizens and police alike targeted transgender people. "A lot of trans girls were being murdered," she said.

The next enemy that knocked on the door was AIDS. "When AIDS came out, everyone I knew were dropping like flies," she said. "We didn't know what was going on."

"I'm not ready to stop," Allen told WCT. "I'm ready to give people what was given to me. These kids are my babies, and if my mother, aunt, and grandmother were here now, they'd be helping out."

Michal Brody

Michal Brody, PhD, born in 1948, is an activist and author inducted into Chicago's LGBT Hall of Fame for her work as a founding member of the groundbreaking Chicago Gay Liberation group in 1969, a founding member of Chicago Lesbian Liberation in 1970, and her 1985 book Are We There Yet?, a history of lesbians in Chicago.

"I got involved in the first organized gay liberation in Chicago in November 1969, when it started," she wrote in an e-mail. "Although the group was organized by University of Chicago students (Henry Wiemhoff, principally) and used the Chicago Maroon for publicizing meetings, the people who came to those early meetings were mostly non-[U. of C.] people and pretty much reflected general south-side demographics; that is, a broad class spectrum, and many Black folks. I think that's really significant and generally overlooked. A lot of conversation went to how to not get harassed or busted by the Chicago cops—the women, for not wearing enough 'women's' garments, and the boys, for being too swish. Activism really began there; I don't think the concept of rights was even on the horizon."

Armand Cerbone

Armand Cerbone has been an advocate and activist on LGBTQ mental and physical health issues for several decades, including as a leader in the American Psychological Association.

Cerbone, in solo practice since 1978, is among the first psychologists to offer affirmative psychotherapy to the LGBTQ community. In the mid-1980s he organized the Midwest Association of Lesbian and Gay Psychologists to provide support to lesbian and gay psychologists in the field and to foster affirmative psychotherapy.

Cerbone has been a longtime Illinois Psychological Association member and was its first out gay president from 2004 to 2005. He held leadership positions at the APA, including chair of the board of directors.

Gary Chichester

Born in 1946, Gary Chichester came out in 1964.

"I am fortunate to have come out early in my life with the support of my friends and eventually my family." he said. "The 1968 Democratic National Convention radically changed my life, so by the time Stonewall took place, I was set to fight for my rights as a human being. Becoming involved with the Gay Liberation Movement and, later, Chicago Gay Alliance, I had the opportunity to meet and work with some of the most dedicated people in the movement.

"I believe the early years of the movement built a strong foundation to build on. I never thought I would live to see marriage equality, an open lesbian mayor of my city, and an open gay man running for the highest office in the country. We must remember that there is still much to do."

John D'Emilio

Longtime LGBTQ historian and professor John D'Emilio said his first organized effort to move "gay liberation" forward came in 1973, "when a group of gay men and lesbians in New York City came together to figure out how research could be a tool for liberation. Soon we had formed the Gay Academic Union. By 1975, almost a thousand people attended our annual conference. And I was launched on a lifetime path of researching and writing about LGBTQ history."

Veronica "Ronnie" Drantz

Veronica "Ronnie" Drantz, born in 1943, started her activism in 1970 at the Astro Restaurant in the heart of Chicago's gay neighborhood at Clark and Diversey (aka Diversity).

"While waitressing there in the summer of 1970 the boss commanded me to overcharge two customers and told them to never come back because they were gay," she said. "I reported this to Chicago Gay Liberation. The result was 35 CGL members picketing and leafleting the Astro for nine consecutive days, starting August 7, 1970—the first Chicago gay protest of its kind. My favorite sign was 'Up Your Astro.'"

Murray Edelman

Murray Edelman, born in 1943, came out in 1965. By 1970, "we came out to friends, family, and colleagues, not knowing the consequences, for we hoped to be future role models for others. We stood up to the Chicago police, expecting to have our heads bashed. Looking back, I don't know if I was courageous or foolhardy. But I do know that I am very proud of what we did."

James W. Flint

James "Jim" Flint was born in 1941 and came out in 1954. He worked in Chicago gay bars in the 1960s and was arrested dozens of times during bar raids. He opened the Baton Show Lounge in early 1969, and it still stands today, in a new Uptown location after 50 years in River North.

