Gay life in Chicago this week, back in... 1979, 1983 and 1998

Thu. July 6, 2017 12:00 AM
by Sukie de la Croix

(July 6-12, 2017)

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


"Article in Gay Life reads:

"Yet another cruising post bites the dust! The Lincoln Oasis on Instate Route 80 has been the scene of recent arrests for public indecency and public fellation. A gay stopover for years, the police have finally caught on to the fact that the Lincoln Oasis is a good spot to catch lonely travelers. State troopers staff the oasis bathroom with two witnesses and a decoy who appears to be masturbating. Men attracted to this semi-sexual activity are allowed to complete the operation on the decoy, and then are hit with arrests. Apparently, more severe charges than public lewdness are in the offering, as word get around that the Oasis is no longer a safe tearoom, and officers are attempting to nail the last few straggling miscreants with stiff penalties. By all means, keep yourself out of the Lincoln Oasis for anything resembling sexual activity, or you may be out a few days in jail and a fine up to two thousand dollars."


IMAGE: Mr. Windy City 1987 – Gay Chicago July 30, 1987

In Richard Cooke's Discovery column in Gay Chicago:

"The Ranch is starting to offer all sorts of specials lately. One that looks particularly interesting is their Stage 618 night on Mondays. As you might recall, the Stage 618 was a sleazy, dimly lit, sweaty, perverse bar on Clark Street that was one of my favorite places. This 'Den of Iniquity' finally succumbed to the wrecker's ball a few months ago. I am all for starting up a collection to place a bronze plaque there. The Ranch, in a memorial, is offering all drinks two for one to all go-go dancers that night. The 618 was a fun place; the Ranch will be too."


DJ Greg Collier at Carol's Speakeasy picks his TOP 15: 1) "Heaven Must Have Sent You" – Bonnie Pointer; 2) "Bad Girls LP" – Donna Summer; 3) "When You Wake Up Tomorrow" – Candi Staton; 4) "Here Comes That Sound" – Love Deluxe; 5) "Just Can't Stop Thinking About You" – Ta Ta Vega; 6) "Boogie Wonderland" – Earth, Wind & Fire and Emotions; 7) "Crank it Up" – Peter Brown; 8) "Born to be Alive" – Patrick Hernandez; 9) "We All Need Love" – Triano; 10) "You're Gonna Make Me Love Someone Else" – Jones Girls; 11) "Get Up and Boogie" – Freddie Jand; 12) "Found the Cure" – Ashford and Simpson; 13) "Good Times" – Chic; 14) "Let Me Take You Dancin'" – Brian Adams; 15) "Stand Up, Sit Down" – A.K.B.


An article in Gay Life begins:

"The Lesbian and Gay Task Force of the Chicago District National Association of Social Workers has announced the first of a planned ongoing series of informal discussions designed to provide gay and lesbian social workers with a supportive atmosphere in which relevant issues can be explored.

"On Monday, July 11, the task force is hosting a free discussion on 'Treatment Issues with Gay and Lesbian Alcoholics' from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the NASW Illinois Chapter Office. Leading the discussions will be Vivian Larsen, ACSW, CAC. All NASW members, as well as social workers who are not members of NASW are welcome."


In the clubs, bars, etc. it's Stud Puppy Tuesdays emceed by Sarabia, at Temptations, 10235 W. Grand Avenue, Franklin Park; the Award winning Rudy de la Mor opens at Gentry of Chicago, 440 N. State St.; Cucina Bella restaurant, 543 W. Diversey, proudly presents Honey West performing at Sunday Brunch; it's Glory Hole fetish night at Cell Block, 3702 N. Halsted; the 5th Annual Billboard dance music summit is celebrated at fusion, 3631 N. Halsted. Features a show with, Harlan, michelle weeks, liz torres, tanna gardner, Sabrina Johnston and pure sugar; it's MAFIA Novice night at Touche, 6412 N. Clark St.


IMAGE: Charlie's – Gay Chicago April 28, 1994

Article in Gay Chicago reads:

"The crowd estimate for the 29th annual Chicago Gay and Lesbian Pride Parade and Rally was between 200,000 and 225,000. According to PRIDEChicago, the parade organizers, 'Estimating the number of people at any Chicago parade is an art form in itself.' There were 257 entries up from 232 last year. Parade awards: Best All Around Float, Sisters of the Synthetic Kloth; Best Organization, Chicago Smelts; Best Business, Seahorse II (South Bend, IN); Honorable Mentions, C-MAGYC and Rainbow Oz."


The Howard Brown Health Center provides regular meetings for bisexual women the second and fourth Wednesday of every mo0nth from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.


IMAGE: Club Chicago Baths – Gay Chicago December 9, 1982

Better Existence With HIV hosts "Unity: The Reality of Gay Dating in the '90s" every Thursday at 5209 N. Clark St.


Gerber/Hart's Library's Celluloid Outings, a film group formed to develop an appreciation of movies from a gay and lesbian perspective, screens "All Over Me" at 3352 N. Paulina.


Chicago Pride Invitational host a bar crawl to Milwaukee Saturday, July 11, from 2:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. The cost is $30, and includes beer and soda on the bus and a free buffet at Mama Noux in Milwaukee. Tickets are available from Dandy's."


Who remembers the Glory Hole?

Is Richard Cooke still around?

What was the Ranch like?

Gay Chicago Photo Rewind

David Veltkamp photographs the Belmont Rocks for Gay Chicago July 12, 1979

Kirk, graysong and B.J. photograph clubs for Nightspots June 1, 2005

Kirk, graysong and B.J. photograph clubs for Nightspots June 8, 2005

Wanda W photographs the women at Razmataz lesbian bar for Windy City Times June 15, 1989

Thanks go to publishers Michael Bergeron for Chicago Gay Crusader, Ralph and Craig Gernhardt for Gay Chicago, Grant Ford and Chuck Renslow for Gay Life, Malone Sizelove for Babble/Gab, David Costanza and others for Chicago Free Press, Jeff McCourt for Windy City Times, Stacy Bridges and Mark Nagel for GRAB, 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 Chicago Whispers: A History of LGBT Chicago Before Stonewall published by the University of Wisconsin Press.