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April 19, 2018

Gay Chicago Rewind:
Gay life in Chicago this week, back in... 1979, 1990 and 2002

BY
SUKIE DE LA CROIX

(April 19-25, 2018)

Gay life in Chicago this week, back in...

1979

In and Out of Town in Gay Chicago reports:

"KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN for a purple bus type vehicle. At least one report indicates a group of punk kids may be using the purple bus as a cruising 'fag beater's' headquarters. There's no positive confirmation of this, but a word to the wise should be sufficient. While on the subject and with summer approaching be aware that 'sissy beaters' (as they love to call themselves) will be more prevalent. Many incidents can be avoided by just using common sense. Camping it up or swishing down a dark alley (whether you have the right to or not is not the point) is just plain stupid for anyone, gay or straight. By keeping your eyes and ears open, most incidents can be avoided. But, if you do become involved in an incident or are a witness to one, step forward to help apprehend the hooligans' Unfortunately, in the past, some people have refused to press charges, fearing their exposure as a homosexual. Stand up and let these hoods know we're not afraid."

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Gay life in Chicago this week, back in... 1979, 1990 and 2002
Image: Cover – Gay Chicago February 1, 1979

An article in Gay Life begins:

"A free clinic specializing in service to the Chicago area's lesbian and gay male community will begin May 2.

"The legal project will be the first of its kind in the Chicago area and one of the few in the nation.

"Known as the Gay Horizons Legal Services Program, it is part of Gay Horizons, Inc., an umbrella social services agency that also operates the Gay and Lesbian Switchboard, the Gay Peoples' Counseling Service, and other programs.

"Office space at 3225 N. Sheffield Ave., Chicago, will be provided by the Lake View Mental Health Council."

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Gay life in Chicago this week, back in... 1979, 1990 and 2002
Image: LeTrolls – Gay Chicago March 15, 1979

Top 15 Hits courtesy of DJ Tony Aloia at Broadway Limited: 1) "Dancer" – Gino Soccio; 2) "He's the Greatest Dancer" – Sister Sledge; 3) "Forbidden Love" by Madleen Kane; 4) "Take Me Home" – Cher; 5) "Dance With You" – Carrie Lucas; 6) "Music is My Way of Life" – Patti LaBelle; 7) "I Who Have Nothing" – Sylvester; 8) "Bang a Gong/All Right Now" – Witch Queen; 9) "My Baby's Baby" – Liquid Gold; 10) "Pick Me Up, I'll Dance" by Melba Moore; 11) "One More Minute/Fill My Life With Love" – St Tropez; 12) "Never Can Say Goodbye" – Poussez; 13) "Work That Body" –Taana Gardner; 14) "Rock it to the Top" – Mantus; 15) "Have a Cigar" – Rosebud.

1990

In the bars and clubs, welcome to Trash Disco at Christopher Street, 3458 N. Halsted, every Wednesday; there's an Alcala's Western Wear Show at Carol's Speakeasy, 1355 N. Wells; foot fetish Friday with 50c Toe Jam shots and free admission for the truly sockless, at Rage, 5005 N. Clark St.; it's the semi-final of Drag Race '99 at Berlin, 954 W. Belmont; song and comedy man, Daryl Nitz, appears at Gentry of Chicago, 712 N. Rush; WCAA Spring/Summer Men's Basketball organizational meeting is at Annex 3, 3160 N. Clark St.; and it's the Mr. AA Meat Market Contest at the AA Meat Market, 2933 N. Lincoln Ave.

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An obituary in Gay Chicago reads:

"C. Echo Banda, 33, died April 9, after a long battle with AIDS. Mr. Banda was from Cleveland, Ohio. He moved to Chicago to enjoy all it had to offer.

"Mr. Banda's family and life-partner Todd were at his side at the time of death. He will be missed and loved by many – "Go. God be with you."

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David B. Feinberg, author of "Eighty-Sixed" signs books at People Like Us, 3321 N. Clark St.

2002

Article in Windy City Times reads:

"Andy Thayer, of the Chicago Anti-Bashing Network gay group addressed marchers at Saturday's national mobilization on Washington D.C. Tens of thousands gathered from across the country to oppose war and racism. Many at the rally also pledged support for Palestinian self-determination."

