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 2019-03-13
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



Pat McCombs talks Executive Sweet, activism, other feats
by Carrie Maxwell, Windy City Times

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

For more than four decades, life-long Chicagoan Pat McCombs has been a mover and shaker in the city's LGBTQ community as a social-justice activist.

McCombs is the oldest of seven kids and was raised on Chicago's South Side, where she attended DuSable High School. She got her bachelor's degree in special-education learning disabilities from Chicago State University and a master's degree in curriculum and instruction from National Louis University.

"I knew I wanted to be a teacher when I was eight years old and that was one of the games I played with the other kids in my neighborhood," said McCombs. "I spent [more than] 40 years as a Chicago Public School's ( CPS ) special education teacher at Doolittle Elementary School and Walsh Elementary School and numerous schools with summer programs."

Following her retirement from CPS in 2007, McCombs was case manager with Prologue Charter Schools from 2010-2015.

Beginning in the early 1970s, McCombs and fellow Aquarians formed Aquarius Air Connection because they wanted to gather socially outside of the bars.

When McCombs discovered that LGBTQ bar patrons of color were being double and triple carded at North Side bars or were denied entry, she decided to take action to expose this discrimination.

"My friend Harriet Robinson and I formed the Black Lesbian Discrimination Investigation Committee and went with other queer women to protest in front of the now-defunct Augie and CK's Bar, then the most popular lesbian bar in Chicago, because women of color were being harassed by the bouncers at the entrance," said McCombs. We filed complaints against this bar and others with the Chicago's liquor commission because of their discriminatory acts. They sided with our committee and told the bars they had to clarify visually at the entry which IDs they would accept. This victory made me feel like I could make a difference in our community."

In the late 1980s, McCombs got involved with the women of color group Executive Sweet as a member. When the founders Pamela Terrell and DJ Sheron Webb left McCombs and a friend of hers, Vera Washington, took over as the organization's leaders. Their newsletter and newspaper, both called Sweets, went out to more than 1,500 women.

"We sponsored many parties throughout Chicago including fundraisers for Windy City Black Pride, numerous boat rides, dances and group traveling events to other cities for Black Pride," said McCombs.

McCombs explained that Executive Sweet prioritized safety when they were choosing the locations of various parties. She said it was very important that all women felt safe coming to the parties and when they left for the night.

"Our biggest hurdles in acquiring certain party locations were due to discrimination in the LGBTQ community and racist beliefs by many bar owners," said McCombs.

In addition to her work with Executive Sweet, McCombs volunteered as a Michigan Womyn's Music Festival orientation and registration coordinator and Womyn of Color Tent coordinator for many years as well as being an attendee every year until it ended its run in 2015.

McCombs has done volunteer work for a variety of organizations including the Chicago Black Lesbians and Gays, the Lesbian Community Care Project, Mountain Moving Coffeehouse for Womyn and Children, Affinity Community Services, Women of All Colors and Cultures Together and was the Chicago Black Pride vice president and board members for two years. She also wrote two poems for the now-defunct pioneer Chicago lesbian newspaper Lavender Woman.

For her years of service and activism, McCombs was inducted into Chicago's LGBT Hall of Fame in 2000.

"It was one of the highlights of my life to be recognized for my work in the community." said McCombs. "Executive Sweet was given an historic achievement award by the Chicago Area LGBT Chamber of Commerce in 1999. That was also an honor and surprise."

Attending plays, poetry events, movies, parties, any social events with women, camping and doing arts and crafts are the things that fuel McCombs during her down time. She said staying active is so important, especially for those who are older.

McCombs will be celebrating her 70th birthday in February with friends and family members. Her message to everyone is to "keep less stress in your life."

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

ELECTIONS 2019 Lake View couple host Lightfoot event 2019-03-25 - In Chicago's Lake View neighborhood, Brad Lippitz and Jonathan "Yoni" Pizer recently hosted an event featuring lesbian mayoral candidate Lori Lightfoot. Politico noted ...

Gay News

HRC Endorses Lori Lightfoot for Mayor of Chicago 2019-03-25 - WASHINGTON — Today, the Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ) — the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer ( LGBTQ ) ...

Gay News

Alderman Deb Mell endorses Lori Lightfoot in mayoral race 2019-03-25 - CHICAGO - Chicago City Alderman Deb Mell has announced her endorsement of Lori Lightfoot to become Chicago's next mayor. "Lori will bring ...

Gay News

ELECTIONS 2019 Queer Black activists confront Lightfoot (UPDATE) 2019-03-23 - An organization called #StopLightfoot confronted/protested Chicago mayoral candidate Lori Lightfoot at a March 23 event at the iconic Black LGBT nightspot Jeffery Pub, ...

Gay News

Study find young adults with lesbian parents more likely to report same-sex attraction 2019-03-21 - In the latest findings from the U.S. National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study, a new analysis finds that the 25-year-old children of lesbian parents ...

Gay News

Anti-gay fliers criticizing Lightfoot distributed near churches 2019-03-18 - Fliers decrying lesbian mayoral candidate Lori Lightfoot appeared at a number of churches with predominantly Black congregations the morning of Feb. 17. The ...

Gay News

Homophobic attack targets Lori Lightfoot in Chicago mayoral race 2019-03-17 - Washington, DC — Homophobic fliers targeting openly lesbian Chicago mayoral candidate Lori Lightfoot were distributed on cars in key neighborhoods of the city ...

Gay News

PASSAGES Filmmaker Barbara Hammer dies at 79 2019-03-17 - Pioneering experimental filmmaker Barbara Hammer—whose works involved a distinctive lesbian perspective—has died of ovarian cancer, ARTNews reported. She was 79. Hammer's breakthrough film, ...

Gay News

Women In Comedy to host "A Love Letter to Myself, A Chicago Variety Show" 2019-03-13 - Chicago, Illinois — On Monday March 25, Women in Comedy hosts "A Love Letter to Myself" from 6 to 9 p.m. at Revolution ...

Gay News

UIC honors scholar Phoenix Matthews 2019-03-13 - Shortly before they accepted the University of Illinois at Chicago ( UIC ) College of Nursing 2018 Distinguished Researcher Award, scholar/researcher Phoenix Matthews ...


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.