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 2019-08-21
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



John Pennycuff and Robert Castillo Remember

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

We first met Gerardo in the early '90's at a Queer Nation meeting. Every Monday we gathered at Ann Sather's, this group of folks dedicated to direct action for queer liberation. Back then, there was no indication how important he would become to us.

Gerardo was this proud Mexican originally from Blue Island who wanted to make sure that people of color issues were part of our queer agenda and we were two young guys from Logan Square, one of us also Mexican. Eventually we would become friends and later 'sistahs.' We all shared a common view of how the queer community should operate. Through the years, we would come to find that the 'queer' community wasn't always inclusive whether it was the inclusion of people of color, people with disabilities, women, transgenders, bisexuals and as Gerardo was fond of saying 'those of us with a size 38 waist.' Queer Nation provided us with an outlet to tackle all the isms of the community and it gave us all a taste of queer activism, which all three of us have come to utilize over the years. Through the years, the active membership of QN would dwindle down to just three—Gerardo and us. It was because of this that we nicknamed ourselves 'three nation' and that is how we would consider ourselves even when not working on Queer Nation stuff.

Years later we would find ourselves serving together on the Advisory Council on Gay & Lesbian Issues and continuing the work of 'three nation.' Most recently, the three of us volunteered for the Rey Colón for Alderman campaign in the 35th Ward. While usually not involved in a political candidate's race, Gerardo was committed to seeing the 35th Ward set free from the grips of then Ald. Vilma Colom. He couldn't stand her and was quite happy when she was defeated earlier this year. We all celebrated Rey's victory at the Abbey Pub that night and he carried the special 'rainbow edition' Rey Colón button with him in his truck. Unfortunately, that was the last time that we got to work together as ' nation.'

Throughout the past 11 years we have attended many meetings, actions, protests and parades with Gerardo, have been through many life-changing events with him and considered him family. It's not easy to find the words to convey what he meant to us and what his work and activism meant for the queer community.

He was involved with so many issues over the years and many organizations including Horizons Anti-Violence Project, Rape Victim Advocates, National

Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, The Color Triangle, The Core Center, ¡Ambiente

Pa'Lante!, Crossroads Fund and Coalition Against Bashing (CAB). He was a presenter at the most recent NGLTF Creating Change Conference in Portland and most recently was involved in organizing events for Bears of Color and addressing issues of male sexual assault.

John and I were lucky to have been involved with him on many of those issues and don't know how we will continue without him. He leaves a giant hole to fill and our community may not ever realize how important his work was, but many of us who have had the privilege of knowing and working with Gerardo will make sure that his fire will continue to ignite us. Besides being an activist, Gerardo was and will always be our 'sistah.' Sleep well our prince.

facebook twitter 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

Thad Gerardot: Gay man hopes to make history in Indiana 2014-09-02 - Thad Gerardot has already made history as Indiana's first openly state rep candidate. Now, Gerardot—who previously worked for the Freedom Indiana campaign that ...

Gay News

Heather Imrie remembers 2003-08-01 - How can you describe Gerardo in just a few paragraphs? It is hard to describe the impact Gerardo had on our lives. He ...

Gay News

Karen Rothstein tribute to Gerardo 2003-08-01 - I first met Gerardo six years ago when I was starting to volunteer for Rape Victim Advocates. He spoke to my training group ...

Gay News

Annie A remembers 2003-08-01 - I had the pleasure of meeting Gerardo approximately 10 years ago at my first Queer Nation meeting above Ann Sather's on Belmont. I ...

Gay News

Israel Wright remembers 2003-08-01 - My first encounter with Gerardo was at the training for folks in various programs for Horizons. We hit it off immediately. A fine-looking ...

Gay News

Vicky DiProva remembers 2003-08-01 - It is hard to imagine that such a big personality is gone … I first met Gerardo over 10 years ago in the ...

Gay News

From Sherri Jackson to Gerardo 2003-08-01 - Gerardo, I will miss you, we will miss you. But, I will never forget your smile, soft=spoken tone when giving me advice when ...

Gay News

Neena Hemmady Remembers Gerardo Montemayor 2003-08-01 - Gerardo Montemayor was a true inspiration for me. I learned so much from his ability to take something seemingly ordinary, and through thoughtful ...

Gay News

Gerardo: My Partner, My Friend 2003-08-01 - When I think of my partner Gerardo, so many things come to my mind. How sweet he is, how thoughtful he is. Always ...

Gay News

Carlitos' World 2003-08-01 - It was in the early part of 1998 when I first became involved in the LGBTQ community, working to educate and help people ...


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.