elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,

George Buse (October 3, 1924 – April 20, 2000)

As journalist, activist, actor, and minister, he made his mark on Chicago’s gay and lesbian community. A subject of Studs Terkel’s ‘The Good War’ and of the video documentary ‘Before Stonewall’, he was a WW II Marine veteran (discharged from a later Navy chaplaincy for being gay). He was a civil rights and anti-Vietnam War activist in the 1960s. Born in 1924, he died in 2000.

George S. Buse, journalist, activist, actor, and minister, George Buse had made his mark on Chicago's gay and lesbian community. A subject of Studs Terkel's The Good War and one of three Chicagoans prominently featured in the video documentary Before Stonewall, Buse was also a candid and experienced commentator on gay men and lesbians in the military.

Born in Dubuque, Iowa, in 1924, Buse enlisted and served in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II, attaining the rank of corporal. From 1955 to 1963 he served as a commissioned officer and U.S. Navy chaplain, principally on the West Coast and in Asia. He received an "other than honorable" discharge (later upgraded), or, as Buse put it, "I was kicked out for being gay."

In the 1960s Buse was active in the civil rights movement and the anti-Vietnam War peace movement. He went to Chicago in 1964, was a member of the Congress of Racial Equality at the Northside Freedom Center, and, as a member of an ad hoc group of members of the clergy, worked to ameliorate the brutality of confrontations during the 1968 Democratic national convention.

For 13 years he was part-time pastor of St. James United Presbyterian Church in Rogers Park and active in community theaters, becoming a member of Actors Equity Association. Closeted as both minister and actor, he chose to "come out" doing something useful. Having served as a journalist with the Roman Catholic publishing house of J. S. Paluch Company, managing a Protestant monthly magazine, Buse offered his writing and editorial talents to GayLife in 1979 and later to Windy City Times. He served both publications as reporter, feature writer, and occasional theater critic.

In the 1970s, Buse served as secretary of the Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Metropolitan Chicago and was a member of Presbyterians for Lesbian and Gay Concerns, preparing slide shows and educational materials for outreach to gay men, lesbians, and their parents.

Buse served in the Chicago chapter of Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Veterans of America and in the Midwest Men's Center of Chicago, and he spoke to several groups in Chicago in connection with an oral history project for the Stonewall '25 committee. When he could, Buse continued with his beloved theater as a member of the audience.

Source: http://www.glhalloffame.org/index.pl?item=52&todo=view_item

Further Readings:

The Gay Metropolis: The Landmark History of Gay Life in America by Charles Kaiser
Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: Grove Press (June 10, 2007)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0802143172
ISBN-13: 978-0802143174
Amazon: The Gay Metropolis: The Landmark History of Gay Life in America
Amazon Kindle: The Gay Metropolis: The Landmark History of Gay Life in America

A New York Times Notable Book of the Year and winner of a Lambda Literary Award, The Gay Metropolis is a landmark saga of struggle and triumph that was instantly recognized as the most authoritative and substantial work of its kind. Filled with astounding anecdotes and searing tales of heartbreak and transformation, it provides a decade-by-decade account of the rise and acceptance of gay life and identity since the 1940s. From the making of West Side Story, the modern Romeo and Juliet tale written and staged by four gay men, to the catastrophic era of AIDS, Charles Kaiser recounts the true history of the gay movement with many never-before-told stories. Filled with dazzling characters — including Leonard Bernstein, Montgomery Clift, Alfred Hitchcock, and John F. Kennedy, among many others — this is a vital telling of American history, exciting and uplifting.

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Tags: activist: george buse, gay classics, gay metropolis

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