Boston Pride is excited to team up with The ARTery for this panel discussion on LGBTQ+ Bars and Spaces over the decades. Moderator Cristela Guerra from WBUR’s The ARTery will be joined by Ann Maguire, owner and longtime mainstay at Somewhere in Boston and Demetrius Constantinus from the Other Side, Styx and Avalon, just to name a few, to discuss how these institutions impacted and supported Boston’s LGBTQ+ community through the years. Join the discussion on how these safe spaces were often a cornerstone of the Boston LGBTQ+ community of the past, and what they mean to us today. Live Q&A time permitting.
Ann Maguire opened the legendary woman’s bar called Somewhere in Boston in 1977, a place where women could come and meet other women, hear women’s music, connect with the community, find solace, and feel good about themselves. Ann was a pioneering activist in the Boston lesbian and gay community. She co-founded the Greater Boston Lesbian-Gay Political Alliance and was involved in the early work of many gay groups, including the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force. She hosted a call-in radio program, “Gay Way,” on WBUR from 1973-80. She managed the 1974 campaign of Elaine Noble, the first openly gay elected state official (elected to the House for two terms). Maguire also served in former Boston mayor Ray Flynn’s administration, first as his liaison to the gay community, then she ran all of Boston’s hunger and homelessness programs before managing the city’s neighborhood services. When Flynn was named U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican, Tom Menino sought out Maguire to manage his first campaign for mayor of Boston. Menino then tapped her to serve in his mayoral cabinet as chief of health and human services.
Demetrius was born in Providence, RI in 1951. He moved to Boston when he was 18. He landed in Boston the same week Apollo landed on the moon. He started serving at the Other Side in 1969, and was trained by the legendary Tex and Sylvia Sydney. In 1970, Demetrius went to work at Cabaret After Dark on Lansdowne Street. In 1972, he worked at Styx until 1978. In 1979, Patrick Lyons decided to do his first gay night on a Sunday, and started Avalon on Sunday nights. Originally the intent was to make it a full time gay club, but patrons were too devoted to their neighborhood bars to be viable. Because of this, it went to Sunday nights only. On it’s first night, they opened with a $2 cover, and turnout was light for such a large venue. But after that, the community turned out more than 1000 patrons on the 2nd Sunday they were open. The Sunday night stayed open until 2007 when Avalon was demolished to be rebuilt as the House of Blues.