Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2017-11-22
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

BLACK ALPHABET FILM FESTIVAL Jewel Thais-Williams and nightclub subject of documentary
By Emagin Tanaschuk
2017-08-16

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Jewel Thais-Williams is more than the owner of the popular "Jewel's Catch One" night club, in Los Angeles; rather, she is trailblazer, as her nightclub was a place where people of all races and sexual orientations were welcome starting in 1975. After owning the nightclub for 42 years, Thais' work is being showcased in the documentary "Jewel's Catch One" which will be screening at the Black Alphabet Film Festival on Saturday, Aug. 19, at David Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E. 60th St., at 1 p.m.

Thais-Williams' dream happened "by divine design," she said. She had been working at a store across the street from Catch One as a young adult and always said to herself that she would own the place someday. She had a dream that everyone would be able to come to the club and feel welcomed and safe to express themselves. Prior to Thais-Williams owning the club, Catch One mainly welcomed Caucasian white-collar workers, according to the documentary.

The thought of buying Catch One became more of a reality for Thais-Williams to purchase the club when she owned a women's clothing store in 1972 and the recession hit. She explained how when the economy grew weaker, women stopped spending as much at her store, since everyone was forced to become more financially conscious. She needed to find a "recession-proof" business:alcohol. This was the extra push Thais-Williams needed when the day came that she heard the nightclub was for sale.

After purchasing the club in 1975, Thais-Williams made it everything she had envisioned. People of all racial backgrounds, sexual orientations and walks of life came in to drink, dance and socialize, something that was not previously accepted or welcomed in that area.

The nightclub also helped Thais-Williams in her personal life, since her patrons ultimately were the ones that outed her as queer. Sometimes her father and other family members would be there helping her fix something and someone would make a joke or comment revealing her orientation, so Thais-Williams never felt the need to formally come out to her family.

However, she did finally sit her parents down to tell them she was getting married to her girlfriend, which she admitted was a predictable moment. Her father quickly told her that he did not believe in same-sex marriage and therefore would not attend her wedding. Her mother always liked to do the opposite of Thais-Williams's father, so she did come to the wedding. Most of Thais-Williams's family, however, was not very supportive and did not show for the ceremony.

Regardless, seeing men dance with men and women kiss other women at her club on weekend nights gave her peace of mind. She said that although the LGBT community is facing more opposition lately, it is important that people continue to create spaces that promote love. For example, last year after the Orlando shooting, Thais-Williams was especially impacted as the former owner of a bar that welcomed gay individuals. However, despite her grief, she powered through the next day to attend the Los Angeles pride parade. People were there to celebrate and mourn; "it was an outpouring of love, and we needed that," she said.

When asked if she foresaw all the social impact her club would have, Thais-Williams confidently said she did not think about that, rather she knew she was doing "what needed to be done," especially as a lesbian woman herself.

She explained that because of her gender, sexual orientation and race, and being a Black lesbian, she was that much more motivated to work hard for what she wanted.

"In order to achieve your rights, you have to stand up for them, because if you don't stand up for anything, then you are lying down for everything," she said.

The Black Alphabet Film Festival will take place Friday-Saturday, Aug. 18-19, at the Reva & David Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E. 60th St. Visit blackalphabet.org/.


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

pregnantish magazine hosts 'Vegas Baby' screening, talk 2017-11-20 - The magazine pregnantish hosted a screening of Amanda Micheli's film, Vegas Baby, and discussion on infertility Nov. 14 at theWit Chicago. Vegas Baby ...


Gay News

Showbiz news: Nico Tortorella, Hugh Jackman, Demi Lovato, Shaun T 2017-11-20 - Since opening up about their polyamorous relationship, actor Nico Tortorella said tensions have been high with partner Bethany Meyers' family, according to Page ...


Gay News

Tambor leaving 'Transparent' after accusations 2017-11-19 - In the wake of two accusations of sexual harassment by members of the Transparent team that he has strongly denied, Jeffery Tambor decided ...


Gay News

Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo film at Siskel 2017-11-19 - The New York-based and cheekily named Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo—the gay, all-male dance troupe that has for 40 years slyly and ...


Gay News

Jussie Smollett's film, 90 DAYS commemorates World AIDS Day with Harle event 2017-11-18 - ( November 16, 2017 - New York, NY ) — On Friday, December 1, 2017, World AIDS Day, the HIV STOPS WITH ME ...


Gay News

'Sound of Music,' AIDS movie at Music Box Theatre 2017-11-18 - The Music Box Theatre tradition of "The Sound of Music Sing-A-Long" will return Nov. 24-Dec. 3 at 3733 N. Southport Ave. It ...


Gay News

FILM REVIEW Lady Bird 2017-11-15 - Director: Greta Gerwig. Starring: Saoirse Ronana, Laurie Metcalf, Tracy Letts Time: 93 minutes. Release Date: Nov. 10 The new movie Lady ...


Gay News

Chicago film part of Wayward fest 2017-11-14 - The neo-noir short film Lakeshore Drive is part of The Wayward Film Festival that runs through Thursday, Nov. 16. The film's plot ...


Gay News

Showbiz news: Aguilera, Robbie Rogers, 'Jane the Virgin,' Gal Gadot 2017-11-14 - The American Music Awards has a packed performance lineup, including a special tribute to Whitney Houston, ABC13.com noted. Christina Aguilera will commemorate the ...


Gay News

Chicago natives launch LGBTQ web series, 5A-5B 2017-11-12 - Chicago-grown filmmakers Michael Cicetti ( Creator/Director ) and Ella Harris ( Producer ) are filming a new LGBTQ comedic web series titled, 5A-5B. ...


 



Copyright © 2017 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.