"Stonewall made us all more diligent and active in gay rights," he said.

He participated in the country's first gay march to commemorate Stonewall, held in June 1970 in Chicago. In the later 1970s he participated in the anti-Anita Bryant protest at Medinah Temple, and he led a march on City Hall to stop police raids and harassment.

Flint helped distribute AIDS education information in the early years of the epidemic, and he was very active in the gay sports scene locally and nationally. He was also among the first openly gay men to run for office, seeking a seat on the Cook County Board in 1987.

Tom Gertz

Born and raised on the northwest side of Chicago, Gertz became involved in the homophile community prior to the 1969 Stonewall riots.

Gertz joined the Chicago-based gay group Mattachine Midwest in 1967, serving as vice president and president through 1973. In 1973, he joined the staff of the Akron Forum, a human sexuality learning center in Akron, Ohio. For almost 25 years, Gertz lived there, where he was involved in starting and developing HIV/AIDS organizations.

As a sexologist, he was involved in many professional associations and conferences, helping to advance the cause of LGBTQ rights.

Joel Hall

Joel Hall has been an openly gay activist since the early 1970s. He also founded the Joel Hall Dancers. His advocacy has included work on African American gay issues, LGBTQ rights, and AIDS causes.

He recently stepped down after nearly 40 years heading Joel Hall Dancers, where he debuted more than 70 new works and collaborations.

He was locked up at age 14 by a judge who wanted to "correct" his homosexuality. After he got out at age 17, his dance training began in Chicago in 1968. He moved to New York in 1969 to work with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

He wrote a groundbreaking essay for the journal Gay Sunshine in 1971 that was republished in 1973 in The Gay Liberation Book by Ramparts Press, along with works by Gore Vidal, Huey Newton, William Burroughs, and Allen Ginsberg. He's writing his own book now.

Eunice Hundseth

Eunice Hundseth, who was born in 1942, was the owner of Susan B., a feminist restaurant around the corner from Augie's women's bar on the north side of Chicago, which opened on Thanksgiving 1973.

"I came to Chicago from Canada to study art when I was 18," Hundseth said. "I was a medical photographer when I got interested in women's issues and women in the late 1960s. Moving from a miniskirted front-desk 'girl' to a raging full-blown feminist lesbian took place in a short span of time. My activism was to serve food to the women who had helped change my life so much."

Mary Ann Johnson

Born in 1944, Mary Ann Johnson began her activism in the early 1970s. She is president of the Chicago Area Women's History Council and former director of the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum at the University of Illinois-Chicago.

"I had my first serious lesbian relationship beginning in 1963," she said. "It ended badly; I was devastated and had no one to talk to. Drank myself nearly to death. Then I met some young lesbian feminists in the early 1970s and was shocked to learn they thought being a lesbian was okay—even good! I joined the Lesbian Feminist Center on Halsted Street when it was starting up and began coming out. A long process."

Lucina Kathmann

Lucina Kathmann, along with Kathleen Thompson and Nick Patricca, was among a group of activists organizing marches in the early days of the movement.

"Most of us lived above and behind Pride & Prejudice Bookstore on Halsted Street in 1970-'71. It was also a center of many women's activities: pregnancy testing, silk screening, dance workshops, publications. [It was] amazing what all went on under one roof."

Nicholas (Nick) Kelly

Born in 1942, Kelly came out in the early 1960s. In 2019, he gave a speech about his activism to a gay student group in Baraboo, Wisconsin, where he now lives. The speech, "After Stonewall: A Lifetime of Gay Activism," recalled his decades of work.

"I was invited to the first Chicago gay-lib meeting in around September 1969 by a friend," he said. "We had no idea what we were getting into except that it was a gay-movement group that had come out of the Stonewall confrontation in June 1969.

