Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame Extends Deadline for 2021 Nominees

The Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame, celebrating its 30th year, is seeking nominations for new inductees. The extended deadline for nominations is March 31, 2021. The nominations will be reviewed by a committee comprised of current Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame members, after which a slate of inductees will be voted in. Nomination criteria and nomination forms are available at www.chicagolgbthalloffame.org/nominate.

The ceremony for inductees will be held in October 2021. At this point, it has not been determined whether it will be an in-person ceremony or a virtual one. Last year the Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame held its first virtual induction ceremony for its 2020 inductees.

The Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame is the first city-sponsored hall of fame dedicated to LGBT people, organizations, and communities in the United States. It was founded in 1991 as the Chicago Gay & Lesbian Hall of Fame. Its purpose then, as now, is to honor people and entities, nominated by the community, who have made significant contributions to the quality of life or well-being of the LGBT community in Chicago.

From its founding in 1991 until 2016, the Gay & Lesbian Hall of Fame relied on financial and staff support from the City of Chicago. The city ceased funding the Gay & Lesbian Hall of Fame in 2016 under then-mayor Rahm Emmanuel. At that time, it was rechristened the Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame and has since been supported and maintained by the Friends of the Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame, a 501c3 not-for-profit organization, with approval from, and the cooperation of, the City of Chicago.

Current board co-chair Kathy Caldwell, a 2017 inductee explained, “We have assembled a strong cadre of volunteers and board members who are committed to keeping the Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame vibrant.” The group includes some fresh voices, such as recent new and current board members; secretary Gary Liss, treasurer Marcia Hill, Greg McFall, tech whiz Kevin Bryson, and experienced community organizers Jorge Valdivia and Dalila Fridi. Former board members Gary Chichester, Israel Wright, Owen Keehnen, Mary Morten, and Phil Hannema are valued advisors.

Rick Karlin, the board’s co-chair added, “It is important to continue to recognize the achievements of Chicagoans, past and present, especially since so many of the community’s original movers and shakers have passed on. We feel it is was essential to pick up the baton and to ensure that their achievements are not forgotten.”

The first Chicago Gay & Lesbian Hall of Fame ceremony took place during Pride Week and was held at Chicago City Hall. Mayor Richard M. Daley hosted the ceremony and afterward, photos of the inductees were displayed in City Hall. The Hall of Fame has no physical facility but maintains a website that allows anyone to visit the Hall of Fame at any time. Traditionally, the City of Chicago has displayed the Hall of Fame materials during induction periods, Pride and in October, Gay & Lesbian History Month.

For more information, email outreach@chicagoLGBThalloffame.org, or visit its Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/groups/56108152083/.

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