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1946-July 10, 1993 

Tina was THE bar owner. The mother of the Black gay bars. I was out there the night she got killed. And that was a day I’ll never forget.

Tina’s bar on 6th and North Avenue (Tina’s RTI) was one of the two main bars we went to. We used to jump between her bar and Renee’s. We had just left Tina’s, and when we came back that’s when we found out she got killed. She took a bullet protecting her people. This was the summer of 1993. 

Tina was loved by so many people. She was inclusive of everyone. She loved her community and always wanted the best for us. That’s why she moved her bar so many times–because she kept finding better places for it. But always on the northside. She thought we should get to have a bar in our own neighborhood, not have to travel to the southside where all the gay bars was. At first she took over what had been Artony’s, the first Black gay bar. Then she moved to a place on Vine, then on North. We felt free at Tina’s. And she was the first Black gay bar to put on shows, which we needed because southside bars was only allowing one Black girl at a time in their shows. She gave more of us a opportunity. And she paid us, too. Tina’s death was a huge loss. She’s a icon and we’ll remember her always.

Tina Terry

Illustration by Giselle Pritzlaff

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