Inducted 1991 [Posthumous] Born in 1952, he was an actor and activist who, among other achievements, helped organize the People of Color Aids Conference. He died of complications from AIDS in 1990.
Carol A. Johnson
Inducted 1991 She was the Midwest AIDS Project Coordinator at the Service Employees International Union in Chicago. She presented workshops for lesbians, lobbied for legislation, and worked to institute public health policies favorable to the lesbian and gay community.
Maxsonn “Max” C. Smith
Inducted 1991 Photo: Israel Wright This lifelong political and cultural activist has resided in Chicago since his 1976 graduation from Michigan State University. He has been treasurer of the Illinois Gay Rights Task Force; the founder of the Chicago chapter of the National Coalition of Black Gays; an organizer of United Faith Affinitas Church; a member of Adodi Chicago; a columnist for BLACKlines and Identity magazines; and editor of a book on black men’s same-gender-loving relationships, Staying Power!
Richard Lee Gray
Inducted 1992 He has committed himself since the 1970s to serve the needs of the African American gay and lesbian community. He also developed and presented educational programs for gay and lesbian youth dealing with sexuality and health.
Inducted 1992 She organized a gay and lesbian hotline in 1969 and hosted support groups in her home. She has published extensively in literary and poetry magazines and was an early leader in the Chicago gay liberation movement.
Ad Hoc Committee of Proud Black Lesbians and Gays
The committee was formed in 1993 to create positive gay and lesbian visibility in Chicago’s African American community and to march openly in the 65th annual Bud Billiken Parade. After filing and mediating a human rights charge, the group marched and was warmly received.
E. Kitch Childs, Ph.D.
Inducted 1993 [Posthumous]
She was a prominent clinical psychologist and advocate of gay and lesbian human rights legislation since 1973 as a feminist, lesbian activist, and founding member of the Association for Women in Psychology. She worked to revise the American Psychological Association’s attitude toward homosexuality.
Robert T. Ford
[Now Deceased] He pioneered outreach of the gay cultural experience into the African American community through publication o the ‘zine Thing and as a writer for numerous publications. He died in 1994.
Joel Hall Inducted 1993
As an impresario, choreographer, and dance instructor, he is one of Chicago’s cultural treasures. With international credentials and recognition, he is committed to the art of dance and the training and presentation of Chicago’s youth through the dance medium.
Samuel F. Davis, Jr.
Inducted 1994 [Posthumous]
From 1987, as an entrepreneur and attorney, he developed a nurturing environment particularly for Chicago’s gay and lesbian African Americans. Bars he co-founded were Dëeks, Pangea, and the Clubhouse. He also aided the Kupona Network, the Minority Outreach Intervention Project, and the Reimer Foundation.
Earnest E. Hite, Jr.
Inducted 1994 [Now Deceased]
In 1987, he co-founded Image Plus to provide support for young gay and bisexual males of African descent. As an HIV/AIDS health educator and youth worker who is openly HIV-positive and gay, he has assisted community-based groups, especially those serving African American.
Steven F. Wakefield
He has held gay and lesbian executive positions since 1976, including leadership of Howard Brown Memorial Clinic until 1988. He later directed the Test Positive Aware Network and the Night Ministry; was a leader in many social service and religious organizations, including several African American ones; and served on the Chicago Board of Health. In 2000, he moved to Seattle, where he directs community education for an HIV vaccine trial program.
T. Chris Cothran
Inducted 1995 [Now Deceased]
Photo: Tracy Baim/Outline & Nightlines He was a veteran member of PrideChicago, which plans the annual pride parade. He helped to lead local and national gay and lesbian business organizations; the National Coalition of Black Lesbians and Gays; Kupona Network; and the Advisory Council on Gay and Lesbian Issues and its precursor committee. He died in 1996.
Armando L. Smith
Inducted 1995 Photo: Stuart Rodgers, Ltd. A licensed clinical social worker, he has worked in community-based organizations for more than 20 years and is a mainstay of Chicago lesbian, gay, and AIDS groups. He has led Horizons Community Services’ telephone helpline, has headed the AIDS Foundation of Chicago’s Service Providers Council, and served on numerous boards including that of Kupona Network.
