Chicago, IL -
The Chicago Commission on Human Relations
' Advisory Council on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues has named the 2008 list of individuals and organizations for inclusion in the only known government-sponsored hall of fame that honors members of th LGBT communities, announced Commissioner and Chairman Dana V. Starks.
Jane Addams will be honored as an individual inductee this year.
"Chicago is a city of many faces, and the LGBT community is an important part of that diversity. The community is thriving and moving forward, helping to build a strong social and economic foundation for Chicago," said Mayor Richard M. Daley.
Chosen nominees will be inducted at the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame's 18th annual ceremony, which will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 13, in Sidney R. Yates Gallery at the Chicago Cultural Center
, 77 E. Randolph. The reception begins at 5:30 p.m., and the program is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.
"The rich contributions made to Chicago by its various communities are important to Chicago's quality of life" said Starks. "It is for that reason that we are pleased to recognize lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals and their allies with these Hall of Fame awards each year."
The Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame was established in 1991 under the auspices of the Advisory Council, with continuing support from the Chicago Commission on Human Relations and Mayor Richard M. Daley. Its purpose is to recognize the achievements of LGBT Chicagoans, their contributions to the development of the city, and the help they have received from others.
Those inducted can fall into one of three categories: Individual, organization or friend of the community. Potential nominees comprise members of Chicago's entire sexual-minority community, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Chicagoans, past, present, living, and dead, as well as those who have supported or assisted the community. A committee of prior inductees makes each year's selections from nominations submitted by members of the public.
Those honored in 2008 are:
- Jane Addams (1860-1935), 1931 Nobel Prize winner, for her pioneering work in founding Hull House in 1890, which created a lasting model for social change and diverse thought.
- Suzanne Arnold, 52, for her long-term work in the local and national lesbian and gay sports community, including her terms as cochair of Team Chicago, female vice cochair of the Federation of Gay Games, and cochair and sports codirector of Gay Games VII in Chicago.
- Kevin G. Boyer, 45, for his service to the LGBT communities, including his work as president of Gerber/Hart Library
, cocreator of national Gay and Lesbian History Month, cofounder of the Chicago Area Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce
, and vice cochair of Gay Games VII in Chicago.
- Michael Brody, Ph.D., 60, activist and author, for her work as a founding member of the groundbreaking Chicago Gay Liberation group in 1969, a founding member of Chicago Lesbian Liberation in 1970, and in 1985 writing Are We There Yet?, a landmark book of Chicago lesbian history.
- Sam Coady, 43, for his advocacy for LGBT workplace equality and for his long-term contributions to the LGBT sports communities, including founding the Chicago Hoops Classic - the largest and longest-running LGBT basketball tournament in the world - and cochairing Gay Games VII in Chicago.
- Eddie Dugan (1944-1987), showman and patron of the arts, for defining and helping to invent the disco phenomenon in Chicago by launching with great fanfare, in June 1973, the legendary Bistro - a precursor of the hoopla that later surrounded Studio 54 in New York - and later nightlife venues in Chicago.
- Murray Edelman, Ph.D., 65, a founder and central figure of the Chicago Gay Liberation group, for helping to bring the modern gay liberation movement to Chicago and doing crucial work to develop a visible and militant LGBT activism during the early years of the movement in Chicago.
- Stephen Jones (deceased 1980), entertainer and health advocate; known widely in Chicago's gay community as his 1970s drag persona "Nurse Wanda Lust," for serving - quite literally - as the poster person for VD testing and for his groundbreaking promotion of sexual health awareness.
- Joe La Pat (1943-2008), entrepreneur, for his generosity and wide-ranging support for Chicago's LGBT community, including early key support for Proud to Run, Strike Against AIDS, Chicago House, Gay Games VII - especially for international athletes who participated - and the Center on Halsted
- Jesus Salgueiro, 47, and Art Smith, 47, artist and celebrity chef respectively, as an openly gay couple, for creating Common Threads, an international children's charity that fosters a familial environment where children learn to value each other and discover universal understanding and mutual acceptance.
- Guy Warner, 66, activist, for his calm and steady leadership in the early years of Chicago's LGBT communities, including his key work in the 1970s with Mattachine Midwest, which reinvigorated the organization, and his founding of a pioneering group for parents of lesbian and gay people.
Artemis Singers, the first women's singing ensemble in the U.S. to explicitly label itself a "lesbian feminist" chorus, for 29 years dedicated to performing music written or arranged by women and thus highlighting historical, political, and personal events and experiences common to women.
Friends of the Community
Katherine (Kit) Duffy, 64, for her advocacy for LGBT rights, including her 1984 appointment by Mayor Harold Washington as the first mayoral liaison to Chicago's LGBT communities and her role in securing the 1988 passage of an ordinance barring discrimination against gays and lesbians in Chicago.
The Rev. Gregory R. Dell, 62, for his support of recognizing the unions of same-sex couples in the face of a church trial and suspension from his pastoral duties, and for his ongoing support of social justice for sexual and other minorities.