Top of the Line
Lesbian author Victoria Brownworth is seriously ill, homebound and in desperate need of help. A Pulitzer Prize nominee, for two decades her writing has helped to define issues and highlighted personalities. She is the author of Too Queer: Essays from a Radical Life and editor of Out for Blood: Tales of Mystery and Suspense by Women, Night Bites: Vampire Stories by Women, Night Shade: Gothic Tales by Women, Out for More Blood: Tales of Malice and Retaliation, Film Fatales: Independent Women Directors (with Judith M. Redding), and Restricted Access: Lesbians on Disability (with Susan Raffo). One of the things she wrote after friends convinced her of the necessity of going public with her difficulties was, "i know i CANNOT be the only dyke out there experiencing this, so in some way i am hoping that this will also raise awareness about how easily this could happen to any of us." Send to: Victoria Brownworth, c/o Hazel McPhee, 311 W. Seymour, Philadelphia, PA 19144.
The Aug. 22 Tribune had a cover article on UIC and its attempt to seek a higher status nationally by recruiting top scholars. Among the highlights of new recruits are Professor Deirdre McCloskey (formerly Donald), a renowned economist, and John D´Emilio, a Guggenheim fellow, renowned historian and expert in gay and lesbian studies.
The next In the Life quarterly lesbigay show airs on WTTW Channel 11 Wed., Sept. 15, 11 p.m. Of course, that 11 p.m. timeslot is their favorite place for gay shows¯even one about elementary schools. Well, at least they are airing It´s Elementary: Talking About Gay Issues in School, Monday, Aug. 30, yes, at 11 p.m. A lot of PBS affiliates are refusing to air the show at all.
Bi singer Me´Shell NdegeOcello is set to appear on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno Aug. 25.
The Black Harvest Film Festival presents Living With Pride: Ruth Ellis @ 100, a film about an AfricanAmerican lesbian at the age of 100, by Yvonne Welbon, a Chicago lesbian filmmaker. Screening is Sat., Aug. 28, 8 p.m. at the Film Center (and also Aug. 29, 4 p.m.). Call (312) 443 3734.
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The Aug. 19 Tribune had an article on the more than 20 times the rainbow symbols at Hyde Park´s Resurrection Metropolitan Community Church have been vandalized. The church, which has about 35 members, rents space in the Chicago Theological Seminary, 5757 S. University. Police are investigating the incidents as hate crimes. But local church allies are mixed in their response, the paper reported. About 15 organizations have passed resolutions condemning the attacks¯but not many are displaying the flag on their own signs or buildings.
The San Francisco Examiner reports that ETrade Group Inc. president and chief operating officer of Kathy Levinson and her partner are donating $300,000 to defeat a March ballot initiative banning gay marriages. Multimillionaire Kathy lives in Palo Alto with partner Jennifer Levinson and their two kids. ETrade is an internet stock trading company, but the funds are coming from Levinson. She has also been successful at encouraging others to donate, and doesn´t appear concerned that this could subject her to a backlash.
The San Francisco Chronicle reviewed Lilian Faderman´s new book, To Believe in Women: What Lesbians Have Done for America: A History. The review starts off by saying almost anyone should read it. "Who shouldn´t read it? Straight men who want to believe those are real lesbians in Playboy. Or people fed up with feminism and its sins. And that´s a pity, because there is valuable information here," the article says. Faderman says most of the big female names in progressive social causes of the 19th and early 20th centuries were lesbians living with other lesbians in committed, mutually supportive "Boston marriages.´ ´ The paper reports: "Always wondered about that Susan B. Anthony? You ain´t heard nothin´ till you´ve heard Susan B´s babytalk to her female lover. How about Jane Addams, founder of Hull House (child labor laws, public libraries, tenement reform)? Yup. Eleanor Roosevelt? The late Congresswoman Barbara Jordan, with that resonant basso profundo voice? You betcha. Surely not Florence Nightingale? Wrong! She proposed to Elizabeth Blackwell, saying she ´would want no other husband.´ "
The South African Mail & Guardian reports that Hanging Garden director Thom Fitzgerald´s new film, Beefcake, explores the "athletic guild" clubs in the ´ 50s¯and the innocently sexy photos of nearly naked, wellbuilt men "which celebrated the masculine form with an unabashed reverence. Behind the gleaming, welloiled muscles and highminded fitness advice of 1950s physique magazines was a secret world known only to those on the inside. This was a world of swinging cats, daring hopheads, reckless love affairs and a repressed sensuality that was willing to risk anything for release."
