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  WINDY CITY TIMES

PASSAGES: Jim Osgood (Bradford)
2003-12-31

This article shared 3042 times since Wed Dec 31, 2003
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Long-time Chicago gay activist Jim Osgood (a/k/a Jim Bradford) died Dec. 25. A 'Celebration of Jim's Life' will be set soon.

Osgood was active in many groups, including the early days of Mattachine Midwest.

Sukie de la Croix's Windy City Times 'Whispers' column noted that MM members mostly used pseudonyms to mask they're true identity. In September 1965, Jim 'Bradford' became president of MM, which had 140 members.

On Feb. 19, 1970, Studs Terkel interviewed Jim Bradford, Valerie Taylor and Henry Weimhoff (Program Chair) on his hour-long program, first broadcast Feb. 19, with one repeat March 19.

WCT columnist Marie Kuda wrote: 'In the mid-1960s I tuned in to a conversation on late-night radio about homosexuality. The opposing viewpoints were expressed by William B. Kelley of Mattachine Midwest and Dr. Thaddeus Kostubalus of Northwestern University. ... Meetings were held in private homes; you got the address by calling in advance. ... After nervously circling the block a few times (a side street between Sheridan and Lake Shore Drive), I was admitted to a huge Victorian apartment filled with men from 18 to 80; I was the only woman there. President Jim Bradford (Osgood) told of meetings the MM Board had with police Commander Brasch and the Vice Squad about bar raids and entrapment arrests in Lincoln Park and on the streets in the Gay Ghetto (then Clark and Diversey). Bill Kelley, as acting editor of the newsletter, called for help in writing and layout and I volunteered. ... MM as an elder sister also helped nascent organizations all over the Midwest build their charters and extend their membership base. MM extended her hand to other rights organizations knowing that coalition building yielded a stronger voice for equality for all. MM belonged to the Alliance to End Repression, and was among the first to loudly protest the murders of Black Panther's Mark Clark and Fred Hampton in that infamous 1969 pre-dawn raid by then State's Attorney Ed Hanrahan's minions. Jim Bradford, decent Quaker that he is, even went to the scene—he wanted to see the bullet holes himself and get the story straight. The MM press release went out over his name, most of the organization concurring.

'Someone has to be first, and MM was the first gay-rights organization to effect REAL change in the status of gays in the Chicago community. Henry Gerber's short lived Society for Human Rights incorporated in Illinois in 1924 gets the title as first, but MM was the fiery nest that incubated the next 25 years of activism in Chicago.'

At the April 15, 1970 Gay Liberation Day parade, with speeches in Grant Park, Bradford and Henry Weimhoff were among those who addressed the crowd.


This article shared 3042 times since Wed Dec 31, 2003
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