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April 5, 2012

Gay Chicago Rewind:
April 5-April 11, 2012

BY
SUKIE DE LA CROIX

Gay life in Chicago this week, back in...



1975



April 5-April 11, 2012
A headline in the Chicago Gay Crusader reads: "Plans are underway for united gay community center."

"In a major move toward gay unity, a consolidated gay community center has been proposed for Chicago.

"Two main groups who are working to purchase a building for the center are Gay Horizons and ONE of Chicago.

"According to Larry Gehrke, head of a committee searching for a building in cooperation with several real estate agencies, the center would be located within the area bounded by Armitage Ave., Racine Ave., Irving Park Rd., and Lake Michigan."

(Image: Inner Circle – Chicago Gay Crusader April 1975)

The Annual Academy Awards at the Baton, 436 N. Clark St., are presented: Entertainer of the Year, Chili Pepper; Best Amateur Entertainer, Lisa; Best Bar, a tie between the Gold Coast and Up North; Live Entertainer of the Year, Dina Jacobs; Best Girl Bartender, Nancy, formerly of Augie's; Best Girl Bar, Augie's; Most Original Entertainer, Bertha Butz (Glass House); Most Elegant Entertainer, China Nuyen (Baton); Waiter/Waitress, a tie between Joann (Baton) and Cesar (Le Pub); Best Rising Newcomer, Chris Fontaine; Bartender of the Year, Michael (Sundays); Music Group of the Year, Andy Cahill and Jerry; Best Dance Performance, Peaches (Baton); Best Dramatic Entertainer, Audrey Bryant (Baton);Best Gown Designer, Larry P.; Best Lighting, Sal; Best Publication, Chicago Gay Crusader; and Best All-Round Female Impersonator, China Nuyen (Baton).

1980



In Gay Chicago Jon-Henri Damski's "Nothing Personal" column begins:

"What does it feel like when you are gay?
It feels like you're it.
All life long, you're it. And you feel the pressure of being it.
Whether you are hiding it, or seeking it; all life long, you're it."

April 5-April 11, 2012
The Rogers Park/Edgewater Gay Alliance at 5823 N. Ridge Ave. holds an Easter Bonnet Contest. The theme is "Unfamiliar Drag."

(Image: Man's Country – Gay Life Apr. 11, 1980)

The gay Metropolitan Business Association holds their monthly meeting at the St. Regis restaurant, 520 N. Clark St., and reps. from all gay-oriented businesses were invited to attend.

The Committee of Black Gay Men sponsors a consciousness- raising workshop at an unadvertised location. The workshop is titled "The Golden 100–Is There Really a Bar Quota System?" The workshop is open to all Black gay men and women and features a discussion about bar discrimination in Chicago.

Northern Illinois University Gay Community Organization celebrates the 10th anniversary of its founding with a weekend of workshops, dances and parties. Events include "Develop Your Positive Gay Identity" with workshops lead by five mental health professionals and lesbian publisher Marie J. Kuda.

April 5-April 11, 2012
(Image: Coconuts – Gay Chicago Apr. 3, 1980)

Jean Genet's play The Maids is presented at the Court Studio Theatre (57th and University). The production is directed by Robert Breslow and utilizes an all-male cast.

DJ Michael Triner's Top Ten Hits: 1) Call Me – Blondie; 2) We're Gonna Rock – Paul Sabu; 3) LP (All Cuts) – Gary Numan; 4) "Foxes" Musical Soundtrack – Mixed Artist; 5) Precious – Pretenders; 6) Rock Lobster/Planet Claire – B52s; 7) Run Like Hell – Pink Floyd; 8) Children of the Night – Bugs Tomorrow; 9) La Poupee Qui Fait Non – Cristina; 10) Mirrors – Angel.

1994



April 5-April 11, 2012
In the bars and clubs this week the Cockpit BBS Monthly Party takes place at North End, 3733 N. Halsted; come see Khris Francis, the funniest man from San Francisco to Provincetown, at Gentry of Chicago, 712 N. Rush St.; Vanessa and Nyomie's Drag Show Revue is at Temptations, 10235 W. Grand Avenue, Franklin Park: SWEAT LIGHTS OUT DANCE LIGHTS OUT SWEAT LIGHTS OUT GROPE LIGHTS OUT SWEAT PARTY at Manhole, 3458 N. Halsted; WCAA Final sign-up for men and women's softball at the Annex 3, 3160 N. Clark St.; and enjoy a buffet extravaganza with Paula Sinclaire and Honey West at the 8th anniversary of LA Connection, 3700 N. Halsted.

(Image: Chicago Eagle – Gay Chicago Apr. 7, 1994)

Gay bodybuilders Bob and Rod Jackson-Paris make a personal appearance at People Like Us Bookstore, 3321 N. Clark St. to promote their book Straight From the Heart.

Lea Delaria, the Queen of Queer Comedy, performs at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, 1977 S. Campus Dr., Northwestern University, Evanston.

AGLO Chicago's 1994 Speaker Series of insightful monthly presentations includes "Gay & Lesbian Saints of the Second Millennium" (1000-Present) with Fr. Dennis O'Neill at Our Lady of Carmel Catholic Church, 690 W. Belmont Ave.

Lesbian singer/songwriters Chris Williamson and Tret Fure perform at a benefit for the Esther Davis charity at Preston Bradley Center, 941 W. Lawrence.

Thanks go to publishers Michael Bergeron for Chicago Gay Crusader, Ralph Gernhardt for Gay Chicago, Grant Ford and Chuck Renslow for Gay Life and Tracy Baim for all the publications at the Windy City Media Group, which aided the above research. St. Sukie de la Croix is an internationally published reporter, playwright, photographer and historian. He is also the author of the upcoming book Chicago Whispers: A History of LGBT Chicago Before Stonewall published by the University of Wisconsin Press.

Homework

Was LA Connection as much a dive as people say it was?

Did you get groped at the Manhole Lights-Out Parties? Do tell …

Is Larry Gehrke still around?

(Leave your comments below)

 
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