Marge Summit

Survey


MARGARET “MARGE” SUMMIT

1) Birthdate:

1935


2) Birthplace:

Chicago, Illinois


3) City/state where you live currently:

Chicago, Illinois


4) Careers:

Semi-retired; best known over the years as owner of His ‘n Hers bar.


5) Did you serve in the U.S. military?

No


6) How do you describe your sexuality and your gender?

Gay woman


7) Do you have children and/or grandchildren?

Yes, one daughter and two grandkids.


8) If you are GLBT, please describe when you first “knew”:

Freshie in high school.


9) Who did you first “come out” to and when?

To myself in 1952.


10) What troubles did you face as a GLBT person?

Just trying not to get beat up whenever you went out on a date, or arrested by Chicago's finest.


11) List organizations (GLBT or mainstream) you have been involved in.

His ‘n Hers bar (owner)
M.S. lounge
Gay $ Campaign
Worked with Guy Warner talking to parents of gays before PFLAG
Produced the album "Gay & Straight Together" (recorded at His ‘n Hers)


12) When you were coming out, what were your favorite Chicago GLBT bars, and what years?

Our Place, The Music Box, and The Patch, all in Calumet City (early 1950s).
Lil’s on 99th and Southwest Highway (1953).

Also The Midget Inn, The M&M Club, The Club Evergreen, The Volley Ball, Louie Gage's, Saylavie, Togetherness, Blue Dahlia, Paradise, The Gold Coast, The Baton, Kings Ransom, The Trip, Roby Landers, Sparrows, The Chesterfield, Bistro, and others that I can't quite remember.


13) What were the key issues faced in the GLBT community when you
first came out?


Staying alive and finding other gays to be with.


14) How have AIDS and/or other health issues impacted your life personally?

I lost way too many of my gay boy friends.


15) How would you describe the “diversity” within the GLBT community of Chicago?

Way too mainstream for me. I preferred knowing I was in a bar that was safe and 99% gay.


16) If you consider yourself a “political” activist, how do you define this?

Take no shit or prisoners. I stand up for what I believe and never thought there was anything wrong with being gay. I never was in the closet, EVER.


17) Describe what you feel your personal legacy is to the Chicago GLBT community.

My big mouth. I took on a lot of issues to help other gays, ones who could not come out of the closet, so I tried to pave the way. But it cost me dearly.


18) This project is also about “defining moments.” Please discuss some of those in your life.

I have wonderful memories of all the great people who have crossed my path in my life, some are still here and some are looking down on us... having the biggest women's disco… having the first gay bar to serve food and have live entertainment and produce an album… knowing that I made a difference for a lot of people.




Out and Proud in Chicago: An Overview of the City's Gay Community, the book is edited by Tracy Baim and features the contributions of more than 20 prominent historians and journalists. It is published by Surrey Books, an Agate imprint, and is hard cover, 224 pages, 4-color, with nearly 400 photos.
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