Clifford P. Kelley
Friend of the Community Inducted 1998
A former member of the Chicago City Council, he is a “Friend of the Community” for having become in 1973, at some political risk, the pioneering lead sponsor of Chicago’s first proposed ordinance to van sexual-orientation discrimination. His perservance helped get it taken seriously. Through his Council tenure had already ended, a version of the proposal finally passed in 1988.
Inducted 1998 [Now Deceased]
Photo: Israel Wright She has engaged in wide-ranging volunteer and professional activities that have brought people together around issues of diversity, development, and health care within Chicago’s gay and lesbian communities. She is a health care activist, a professional youth services executive, and co-founded and has co-chaired Chicago Black Lesbians and Gays.
Randy Duncan Inducted 1999 Photo: Jennifer Girard An internationally known choreographer, he has used his dance talents to raise funds to fight AIDS and to included gay and lesbian themes in his body of work. He was artistic director of Joseph Holmes Chicago Dance Theatre for seven years, and his works have been performed by other companies including the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago.
Inducted 1999 [Posthumous]
Born in Chicago in 1930 and best known for ‘A Raisin in the Sun’, which in 1959 became the first play by an African American woman to open on Broadway, she was an early supporter of equal rights regardless of sexual orientation. Same-sex attraction figured in some of her work, and she is credited with writing two pro-lesbian 1957 letters in ‘The Ladder’, an early lesbian periodical. She died in 1965.
Derrick Allen Hicks
Inducted 1999 [Now Deceased] Photo: Israel Wright He organized in the African American lesbian and gay communities of Chicago and Washington, D.C., for more than 20 years. He founded ‘Diplomat’ magazine and helped to lead AIDS, political, and social service groups. Born in 1955 he died in 2002.
Friend of the Community Inducted 1999 This “Friend of the Community” is a longtime Chicago political figure and African American community leader whose support for lesbian and gay rights is part of supporting equal rights for all. In 1974, he became a state legislator and backed bills against sexual-orientation discrimination and hate crimes. He continued to uphold sexual-minority rights as Cook County recorder of deeds and now does so as Illinois secretary of state.
A Chicago native, he has achieved national prominence as an advocate for persons with AIDS, particularly those of color. He has served as an innovative executive in Los Angeles AIDS agencies and has made many national media appearances. He also helped to found and co-chaired the National Black Lesbian and Gay Leadership Forum. He is now executive director of the Black AIDS Institute.
Lorrainne Sade Baskerville
She founded transGenesis in 1995 as an agency to advocate for and address concerns of persons in the city’s transgender community, such as gender identity, substance abuse, HIV/AIDS, sex work, harm reduction, and self empowerment.
Patricia S. McCombs
She is a veteran organizer and social service volunteer. Besides co-founding Executive Sweet, a “traveling club” for women of color, she has assisted the Michigan Womyn’s Music festival for decades and has helped to lead several lesbian and African American organizations.
Inducted 2000 [GLHF Committee Member] Photo: Rory Tanksley For more than 20 years, he has held volunteer leadership posts in business, social service, cultural, AIDS, and African American organizations. His photographs of community life, including the lives of leathermen, African Americans, and persons with AIDS have been widely published.
Inducted 2001 Photo: Israel Wright A public health administrator and educator, video producer and African American lesbian and gay community activist, she quickly achieved visibility as the openly lesbian director of the Chicago Department of Public Health’s Office of Lesbian and Gay Health. She produced an acclaimed HIV/AIDS video, Kevin’s Room, and co-chaired Chicago Black Lesbians and Gays.
Affinity Community Services
Email Affinity Community Services
Since 1994, the group has become a leading organization serving black lesbian and bisexual women by fostering visibility, empowerment, and leadership with programming that addresses health needs, networking and socialization, and social justice issues.
