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The Gay ’30s

For a brief but wild time in the twenties and thirties, an openly gay culture thrived in Chicago—a period historians call the “Pansy Craze.” Nightclubs and cabarets drew crowds of homosexuals, lesbians, and voyeurs—among them, sociologists who dutifully recorded the proceedings. Recently rediscovered recollections from that era have landed the city in the forefront of the small but popular field of gay historical research.