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 2020-04-01
About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar 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

Advocates: LGBTQs face additional complications in pandemic 2020-04-01 - Members of the LGBT community face additional healthcare challenges as they contend with the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, according to national LGBTQ-health advocates and ...

Gay News

ELECTIONS 2020 Jill Rose Quinn heads toward being state's first openly transgender judge 2020-04-01 - Among those notching victories on March 14, during Illinois' primary, was Democratic judicial candidate Jill Rose Quinn. Her win was significant in ...

Gay News

Brave Space Alliance, Trans Liberation Collective begin COVID-19 Trans Relief Fund 2020-03-31 - CHICAGO — On the International Trans Day of Visibility, a day dedicated to the celebration and liberation of the trans community worldwide, two ...

Gay News

Benjamin Scheuer releases "I Am Samantha" for International Transgender Visibility Day 2020-03-31 - Canvasback Records/Atlantic Records is proud to announce the release of "I Am Samantha" from singer-songwriter Benjamin Scheuer. The touching track recounts the real-life ...

Gay News

Idaho governor signs two anti-trans bills 2020-03-31 - On March 30, Idaho Gov. Brad Little signed two bills into law that restrict the rights of transgender people. According to CNN, one ...

Gay News

NCLR condemns Idaho law barring transgender girls from sports 2020-03-30 - BOISE, ID — The National Center for Lesbian Rights strongly condemns Idaho Governor Brad Little's decision to sign HB 500, a law that ...

Gay News

Chicagoan alleges anti-trans bias against Orangetheory location 2020-03-28 - Following two years of repeated requests to address alleged anti-trans discrimination at Orangetheory Fitness Chicago-Edgewater, non-binary Chicagoan Jes Scheinpflug posted about their experiences ...

Gay News

PFLAG to launch TransKids, SoFierce social media campaign on March 31 2020-03-27 - WASHINGTON, DC—Beginning Tuesday, March 31, PFLAG invites allies, family, and friends of transgender kids ( trans kids ) to join a an uplifting ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Gay attorney dies, lawsuit against HHS, trans woman killed, health news 2020-03-24 - The LGBT Bar Association of New York, or LeGal, noted that Richard Weber Jr. ( who was a board member ) died from ...

Gay News

ELECTIONS 2020 Biden takes Illinois; trans candidate makes history 2020-03-17 - Former Vice President Joe Biden, building on the momentum he's acquired in the past two weeks, easily defeated U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (and, ...


Copyright © 2020 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  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar 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.