The Chicago LGBT Hall Of Fame Has Announced The 2020 Inductees

Pride Flag in Chicago
Courtesy of nathanmac87/Flickr
Pride Flag in Chicago
Courtesy of nathanmac87/Flickr

The Chicago LGBT Hall Of Fame Has Announced The 2020 Inductees

The Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame will hold a virtual ceremony to honor the 2020 inductees. The nominees, who were announced Monday, were chosen for their contributions to “the quality of life or well-being of the LGBT community in Chicago.”

The tradition, which started in 1991, has been on hold the past two years as the Hall of Fame reorganized the event. To make up for the missed years, there’s a larger class of 18 inductees this year. In the past, the group usually selected about 10 people, two businesses and two “friends of the community.”

“A lifetime of work and what they’ve fought for, what they’ve helped accomplish is worthy of celebration,” said Rick Karlin, co-chair of the Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame.

Karlin said the LGBT Hall of Fame is hoping to have taped segments from Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Gov. JB Prtizker. The ceremony will be held at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 13 and will acknowledge National LGBT History Month.

Below is a full list of the nominees.

Individual Nominees

John Ademola Adewoye: activist working with LGBT asylum seekers in the Chicago area, offering counseling to LGBT people from Africa, Middle East and eastern Europe

Caprice Carthans: transgender advocate working with the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, Chicago House and Heartland Alliance

Raymond Crossman: co-founder of LGBT Presidents in Higher Education

Jay Paul Deratany: human rights lawyer who provided volunteer legal services during the AIDS crisis and board member of Human Rights Watch

Ronald J. Ehemann: co-founder of Organization to Promote Equality Now (OPEN), Illinois’ first gay/lesbian political action party

Denise Foy: national board member of Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE), founding member of the LGBT Community Fund at the Chicago Community Trust

Dalila Fridi: grassroots organizer for political candidates fighting for LGBT rights and advocate for LGBT rights in Chicago’s Muslim community

Terry Gaskins: staff photographer for Gay Chicago Magazine

Joel Drake Johnson (posthumous): award-winning, internationally produced playwright and teacher

Stephen Kulieke: reporter and editor at Chicago GayLife, a weekly newspaper

Matt Stuczynski: founder of the Chicago chapter of the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network (GLSEN)

Michelle Zacarias: founding member of the Trans Liberation Collective (TLC) and board member of The Brave Space Alliance

Organizations and Businesses

The Legacy Project: award-winning nonprofit which created The Legacy Walk on North Halsted Street, an outdoor museum walk exhibiting contributions of LGBT people to world history and culture

Windy City Times: Chicago newspaper serving the LGBT community since 1985

Women & Children First Bookstore: independent, feminist bookstore stocking LGBT literature and featuring women and LGBT writers

Friends of the Community

Judy Baar Topinka (posthumous): former Illinois Comptroller, Illinois Treasurer and a Republican representative for the Illinois House of Representatives and Illinois State Senate, who strongly supported LGBT rights

Brenetta Howell Barrett: activist who worked to bring civic and economic rights on Chicago’s West Side and greater awareness to AIDS

The National Museum of Mexican Art: for displaying LGBT artists and performers in the museum’s programming