"Going to my first meeting with lots of gay men sitting on the floor of an apartment all talking to each other—and it wasn't a gay bar—the energy was fantastic. Political zaps were popular in those days, and the group decided that they would plan their first activity as a zap against the Normandy—the biggest gay bar in Chicago run by the Mafia—since they did not allow dancing in the bar. We wanted to dance, so we leafleted and picketed the bar for three nights until the owners finally let us dance there. But no slow dancing. And no touching. That was one of the conditions by the owners."

Lola Lai Jong

Lola Lai Jong has worked for many decades making sure that Asian LGBTQ people are represented, both within the LGBTQ community and the mainstream. She has been part of many movements and organizations, including one she helped found, Invisible to Invincible: Asian Pacific Islander Pride of Chicago, "a community-based organization that celebrates and affirms Asians & Pacific Islanders who identify as LGBTQQ in the Chicago area."

Alexis Martinez

Born May 10, 1950, Alexis Martinez came out to her family in 1964. She has been active on transgender issues in Chicago for many years.

"In 1969 I was living in San Francisco's Chinatown," she said, "and while the Stonewall uprising was in the news, I remember that a few of us trans women later tried to join the Harvey Milk campaign for San Francisco supervisor. They turned us away—they felt we would not fit into the straight-passing white male image that Milk thought was necessary to succeed. Though we have had many advances in the last 50 years, trans persons are stepchildren of the LGBT community."

Patricia "Pat" McCombs

Pat McCombs, born in 1949, started her activism in Chicago in the 1970s, when she first fought back against racial carding in the bars. She was inducted into Chicago's LGBT Hall of Fame for her volunteer work for lesbian groups, and for launching safe social spaces for women. As part of Executive Sweet, she and business partner Vera Washington created places where African American lesbians and their friends could safely socialize.

"I was a volunteer for the Lesbian Community Center on Halsted and a building on Barry and Clark," she said. "Working mainly on the women's hotline speaking to lesbians wanting info in some type of crisis. I marched and protested with NOW for women's rights, for the ERA. Made a few contributions of poetry to Lavender Woman newspaper. I helped to form numerous womyn-of-color rap groups. These were social gatherings and meet-up groups of lesbians seeking to discuss topics of interest."

In her retirement, she continues to speak up and advocate for women of color and the LGBTQ community.

Edward Mogul

Attorney Edward Mogul, born in 1945, came out in the late 1960s.

"In the late 1960s, a group of law students met to combat the harassment of gay men in the cruising areas around the Lincoln Park lagoon and on Pine Grove," he said. "It was risky for law students to be out because it was not clear what effect being known as a homosexual would have on being licensed as an attorney. The police were indifferent and in some cases hostile. But it was the beginning of the baby-boomer cohort of gay men taking action in Chicago."

Mogul has continued to assist both LGBTQ people individually and LGBTQ institutions with legal help for 50 years.

Nicholas Anthony Patricca

Nicholas Patricca, born in 1941, joined the University of Chicago Gay Consciousness Raising/Sexual Liberation group organized by Murray Edelman and Kevin Burke, among notable others, in 1968.

Self-identified as queer, he said Stonewall "caused me to realize I had to move to the north side of Chicago to find political and artistic and queer opportunities not readily available to me in Hyde Park and the south side.

"I reconnoitered the north side from the Red Line, getting off at various stations to surveil the neighborhoods. When I investigated the Belmont-Clark-Broadway area I knew I had found the right place for me.

"In the spring of 1970 I rented the entire building at 3322 N. Halsted, which is still there. My friend Lucina Kathmann moved in with me, continuing her work with other women dancers exploring the themes of women's liberation. My friend Kathleen Thompson also moved in and opened up the first feminist bookstore in Chicago—Pride & Prejudice—on the ground floor. I participated in the first gay Pride Parade and worked with the gay community center run by Gary Chichester.

"We were all philosophers and artists committed to exploring the meaning of sexual liberation for ourselves and for everyone, across all boundaries: mental, physical, political, emotional, social, economic, cultural, and ethnic. I like to think of us as among the very first pioneers of the queer artistic and social movements that took root and blossomed on Halsted and then throughout the city."

