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



New documentary on Honolulu trans club in production
by Owen Keehnen

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Fifty years ago the lights above the club read, "Glade Show Lounge—Where Boys Will Be Girls." The Glade nightclub was located on Hotel Street in Honolulu's Chinatown. It was a place for locals and tourists to celebrate the life and artistry of the mahu (transgender) performers.

The Glade was a world of beauty and illusion where glamour was the standard and the talent, costumes and productions were all spectacular. The mahu of The Glade were loved, adored, and a great source of pride to the community.

However, Hawaii was rapidly changing. In the early 1960s the islands were in the midst of a growth explosion. Industrialization and the influence of statehood had created a shift in the island attitude. Western ways clashed with island traditions. As a result the once-revered mahu soon found themselves the subjects of ridicule and discrimination.

Law officials tried to shame the mahu community into conformity by forcing them to wear a button that read I Am A Boy. When the mahu were caught without their badge visible it was considered behaving with the "intent to deceive" and as a result it meant arrest, a $500 fine, and oftentimes violence. Because of increased hostility and even several murders, an organized movement of mahus developed by the early 1970s that would slowly change the face of how mahus and ai`kane (same-sex lovers) would be treated.

When working on another project indigenous filmmaker Connie M. Florez became intrigued after hearing stories about the Glade and seeing so little written on the place, the time, and the struggles of the mahu. She realized a film needed to be made. As a result Florez has spent almost a decade researching the rich history behind Honolulu's historic Chinatown and specifically the legendary Glade nightspot. The filmmaker searched through microfiche, newspaper clippings, photos and film footage for material. To date more than 6,000 images have been donated to the project along with original 1971 footage from the Glade Show Lounge.

The most powerful sources of material were Florez's first-person interviews with several mahus and ai`kane who had survived that tumultuous time and were willing to share their incredible stories. Florez explained, "People remembered all the beautiful drag queens and mahu performers. Looking back many had a sense of pride." It soon became apparent to the filmmaker that these stories of courage and vital pieces of history needed to be told.

Under Florez's direction, The Glades Project is being carefully constructed to insure that each eyewitness account from this transitive and turbulent period is chronicled for future generations as a tool for understanding as well as appreciation. Florez hopes that the film will bring a greater awareness of the struggles that were endured by these people and how their efforts ultimately resulted in making the lives of future generations easier.

Florez is asking the community to become involved and contribute to the film's completion. An estimated $60,000 is still needed for post-production work including historical footage and clearances, digital transferring, composing and sound design, etc. Florez explained, "I am hoping to finish the last filming by this summer in Chinatown where it all began. Editing and post-production by spring of 2014 for completion." Currently there is a 20-minute cut of the project that Florez has been showing in assorted screenings and presentations.

The story of the Glade is one of hope, determination and survival in the face of bigotry. The Glades Project reveals the strength of those who survived and flourished when their true existence was a crime. This powerful chapter of Hawaiian and trans history remains a mystery to most people in the community. Florez is hoping to change that.

To help or to learn more about this exciting project, go to .

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

Complaint: ICE officers treated inhumanely trans migrant in failing health 2019-12-12 - Today Transgender Law Center ( TLC ) and the Law Office of R. Andrew Free announced they filed a Federal Tort Claim Act ...

Gay News

LGBTQ groups say Defense Authorization Bill Should Have Ended Trans Ban 2019-12-10 - WASHINGTON — Last night, a coalition of organizations, including the Modern Military Association of America, Human Rights Campaign, National Center for Transgender Equality, ...

Gay News

Lambda Legal to 11th Circuit: Schools Must Provide Trans Students Equal Restroom Access 2019-12-05 - ( ATLANTA - Dec. 5, 2019 ) — Today, Lambda Legal asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit to affirm ...

Gay News

Panel faces legal challenges for trans and HIV-positive service members 2019-12-03 - U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley ( D-5 ) was joined by legal experts at the Pritzker Military Museum the afternoon of Dec. 2 for ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Jamie Lee Curtis, Taylor Swift, trans model/activist, Lil Nas X 2019-12-02 - Actress Jamie Lee Curtis told interviewer Chris Azzopardi she supports the outing of closeted lawmakers who advocate for anti-LGBTQ causes, The Washington Blade ...

Gay News

School official dismisses trans-related suicides 2019-12-02 - In Evansville, Indiana, a school board member seemingly dismissed activists' concerns about safety for LGBTQ kids and trans-related suicides, reported. Members of ...

Gay News

Raoul among attorneys general to argue trans students should use restrooms of gender identities 2019-11-27 - Chicago — Attorney General Kwame Raoul joined a coalition of 23 attorneys general to file an amicus brief in the Court of ...

Gay News

Chicagoans mark Transgender Day of Remembrance 2019-11-26 - Members of Chicago's transgender community, as well as their allies, gathered at West Point Missionary Baptist Church on the city's South Side the ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Subway attack, Matthew Shepard, OUT100, Indiana hospital 2019-11-26 - In Manhattan, a man was hit with a hammer and pushed onto the subway tracks in what police believe may be a hate ...

Gay News

Trans/HIV+ military ban panel Dec. 2 with U.S. Rep. Quigley 2019-11-26 - U.S. Congressman Mike Quigley ( D-Illinois ) is hosting a panel discussing the transgender/HIV-positive military ban Monday, Dec. 2, at the Pritzker Military ...


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.