Street Smart Chicago

Pride 2008: School of Thought, Retired Northwestern prof David Hull reminisces about a life in the community

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By Andy Seifert

When retired Northwestern professor David Hull sat down to write his memoirs with the aid of forty scrapbooks to help remind him of his past, he couldn’t stop remembering things that had been lodged in the back of his mind and forgotten for years. “I didn’t think it’d come to four volumes,” he says, before revealing the title of the first installment. “‘Where Were the Child Molesters When I Needed Them?’ What I really mean was, where was one gay person who could take me aside and tell me what the dangers are and what you can get away with and what to do when you got busted.” He pauses, and then simply says, “Nobody.”

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Pride 2008: Out of the Closet and into the Museum, CHM shines a spotlight on Chicago’s gay history

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By Sam Feldman

In 1924, German immigrant Henry Gerber founded the Society for Human Rights in Chicago. It was the first known gay-rights organization in America, and among the most short-lived. Seven months later, the police raided Gerber’s Old Town home without a warrant, putting an end to the organization and arresting its officers. “Strange Sex Cult Exposed,” blared the headline in the Herald-Examiner the next day.
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Pride 2008: Finding Fellowship, Willow Creek Community Church and the American Family Outing

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By Laura Hawbaker

On Sunday, June 8, twenty-nine families attended services at Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington. Willow Creek is the fifth stop of a six-week tour, in which the Soulforce American Family Outing—a coalition of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered families—have a dialogue with the leaders and members of America’s Biblically conservative mega-churches. At Willow Creek, the families met with Senior Pastor Bill Hybels and six other church members for a conversation about homosexuality and Christianity.
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411 Seven Days in Chicago: Out-Speak

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Grab a cocktail, grub and a gay-and-lesbian history lecture at the Chicago History Museum’s “Out at CHM” lecture series kick-off event Thursday. The first lecture of the three-part series—titled “Sexual Politics: From the Lavender Scare to Larry Craig”—will be an examination of the history of how the sexuality of gay men has emerged as a hot-button topic in American politics. “We try to keep it so it’s the topic in mind, so it’s geared toward what people are talking about in their homes,” says Chicago Museum spokesperson Melissa Hayes. This lecture marks the fifth year for the “Out at CHM” series, a program brought to the public by The Center on Halsted and The Chicago History Museum as a continuing effort to bring LGBT history to Chicago’s public. “Gays and lesbians in Chicago is such a part of this city’s history,” Hayes says, “and try to tell that history from all different perspectives.”

411 Seven Days in Chicago: Frame Games

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Chicago’s 2006 Gay Games may have happened over a year ago, but that doesn’t mean people are done reflecting on the event’s success. A recently published photo book, “Gay Games VII: Where the World Meets,” documents the seven-day event, from the rainbow-colored opening at Soldier Field (the shot of 11,600 athletes waving their light-sticks is depicted prominently on the cover) to the closing ceremonies at Wrigley Field. “We had some amazing professionals working for us,” says Tracy Baim, who wrote the accompanying text for the book. “They weren’t told where to take specific shot angles or positions or anything like that.” After 60,000 pictures were submitted, a mere 1,000 were selected, a process that Baim says was based on providing a well-rounded view of what took place. “What are trying to do is provide a balance of the cultural and the athletic…to show what the Gay Games were about and what it meant to Chicago.”