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September 14, 2017

Gay Chicago Rewind:
Gay life in Chicago this week, back in... 1983, 1997 and 2001


(September 14-20, 2017)

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


Chicago LGBT bars around in 1983 that are sadly gone:

"A-Frame (1620 Plainfield Rd. Joliet); Annex 2 (430 N. Clark St.); Cheeks (2730 N. Clark St.); Dancers (5244 N. Sheridan); Lady Bug (3445 N. Halsted); Mike's Terrace (1137 W. Granville); Opal Station (6655 N. Clark St.); and Swan Club (3720 N. Clark St.)


Gay life in Chicago this week, back in... 1983, 1997 and 2001
IMAGE: Hambingo Mary's – Chicago Free Press March 5, 2009

Courtesy of DJ Michael Graber of Hunter's and Sidetrack:

"PLAY LIST: 1) "Safety Dance" – Men Without Hats; 2) "I Don't Want to Talk About It" – Pamela Stanley; 3) "So Many Men, So Little Time" – Miquel Brown; 4) "Sweet Dreams" – Eurythmics; 5) First, Last and Everything" – Endgames; 6) "She Works Hard for the Money" – Donnas Summer; 7) "Maniac" – Michael Sembello; 8) "Stand Back" – Stevie Nicks; 9) "Steppin' Stone" – Modern Rocketry; 10) "Love Reaction" – Divine.


This is a letter to the Chicago Tribune from Al Wardell, co-chairman of the Illinois Gay and Lesbian Task Force:

"CHICAGO–Pope John Paul's statement to the American bishop's of the Catholic Church attitude toward homosexuality simply restates what the church has been teaching since the Middle Ages. The idea is that homosexual feelings are okay, but homosexual acts, because they are contraceptive, are not.

"What alarms me is that Pope John Paul II has never made a pronouncement about acts of violence and viciousness against gay men and lesbians. Such homophobic acts can also include acts of cowardice by legislators who claim to be for civil rights but vote against civil rights when they are being sought by gay and lesbian citizens.

"One Catholic legislator has stated that civil rights for homosexuals was against his religion. This kind of ignorance of theological matters needs to be addressed by Pope John Paul II much more than adherence to medieval theory."


The Chicago Professional Networking Association meets at Ann Sather's, 929 W. Belmont. This week's speaker is J.B. Pritzker who speaks on the economic state of Illinois.


Gay life in Chicago this week, back in... 1983, 1997 and 2001
IMAGE: Elsewhere – Gay Chicago August 3, 1979

New Town Writers host an open mic at Unabridged Books, 3151 N. Broadway.


Gay punk band, Pansy Division, play at Lounge Ax, 2438 N. Lincoln.


The movie, "In & Out," a comedy starring Kevin Kline, is now showing in Chicago's theaters.


Direct from the Larry Sanders Show and Kids in the Hall, Scott Thompson performs an evening of comedy at Park West, 322 W. Armitage.


Quotelines in Outlines:

"She became, as Elton John said at her funeral, England's rose because she shared the life struggles of ordinary people. She cared about them. She was not too self-absorbed to lend her hand and her heart to people in pain or in peril, especially people with AIDS and the innocent victims of land mines." – President Bill Clinton



On the cover of Windy City Times, an article by Rex Wockner begins:


"Gay New York was in shock along with everyone else.

"'I thought I was a goner,' said Ralph Buchalter, a friend of this reporter who works at the American Stock Exchange. 'I saw the second plane hit. I was late going to work. The towers are two blocks from where I work.

"'When the first tower came down, this noise started, like a freight train, and people started screaming, then there was just this a cloud of black. It was like trying to outrun a train with thousands of other people. People were screaming and fainting. The noise was so deafening. There was nothing I could do. It didn't matter if I ran 15 more feet. I stopped in the doorway of an Indian fabric store.

Gay life in Chicago this week, back in... 1983, 1997 and 2001
IMAGE: Nightspots cover – Nightspots July 21, 2004

"I thought I was fine when I woke up today (Wednesday, Sept. 12) and I went to breakfast and I got a newspaper, and when I saw the pictures I almost fainted and I had to leave the restaurant. You think you're fine for a while and then one image comes into your head, and I start crying. I'm alive. I'm very thankful. I feel very lucky. The psychological thing of handling the enormity of it is the difficult thing."


Who remembers the A-Frame?

Who remembers Al Wardell?

Who saw Pansy Division at the Lounge Ax?

Gay Chicago Photo Rewind

Gay life in Chicago this week, back in... 1983, 1997 and 2001
Dave Ouano photographs the Amigo Party at Circuit for the Chicago Free Press

March 5, 2009

Gay life in Chicago this week, back in... 1983, 1997 and 2001
A party at the Lucky Horseshoe Lounge in Cruisin' magazine August 2004

Gay life in Chicago this week, back in... 1983, 1997 and 2001
Protesting Anita Bryant in Gay Life June 10, 1977. Photo by Phil Bondl

Gay life in Chicago this week, back in... 1983, 1997 and 2001
More protests in Gay Life June 10, 1977

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.

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