Rick Paul

Rick Paul, born in 1945, started his activism in 1971. He was working as stage manager of a drama arts camp when he sabotaged the sound as a comedian tried to tell homophobic jokes. On his way to the 1979 National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, he met veteran George Buse, who was telling stories about his experience in World War II. Paul suggested a play would be great, and Lionheart Gay Theatre Company was born.

Paul has worked for more than 40 years as a scene designer for theater and film. "My work has been seen in every state and on other continents as well. I also produced, acted, wrote, and directed for theater," he said.

At Lionheart, Paul writes: "We put ourselves totally as a service to all the organizations of the time. Giving 100 percent of the box office to the groups each of our 40 productions was benefiting."

Chilli Pepper

Chilli Pepper has been a performer in Chicago since the early 1970s, primarily at the Baton Show Lounge. She transformed the concept of drag, and in the process became a transgender icon, appearing on dozens of television shows and other broadcasts, including popular 1980s and 1990s talk shows.

Pepper was Miss Chicago in 1974, and the first Miss Continental, one of the top transgender pageants in the world, created by the Baton's founder, Jim Flint.

As Zackary Drucker wrote about Pepper for Vice: "Chilli's iconic onstage persona, which she refers to as her 'cartoon,' is soulful, unapologetic, and disinterested in anyone else's judgement. In 2015, I encountered the electrifying presence of Chilli Pepper in the flesh for the first time the same way millions of people before me discovered her, on the stage at the Baton Nightclub. Living up to her name, she looked to be on fire, pantomiming, shifting through emotions; her fluid movements seductive and self-possessed; an artist in her zone. . . . For those in the LGBTQ Chicago nightlife universe, Chilli is the ultimate star, famous for her ostentatious jewelry and impeccable style. But speaking with Chilli, I was struck by her deep tranquility and reflection, as well as her reverence for fellow performers at the Baton, past and present."

Rich Pfeiffer

Rich Pfeiffer is best known as coordinator of PRIDE Chicago, which has organized the annual Pride Parade from the early 1970s through the present day. Other organizational involvement from the 1970s through 1980s includes the Chicago Gay Alliance, Gay Horizons (now the Center on Halsted), the Gay Speakers Bureau, campus gay groups at Harold Washington College and the University of Illinois-Chicago, and a gay couples networking group. He was also a writer and columnist for Chicago Gay Crusader and Gay Life newspapers.

During the 1980s and 1990s, he was a member of the Mayor's Advisory Council on LGBT issues under three different mayors. Pfeiffer has been with his life partner, Timothy Frye, since 1971, and together they contribute to various LGBTQ causes.

Mark Sherkow

Mark Sherkow, born in 1945, came out in the summer of 1969.

"I came to Chicago in August 1967 to start a Master's degree program at the University of Chicago," he said. "I came out after my second summer in that area. Before I actually came out, I went to a gay dance held in a big room in a dormitory. It was jammed full of people and had signs such as 'If someone asks you to dance and you don't want to, then just say "no" and "You are beautiful."' I did not dance or talk to anybody but just sat and watched—and felt comfortable. A little while after that, I saw a news report on the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite about gay liberation, focusing on a gay dance at the University of Minnesota, and it gave me the final push I needed to come out."

Maxsonn C. Smith

Maxsonn "Max" Smith was born in 1954 and became interested in Stonewall almost immediately. The Saint Louis Post-Dispatch ran a picture of the riot on its cover with a brief caption and no accompanying story, "Yet it made me feel very hopeful," he said.

"I came out at the first Michigan State University Gay Liberation Council meeting, freshman year, in September 1972," Smith said. "Donald Goddard and Jane Phillips led the 25 to 35 people attending weekly meetings. Gay Lib scheduled panel discussions with many classes. The East Lansing, Michigan, city council voted three yes, two no, on Monday, April 16, 1973, to pass America's first gay rights law."

Smith has been an activist in Chicago's LGBTQ community for decades, including work empowering African American gay men through such groups as Adodi.

David Stienecker

David Stienecker was a critical 1960s and early 1970s Chicago activist who fought back against police harassment. He was arrested for writing about a specific police officer in the Mattachine Midwest newsletter. He later moved to New York.

