Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-09-06



Progress Bar protesters issue statement before June 2 event

This article shared 3822 times since Sat Jun 1, 2019
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

Protesters planning to participate Sunday, June 2, at Boystown's Progress Bar issued a statement before the event.

Justin Romme, the owner of the bar, acknowledged in a statement sent to Windy City Times that a controversial email "should never have been written or sent." That email instructed the bar's DJs not to play rap music anymore, and said that extra security would be in place to help address any difficulties arising from the ban. The email was widely disseminated May 29 and caused friction with several of Progress' customers—many of whom had said the establishment had previously been welcoming to persons of color.

However, the protest will proceed as planned, with chants and songs at 2:30 p.m., a press conference at 2:40 p.m. and a rap-focused dance party at 3 p.m. The protesters' statement is as follows:

"As organizations that serve thousands of LGBTQ+ folks, and with many of our memberships consisting primarily of Black LGBTQ+ people, we are writing to disavow the recent actions of Progress Bar. Our constituents include many frequent patrons of businesses here in Boystown. Because of our continued patronage, we are angered and deeply saddened at the leaked email Progress Bar sent to its DJs announcing its decision to ban rap music in favor of pop/dance music already played in their establishment, and the vast majority of venues in the surrounding neighborhood.

"While this statement and the upcoming protest on Sunday are responses to Progress Bar's rap ban, we see this as merely one action in the longstanding history of racial tension and discrimination in Chicago's LGBTQ+ community. Many Black LGBTQ+ folks, including members of our organizations, struggle to find safety, representation, and community in Boystown. We hear stories of racist interactions with bouncers, clothing policies unequally enforced on Black patrons, and a generally unwelcoming environment the Boystown neighborhood that targets and negatively affects LGBTQ+ people of color. This rap ban is an example of how Black people experience racism in the LGBTQ+ community. By enacting this ban, Progress Bar is strengthening the racism levied against Black and Brown LGBTQ+ folks - racism that fuels the alarmingly high number of deaths of trans women of color, the increasing homelessness of queer youth of color, and the still high rates of HIV and other STIs in communities of color.

"Bar owner Justin Romme's statement and decision to close the bar for the night of Thursday, May 30th does not address or rectify the decision to enact a racist policy even though he later reversed it, and we urge him and other proprietors to start listening to our communities. We are disappointed because many people saw Progress Bar as a respite from some of the alienating experiences they have endured in Boystown. Our organizations serve folks who often frequented the parties at Progress hosted by popular Black, gay event planners in the city. But banning an entire genre of music often made by and for people of color and adding security next to the DJ booth to enforce this communicated that Progress no longer valued, respected, or provided a safe environment for our Black and Brown bodies.

"Many have come forward to rebuke Progress Bar and its owners since this email came to light. Our organizations are planning to gather to shine a light on the larger culture of racism and othering that Progress Bar's actions exemplified. The same anti-blackness that led to the creation of the leaked email pervades the streets of Boystown. We call for Progress Bar to work to live up to its name. We call for white allies to show up in solidarity with the Black and Brown LGBTQ+ leaders directing this protest. We are thankful for spaces that provide safe haven for Black and Brown queer bodies and affirm disenfranchised identities.

"These places act as partners in the struggle against white supremacy as well as heal collective traumas to a rhythm only our ancestors can bring. The historical Jeffrey Pub and burgeoning initiatives such as Pride South Side center those black and brown people, places and spaces left out of mainstream LGBTQAI celebrations, lifting up a history and archive of celebrations akin to the collectives began by Marsha P. Johnson post Stonewall. We urge our members and followers to join us in a Protest @ the 7/11 parking lot across the street from Progress Bar this upcoming Sunday, at 2:30 PM. We will throw a Love Kiki to reinforce that only love can drive out hate. Racism has no place in our community."

The statement came from Affinity Community Services, Lighthouse Church of Chicago and Chicago Black Gay Men's Caucus.

More information about the protest is at "Protest at Progress" on Facebook (

This article shared 3822 times since Sat Jun 1, 2019
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

Out and Aging
Presented By


Gay News

WORLD Austria proposal, conferences, Pride marches, tennis player, Gay Games
In Austria, a historic proposal by the country's Ministry of Justice sees 33 million euros (approximately $35 million U.S.) set aside to compensate those who were persecuted or convicted of consensual same-sex acts—although critics say th ...

