Chicago’s last lesbian bar closes after 12 years of service.
Star Gaze was a gathering place catered specifically to lesbians. Mamie Lake, it’s owner, first opened the bar in 1998 for women who did not have other ways of meeting each other.
“I opened the bar knowing there was a need for it,” said Lake, in an interview with the Chicago Tribune. “It went big time. We had people moving into the neighborhood because of the bar. It was like a gay Mayberry.”
While changing times have created new ways to meet other lesbians, most remaining bars either attract a mixture of LGBT customers or cater specifically to gay men.
“For a young queer woman coming out or just arriving here, someone looking for community where they feel comfortable, I don’t know where that place is going to be anymore or where that one bar is,” Christina Santiago, manager of programming for the Lesbian Community Care Project at the Howard Brown Health Center in Lakeview said to the Tribune. “This is a really big loss for Chicago’s lesbian community.”
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