Page 11 - 661601 Digital Edition

SEO Version

Gay & Lesbian Interest / History / Chicago
• SPRING 2012 •
A History of LGBT Chicago before Stonewall
Foreword by John D’Emilio
“Culminating years of inspired, passionate labor by de la
Croix, Chicago Whispers is especially valuable for its
substantial inclusion of a broad and culturally diverse swath
of the LGBT spectrum.”
—Will Fellows, author of
Farm Boys: Lives of Gay Men from the Rural
Chicago Whispers
illuminates a colorful and vibrant record of lesbian,
gay, bisexual, and transgendered people who lived and loved in
Chicago from the city’s beginnings in the 1670s as a fur-trading post to
the end of the 1960s. Journalist St. Sukie de la Croix, drawing on
years of archival research and personal interviews, reclaims Chicago’s
LGBT past that had been forgotten, suppressed, or overlooked.
Included here are Jane Addams, the pioneer of American social
work; blues legend Ma Rainey, who recorded “Sissy Blues” in Chicago
in 1926; commercial artist J. C. Leyendecker, who used his lover as
the model for “The Arrow Collar Man” advertisements; and cele-
brated playwright Lorraine Hansberry, author of
A Raisin in the Sun
Here, too, are accounts of vice dens during the Civil War and classy
gentlemen’s clubs; the wild and gaudy First Ward Ball that was held
annually from 1896 to 1908; gender-crossing performers in cabarets
and at carnival sideshows; rights activists like Henry Gerber in the
1920s; authors of lesbian pulp novels and publishers of “physique mag-
azines”; and evidence of thousands of nameless queer Chicagoans who
worked as artists and musicians, in the factories, offices, and shops, at
theaters and in hotels.
Chicago Whispers
offers a diverse collection of
alternately hip and heart-wrenching accounts that crackle with vital-
is an internationally
published journalist, columnist, fiction
author, playwright, and photographer. In
Chicago, he has written for
Outlines, Windy
City Times, Nightlines, Nightspots, Chicago
Free Press,
Gay Chicago.
As a historian,
de la Croix has published dozens of articles
about Chicago’s gay history, scripted and
acted as tour guide on the Chicago Neigh-
borhood Tours’ gay history bus, and written
a ten-week series on Chicago’s LGBT
history for the
Chicago Tribune.
“A groundbreaking book. Chicago Whispers
connects LGBT life in Chicago to national
historical events and firmly places the city in
the social/historical spectrum of gay life in
America before Stonewall.”
—Kathie Bergquist, editor of
Windy City
Queer: LGBTQ Dispatches from the Third Coast
June 2012
LC: 2011041961 HQ
312 pp. 6 x 9 21 b/w illus.
Paper $29.95 t
ISBN 978-0-299-28694-1
e-book $19.95 t
ISBN 978-0-299-28693-4
Of related interest
LGBTQ Dispatches from the Third Coast
Edited by
“I grew up in and I’m married to Los Angeles, I had a ten-year-long hot affair with my adopted
home NYC, but I have to admit I really left my diasporic midwestern gay heart in Chicago!
Windy City Queer
is a wonderful deepening of our national imagination about one of our great-
est cities and regions.”—Tim Miller, author of
Body Blows
1001 Beds
Published November 2011
LC: 2011011632 PS 256 pp. 6 x 9
ISBN 978-0-299-28404-6 Paper $24.95 t ISBN 978-0-299-28403-9 e-book $16.95 t
Photo credit: Corery Black