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February 8, 2018

Gay Chicago Rewind:
Gay life in Chicago this week, back in... 1983, 1990 and 2001


(February 8-14, 2018)

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


In the bars and clubs, the Celebrity Club, Grand Plaza Hotel, 6465 N. Mannheim Rd., Rosemont, is proud to announce the Grand opening of its New and Very Private Room for Men Only; Disco Dancing with DJ Al Siewert at Charlie's Angels, 8710 Golf Road, Des Plaines; it's Party Game Night every Wednesday at Hideaway II, 7301 Roosevelt Road; watch "Dynasty" at Christopher Street, 3458 N. Halsted; the Spice Tree, 2811 N. Central, presents the Spice Tree Revue with Patricia Deroma, Ta Ta, Peaches, Lady B, Kim Cleveland, Steve Miller, and special guests; it's movie night at the Unicorn bathhouse, 3246 N. Halsted, with "Harold and Maude"; Dianne Laffrey performs at Opal Station, 6655 N. Clark St.; celebrate Chinese New Year at Piggen's Pub, 674 W. Diversey; the Dating Game featuring Hedda Lettuce, plus guest celebrities, is at Normandy, 3400 N. Clark St.


Gay life in Chicago this week, back in... 1983, 1990 and 2001
IMAGE: Man's Country – Gay Chicago January 11, 1979

In Richard Noland's Open Loops column in Gay Chicago, he writes:

"The February 1983 Chicago Magazine, in an article by contributing editor William Brashier, "The anatomy of Chicago's pols" has grossly insulted the Chicago community. His main themes: that Chicago politicians can't appear to be soft, and that being soft is the same as being limp-wristed and gay. He makes comments like 'the aptly named Harvey Milk.' The Task Force is writing to protest and demand a written apology, as are others. Check the article out. Simply put, it's awful."


An article by Danny Kopelson in Gay Chicago begins:

"Les Ballet Trockadero de Monte Carlo has miraculously survived since 1974 in what could easily have been a gimmick; all male, travesty ballets. The 'Trocks' were formed by a group of ballet enthusiasts for the purpose of presenting a 'playful, entertaining view of traditional, classical ballet.' Performing mostly in late-late shows in off-off Broadway lofts, the 'Trocks' quickly gained major critical acclaim and artistic success.

"By 1975, the Trocks' knowledge of dance and comic approach which proved that men can dance en pointe without falling flat on their fannies was being noted beyond New York. The company was becoming known nationally and internationally.

"As their reputation grew, so did their professionalism. The 'Trocks; signed on with a management company, received a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts Touring Program, and hired a full-time ballet mistress to oversee daily classes and rehearsals. It was a year of packing and repacking tutus and giant-sized toe shoes."

Les Ballet Trockadero de monte Carlo are appearing at Centre east, 7701 N. Lincoln, Skokie. Tickets are $20 and $22.


Gay life in Chicago this week, back in... 1983, 1990 and 2001
IMAGE: Cover – Gay Chicago October 2, 1986

Video Playlist courtesy of VJ Brad L. Erickson of InnExile: 1) "Roam" – B52s; 2) "I'll Be Good to You" – Quincy Jones; 3) "Without You" – George Lamont; 4) "Fool for Your Lovin'" – Whitesnake; 5) "All Nite" – Entouch; 6) "Gorba the Chief" – Sacher Musak; 7) "Love & Anger" – Kate Bush; 8) "Funny Vibe" – Living Color; 9) "Bye Bye Mon Cowboy – Mitsou; 10) "Dangerous" – Roxette.


In Gay Chicago obituaries:

"Donald E. Waters died on December 11, 2000. His peaceful departure from this life brought an end to his hard-fought struggle with AIDS.

"Mr. Waters was employed at Big Chicks and made many friends in his nine years there. He will be greatly missed and remembered.

"A remembrance memorial will be held at 7:30 p.m. February 6, 2001 in the Salon at Big Chicks.

"Happy trails to you, Donald."


Gay life in Chicago this week, back in... 1983, 1990 and 2001
IMAGE: Women and Children First – Windy City Times October 16, 1986

An article in Gay Chicago begins:

"The board of directors regrets to announce Alternative Health Partners, including the AIDS Alternative Health Project, have ceased operation, effective January 31.

"The agency began as the AIDS Health Project, an all volunteer effort to provide alternative therapies to HIV-positive people. In its 15-year history, the agency has grown to a multisite service organization, serving clients throughout the city. The agency changed its name to Alternative Health Partners in 1997 and opened a clinic to provide alternative therapies to non-HIV populations. Operations at the non-HIV Alternative Health Partners Clinic and the Uptown Clinic of the AIDS Alternative Health Project, both located at 4753 N. Broadway, have ceased operations."


Gay life in Chicago this week, back in... 1983, 1990 and 2001
IMAGE: Crew – Nightspots November 24, 2004

Congregation Or Chadash celebrates Tu B'Shvat: Festival of Trees at Heller JCC, 524 Melrose.


Sarabia welcomes Bobby Parks to Man's Country, 5017 N. Clark St.


Executive Sweet presents "A Love Affair: Erotic Poetry Slam and Aquarian Birthday Celebration." Come celebrate with Ms. Pat, red attire optional, music from Ron Carroll and Southside Lynn. Takes place at 31 E. Balbo.


The 12th Annual International Women's Day Mardi Gras Masked Ball takes place at the Congress Hotel, 520 S. Michigan.


The Chicago Anti-Bashing Network "Freedom to Marry Days" includes a protest in front of the City/County Building, 118 N. Clark St.


Lady Bunny, founder of New York's annual drag festival, "Wigstock," makes an appearance in Chicago at the screening of "Wigstock: The Movie' at Landmark's Century Center, 2828 N. Clark St.


The Cultural Arts committee of the Oak Park Area Lesbian and Gay Association host a Coffeehouse Soiree at the Buzz Café, 905 S. Lombard Avenue.


Where is Dianne Laffrey now?

Is OPALGA still around?

What's William Brashier doing these days?

Gay Chicago Photo Rewind

Gay life in Chicago this week, back in... 1983, 1990 and 2001
Big Red and her boys in Gay Chicago January 18, 1979

Gay life in Chicago this week, back in... 1983, 1990 and 2001
Stephen Kulieke photographs David Boyer, Delilah Kenny, Hal Wand, and Randy

Stover for Gay Life January 12, 1979

Gay life in Chicago this week, back in... 1983, 1990 and 2001
Kirk Williamson and Susan photograph Cocktail, Touche, and Star Gaze for

Nightspots June 7, 2006

Gay life in Chicago this week, back in... 1983, 1990 and 2001
William Burks photographs Gay Mennonites for Windy City Times October 16, 1986

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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