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About the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame
The Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame is both a historic event and an exhibit. Through the Hall of Fame, residents of Chicago and the world are made aware of the contributions of Chicago's lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities and the communities' efforts to eradicate homophobic bias and discrimination.
Since our inception in 1991, our mission has continued to expand. In addition to the selection of each year’s new inductees a large portion of our time is devoted to being custodian of records for the exemplary inductees we have honored. As time passes, it is our goal to see that the achievements of our predecessors are not lost or forgotten.
Friends of the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame is a not-for-profit Illinois corporation formed in 2009 to aid the Hall of Fame. It is recognized as a tax-exempt organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. All contributions to it are tax-deductible to the maximum extent allowed by law. The organization is now responsible, in cooperation with the City of Chicago, for all Hall of Fame operations. Members of the board of directors and members of committees of Friends of the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame are listed below (with year of Hall of Fame induction if applicable).
Gary Chichester, HOF Board Co-Chair
Inducted 1992 [Board Member]
He has provided more than 30 years of commitment and work to the gay and lesbian communities. In 1971 he co-founded the Chicago Gay Alliance, which created Chicago’s first gay and lesbian community center. He has served on the Chicago Commission on Human Relations’ Advisory Council on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender issues since 1989 and has sat on the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame Committee from its inception in 1991 (co-chairing it since 1992). [More about Gary Chichester, HOF Board Co-Chair]
Phil A. Hannema
Inducted 2000 [Board Member]
For many years he has provided ongoing and reliable volunteer support to a variety of Chicago gay and lesbian community organizations as staff member and officer, treasurer and photographer, cheerleader and fund-raiser, and constant donor. [More about Phil A. Hannema]
William B. Kelley
Inducted 1991 [Board Member][Now Deceased]
Since 1965, he has led in many pioneering efforts – among them helping to organize the first national gay and lesbian conferences (1966), co-founding the "Chicago Gay Crusader" and Illinois Gays for Legislative Action (early 1970s), attending the first White House gay rights meeting (1977), co-chairing the Illinois Gay Rights Task Force (late 1970s), and co-founding the National Lesbian and Gay Law Association (1988). Now a lawyer, he chaired the Cook County Commission on Human Rights for its first 10 years. [More about William B. Kelley]
Mary Morten - HOF Board Co-Chair
Inducted 1996 [Board Member][Committee Member]
The first African American president of the National Organization for Women’s Chicago chapter, she contributed to books and created video documentary of African American lesbians’ experiences. She campaigned for a revised home-based-business ordinance, chaired the Chicago Abortion Fund and the city Advisory Council on Women, and directed the city Advisory Council on Gay and Lesbian Issues and the city Office of Violence Prevention. She now heads her own social-change consulting firm. [More about Mary Morten - HOF Board Co-Chair]
Israel Wright, HOF Secretary
Inducted 2000 [Board Member]
For more than 20 years, he has held volunteer leadership posts in business, social service, cultural, AIDS, and African American organizations. His photographs of community life, including the lives of leathermen, African Americans, and persons with AIDS have been widely published. [More about Israel Wright, HOF Secretary]

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