Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-06-08



Sports Pioneer Peg Grey Dies

This article shared 8289 times since Wed Feb 28, 2007
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

#1 Peg Grey at Gay Games VII in Chicago, photo by Bonnie Tunick. #2 Peg Grey with friend Russell Myers. #3 Grey was inducted into the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame in 1992, pictured here with Mayor Daley, photo by Tracy Baim. . #4 Grey was always involved in both individual and team sportand is pictured with her team (seated front, third from left) and others playing in the women's indoor volleyball last summer at Gay Games VII, photo by Bonnie Tunick. #5 1984 Lost & Found MSA softball team pic, including (kneeling, second from left) Tracy Baim, Grace Luedke and Peg Grey. #6 Actor Wilson Cruz with Grey at the 2005 Proud to Run, where she was recognized for her founding of the event, photo by Tracy Baim. #7 Dorothy Tanner and Peg Grey with Sydney 2002 Gay Games medals. #8 Grey in Sydney.



Peg Grey, one of the most important and pioneering activists in Chicago's GLBT community, died Feb. 24 of complications from cancer. She was 61.

Grey's passion was sports, and through sports she helped unite the gay male and lesbian communities, raised funds for AIDS and other causes, and worked internationally to build bridges in the GLBT community across racial and economic lines. Her sports work led her to become the first female co-chair of the Federation of Gay Games ( FGG ) , which was officially formed after Gay Games II. Grey participated in every Gay Games since 1986, including last summer in Chicago, and she ran in the torch run for the first Gay Games, in San Francisco in 1982.

As a Chicago teacher, Grey also worked helping to organize GLBT educators.

Last Saturday, when Gay Games VII was honored at the Lesbian Community Cancer Project gala, I was honored to accept the award in honor of Grey for her sports work. The event raised funds in the fight against cancer, and Grey herself succumbed to cancer that same day. Long-time Chicago activist Vernita Gray also spoke of Peg Grey's contributions, remembering that in the 1970s, many people did not understand why sports activism could make a difference in the community.

I first met Peg Grey in 1984, having just returned from college to a burgeoning gay community. A small-framed, energetic, driven woman, Grey organized and played on sports teams year-round, attracting players of all skill levels to her teams, often sponsored by Lost & Found, the city's oldest women's bar. My first experience in GLBT sports in Chicago came at age 21, playing for one of her L&F softball teams; we were all pushed to be the best at both sports and in the larger community. Grey was an inspiration, a strong lesbian working to raise up women but to also play sports alongside men.

Inducted into the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame in 1992, Grey's decades-long work in Chicago's community began in the 1970s. She saw that most of the gay sports leagues at the time were dominated by men, so she pushed for more inclusion of lesbians. She helped create women's leagues in the Chicago Metropolitan Sports Association ( previously known as Gay Athletic Association and then Metropolitan Sports Association ) for basketball, softball, tennis and volleyball in 1983, bowling in 1985, racquetball in 1987, and football in 1988. She also helped form the Women's Sports Association, and published the newsletter Women Together in Sports.

She served as a board member of MSA from 1981 to 1991, helped in the creation of the Chicago Pride Week Invitational Bowling Tournament, and in 1989 returned to FGG as a board member. In 2006, FGG made her an honorary lifetime member.

One of Grey's most long-lasting accomplishments was helping to create The Race Against AIDS ( Proud to Run ) , an annual event held during Pride Week. She was honored for her work in starting the event, which led to the creation in 1982 of the Chicago chapter of Frontrunners, established by Grey, Rob Williams, and Jim White. Grey brought t-shirts from all 25 Proud to Run events and hung them up for all to see at the 25th anniversary run last year.

Grey founded Team Chicago Arts and Athletics in 1983, which became Team Chicago; she and Dick Uyvari were the first co-chairs of Team Chicago in 1985, prior to Gay Games II, and they helped get athletes to the international event. Grey competed in marathon, softball, track and field, and volleyball over the course of past Gay Games. Grey was one of Team Chicago's delegates to the FGG since 2000 and at the 2001 Annual Meeting spearheaded the movement to raise funds for the Rainbow Warriors, a Namibian lesbian soccer team. She stepped down as delegate in 2006 when her medical condition worsened.

'As a delegate Peg participated actively on the Federation's Outreach Committee and Women's Outreach Subcommittee, as well as the Sports Committee,' said Paul Oostenbrug, Team Chicago's co-chair. 'She pushed the Federation to establish an Outreach Mission at its Annual Meeting in Cologne Germany in 2004. 'The Federation of Gay Games' Outreach Mission is to distribute information and provide scholarship assistance that will bring participants to each Gay Games; along with these efforts, the FGG will encourage continued development of the international gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender sports and cultural community.''

At the 2001 FGG meeting in Johannesburg ( where Chicago was bidding to host the 2006 Gay Games ) , Grey met Castakes Anton of the Rainbow Warriors Soccer Club, a lesbian sports organization of 150 members from Windhoek, Namibia. Grey listened to Anton's stories about the abuse that her team experienced and its fear of being openly lesbian—due to the potential for arrest. Its members were not able to play safely in Windhoek because of homophobia. As Grey later said, a vision and then a plan of action began to take form. She convinced the women and men at the meeting to raise funds to allow some of the Rainbow Warriors' members to contribute to what she named the First Inter-African Soccer Tournament. The tournament would be held in the relative safety of the Johannesburg/Soweto area and would host local teams, a team from Namibia, and be open to any other country that could field a team. Funds were raised at that meeting and Grey asked Team Chicago to establish a Sister City Program with Windhoek, which paid for the Rainbow Warriors to travel to Soweto to play against two lesbian teams—their first experience as 'out' athletes. She encouraged Chicago Games, Inc. to contribute to this program, which it did as an equal sponsor. The funds that were raised allowed 15 team members to travel from Windhoek to Johannesburg for a tournament.

Another passion for Grey was work on inclusion for senior athletes, and she was instrumental in making sure Gay Games VII in Chicago had senior divisions in several sports. 'Because of her efforts, 20 of the 32 sports at the 2006 Games had specific age categories and there were new age categories in several team sports,' Oostenbrug said. 'In addition, she worked with Chicago Games, Inc. to publicize a number of low-impact sports that are suitable for the less active—sailing, pool/billiards, and darts.'

Grey's own 50+ volleyball team, the Golden Girls, won a bronze medal in the Women's B division at Gay Games VII and received a special sportsmanship award from all of the volleyball teams. Peg organized four 55+ Team Chicago runners, who won a gold medal in the mixed medley relay. Grey awarded the gold medal to the Chicago Classics women's basketball team for their victory in the Women's 50+ Masters division which she helped create.

According to Dick Uyvari, Peg, Sam Molinaro, and Art Johnston were already on the board of the Gay Athletic Association when he joined the organization in 1980. Dick, Peg, and Sam played on a 16-inch softball team in the spring of 1981 (Art was their non-playing manager) and on a volleyball team when GAA established a volleyball league later in 1981. Because the acronym GAA was also used by the Girl's Athletic Association, the group changed its name to the Metropolitan Sports Association (MSA) in the early 1990s, adding the city's name in the early 1990s. Peg has been nominated as a charter member of CMSA's Hall of Fame which will hold its first induction ceremony on March 31, 2007. Dick stated that Peg's motivation in GAA/MSA/CMSA was to run high quality sport leagues/competitions for the LGBT community and to bring men and women together in the running of the organization and on teams.

Grey was born May 15, 1945, in Chicago. She received her BS in Elementary Education from Chicago Teachers College, and an MA in Physical Education from Northern Illinois University. She worked for 35 years in the Chicago Public Schools in elementary physical education. Grey had endured multiple myeloma ( a cancer that begins in plasma cells, a type of white blood cell ) for many years. Last week, she had a stem cell harvesting procedure performed, which left her very tired, according to her long-time partner Grace Luedke. On Friday night, Grey had difficulty breathing and was taken to Hinsdale Hospital. She died there early Saturday.

'I am proud to have been blessed with Peg as my beloved partner for these past 40 years. She will always be with me,' Luedke said.

There will be a visitation/memorial drop-in service this Saturday, March 3, 2-7 p.m., at Gibbon's/Elliston Funeral Home, 60 S. Grant St. in Hinsdale, Ill. Sunday April 1st (Palm Sunday). A community service will be held at Sunday, April 1, 3pm, at Unity In Chicago, 1925 W. Thome Ave.The church is located between Peterson and Devon Ave ,1/2 block west of Ridge in Chicago. This service will include an open mic session for memories and stories of Peg. Additionally, Team Chicago has set up a page on the web site where you can post memories of Peg:

In addition to many friends and teammates, her survivors include partner Grace Luedke, brother Larry Grey, and sister Judith Byron.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Team Chicago or a planned scholarship program in Peg Grey's name. Checks should be made out to Team Chicago or the Federation of Gay Games and can be mailed to Team Chicago, PO Box 13470, Chicago, IL 60613. Funds raised for the Peg Grey Memorial Scholarship Program would be restricted to funding women athletes from the continent of Africa attending the Gay Games or other international tournaments.

This article shared 8289 times since Wed Feb 28, 2007
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Gay News

Sky stumble in playoffs; Cubs win but White Sox lose 2022-08-18
- On Aug. 17, the Chicago Sky relinquished a late lead—and are now facing elimination from the playoffs. The defending WNBA champions fell to the New York Liberty 98-91 at Wintrust Arena as the seventh seed scored ...

Gay News

In a first, gold-medal Olympian comes out as transgender 2022-08-17
- During the Aug. 16 opening address of the international LGBTQ+ rugby competition The Bingham Cup, taking place in the Canadian capital of Ottawa through Aug. 21, Ellia Green came out as trans—and is the first Olympian ...

Gay News

Skaters from Chicago BIPOC queer collective froSkate release Nike SB shoe 2022-08-17
- Members of froSkate—an organization dedicated to creating safe spaces for BIPOC queer skateboarders—recently became the first Black women to design a colorful sneaker with Nike SB, and the shoe was recently released. Two of froSkate's le ...

Gay News

Gay NFL player to rejoin Tampa Bay 2022-08-17
- Super Bowl contender the Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed defensive end Carl Nassib—pro football's first openly gay, active player—bringing him back to where he delivered two of his most productive seasons, NBC News reported. Last year, Nassib ...

Gay News

Brittney Griner appealing conviction 2022-08-16
- Russian news agencies have reported that attorneys for U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner have filed an appeal of her nine-year Russian prison sentence for drug possession, according to PBS Newshour. Griner, an eight-time all-star center with ...

Gay News

10th biennial Bingham Cup taking place through Aug. 21 2022-08-15
- The LGBTQ+ rugby tournament known as the Mark Kendall Bingham Memorial Tournament—or the Bingham Cup—is taking place in Ottawa, Canada, through Sunday, Aug. 21. According to a press release, "The Bingham Cup is the largest amateur ...

Gay News

Sky snag #2 seed in playoffs; Red Stars, Cubs fall; White Sox win 2022-08-15
- In Phoenix's Footprint Center, the Chicago Sky (26-10) defeated the Mercury (15-21) 82-67 on Aug. 14 in WNBA action to end the regular season on a high note. By winning, the Sky—the defending champions—secured the number-two ...

Gay News

Chicago Fire FC fall; Cubs, White Sox both win 2022-08-14
- In Chester, Pennsylvania, on Aug. 13, the Chicago Fire FC fell to the Philadelphia Union 4-1. The away defeat snapped the Fire's five-game unbeaten run, including consecutive away wins, as the team moved three points below ...

Gay News

Cubs win 'Field of Dreams' game; White Sox, Sky lose 2022-08-12
- In the "Field of Dreams" game on Aug. 11, the Chicago Cubs (46-65) defeated the Cincinnati Reds (44-67) 4-2 in Dyersville, Iowa. True to the nature of the classic 1989 movie, the game was played by ...

Gay News

Sky lose historic game; Cubs fall; White Sox split 2022-08-10
- In what was openly lesbian WNBA legend Sue Bird's final regular-season game against the Chicago Sky (25-9), things certainly were memorable for her and the Seattle Storm (21-13). The Storm defeated the Sky 111-100 at Wintrust ...

Gay News

Sky, Red Stars, Fire and White Sox all win; Cubs do not 2022-08-08
- The Chicago Sky (25-8) extended their franchise record with their 25th victory, defeating the Connecticut Sun (22-11) 94-91 on Aug. 7 at Wintrust Arena in a game that was nationally televised on ABC. Courtney Vandersloot led ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Okla. schools, Tenn. lawsuit, political items, Mich. library 2022-08-07
Video below - Oklahoma public schools have started requiring students from kindergarten to college to complete "biological sex affidavits" if they want to compete in school sports, in accordance with a state law that took effect earlier this year, ...

Gay News

WORLD Zelensky, French position, UK drag-queen shows, triathlons 2022-08-07
- Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky confirmed he will ask Ukraine's government to look into legalizing same-sex marriage after the war with Russia ends, PinkNews reported. Ukraine's constitution defines marriage as between a man and a woman. Last ...

Gay News

Sky, Cubs and White Sox all win 2022-08-06
- The Chicago Sky (24-8) defeated the Washington Mystics (20-13) 93-83 at Wintrust Arena on Aug. 5. The Sky tied a franchise record with 24 wins in a single season—a record set during the 2013 WNBA regular ...

Gay News

Brittney Griner found guilty, sentenced to nine years 2022-08-04
- On Aug. 4, a Russian court found out WNBA star Brittney Griner guilty of drug smuggling and possession charges—and sentenced her to nine years in prison. The widely expected verdict came after a monthlong trial ...


Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

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 Transegender 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.