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May 11, 2017

Gay Chicago Rewind:
Gay life in Chicago this week, back in... 1986, 1999 and 2009

BY
SUKIE DE LA CROIX

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

1986

In the bars and clubs this week, in celebration of summer and great shapes TJ's on Oak, 46 E. Oak St., gives away 2-man sea cruises and other prizes every Thursday night in May; Hot Videos! Hot Music! Every Wednesday and Thursday at L.A. Connection, 3700 N. Halsted; STOP 65, 65 W. Illinois, is now open at 7 a.m. with your host, Big Sugar; La Faye Elliot performs at Zo-Ran, 3474 N. Clark St.; K.C. Helmeid performs Songs of Broadway at Gentry, 712 N. Rush St.; the Men's Room, 3359 N. Halsted, celebrates their first anniversary; 21 Club, 3042 W. Irving Park, Chicago's oldest gay bar, celebrates 25 years with Helen, Terri Page, Marge, Randi, Marina Towers and the Maleotic dancers; and Judie and Babs Poohdelle are the guest bartenders at Berlin, 954 W. Belmont.

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Gay life in Chicago this week, back in... 1986, 1999 and 2009
IMAGE: Rudy De La Mor at Gentry – Gay Chicago April 28, 1994

In Gay Chicago, Tom Parks writes:

"Now from Chicago Label, D.J. International Records is 'Mystery of Love' by Fingers Inc. The tune has two versions, a clubmix and a dub version. With a tempo of about 124bpm, 'Mystery' is definitely of the 'house music' vintage which has become so popular in recent months.

"Those of you who may not be familiar with the term 'house music,' it is a slang name given to heavy funk music usually in the low to mid-tempo range with lots of percussion and a very strong bass line.

"House music, which originated right here in Chicago, has become quite popular all around the country. Several local record labels have been cashing on this new funky sound and I suspect we will be hearing more and more of this style in the month's ahead."

1999

In Sukie de la Croix's Chicago Whispers column in Outlines, an anonymous man remembers cruising in Chicago in the 1930s:

"It was very strange, because you have to remember that this era was governed by formidable paranoia. You were scared to death, and that's why you could never meet people. Where did people meet people? In parks after dark, and it was always dangerous, you had to be very careful. A lot of cruising was done on streets, like you walk down Michigan Blvd., or the Michigan Blvd. in any other city, and you'd stop and you'd look in a window, and somebody would come over and say something about a tie or jacket or something. There were two lines that always worked when cruising: 'Have you got the time?' And the other was, 'Have you got a match?'"

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Gay life in Chicago this week, back in... 1986, 1999 and 2009
IMAGE: The Bushes – Gay Chicago December 28, 1979

The AIDS Ministry of Illinois presents Dining Out for Life. A portion of the proceeds from participating restaurants is donated to AIDS services organizations.

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Planning and Strategies for the Third Decade of AIDS, a forum for agency administrators and program managers, takes place at the John Marshall Law School, 315 S. Plymouth, 12th Floor.

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E. Lynn Harris signs copies of his new book, "Abide With Me" at Unabridged Books, 3251 Broadway.

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Meet a Stranger at the Gallery, a gay mixer, takes place at the Aldo Castillo Gallery, 233 W. Huron.

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Gay life in Chicago this week, back in... 1986, 1999 and 2009
IMAGE: Redoubt – Gay Chicago February 21, 1980

The Off-Broadway Smash, "Ethel Merman's Broadway," starring Rita McKenzie is at the Paramount Arts Centre, Aurora, Illinois.

2009

An article by Yasmin Nair in Windy City Times begins:

"Andy Thayer is best known for his work as a marriage activist in Gay Liberation Network (GLN). However, he has also been a longtime anti-war activist as well as a critic of police brutality in Chicago.

"On Jan. 7, during a visit by President George W. Bush to Chicago, Thayer was among those who tried to stretch an anti-war banner across the path of the presidential motorcade. He was charged with two felony counts of aggravated battery on a police officer. Thayer's case went to trial May 5, and a decision the same day found him not guilty.

"Thayer, speaking to Windy City Times, said that while he felt a 'tremendous amount of relief,' he also felt angry about what he saw as 'the enormous amount of public resources it took to get this acquitted.' Like many in the anti-war movement, Thayer feels that ex-President Bush should be tried as a war criminal because he is 'a man who has orchestrated torture and illegally invaded a sovereign nation.'"

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Gay life in Chicago this week, back in... 1986, 1999 and 2009
IMAGE: Man's Country – Gay Chicago January 18, 2001

An article in Windy City Times by Emmanuel Garcia begins:

"The Lesbian Community Care Project (formerly the Lesbian Community Cancer Project) is moving its annual fundraising event—billed for many years as the Coming Out Against Cancer Ball—from the South Shore Cultural Center to the Garfield Park Conservatory, 300 N. Central Park. The new location inspired this year's theme and name: 'The Garden of Eve.' The annual event has solidified itself as one of the top fundraising efforts for LBT women in Chicago. The change in venue allowed organizers to rethink the timing of the event from winter to spring. The green house will guarantee that mid-summer heat that can only be guaranteed in a temperature set room. Since early 2008 LCCP partnered with Howard Brown Health Services on Sheridan Rd. to restructure the organization into a health program partner tenant for LBT women."

Homework

Who are Judie and Babs Poohdelle?

Who was Big Sugar?

Did anyone go to Zo-Ran?

Gay Chicago Photo Rewind

Gay life in Chicago this week, back in... 1986, 1999 and 2009
Terry Gaskins photographs at Charlie's and Roscoe's for Gay Chicago January 26, 1995

Gay life in Chicago this week, back in... 1986, 1999 and 2009
Sherman Heinrich photographs at Double RR and Paris Dance for Gay Chicago July 30, 1987

Gay life in Chicago this week, back in... 1986, 1999 and 2009
Gay Pride Parade photos in Gay Windy City Times July 2, 1987

Gay life in Chicago this week, back in... 1986, 1999 and 2009
LAN II photographs Lesbian/Gay groups celebrating Pride for Windy City Times July 2, 1987

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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