LGBTQ+ History Month: Northalsted Legacy Walk highlights activists who helped advance gay rights in Chicago – Fresno, California

Fresno, California 2021-10-18 17:31:08 –

Chicago-Police bar raids targeting gay people and a secret underground newsletter warning the gay community of danger may now sound unimaginable, but it’s Chicago decades ago. Was happening in

October is LGBTQ + History Month, and Jason Knowles of ABC7 is looking into more about the people who helped promote gay rights in our area.

NS Stonewall riots The Stonewall Inn erupted after being attacked by police in New York City in 1969. Many historians say it was a major turning point in gay rights.

But there were other movements in Chicago for years leading up to Stonewall, and then people fighting for equality.

Related: Same-sex couples look back on progress since the Defense of Marriage Act 1996

Even in front of Stonewall, “there were definitely people fighting institutional issues, such as police and gay men’s traps,” said Chicago Reader co-publisher and co-founder of LGBTQ publications. Said Tracy Byme. Windy City Times.

But Bime also knows a lot about another underground newsletter.

“There was a Matassin Midwestern Association that had a newsletter trying to tell people about their rights,” Baim said.

Related: LGBTQ + veterans retired disgracefully due to sexual orientation and gained full profit

The Matassin Midwest newsletter was run by a secret society of gay people. They have sent urgent warnings to the LGBTQ + community about potential barraids and other threats. Newsletters were also found in other cities across the country.

“Most of it is a hint, how to get legal protection, what was your right if you were arrested, but in one case they were actually all-in and trapped gay men. I appointed a police officer, “said Baim.

The alleged trap was arrested for lascivious behavior.

“Drag queens, transgender people, lesbians, bisexuals and gay men will be wiped out with these bar raids,” Bime added. “I even remember covering them in the 1980s, and they will often happen during elections.”

Baim said Bill Kelly, one of Chicago’s hottest gay activists in the 1960s, helped lead the publication in Chicago. However, many others who ran the Matassin newsletter remained in the shadows.

Related: New York City Museum Celebrating LGBTQ + History and Culture

“It was a secret society because no one could go out. Being gay is illegal, being transgender is illegal, and wearing drugs is illegal. All of this is illegal. “I did,” said Victor Salvo, who runs The. A legacy project that honors LGBTQ + historians.

He explained a newsletter warning that sounds incredible in today’s world.

“To explain how to do your best when you’re in a nightclub or tavern. For example, it was illegal for gay people to talk directly at the bar, so the bar is angled above the bar and people. They are set up in a mirror, facing the same direction, and talking to each other by seeing the reflections of the people behind them. “

Today, the Legacy Walk, built by Salvo’s organization in Halsted, honors the famous LGBTQ + people who have made significant contributions to society, such as Jane Addams in Chicago, rather than hiding.

Related: Chicago’s “Boystown” district has been renamed to Northalsted to promote inclusion

“And she helped start ACLU. She is one of the most important Americans,” Salvo said.

Lorraine Hansbury was a lesbian feminist activist and playwright. She wrote the first American drama “Raisins in the Sun” performed by African Americans on Broadway.

“So we are very grateful to many of those unsung heroes in our movement, and for me it’s about people,” Bime said.

Despite progress, activists want to remind people that gay and transgender people are still victims of hate crimes, and now the new legislation proposed by some states is Intended for transgender youth. A 2018 study in Chicago identified nearly 150,000 adults with LGBTQ in Chicago alone.

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