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Gay life in Chicago this week, back in... 1979, 1990 and 2002
Image: Eagle – Nightspots March 5, 2003

Quotelines in Windy City Times:

"I am frustrated with the way Pittsburgh's gay scene is presented on the show (Queer As Folk). Only the most shallow circuit queen would care to be part of that 'Pittsburgh'" – Jeff Howells, editor of the Pittsburgh gay paper, Out.

And:

"Is anyone else getting as sick of this melodrama (on Queer As Folk) as I am? That last episode 9the supposedly lesbian great aunt; the dead guy in the Dumpster; the 'oh my god he's going off with a stranger who might kill him') really hit a low for predictable, yawningly pathetic TV writing–and on something that's supposed to be as cutting edge as QAF claims to be. Christ, I get better entertainment value listening to the gossip from our local drag court" – Sean Martin, creator of the Doc and Martin gay cartoon strip.

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Dion (Diana McKay) remembers drag queen legend Roby Landers in St. Sukie de la Croix's Chicago Whispers column in Windy City Times:

"I knew Roby, and I performed at the House of Landers. That's another thing, Leslie Regeanne and I came to the South Side at the same time and we were both similar in performances and she went to work for Felicia (Baton) and I went to work for Roby Landers. When Roby Landers' place closed, I ended up going to all these other bars and Leslie Regeaane stayed at the Baton.

"Roby was a real nice person, but very strict, and rehearsals were very grinding, but at the end of it all you knew what you were going to do and you knew how to do it. And we needed guidance anyway because we were young, and we didn't know what we were doing. We thought we could just get up there and mouth a few words and it would be perfect, but there's a whole lot more to it than that.

"I heard that she died eating a sandwich and choked ...it was between choking and having a heart attack. I don't know exactly which one of those two it was. I lean toward the heart attack because she was very overweight. She never watched what she ate."

Homework

Is Leslie Regeaane still around?

What was the Rage like?

Who, or what, is Mantus?

Gay Chicago Photo Rewind

Gay life in Chicago this week, back in... 1979, 1990 and 2002
Terry Gaskins photographs L.A. Connection, Dandy's, and Buddies for Gay Chicago February 17, 1994

Gay life in Chicago this week, back in... 1979, 1990 and 2002
Terry Gaskins photographs Ted Armstrong at Touche for Gay Chicago February 24, 1994

Gay life in Chicago this week, back in... 1979, 1990 and 2002
Dan DiLeo captures the Mr. Big Red Contest for Gay Chicago May 27, 1982

Gay life in Chicago this week, back in... 1979, 1990 and 2002
Dan DiLeo photographs Michael K, Chicago Molly, and Cesar for Gay Chicago May 6, 1982

Thanks go to publishers Michael Bergeron for Chicago Gay Crusader, Ralph and Craig Gernhardt for Gay Chicago, Grant Ford and Chuck Renslow for Gay Life, Malone Sizelove for Babble/Gab, David Costanza and others for Chicago Free Press, Jeff McCourt for Windy City Times, Stacy Bridges and Mark Nagel for GRAB, and Tracy Baim for all the publications at the Windy City Media Group, which aided the above research. St. Sukie de la Croix is an internationally published reporter, playwright, photographer and historian. He is also the author of Chicago Whispers: A History of LGBT Chicago Before Stonewall published by the University of Wisconsin Press.

 
photo
Regarding your two questions:
Is Leslie Regeaane still around?

She died a number of years ago, I believe as a result of HIV related illness. She did an incredible Diana Ross . I remember she had this outfit that when she spun turned into an inverted funnel covering her entire body. She was fabulous!

What was the Rage like?

It was on the corner of Ainslie and Clark in a former autobody shop (which, when I left Chicago a few years ago, it had been converted back into). For a short time it was THE place to go and thenit closed suddenly - I heard it was because of a disagreement among the partners.
Posted by RKarlin on Tue, 5/1/2018 2:24 PM
{ts '2018-05-22 04:57:09'}