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 2019-12-11
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



Gerber/Hart unveils Stonewall-era activism exhibit
by Carrie Maxwell, Windy City Times

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Gerber/Hart Library and Archives debuted a new exhibit, "Out of the Closets & Into the Streets: Power, Pride & Resistance in Chicago's Gay Liberation Movement," June 1 at the library. The exhibit is focused on Chicago LGBTQ activism during the Stonewall era.

Ahead of remarks by featured speaker Chicago Gay Alliance co-founder/longtime activist Gary Chichester and exhibit curators and library volunteers Chase Ollis, James Conley and Kurt Heinrich, Gerber/Hart Board President/LGBTQ history activism author John D'Emilio spoke about the many events happening this month to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.

D'Emilio made reference to President Obama's second inaugural address in which he mentioned Seneca Falls, Selma and Stonewall as three well-known moments in U.S. history. He said Stonewall sparked a decade of "tremendous LGBTQ activism around the country."

Among the packed crowd gathered for the event, D'Emilio noted that the Cook County Commissioner Kevin Morrison—the openly gay person to hold that position—was in attendance. D'Emilio also outlined the various things Chichester has done for the community, including his many years with the Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame.

Chichester said he saw a post on social media about who threw the first brick at Stonewall, adding no one knows the answer. He explained that the first metaphorical bricks were thrown years before that moment by many individuals, some of whom were at the event.

"Education is so important and it is nice to see young folks here because there are rumors that some people do not even know what Stonewall is and what it means," said Chichester.

Chichester explained that his political coming out occurred during the 1968 Democratic National Convention ( DNC ), when he was walking through Lincoln Park and saw buses of police dressed in riot gear heading toward a field at LaSalle and Clark streets. He went to see what was happening.

"As it turned out, I was about to witness my first major riot between the Yippies ["members" of the Youth International Party], police and the press," said Chichester. "The police violence against demonstrators and the press was unbelievable. Blood and tear gas was everywhere."

Chichester said he spent the rest of the week going to multiple demonstrations, and was at 18th Street and Michigan Avenue when what he thought was a tin can hit his foot—it turned out to be tear gas. He explained that being gassed changed his political views and his boots from that incident are in the exhibit.

A year later, Chichester said a friend who had moved to New York City called and told him about Stonewall and those phone updates continued for the next three days. Chichester explained that after Stonewall, gay-liberation groups emerged in Chicago, mostly on college campuses.

"It was exciting to see how the groups developed and what we learned from the movements that came before," said Chichester.

Chichester spoke about the first Pride Marches in Chicago, including the permit Chicago Gay Alliance applied for and received the second year to march from Belmont Harbor to the Lincoln Park Free Forum—the original site of the 1968 DNC riot. He said that now Chicago's Pride Parade garners over one million attendees.

"When you visit the exhibit, take the time to see how these influences helped to change the lives of so many LGBTQ+ people and the effects on our lives today," said Chichester.

Ollis, who is 29, spoke about growing up in Georgia and not understanding the importance of Stonewall until a few years ago. In talking about the exhibit's narrative structure, of which he oversaw, Ollis said there are temporal bookends but the exhibit is not in chronological order.

Heinrich explained that he designed the library's past two exhibits and, like Ollis, had to seek out information about Stonewall because it is not taught in schools. In terms of the design choices, Heinrich talked about being inspired by the fist of power/protest because it has been used as a symbol for marginalized groups.

Conley said he worked on a lot of the research and the post-opening programming. He explained that the thing that most interested him was the section on publications, especially radical papers like the Chicago Seed. Conley said even though everyone is inundated with media choices these days minority community's issues are still not being amplified except in niche online entities.

D'Emilio ended the event with a reminder about the library's June 15 open house and annual benefit on Sept. 21, called on attendees to become volunteers ( and acknowledged the other volunteers in the audience ) and/or donate money to Gerber/Hart, and invited everyone to tour the now-open exhibit.

See .

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.


Gay News

Windy City Times' annual Holiday Gift Guide, Part two 2019-12-11 - I'll drink to that Inspired by TV host Giuliana Rancic, Giuliana Prosecco ( $14.99; ) is smooth, with a fruity scent and ...

Gay News

Five Worth Finding: Gay spy movie, Santa Suite and more 2019-12-11 - —London Spy: In this British-American series that originally aired in 2015, devil-may-care Danny ( played by a fantastic Ben Whishaw ) meets the ...

Gay News

FASHION Jack Cave, turning accessories into art 2019-12-10 - Jack Cave—a Chicago-based artist, designer, instructor and the founder of Jack Cave LLC—definitely makes articles that help the wearer stand out from the ...

Gay News

CAKE applications due Dec. 14 2019-12-10 - Chicago Alternative Comics Expo ( CAKE ) is accepting exhibitor applications for CAKE 2020 until Saturday, Dec. 14. CAKE is a weekend-long celebration ...

Gay News

W&CF hosts 'Honeypot' book launch party, author discussion 2019-12-06 - One month after the release of Honeypot: Black Southern Women Who Love Women, Andersonville bookstore Women & Children First hosted a launch party ...

Gay News

Chay Yew departing Victory Gardens Theater 2019-12-05 - The Victory Gardens Theater board of directors and Artistic Director Chay Yew announced plans for Yew's departure from Victory Gardens at the end ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Activists' honor, N.J. attorney general, gay bar closes, Warhol display 2019-12-02 - Three longstanding LGBT legal activists will be honored by the American Bar Association Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity with its eighth ...

Gay News

Jewish theater arts conference takes place 2019-12-02 - The Alliance for Jewish Theatre ( AJT ) hosted the largest Jewish theater arts conference in the country Nov. 3-5 in Chicago. ...

Gay News

Pioneering gay cartoonist Cruse dies at 75 2019-12-01 - ( WILLIAMSTOWN, MASSACHUSETTS, Nov. 26 )—Howard Cruse—a pioneer in the LGBTQ cartooning movement and the author of Stuck Rubber Baby, a 1995 award-winning ...

Gay News

Artist wanted to design coin commemorating women's right to vote 2019-12-01 - The Illinois state treasurer's office has issued a request for qualifications ( RFQ ) seeking an artist to design a coin to commemorate ...


Copyright © 2019 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.







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 publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.