Chicago names its new Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame inductees

Baseball, football, and even ping pong (okay, table tennis) has a Hall of Fame, as does rock and roll. But did you know that there’s a Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame in Chicago? It’s the only "known municipality" to have a Hall of Fame for its LGBT citizens, and this year will mark its 18th anniversary.

On Thursday, Nov. 13, the Chicago Lesbian and Gay Hall of Fame will induct a new round of LGBT Chicagoans, and the lesbian portion of that group includes:

Jane Addams (1860–1935), 1931 Nobel Prize winner (she was the first U.S. woman to win a Nobel), for her pioneering work in founding Hull House in 1890, which created a lasting model for social change and diverse thought.

Suzanne Arnold, 52, for her long-term work in the local and national lesbian and gay sports community, including her terms as co-chair of Team Chicago, female vice co-chair of the Federation of Gay Games, and co-chair and sports co-director of Gay Games VII in Chicago.

Michal Brody, Ph.D., 60, activist and author, for her work as a founding member of the groundbreaking Chicago Gay Liberation group in 1969, a founding member of Chicago Lesbian Liberation in 1970, and in 1985 writing Are We There Yet? a landmark book of Chicago lesbian history.

Artemis Singers, the first women’s singing ensemble in the U.S. to explicitly label itself a “lesbian feminist” chorus, for 29 years dedicated to performing music written or arranged by women and thus highlighting historical, political, and personal events and experiences common to women.

Former lesbian inductees have included Lorraine Hansberry (1999), Billie Jean King (1999), and Jeanette Howard Foster (1998).

The Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame was established in 1991 to recognize the achievements of LGBT Chicagoans, their contributions to the development of the city, and the help they have received from others. The induction ceremony will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 13, 2008, in Sidney R. Yates Gallery at the Chicago Cultural Center, 77 E. Randolph St. and is free and open to the public. For a full list of the 2008 inductees, go to

I plan to conduct a write-in campaign for future inductees and out Chicagoans actress Jane Lynch and AE blog editor Trish Bendix. Care to join me?