Salon online reported Aug. 18 on the government´s attempt to censor an independent review of the USS Iowa explosion in April of 1989. Originally, a gay love affair gone wrong was blamed¯an apparent effort by the Navy to deflect attention from their own blame. Salon reports: "[T]he Navy has effectively suppressed the results of the lone independent investigation of the accident. That investigation lays blame for the deaths squarely where it belongs: on the Navy itself. In April, W.W. Norton published A Glimpse of Hell: The Explosion on the USS Iowa and Its Coverup by Charles C. Thompson. ... The Navy has now blocked sales of the book in bookstores on military bases. ... Among Thompson´s major discoveries was that the Iowa, a World War II battleship demothballed at immense expense during the Reagan administration´s naval expansion in the 1980s, was ´a 59,000ton accident waiting to happen.´ But what most people remember about the disaster is that the vicious explosion in gun turret No. 2 was deliberately set off by a homosexual sailor¯Gunner´s Mate 2nd Class Clayton Hartwig, 24¯in a murderous, suicidal response to being rejected by a gay shipmate. But that was false, as Thompson discovered. Hartwig was not gay, nor was his friend who died with him in the blast. They had not had a love affair, pleasant or tormented." Salon says Thompson traced the slander to Navy detectives who browbeat one sailor into making a false statement that gay revenge was at the heart of the blast. The man later recanted.
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Northwest suburban feminist bookstore Prairie Moon Books is closing its doors Aug. 29, 864 Northwest Highway, Mt. Prospect, (847) 342 9608. They´ll have deep discounts thru Aug. 29. There´s a farewell party/auction of memorabilia on closing day, 12 5 p.m.
The Lesbian Community Cancer Project Cruising Because We Care 4th Annual Jazz Brunch cruise is Sunday, Aug. 29. It features live jazz and an auction, on the Odyssey at Navy Pier. Call (773) 561 4662.
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Leading by example
Mary Morten, the mayor´s liaison to the gay and lesbian community, has just been appointed board chairperson of the Chicago Foundation for Women. She is the first AfricanAmerican to hold the post. She will oversee the overall goals of CFW, in addition to their new Lavender Fund for lesbian projects.
Cowboys and cowgirls from across the United States will converge in Northern Illinois to compete in the 1999 Windy City Gay Rodeo, the only International Gay Rodeo Associationsanctioned rodeo in the Great Lakes region this year. The rodeo is Aug. 26 29. Proceeds from the rodeo will benefit six charities: AIDSCare, Chicago House, The Children´s Place Association, Direct AID, Lesbian Community Cancer Project and Windy City P.A.W.S. The rodeo will again be at the Lake County Fairgrounds in Grayslake. Call (773) 529 4962, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their internet website at www.ilgra.com .
New meaning for ´Over the Rainbow´
Sunday´s A&E TV show on Judy Garland last Sunday was very gay inclusive, and discussed both Garland and daughter Liza Minnelli´s attraction to bisexual and gay men for partners. It also discussed Garland´s diva status among gay men ¯with journalist Shana Alexander saying it´s because of her tragic life, but with a gay man countering that it´s because of how she overcame those obstacles¯at least until she died at age 47.
Tuesday, Aug. 31, GLSEN Chicago presents Rev. Gregory Dell on "Taking A Stand" 7 9 p.m. at the Sulzer Library, 4455 N. Lincoln. Call (773) 792 4140.
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Leading by example
New meaning for ´Over the Rainbow´
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