C. C. Carter
Inducted 2002 Since her 1996 Chicago arrival, she has been a writer, poet, and performer and has helped to develop audiences for poetry, music by women of color, writing by women in prison, African American ligature and art, and women’s health awareness. As a fund-raiser and board member she has also helped to sustain numerous groups.
Charles Edward Nelson II
Inducted 2002 Since 1989, when he helped to found the Minority Outreach Intervention Project, he has worked on HIV-prevention programs for same-gender-loving men of color. Always self identifying as gay, he developed a “down low” social categorization that has helped in devising new prevention programs for such men.
Photo: Cassandra Dorsey Since at least 1994, when she joined in efforts to set up a South Side community center for African American lesbian and bisexual women, she has pursued a vision ofhelping women of color. Her efforts led to creation of Affinity Community Services, which she has served as board president.
T. Chris Cothran
Chef Tania Callaway
Inducted 2003 [Posthumous] As an out lesbian and a longtime promoter and caterer for community events, she hosted house parties that became legend in Chicago’s African American lesbian community and beyond. She often donated services and was chef at the Heartland Cafe for some 10 years.
Chicago Black Lesbians and Gays
Inducted 2003 Photo: Israel Wright Since 1993, it has represented a citywide coalition of individuals and groups dedicated to social change and development through activism and visibility both in communities of color and in LGBT communities.
DJ Sheron Denise Webb
Inducted 2003 She has been”playing music to suit any occasion” for more than 30 years. During that time, her contributions expanded from simply playing music to paving the way for African American lesbians to gather freely and safely. She has also organized large commercial social events.
Charles E. Clifton
Inducted 2004 [Posthumous] Charles E. Clifton made significant contributions as a health advocate for nearly 15 years before his death at age 45 on August 15, 2004.
The Rev. Juan Reed Inducted 2005 Photo: Israel Wright Social worker and Episcopal priest, for leading a parish (St. Martin’s) that openly welcomes GLBT persons, for providing pastoral support to men living with HIV and AIDS, and for his example as an openly gay African American clergyman
Jacques Cristion Inducted 2006 [Posthumous] Photo: Israel Wright Jacques Cristion (1936-2003), dancer, costume designer, and dressmaker; for more than 31 years of hosting and performing in the annual Halloween drag ball on the South Side, which created a community of gay men and lesbians that continues today.
Ambassador Carol Moseley Braun Friend of the Community Inducted 2007 Ambassador Carol Moseley Braun, 60, a prominent supporter of LGBT rights and marriage equality throughout her political career, she was the first U.S. Senator to appoint an LGBT liaison and, while in the Senate, firmly opposed the U.S. military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.
Tarrina Dikes Inducted 2007 Photo: ISRAEL WRIGHT Tarrina Dikes, 50, for her tireless work on behalf of LGBT organizations and events, including Howard Brown Health Center, Gay Games VII, POW WOW, the Lesbian Leadership Council, and Affinity.
Vera Washington Inducted 2007 Photo: ISRAEL WRIGHT Vera Washington, 55, promoter, HIV/AIDS counselor, and youth service coordinator, for co-founding Executive Sweet Inc., which provides opportunities for lesbians of color to build a strong community network, for her HIV/AIDS awareness efforts, and for her work with LGBT youth.
Harold Washington Friend of the Community Inducted 2007 [Posthumous] Photo: ANTONIO B. DICKEY, PHOTOGRAPHER Harold Washington (1922–1987), as mayor of Chicago, promoted and facilitated LGBT political participation and empowerment, which laid groundwork for passage of the City’s 1988 Human Rights Ordinance. He appointed the first mayoral liaison to the LGBT communities; was the first Chicago mayor to headline a gay rights rally; and established the City’s first official Committee on Gay and Lesbian Issues (forerunner of today’s Advisory Council on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues) with an openly lesbian staff director.
Joey McDonald Inducted 2009 Photo: FRANK FAILING Joey McDonald, 54, for his strong commitment to improving the quality of life for members of Chicago’s LGBT communities, particularly his work with people living with HIV/AIDS, his leadership in the recovery community, his mentorship in the leather community, and his advocacy for LGBT equality.