Gernhardt, a pioneering publisher who cofounded Gay
Chicago magazine three decades ago, has died of
lung cancer, the Associated Press reports. He was 72.
a telephone hotline offering a recorded message about
gay-friendly parties and clubs in 1972. The line's
popularity convinced him that he had found a niche
that was being underserved, so he cofounded
Gay Chicago in 1976.
"He was willing
to stick his neck out during a time when most
publications wouldn't have the guts to put 'gay' in the
publication's name," Stacy Bridges, the magazine's
associate publisher, told the AP.
In addition to
its rambunctious entertainment coverage, the magazine had
outspoken views on HIV/AIDS and discrimination, and it
promoted safer-sex practices and HIV testing. Gay
Chicago also became known for its Grabby Awards,
now in their 14th year, celebrating the best
achievements in gay erotic videos.
in the Air Force as a young man, then worked as a radio
broadcaster for 17 years in Colorado, Louisiana, Michigan,
Tennessee, Texas, and Wyoming, according to his
Sunday at his home on the city's north side. He is
survived by his son, Craig--who now publishes Gay
Chicago--a daughter, two sisters, and three
grandchildren. (The Advocate)