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Homocore marks 25th anniversary
by Vern Hester

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On Nov. 2-4, founders Joanna Brown and Mark Freitas marked the 25th anniversary of the founding of Homocore Chicago with a three-day retrospective exhibit at Defibrillator Gallery, 1463 W. Chicago Ave. The exhibit included rare photographs, vintage zines, live performances, film screenings from past concert events and a closing-night party featuring DJ Larissa.

In November 1992, Freitas and Brown launched Homocore to promote queer punk rock in Chicago after connecting with G.B. Jones ( filmmaker, founder of influential queer punk zine J.D.s, and drummer/guitarist for Toronto queer band Fifth Column ) and director Bruce LaBruce at a Spew Magazine event. After the startup, Homocore started booking queer punk bands such as God Is My Co-Pilot, Sleater-Kinney, Los Crudos, Tribe 8, Bikini Kill, Harum Scarum, Team Dresch, The Gossip, The Butchies and Fifth Column throughout the remainder of the decade. Homocore's final show was Le Tigre's Chicago debut at the Preston Bradley Center in May 2000.

Among the artifacts in the exhibit were show posters from long-gone Chicago venues like The Fireside Bowl and Czar Bar, a hanging collection of queer band T-shirts, a Polaroid collage and photographs featuring queer personalities such as Joan Jett Black, Bruce LaBruce and Ms. Vaginal Davis. Also on sale was the rare and notorious The White to be Angry CD by Davis, with original art work by Mark Mothersbaugh ( of DEVO fame ).

The exhibit also featured live performances from Thalia Zedek ( of Come and Live Skull ), Scott Free and Jenny Urban as well as a panel discussion on '90s queer punk with Brown, Freitas, Free, early Homocore volunteer Chris Kellner, trans activist Ed Varga, Jane Danger ( of local queer band Three Dollar Bill ) and Martin Sorrondeguy ( of Los Crudos and Limp Wrist ).

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