Gay life in Chicago this week, back in... 1978, 1982 and 1993

Thu. September 27, 2018 12:00 AM
by Sukie de la Croix

(September 27–October 3, 2018)

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


An article in Gay Life begins:

"Grant Ford, publisher of Gay Life, has announced his resignation, effective Oct. 2. His plans are to be a full time candidate for the 44th Ward seat on the Chicago City Council.

"Ron Anderson, who presently serves as editor, will assume the additional duties of publisher. Under his direction the editorial committee will take greater responsibility for the continued operation of the newspaper.

"Ford will continue to serve as chairperson of the board of directors of YourStyle Publishers Inc., the company that owns and publishes Gay Life, but not have a hand in the day-to-day operations of the publication itself."


Image: Cover – Gay Chicago June 3, 1982

An article in Gay Life reads:

"An afternoon of good times will be on tap Saturday, Sept. 30 when the Lesbian Community Center sponsors the first Lesbian LakeFest at Montrose Athletic Field.

"The day will feature casual good times for women of the community beginning at 1:00 p.m. at the field located at Montrose and the Lake (look for the lavender banners). In case of rain, the event will be held Sunday, Oct. 1.

"Women planning to attend should bring picnic supplies, sports equipment and musical instruments."


Image: Hunters – Gay Chicago June 2, 1999

Tim Curry, the star of the Rocky Horror Picture Show, makes an appearance at Park West, 322 W. Armitage.


In the bars and clubs, at New Flight, 420 N. Clark St., after the weekly Sunday brunch, a feature movie will be shown "on our new video system"; every Thursday is jock strap night at Baskets, 2917 N. Sheffield; Sandy Andina entertains at His 'n' Hers, 944 W. Addison.


A letter to Action Line in the Chicago Tribune reads:

Q: Some time ago I purchased a ticket at the Ticketron office at 200 N. Michigan Ave. for the Johnny Mathis Show at the Holiday Star Theater in Merrillville, Ind. Since then there was an article in Jet magazine that said Mathis told US magazine that he is a homosexual. In view of this fact, I went to Ticketron and asked that my money be refunded because Johnny Mathis' status had changed since I bought the ticket. I was no longer interested in seeing his performance because I am a Bible student and I'm not interested in being entertained by a person who has admitted to being homosexual. I didn't get my money back. This is not a crusade or a protest. I am only interested in having my money refunded. Can you help?

V. W. Maywood.

A: Alyce Fuller, account representative for Ticketron, told Action

Line that it is an agent for Holiday Star Theater and it is not at liberty to authorize refunds for any of their shows. I did contact Dave Steurer, general manager of the theater," Fuller said, "and after explaining the situation to him, he stated that the theater's normal policy is to issue no refunds, but in some instances, such as yours, the theater will make exceptions." You have been instructed on how to obtain a refund.


At the Gay American Arts Festival at the Organic Theater, 3321 N. Clark St., "Charles Busch & A Cast of Thousands" is presented.


Image: Mark Zubro at Oak Street Books – Windy City Times April 20, 1989

The Greater Chicago Gay and Lesbian Democrats invite you to Political Pride '82 Rally at the Bismarck Hotel. Speakers include Rev. Troy Perry and entertainment is provided by Angela Clemmens, singer of the disco hit "Give Me Just a Little Bit More."


Image: Party – Gay Chicago November 11, 1993

An article in Gay Chicago begins:

"The Gay/Lesbian Arts Alliance will hold a gay man's dance workshop as part of the dance program for The Third Gay Arts Festival. The workshop will be conducted by Roger Tolle. Tolle has performed and choreographed extensively in New York and is founder and artistic director of New York's all gay dance company Men Together. He has performed in the first and second gay arts festivals and will perform his work 'Intimate Voices' with his partner Drew Minter at the Chicago festival."


An article in Gay Chicago reads:

"Chiola announces candidacy.

"More than 120 supporters attended the kickoff rally, held at the historic Courthouse Place building on September 15. A number of civic and political figures were in attendance, including congressional candidate, Dick Simpson; J.B. Pritker, chairman of the Democratic Leadership for the 21st Century; Ann Breen-Greco and Andy Schleifer, candidates for Circuit Court Judge; Tommy Brewer, candidate for Cook County Sheriff; Charlotte Newfeld, former vice chair of the Chicago Commission on Women; Steve Wakefield, from the Chicago Coalition of Black Lesbians and Gays; Rick Garcia of the Catholic Advocates for Lesbian and Gay Rights; and Fred Eychaner, President of Chicago Newsweb.

"In his candidacy announcement, Chiola stated: 'I have experienced prejudice and hate because I am gay and have witnessed the effects of discrimination on my gay and lesbian friends and others. Those experiences give me an insight and awareness that will ensure that every individual who appears before me will receive fair consideration without regard to his or her skin color, sex, religion or any other factor which is irrelevant to the case.

"I will never ask anyone to vote for me just because I am gay, and I hope that no one will vote against me just because I am gay. I ask to be judged on my experience, on my compassion for fairness and the unique insights which I can bring to this position. The time has come to break through the barriers and finally elect a highly qualified member of the gay and lesbian community to office in this state."


Who remembers the New Flight or Baskets?

Is Ron Anderson still around?

Who was Sandy Andina?

Gay Chicago Photo Rewind

Terry Gaskins photographs the guys and dolls at Charlie's for Gay Chicago June 24, 1999

Terry Gaskins photographs Windy City Athletic Association "Boys Will Be Girls" at

the Baton for Gay Chicago June 24, 1999

Terry Gaskins photographs the Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Veteran's group, Hunters

bar and Joel Hall for Gay Chicago November 18, 1993

Terry Gaskins photographs at LA Connection, the She-Devils and Rick Karlin tossing

a pie for Gay Chicago November 18, 1993

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.