PDF Issue - Windy City Media Group



PDF Issue - Windy City Media Group
page 26
May 25, 2011
vol 26, no. 34
pages 20-21
page 8
Thousands of
leathermen and
women will be in
Chicago this weekend
for the International Mr.
Leather, Leather Market and
related events. See inside for
details on a new book about
IML’s founder—Leatherman: The
Legend of Chuck Renslow. Photo
of Renslow in the 1950s, from
the cover of the book. