Exhibit shows history of UChicago LGBTQ life
By Jonathan Jones
From lesbian relationships in the early 1900s to student activists struggling with the AIDS crisis to a five-star rating from the Campus Pride Index, LGBTQ life at the University of Chicago ( UChicago ) has been a part of its fabric since the beginning.
"Closeted/Out in the Quadrangles," a project directed by the University of Chicago's Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality, promises to bring these histories to life through oral accounts and artifacts, including love letters between two of the university's first female professors and a square from the NAMES Project Foundation quilt memorializing students who died in the AIDS epidemic.
"It has been extremely rewarding to spend this time exploring and helping to share these histories," said Gina Olson, project director and associate director of the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality. "It's allowed me the chance to think about the power in telling and shaping one's own history, and of those of communities, struggles and identities."
Juxtaposing artifacts with oral histories told by alumni and current students, the exhibit seeks to provide viewers a glimpse into LGBTQ life at the university, from original research on sexual cultures in Chicago done by sociology students in the 1930s to the many challenges that LGBTQ faculty and students often faced.
"Many of the narrators from before the 1980s mentioned people we should have spoken to who died from HIV/AIDS," said Lauren Stokes, the exhibit curator and project coordinator. "Perhaps most prominently Henry Wiemhoff, the person who originally founded Chicago Gay Liberation on campus. The exhibit charts a lot of progress that has been made in the University's recognition of LGBTQ communities, but it's important that we also remember the loss and absence that marks this history."
The exhibit will run from March 30 to June 15 at UChicago's Regenstein Library with a free public gala on April 1, 6-8 p.m. Find out more at news.lib.uchicago.edu/blog/2015/03/10/closetedout-in-the-quadrangles-a-history-of-lgbtq-life-at-the-university-of-chicago/ .
Creating Change 2016 in Chicago
The National LGBTQ Task Force has announced that the 28th National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change ( "Creating Change" ) will take place Jan. 20-24, 2016 at the Hilton Chicago.
Close to 5,000 LGBTQ community leaders and activists from across the country are expected to attend the conference.
The National LGBTQ Task Force will be hosting an informational meeting for local LGBTQ community leaders about how to join the conference host committee. The meeting will take place Wed., March 18, at 6:30 p.m. at the Chicago Urban League, 4510 S. Michigan Ave. Those interested in attending are encouraged to RSVP by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org .
For more information about the conference and to register, visit www.creatingchange.org .
United Latin@ Week will be June 4-11
United Latin@ Pride ( ULP ) has announced that the sixth annual week of LGBTQQIA Latino/a pride will take place June 4-11.
"We are incredibly excited this year," said Karari Olvera, ULP co-chair, in a statement. "For the past six years, our community has come together to create spaces where we can be ourselves and celebrate the plurality of our experiences."
To get involved or for more information, visit unitedlatinopride.org .
Trans presidential appointee at institute
Amanda Simpson, a Defense Department official who is the first transgender woman presidential appointee, will be the featured speaker on the opening day of the LGBT Equality Institute on Friday, March 20.
LGBT community leaders and allies, progressive advocates, civic officials, community groups and interested individuals will gather in Chicago for presentations on March 20-21 at the second annual LGBT Equality Institute presented by Equality Illinois in the Hyatt Regency Chicago.
Other speakers during the conference will include state Sen. Heather Steans, state Rep. Kelly Cassidy, and Jane and James Clementi of The Tyler Clementi Foundation.
Registration for the March 20-21 event at the Hyatt Regency Chicago, 151 E. Wacker Dr., is available at www.tinyurl.com/LGBT-institute-2015.
See full listing of events at the link: www.windycitymediagroup.com/gay/chicago/events/upcoming.php .