Gay life in Chicago this week, back in... 1977, 1980 and 2008

Thu. August 29, 2019 12:00 AM
by Sukie de la Croix

(August 29 – September 4, 2019)?

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


An article in Gay Life begins:

"The Chicago Tribune has agreed to accept classified advertising from Lend-A-Man Ltd., a Chicago employment agency, which will identify the agency as 'a licensed private employment agency specializing in the placement of gay men and women.'

"Agreement between the Tribune and Lend-A-Man was reached last week after what Lend-A-Man owners called 'protracted foot-dragging by the Tribune and a month of negotiation between Lend-A-Man's attorney's and tribune representatives."


Chicago's gay community lost one of its earliest and hardest workers with the death August 15 of Mary Houlihan. She had been instrumental in founding the Mass for the gay and Lesbian Community from which Dignity/Chicago was born. Mary Houlihan continued to be a faithful member of Dignity and was at Mass on Sunday, the 14th.


IMAGE: Cover – Nightspots January 15, 2003?

The monthly meeting of One of Chicago is held with Barbara Gittings as guest speaker. Ms. Gittings is a board member of both the National Gay Task Force and the Gay Rights National Lobby. She is also coordinator of the Gay Task Force of the American Library Association. Takes place at the MCC, 615 W. Wellington.


In the clubs and bars, it's the GRAND OPENING of the Manhandler, 1948 N. Halsted; Checkmate II, 2546 N. Clark St., presents the electrifying Sam Hill every Friday night; 80c beer, bar drinks 90c between 5:00–8:00 p.m. at Peppers, 1502 W. Jarvis; there's a live DJ every Thursday at the Lucky Clover Lounge, 2315 W. Fullerton; Kyle Nash entertains at His 'n' Hers, 944 W. Addison.


IMAGE: Rozalla at Vortex – Babble June 14, 1995

An article in Gay Chicago begins:

"Heavy rains Saturday and Sunday Aug. 16-17 forced rescheduling of the Chicago Gay Health Project's VD testing van.

"As a result the VD van is scheduled at three stops the weekend of Sept. 12-13.

"The van is scheduled from 9-11 pm Friday, Sept. 12 on N. Halsted between Little Jim's and the Lady Bug and then from 11:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. in front of Touché on N. Lincoln Avenue. The following day, Sunday, Sept. 13, the van will be in the Clark, Illinois and Hubbard Streets are from 10 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. This location will serve patrons of the Gold Coast, Redoubt, the Machine Shop, Sunday's, Baton, New Flight and the Bistro."


An article in Windy City Times begins:

"An LGBTQA Chicago Public Schools (CPS) high school has been proposed and, if given the green light, the school would join the likes of New York's Harvey Milk High School in becoming a national model in providing a welcoming, safe education for queer and questioning youth and their allies.

"The Greater Lawndale Little Village School for Social Justice submitted the proposal to the CPS Office of New Schools for a Social Justice High School-Pride Campus. This project has been in the works since spring of this year. If approved, Pride Campus, a voluntary public high school that would implement a college prep curriculum in all subject areas, would open in 2010. It would serve LGBTQA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, questioning and allied) students from all over the city."


IMAGE: Windy City Grille – Gay Chicago June 25, 1987?

An article in Windy City Times begins:

"Del Martin—the legendary lesbian activist who married her lover of 55 years, Phyllis Lyon, June 16 in California—died Aug. 27 in San Francisco, Calif., according to a release from the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR). Martin was 87.

"Martin and Lyon met in Seattle in 1950 and formally became partners three years later. In 1955, they were among those who started the Daughters of Bilitis, the first lesbian rights or- ganization. The following year, they launched The Ladder, the first widely circulated national newsletter in the United States."


Obituary in Windy City Times reads:

"Grace Luedke, 78, partner of the late Peg Grey, died Aug. 26 from a massive stroke. She passed away peacefully at Hinsdale Hospital surrounded by family and close friends.

"Luedke lost her partner of 40 years, Chicago sports legend Peg Grey, Feb. 24, 2007. At the time, she told Windy City Times: "I am proud to have been blessed with Peg as my beloved partner for these past 40 years. She will always be with me."

"Luedke was quiet and reserved, mostly in the background and supporting Grey in all of her activism and athletic endeavors. Luedke also played on some of the same sports teams, including the Lost & Found 1980s softball team.

The visitation was Aug. 31 at Gibbons-Elliston Funeral Home in Hinsdale.


IMAGE: Inn Between – Gay Chicago September 16, 1982?

Here's a look at how LGBT caucuses have grown:

—1972, McGovern (5 delegates): Gay caucus staged a sit-in because McGovern refused to issue a statement of support for gay community; two gay speakers at podium

—1976, Carter (30): Carter staff quietly acknowledged gay caucus but avoided any public recognition

—1980, Carter (76): Caucus backs down from floor fight over empty platform but sends openly gay speaker to podium as vice presidential "nominee"

—1984, Mondale (80): Nominee contender Jesse Jackson's mention of gays in his address marks the highlight and platform is deemed "everything we wanted."

—1988, Dukakis (90): Caucus divided over whether to support nominee and effort to nominate gay vice-presidential speaker fails; the nominee fears mentioning gays will lose votes

—1992, Clinton (108): Enormous spotlight on caucus and issues; long string of elected officials come before caucus for support; two gay speakers at podium

—1996, Clinton (150): Five openly gay speakers at the podium, "Equality for Lesbians & Gays" signs plentiful and large number of high-profile party leaders visit caucus

—2000, Gore (200): Six openly gay people at podium, vice-presidential nominee (Joe Lieber- man) visits caucus, along with First Lady (Hillary Clinton) and four cabinet members; Gays "fully integrated" in platform

—2004, Kerry (254): Gay visibility is on the wane. Nominee does not say the words "gay" or "sexual orientation" but calls for honoring "diversity," placards are tightly controlled, gay speakers dropped to three and platform disappoints

—2008, Obama (377): Gay caucus grows by 41 percent and deems platform the most supportive ever; in speech before largest political audience ever, nominee makes strong statement of support for "gay brothers and lesbian sisters"


Who remembers the VD bus?

Whatever happened to Kyle Nash?

Who remembers the Lucky Clover Lounge?

Gay Chicago Photo Rewind

Male Image Photography at Sidetrack for Gay Chicago, September 16, 2004

Mike Williams photographs Bert Gates, the manager of the Manhandler, for Gay

Chicago July 2, 1981?

Jack Sitar photographs the owners of Paris dance for Gay Chicago August 27, 1987?

St Sukie de la Croix photographs ½ Mad Poet for Nightlines January 24, 2001

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.