As the Chicago Reader recalled, "On the snowy afternoon of Wednesday, February 25, 1970, [Gay Lib held a protest] outside the Loop headquarters of the Women's Bar Association of Illinois. The group was hosting a program on youthful offenders with a Chicago police officer, Sergeant John Manley, as guest speaker. But for us, the offender was Manley himself. The blond, muscular cop was notorious for entrapping gay men in Lincoln Park restrooms; wearing street clothes, he would pretend to solicit guys for sex and then arrest them if they responded to his invitation. Mattachine Midwest, an established 'homophile' organization in town, published Manley's picture in its mimeographed monthly newsletter and mockingly suggested Manley himself was a closet case."

"If I were gay and I didn't want anybody to know, and I felt very, very guilty, I think I might get a job where I could cruise in the public interest," Stienecker wrote. On February 7, 1970, Manley made an early morning appearance at Stienecker's third-floor apartment to arrest him for criminal defamation.

"After I unsuccessfully attempted to make a phone call," Stienecker later told the Reader, "Manley called for a police van and I was escorted from my apartment in handcuffs." The case was eventually thrown out, but Stienecker lost his job as an editor at World Book Encyclopedia.

Margaret "Marge" Summit

Marge Summit, a legendary bar owner and activist, was born in 1935 and came out of the closet 13 years later: "I knew I didn't want to play with dolls, but loved wearing six-guns."

In the mid-1970s, Summit helped Guy Warner start a Chicago group that is now known as PFLAG, Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.

In the 1980s, as owner of His 'n Hers bar, she welcomed people from all parts of the LGBTQ community for food, music, and fun. She held a famous open mike for gay musicians to have a stage for their music, and produced an album called Gay and Straight Together. It is in the Smithsonian Museum.

Out of that bar, with fellow bar owner Frank Kellas, she launched the Gay $ campaign, where individuals and businesses stamped currency. Summit and Kellas experienced pressure from federal officials for their efforts, but it raised visibility for the community,

Summit also fought the city of Chicago to adopt a child in the 1970s, and started a group called QED, which included gay men and women running benefits at the bar to raise money for organizations.

Kathleen Thompson

Kathleen Thompson, born in 1946, was the owner of Pride & Prejudice bookstore on Halsted in what is now Boystown, from 1970 to 1973.

"The early 1970s were an exciting time to be a part of the gay community, although being bisexual was controversial and often uncomfortable," she said. "My feminist bookstore, Pride & Prejudice, was a center of activism and eventually turned into the Women's Center. As the Center became more separatist, I fought the attempts to exclude women who had connections with men. Eventually, the group got very small, and I didn't bother anymore. I just left.

"The best things were Susan B.'s restaurant, Marie Kuda's lesbian writers' conferences, and the parades.

"I barely knew Stonewall happened. In 1969, I had approached one woman sexually and been politely refused. A year later, I was very different. I had opened Pride & Prejudice, and was sleeping with [a woman]. By 1971, I had met Marie Kuda, who began to educate me. A year later, I encountered Penny Pope and Irene Lee, Millie Leonard, and other women in Chicago Gay Liberation, Women's Caucus. They all knew what Stonewall meant, and I learned."

Guy Warner

Guy Warner was one of the founders of the first support group for the parents and friends of members of the LGBTQ community in Chicago, in the 1970s. The group later became part of the national PFLAG movement. Warner was also involved in other critical 1970s groups, including a coalition of gay and lesbian groups and businesses. He served as president of Mattachine Midwest, and the LGBT Hall of Fame credits him with "reinvigorating" the group.

Roy Wesley

Roy Wesley, born in 1942, experienced the early years of the Japanese internment camps the U.S. created during World War II, something that shaped his life of caring about social justice. He came out as gay in 1970.

"It's hard to remember that 50 years ago America was not accepting of LGBT people," he said. "I was part of that culture, and hid being gay to all except those men who had the same strong urges that needed to be expressed. Pleasure and happiness were surrounded in guilt and shame. I'm so grateful times have changed thanks to Oscar Wilde, Lambda Legal, SAGE, Windy City Times, and so many others!"