Gay News

NHL reverses decision to ban Pride Tape, allowing players to show support for LGBTQ+s
--From a press release - (New York, NY - October 24, 2023) Today the National Hockey League (NHL) reversed its decision to ban Pride Tape and other displays of support for LGBTQ people on the ice, stating: "After consultation with the ...

Gay News

THEATER Company of 'Wolves': Redtwist's Dusty Brown on gay Riding Hood retelling, Grindr, gender identity
It's all about Pride in 2023-24 at Redtwist Theatre. The 19th season for this North Side black-box theater includes three very different productions, starting with Wolves, called a "gory, gay reimagining of 'Little Red Riding Hood.'" ...

Gay News

NHL bans Pride Tape from hockey games and practices
The National Hockey League (NHL) has designated that athletes will no longer be able to show support to the LGBTQ+ community while playing, according to Out, which cited Outsports. The league has issued a ban of ...

Gay News

GAY HISTORY MONTH George Harris reflects on his late husband and Dallas activism
Special to Windy City Times. To mark Gay History Month, this article appears courtesy of Dallas Voice and the LGBT History Project. When George Harris and Jack Evans became the first couple to legally marry in ...

Gay News

Illinois colleges make list of most unsafe places for LGBTQ+ youth
Campus Pride has released its list of the worst places for LGBTQ+ youth—and several Illinois colleges and universities are on it. According to a press release, "the Worst List identifies the 'absolute worst, most unsafe campuses ...

Gay News

GAY HISTORY MONTH Putting an end to the myths of Stonewall
Special to Windy City Times. In recognition of Gay History Month, this article appears courtesy of the LGBT History Project and Philadelphia Gay News. For years, people have debated what actually happened that night in June ...

Gay News

In D.C., Black LGBTQ+ lawmakers protest Nigerian wedding arrests
On Sept. 12, Black LGBTQ+ lawmakers—led by Maryland state Del. Gabriel Acevero and D.C. Councilmember Zachary Parker, and alongside the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) and other advocacy groups—protested outside ...

Gay News

Protest action to be held at site of Sept. 9 Jason Aldean concert in Tinley Park
The Revolution Club Chicago has announced a protest action against 46- year-old country music star and Nashville resident Jason Aldean outside of his Highway Desperado Tour appearance Sept. 9 at Credit Union 1 Amphitheatre. The protest ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Sex Education' star, Rotten Tomatoes, Jessica Lange, Queer/Art
Video below - Sex Education star Ncuti Gatwa officially came out during an interview with Elle UK, according to Out. "I remember being at Manchester Pride, going through the streets with all my boys, shaking my cha-chas, living it ...

Gay News

Brave Space Alliance holds Post Pride Mixer
On Aug. 27, Brave Space Alliance held its Post Pride Mixer at popular lesbian-owned bar Nobody's Darling. The social gathering celebrated past accomplishments while looking forward to new horizons for both the service organization and the ...

Gay News

UIC among nation's top 30 campuses for LGBTQ+ students
--From a press release - The University of Illinois Chicago has been named one of the top 30 colleges and universities for LGBTQ+ students, according to Campus Pride, a national organization serving LGBTQ+ and ally student leaders and campus organizations in ...

Gay News

Orlando Pride crushes Chicago Red Stars
In Florida's Exploria Stadium on Aug. 20, the Orlando Pride thrashed the Chicago Red Stars 5-0 in professional women's soccer action, according to WFTV. Four players scored for Orlando, led ...

Gay News

Calif. store owner killed over Pride flag display
In California, Cedar Glen business owner Laura Ann Carleton was shot and killed after a dispute over the Pride flag she'd displayed outside her shop, The Advocate reported. Authorities received a report that someone had been ...

Gay News

WORLD Ethiopia, London attack, monument vandalized, British royals
Ethiopian LGBTQ+-rights activists said that authorities are targeting venues frequented by LGBTQ+ people in the nation, particularly in the capital city, Addis Ababa, per The Advocate. In addition, LGBTQ+ Ethiopians ...


Copyright © 2023 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.

All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.






About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.