Playlist LGBT


A pride parade in Chicago in the 1970s. Photo: Courtesy Rich Pfeiffer

How Chicago’s Pride Parade Grew from a Small March to a Big Event

Meredith Francis

Chicago's Pride Parade didn't start as a parade at all. It was originally a small march to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the Stonewall uprising. But a protest against anti-gay activist Anita Bryant in 1977 helped the parade become what it is today.
Henry Gerber

The Chicagoan Who Founded the Earliest Gay Rights Group in America

Meredith Francis

The Society for Human Rights, founded by Chicago postal worker Henry Gerber, didn’t last long, but its legacy inspired various groups in the decades to come. Gerber's Old Town home where he was arrested in 1925 was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2015.
Valerie Taylor and Pearl Hart. Images: Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame

Chicago's Outspoken Lesbian Power Couple

Daniel Hautzinger

Pearl Hart spent much of her career as a lawyer defending people from the infringement of their rights, from Communists caught up in the Red Scare to lesbians and gay people. Her late-in-life partner Valerie Taylor advocated for LGBT rights through her writing, speaking, and novels.
Early twentieth century, openly gay pianist Tony Jackson. Photo: From the William Russell Jazz Collection, courtesy of the Historic New Orleans Collection

The Openly Gay Pianist Who Dazzled Chicago in the Early Twentieth Century

Daniel Hautzinger

Jelly Roll Morton, the self-proclaimed "inventor of jazz," didn't praise many people besides himself, but he made an exception for Tony Jackson: "Tony was considered among all who knew him the greatest single-handed entertainer in the world.” And Jackson was openly gay at a time when that was incredibly rare.
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