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chicago whispers/What A Difference A Gay Makes
by Sukie de la Croix

This article shared 1622 times since Wed Nov 14, 2001
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Talking to Corey Black ...

After visiting my first gay bar ...

"I left and I didn't go back to a gay bar for a year after that. It was all a part of the gradual coming-out process. Actually, I went through therapy in a gay place, and got to know more gay people, and I realized that all this stuff I'd been told about gay people as a kid was crap. ...

"When I did go back to a gay bar I went with a friend of mine. It was a different bar and I think it was LA Connection, about '86, '87. That was a lot easier but I was still nervous, but it was more exciting now, and I was thinking, 'Well, this is OK. ... I'm not such a horrible person. This is actually fun.' From then on it was a lot better, but my initial experience in that first bar was sheer terror."

In the life ...

"We used to go to Berlin a lot, and Roscoe's, and Foxy's. Originally there was a bar there called Eons, where Spin is at now. I think there was a straight restaurant there at some point. Eons opened in early '92 and it was open for about a year and then it became Foxy's. I went to Eons all the time. It was a cross between Berlin and Roscoe's, they had a dancefloor and it was funky but it wasn't as Goth ... for lack of a better term ... than Berlin was. It also had the little ritzy bit of Roscoe's. A lot of Black guys hung out there, so I liked that!!

"When it became Foxy's it changed a little. I think the windows were clear at one point when they first opened and then they painted the windows black. I also think the location of the door moved. I think it was on the corner. I can't remember if that was when it became Foxy's or when it became Spin.

"There was a lot of drag queens in Foxy's, it was a very groovy kind of fun place. I had a blast there. There was a circuit, you would go to Berlin, then Foxy's, and then there was Pangea as well. Pangea was very Black and I liked it. A tiny little dancefloor, though ... actually all kinds of people went to Pangea. I've always been into Black guys so I tend to see that first when I go into a bar. There had been a bar there before called Stars, which was a cabaret bar, and that went out around '90. Then Pangea opened in maybe '91 and it was around for less than a year. It was where that CTA bus turnaround is on Halsted by Belmont. Pangea was the last building on the corner before the driveway. The building is still there, I think it's an off-the-wall theater now.

"I remember you would come around and there was this glass block wall, it curved around, and it let you go into the bar itself, and there you were, and it was kind of cool walking through that glass.

"Club La Ray, there were a lot of Black guys there and it was rough, but it was edgy fun, and the cops used to harass that bar a lot, so me and my friends stopped going there because we didn't want to be harassed by the cops. Club La Ray was probably late '80s. There was another place called the Windy City Bar & Grille, and I went there a couple of times and that turned into a pizza joint, and then they tore the building down. That's where that huge mall thing is now. I don't remember that place especially well, but I remember they had some nice views.

"I used to go to Christopher Street on Halsted and there was this huge glass window and you'd walk by and see everybody's butt pressed up against the glass. It's where Manhole is now, but they had a different facade and it was open glass."

Carrs Halsted Street Cabaret ...

"I went there one time with you. I think that was in the spring of '94 around the time that Jackie Onassis died, because that was our big topic of conversation that night. We went in there with Chi-Town Squares and we got really drunk and obnoxious. I think we thought we were being hysterical and we probably were. The bar was open at the front and we ended up dragging our stools out onto the sidewalk and we were standing on top of the stools and talking to people and just being crazy. I think we were asked to leave at some point."

Memory Check: Club La Ray ( 3150 N. Halsted ) , Windy City Bar & Grille ( 3127 N. Clark ) , Carrs Halsted Street Cabaret ( 3320 N. Halsted ) .

A couple of weeks ago I asked for information about the whereabouts of Doug Barrage and Larry Seewald from the Gold Coast. Chuck Renslow phoned to say that Barrage moved back with his folks on the South Side and died in 1989. Seewald died in Ohio May 7, 1990. Anybody else out there looking for an old friend?

What A Difference

A Gay Makes

Nov. 11-17


U.S.: San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown signs a bill that requires all companies doing business with the city to offer gay and lesbian employees domestic-partnerships benefits. * Adriana Blair-Butler walks out of a Tennessee jail after having served only 30 days for shooting to death her mother's ex-lover, a lesbian. Blair-Butler was charged with first-degree murder in the killing of Cathy Smith, 31, of Dunlap, Tenn. The jury found Blair-Butler guilty, but Hamilton County criminal Court Judge Doug Meyer sentenced Blair-Butler to 30 days in jail and four years probabtion. * Even though homophobic U.S. Rep. Bob Dornan, R-Calif., described his opponent Loretta Sanchez as "just another Catholic for abortion and sodomy rights," and predicted he would win the House race, he loses. * In Lafayette, Ind., the City Council surprises observers by voting 6-2 to retain the city's gay civil-rights law first passed in 1993.


U.S.: In Portland, Maine, Boy Scout troop leaders tell a lesbian mother of an 8-year-old boy that she can not serve on any Boy Scout committees or otherwise participate in Scout activities involving parents. * Prof. Richard Jeffries, the head of New York City University's African Studies department, says: "Whites introduced homosexuality to us ( African-Americans ) ." He describes Henry Louis Gates, Jr. of Harvard as 'a faggot and a punk.'

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