Midwest Regional Discrimination Response System

in Groups and Organizations

The Midwest Regional Discrimination Response System (DRS), a regional project of Black and White Men Together (BWMT), formed in the Cleveland area in 1984. In 1984, the Cleveland, Columbus, and Youngstown chapters of Black and White Men Together formed the Midwest Regional Response System in order to document instances of “discrimination against blacks, women, and gay people in general” and “violations of civil rights” at businesses throughout the region. Individuals that had experienced discrimination were encouraged to document such instances through the Midwest Regional Response System’s local number. Recognizing the pervasiveness of antiblack discrimination within and outside of the Cleveland gay community at large, the Midwest Regional DRS in Cleveland first placed an emphasis on combatting discrimination against black gays in Cleveland. In addition to documenting instances of discrimination, the Midwest Regional Discrimination Response System took action against local businesses accused of engaging in discriminatory or exclusionary business practices. In one such case, the Midwest Regional DRS launched a lawsuit against the Ritz, a local gay bar, for rejecting and failing to admit black gays and lesbians in 1985.

Midwest Regional DRS ad. | Gay People’s Chronicle. October 1986.

Additional information coming soon.


  • Callender, Charles. “BWMT Begins DRS.” Gay People’s Chronicle. February 1985. Page 3.
  • Callender, Charles. “Six Sue Ritz for Discrimination.” Gay People’s Chronicle. July 1985. Page 1, 3.
  • “Correction.” Gay People’s Chronicle. April 1986. Page 1.
  • Forbes, Dora. “Ritz Suit Settled.” Gay People’s Chronicle. October 1985. Page 1.
  • Negron, Sidney. “Gay Bars in Cleveland.” Encyclopedia of Cleveland History.
Location approximate. Exact address undetermined.

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