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Stonewall 50: Then, Now and Beyond – A Conversation with Karla Jay and Toni Armstrong, Jr.
March 22, 2018 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
As hard as it is to believe, next June will mark the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprisings, which led to the modern LGBTQ movement. What was the Stonewall raid really about and what is its significance for us today? Two long-time activists look back on the events of 1969-70 and their aftermath as well as some of the planned celebrations for the 50th. They will converse with each other, then engage the audience in a lively conversation about what we hope for—and are working toward—during the next half century. Free to attend. Suggested donation $5.
About Karla Jay
Karla Jay is Distinguished Professor Emerita of English, Women’s & Gender Studies, and Queer Studies at Pace University in New York City. She has written, edited, and translated ten books, the most recent of which is Tales of the Lavender Menace: a Memoir of Liberation. Dyke Life won the 1996 Lambda Literary Award in the category of Lesbian Studies. Her first anthology, Out of the Closets: Voices of Gay Liberation (co-edited by Allen Young in 1972) is still in print and was listed by Publishers Triangle as one of the one hundred most important gay and lesbian books ever published. She edited “The Cutting Edge: Lesbian Life and Literature,” a series of twenty-four books published by New York University Press. Jay has written for many publications, including The New York Times, Ms Magazine, the Village Voice, and the Gay and Lesbian Review Worldwide. Among many awards, she received the Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement in Writing and she was made Grand Marshal of New York’s Heritage of Pride Parade in 2002. She was the first woman chair of the Gay Liberation Front (NY, 1970) and. She was also a member of Redstockings and the Lavender Menace/Radicalesbians.
About Toni Armstrong, Jr.
Toni Armstrong Jr., lifelong educator and social-justice/cultural organizer, began her activism in high school. She took on her first LGBT leadership role in 1974 when she became co-president of the then-new Gay People’s Alliance at Illinois State University.
Toni Jr. has dedicated her life to advancing fairness in her professional work as a 30-year special education teacher and individually by driving inaugural nationwide women’s music and culture activities. Achievements include:
• Publisher/managing editor: HOT WIRE: The Journal of Women’s Music and Culture; We Shall Go Forth Directory; and Paid My Dues
• Founding staff member of both Windy City Times and Outlines newspapers
• Concert producer with Chicago’s Mountain Moving Coffeehouse
• Co-founder of Music Industry Conferences and Women Writers Conferences (National Women’s Music Festival)
• Musician in lesbian bands Surrender Dorothy, Lavender Jane, and others
• Photographer for HOT WIRE as well as other LGBT publications and various women’s festivals.
In addition, she has been involved in funding and/or making several films, including documentaries on women’s music (Radical Harmonies), Rosa Parks (Mighty Times), anti-gay school violence (Bullied), the oldest living lesbian (Ruth Ellis @ 100); plus the indie feature-length films Hannah Free and Jamie & Jessie are Not Together.
She is currently the surveys editor and indexer for the Chicago Gay History Project, as well as editor/publisher of the Long Time Friends newsletter for veterans of the lesbian feminist women’s music industry.
In 2008, she created a community-building organization called BLAST (Bi, Lesbian, and Straight Together) Women of the Palm Beaches. Since its inception, BLAST has attracted more than 1600 members and sponsored well over a thousand events by, for, and about women. She founded and runs Empty Closet Productions (live music and film screening events).
In 2014 she was selected as one of SFGN’s first “OUT 50” in SE Florida. Read the complete bio at chicagogayhistory.org