The Chicago Commission on Human Relations' Advisory Council on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues has released the names of 11 individuals and four organizations to be inducted into the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame, the only known government-sponsored hall of fame that honors members of the LGBT community.
The event will take place Wed., Nov. 10, 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 for 6 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.
The inductees are as follows:
Claudia Allen, 55, perhaps the most prolific contemporary writer of lesbian-themed plays; 11 of her 24 produced plays have lesbian themes or a major character who is lesbian or bisexual, including Hannah Free, which premiered at Chicago's Bailiwick Repertory Theatre in 1992 and became an award-winning feature film in 2009
Dan Di Leo ( 1938-1989 ) , a U.S. Army veteran and co-founder of Gay Chicago Magazine; his experience and knowledge as a journalist and businessman were largely responsible for the early growth of the magazine, which is a cornerstone of Chicago's LGBT community; he died of complications from AIDS
Scott Free, 50, activist, musician and founder of both Homolatte, the longest-running queer performance series in the nation, and ALT Q, another of the nation's longest running festivals for LGBTQ performers
Bob Gammie, 84, an active organizer and fundraiser since 1949, for his many years of community service, including being one of the first organizers of gay activities in non-bar settings, in particular the volleyball games in Lincoln Park that grew into the Lincoln Park Lagooners, which continues to flourish
E. Patrick Johnson, 43, scholar, artist, and performer; for his leadership in the African-American LGBT community, including publishing two books that focus on Black LGBT life: Black Queer Studies and Sweet Tea: Black Gay Men of the South, an oral history of Black gay men
David Ernesto Munar, 40, for his leadership and advocacy on both local and national LGBTQ and Latino issues and, as a person living with HIV, for his work to shape local, state, and federal policy on HIV/AIDS
Achy Obejas, 54, activist and writer; appointed by former Mayor Harold Washington to the city's first Committee on Gay and Lesbian Issues and by former Mayor Eugene Sawyer to his Advisory Council on Gay and Lesbian Issues, she worked to secure passage of the Chicago Human Rights ordinance; as a journalist she shared a Pulitzer Prize in 2001, and she has published fiction, non-fiction and poetry
Paul G. Oostenbrug, 60, runner and community volunteer, for his long and dedicated service to Team Chicago, which takes LGBT Chicagoans to the Gay Games, and for his involvement on the boards of the Federation of Gay Games and Chicago House, a local AIDS service agency
Jose R. Rios, 42, police officer, for his nine years of service as the Chicago Police Department's liaison to the LGBT communities of Chicago, including his extensive outreach to the deaf community, youth, other government offices, community organizations, and police departments across the nation
The Rev. Stan Sloan, 47, Episcopal priest and CEO of Chicago House, for his dedicated and innovative leadership in the homeless and AIDS service communities, including opening Sweet Miss Giving's Bakery, which serves as both a jobs program and a source of income for Chicago House
Mark E. Wojcik, 48, legal scholar, John Marshall Law School professor, and founder of the Chicago Bar Association's Committee on Legal Rights of Lesbian and Gay Men, for leadership and mentorship in the legal profession and for promoting legislative change at the state and federal levels
Asians & Friends: Chicago, for 26 years of providing a social network for gay men of Asian descent and building a bridge between them and the larger LGBT community, culturally, socially, and philanthropically; as one of the first organizations of its kind, it inspired other similar groups to form elsewhere
International Mr. Leather, for 31 years of drawing worldwide attention and attendance to Chicago by way of its annual weekend of events for the international leather community, significantly contributing to Chicago's tourism revenue; it has also been a pioneer in support of LGBT rights and health issues
Friends of the community
American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, for decades of support for the civil liberties of the LGBT community and persons living with HIV as well as for advocacy of nondiscrimination laws covering sexual orientation, gender identity, and HIV status
Chicago History Museum, for decades of acquiring and preserving LGBT historical documents and artifacts and for its groundbreaking "Out at CHM" lecture series, which presents LGBT history in the context of Chicago history.