INDIVIDUAL | Inducted 2008 [Now Deceased]

Guy Warner was born in Chicago in 1942 as the eldest
of seven children. When he was growing up, one of his neighbors was the
lesbian novelist Valerie Taylor, who had three sons about his age.
Warner served in the U.S. Air Force between 1962 and 1966 and thereafter
worked for the Social Security Administration until retirement.
Warner’s activism in Chicago’s gay communities began in the 1970s, when
he reached out to Mattachine Midwest through its advertised phone number
and did not receive a return call. He joined the organization, had the
answering service transferred to his home number, and reactivated the
group’s dormant referral service.

In 1975 Warner was elected Mattachine Midwest’s sixth president, with
the organization floundering in purpose and drowning in debt. Under his
leadership, the debt was reduced, a gay Alcoholics Anonymous group
established, and the newsletter reinstated. The newly invigorated group
continued to serve the community for more than another decade. During
his tenure, the Pearl M. Hart Memorial Plaque was initiated, honoring
community activists for furthering the ideals of the late lawyer and
social-change advocate who had assisted the organization’s founders.

Warner also founded an early group for parents and friends of gays,
which, unlike other similar organizations, also included gay and lesbian
children themselves, anticipating the pattern that would one day be
accepted by Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG).
He co-chaired the city’s first longlasting umbrella organization of LGBT
businesses and community groups, the Gay and Lesbian Coalition of
Metropolitan Chicago, which worked on such projects as defeating
California’s notorious Briggs Initiative, initiating a boycott of
Florida orange juice, and organizing a mass demonstration against Anita
Bryant’s appearance at Medinah Temple. He was also instrumental in
bringing discharged Air Force Tech. Sgt. Leonard Matlovich to Chicago,
where Matlovich’s several speaking engagements raised the visibility of
Chicago’s gay communities.

With the onslaught of the AIDS epidemic in the city, Warner
volunteered on a regular basis at the AIDS ward of Illinois Masonic
Hospital and later also volunteered with the food delivery program that
would become Open Hand. (Note: information listed has not been updated
since the member’s induction). Guy Warner passed away Feb 1, 2022, he was 79.