Jan Lancaster, fondly known as “Momma” by her patrons, is the proud owner of The Bistro, President of the Central Illinois Pride Health Center, member of the Human Relations Commission, and Vice President of the Downtown Bloomington Association. Jan is a passionate, active, dedicated, and loving leader of Bloomington-Normal’s Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Questioning and Intersex community. She has served on many boards and associations throughout the years, including being the main player to pass the Equal Rights Amendment in Bloomington Normal. Her leadership role as owner of downtown’s alternative bar The Bistro, however, serves as her central position within the community. Jan has owned the bar since 1993, and considers it a home open to everyone, not just LGBTQI members. It should be noted that The Bistro is commonly termed a “gay bar,” but Jan prefers the term “alternative,” suggesting that everyone is welcomed, not only gay community members (Ethnographic Interview of Jan Lancaster, October 14th).


Anthropology | Social and Cultural Anthropology