Albert Williams

Albert Williams was born in 1950 and came out in 1969. "As a student at Columbia College Chicago in the early 1970s, I was involved in two movements that blossomed in that era and fueled each other—Gay Liberation (we organized the first Stonewall anniversary march, among other activities) and the Chicago off-Loop theater scene (as a member of the Chicago Free Theatre)—which paved the way for my career as a journalist and teacher in the 1980s and continuing today."

Donald M. Bell

Donald Bell, born in 1949, said he first came out in September 1968.

"I was a 19-year-old university student returning to my sophomore year when I had my coming out experience," he said. "I had lived a heteronormative life, as had most men then, and even had a steady girlfriend from home who had just become my fianc�©e over the summer.When I returned to campus early as an orientation leader, I met my resident advisor and fell in love at first sight. That began a special relationship that has lasted over 50 years.

"I first had to come out to myself, and that was not romantic it was traumatic! My identity exists at the intersection of race and sexual orientation, so it has never been a singular issue. Being gay, although it had been decriminalized in the state of Illinois in 1961, could still get one summarily dismissed from the university since the U.S. Supreme Court had not yet established that due process applied to public colleges. That could cost the loss of a student deferment and land one in Vietnam. As if the threat to one's person personal and professional life wasn't sufficient, homosexuality was still in the DSM [Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders] and could result in mandated mental health treatment. At least these things are no longer at risk today. That's progress!"

PHOTO CREDITS: Mama Gloria photo by Kate Sosin; Armand Cerbone photo by Hal Baim; Gary Chichester and his late partner, Patrick Jordan, at a Daley Center gathering circa 1974. Photo courtesy of Chichester; Murray Edelman with the megaphone at the first gay liberation rally in Chicago in April 1970. Photo by Margaret Olin; Tom Gertz at Mattachine Midwest meeting in early '70s. Courtesy M. Kuda Archives; Lucina Kathmann at the Istanbul Gay Pride Parade in 2015, the last of such event before a crackdown. Kathmann (right) is pictured with Gulsen Yagmurdereli. Courtesy of Kathmann; Lola Lai Jong photo by Hal Baim; Rick Paul (left) with Lionheart members, circa 1980 at the Pride Parade. Courtesy M. Kuda Archives; Rich Pfeiffer photo by Ross Forman; David Stienecker photo by Tracy Baim; Albert Williams in Dangerous Teachings: Songs of Exile and Revolution, Chicago Free Theatre, 1973. Courtesy of Williams. All other photos courtesy of subjects.

Final photoset:

EARLY PRIDE: Photos from early-'70s Chicago's Pride March.

Photos by Eunice Hundseth

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The blockbuster musical Wicked will return to Broadway In Chicago's James M. Nederlander Theatre, 24 W. Randolph St., on Sept. 28-Dec. 4, 2022. Now the fifth longest-running show in Broadway history—and featuring songs such as "Popular" ...

Gay News

Oak Park-River Forest Chamber of Commerce elects first Black LGBTQ president in organization's history
In November, the Oak Park-River Forest Chamber of Commerce elected Darien Marion-Burton to serve as the organization's first Black LGBTQ president. Marion-Burton will begin his role in January 2022 and said he's excited to bring a ...

Gay News

Honoring Emmett Till's mother's 100th birthday, Medill launches institute
--From a Northwestern University press release - EVANSTON, Ill. —- November 23 marks the 100th birthday of Mamie Till-Mobley, the mother of Emmett Till, the 14-year-old Chicago boy who was brutally lynched in the Mississippi Delta in 1955. Her decision to "let the ...

Gay News

TV JoJo Siwa in finale of 'Dancing with the Stars' and the winner is…
Queer social-media and reality-show figure JoJo Siwa made history on this season of Dancing with the Stars by being part of the series' first same-sex couple (with partner Jenna Johnson)—and the twosome made it all the ...

Gay News

SPORTS Northwestern wins first national title in field hockey
In Ann Arbor, Michigan, the Northwestern University field hockey team made school history by winning its first national title, shutting out the Liberty University Flames 2-0, The Daily Northwestern reported. In a tightly contested match between ...


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