Ep 8: Queers Read This - 90s Queer Activism and Exhibits at Gerber/Hart

“How can I tell you. How can I convince you, brother, sister, that your life is in danger: That everyday you wake up alive, relatively happy, and a functioning human being, you are committing a rebellious act. You as an alive and functioning queer are a revolutionary. There is nothing on this planet that validates, protects or encourages your existence. It is a miracle you are standing here reading these words. You should by all rights be dead. “

-Excerpt from leaflet published “anonymously by Queers” and distributed at the 1990 New York City Pride

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Exhibit curators (left to right) - Chase Ollis, Whit Sadusky, Veronica Rodriguez, James Conley, Kurt Conley

Every year, groups of volunteers at Gerber/Hart work for months researching for two large yearly exhibits. In 2019, five volunteers, Whit Sadusky, Veronica Rodriguez, Chase Ollis, Kurt Conley, and James Conley worked to create an exhibit on 1990s Queer Activism in Chicago.

Q: Activism at the Margins of Identity was set to open at Gerber/Hart in April 2020. When the Covid 19 pandemic hit, the exhibit opening was canceled and the library was closed for several months during shelter-in-place. While the curators were able to do an in-person closing event with Homocore Chicago members, most of the exhibit programming was done online.

What work goes into making an exhibit at Gerber/Hart? What does Queer Activism in the 1990s in Chicago look like? What was the “Homocorner”?

Listen in to hear more from the curators about the Q exhibit - from Homocore Chicago, zines, Joan Jett Blakk, Queer Nation Chicago, The Pink Angels, and more.

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Exhibit curators (left to right) - Whit Sadusky, Veronica Rodriguez, Chase Ollis, James Conley, Kurt Conley

A virtual tour and panel on the “Q: Activism on the Margins of Identity” exhibit, which focused on the new wave of advocacy that swept through queer communities in Chicago and across the country in the 1990s.

Ep 8: Queers Read This - 90s Queer Activism and Exhibits at Gerber/Hart