Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame Announces 2017 Inductees

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Nine individuals, three organizations, and two friends of the community have been selected for induction into the Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame, the organization which honors and celebrates notable members of Chicago’s LGBT communities.

The Hall of Fame’s annual induction ceremony will take place from 5:30 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 8, at the Chicago History Museum, 1601 N. Clark Street. The reception will begin at 5:30 p.m., with the program scheduled to follow. The event is free and open to the public.

Hall of Fame inductees fall into one of three categories: “individual,” “organization,” or “friend of the community.” Nominees represent LGBT Chicagoans, past and present, living and dead, as well as those who have supported or assisted them.

The inductees were selected by a committee composed of current individual inductees who reviewed an array of nominations submitted by members of the public. The names were released by Friends of the Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame, a section 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Those honored in 2017 in the “Individual” Category:

Keith Butler – 45 – Actor, who starred as Kevin in the groundbreaking, three-part TV Movie, Kevin’s Room, about a support group for HIV+ Black Gay Men. Butler used his role as a platform to raise AIDS awareness and improve sexual health in the LGBT community, particularly within communities of color.

Kathy Caldwell – 58 – Police officer, whose community whose service includes being treasurer of the Lesbian and Gay Police Association and Gay Officer’s Action League, the vice chair of the Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame, and a Board Member of the Chicago Gay Games, in which she served as liaison between the police, the City, and the Gay Games.

Ketty Teanga aka Miss Ketty (1947-2011) – Performer and pioneer in the Latina transgender community. Mentor to many young Latina and drag performers. Ketty was largely known for performing at Circuit Nightclub in the long-running promotion La Noche Loca for 15 years.

Greer Lankton (1958-1996) – Raised in Park Forest, Illinois, Lankton was a distinctive transgender artist who blended folk and fine art in her work. A leading figure in the East Village Art Renaissance of the 1980s, she died in Chicago in 1996. Greer’s work has been featured in Andy Warhol’s Mattress Factory, the Whitney Biennial, and the Venice Biennial. In 2017 Lankton became the first trans artist to have work shown at the National Gallery of Art.

Mark Nagel – 55 – Publisher, who is a veteran of Chicago’s LGBT press and avid supporter of numerous community causes and organizations. Starting in 1993, Nagel worked in several capacities at Gay Chicago Magazine. Eight years ago, he helped launch the popular publication, GRAB Magazine.

Glen Pietrandoni – 61 – Pharmacist, a veteran of Walgreens who from 1996-2003 managed the pharmacy at Howard Brown Health Center specializing in HIV/AIDS and helped expand the role of pharmacists in HIV treatment. He also co-chaired the AIDS Foundation of Chicago’s World of Chocolate for 9 years, and served on the Board of the Test Positive Aware Network, where he was recognized as volunteer of the year in 2002.

Dulce Quintero – 39 – Director of Health Center Operations for Erie Family Health Center at Erie Humboldt Park Health Center. Quintero is an active agent of change for Chicago’s LGBTQ communities, particularly for young people. Among her many accomplishments, Quintero was a former direct service provider and advocate for homeless/street-based clients including LGBT youth and established and operated La Casa Norte’s Casa Corazon Youth Drop-in program for LGBTQ street based youth.

Timothy Stewart-Winter – 37 – Historian and author of the critically acclaimed book Queer Clout: Chicago and the Rise of Gay Politics which documents the emergence of the LGBT movement in Chicago. Winter is currently associate professor of history at Rutgers University.

Alicia T. Vega – 46 – A founder of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance at Loyola. In 1995, Vega joined Amigas Latinas, eventually becoming a board member, Co-Chair, and Treasurer. Vega is a committed advocate for communities affected by trauma, especially LGBTQ youth. In 2013 she founded and is currently directing Q-Yes: Queer Youth Exploring Spirituality, a ministry with outreach to LGBT youth experiencing homelessness and those shunned form religious communities.

Honored in 2017 in the “organization” category:

Lavender Woman – Groundbreaking publication and one of the earliest lesbian periodicals in the country. The all-volunteer staff published 26 issues from 1971–1976, fostering lesbian awareness while chronicling art and news in the lesbian communities of Chicago and beyond.

Leather Archives and Museum – Internationally renowned museum and archives committed to safeguarding the history of the leather and kink communities. Founded in 1991 by Chuck Renslow and Tony DeBlase, the LA&M has been as source of research and education through exhibits and workshops for 26 years.

People Like Us Bookstore (1988-1997) – Chicago’s only exclusively gay and lesbian
bookstore, which functioned as a community center and provided a safe space for LGBT individuals to explore themselves and their sexuality. The store hosted numerous LGBT authors, readings, and events as well as supported countless LGBT organizations through donations.

Honored in the 2017 “Friends of the Community” category:

Alphawood Foundation – A leader in Chicago’s philanthropic community for more than 25 years, which has funded countless organizations and initiatives in the LGBTQ community including the AIDS Foundation of Chicago and the Center on Halsted. The organization was recently the guiding force behind the dynamic exhibit, “Art AIDS America Chicago.”

Ralla Klepak – 80 – Longtime Chicago lawyer recognized for decades of service to the LGBT community. Klepak represented thousands of gay men in raids and entrapment cases. Klepak was pro-bono lawyer for Mattachine Midwest and a champion of adoptions by samesex couples. Her additional contributions included gaining changes in birth certificates for trans clients, and providing estate planning for those dying of AIDS.

The Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame was established in 1991 under the auspices of what was then the Chicago Commission on Human Relations’ Advisory Council on Gay and Lesbian (later, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) Issues, a municipal government agency. At the end of 2011, the advisory council ceased to exist after a commission restructuring, and the Friends organization succeeded it as caretaker of the Hall of Fame in partnership with the City.

Beginning with the first ceremony in 1991, former Mayor Richard M. Daley personally participated in the Hall of Fame’s induction ceremonies. Current Mayor Rahm Emanuel has done the same.

The purpose of the organization is to recognize the achievements of LGBT Chicagoans, their contributions to the development of the city, and the help they have received from others. 2017 marks the 27th annual induction ceremony which remains an official recognition by Chicago’s government of the city’s LGBT residents and their allies.

Those selected for the “individual” category are or were members of Chicago’s LGBT communities and have made single far-reaching or significant long-term contributions to the quality of life of those communities or the city as a whole. Those in the “organization” category are LGBT businesses and nonprofit groups that have done likewise. “Friends of the community” are non-LGBT-identified individuals and organizations that have contributed to the quality of life of the city’s LGBT communities.

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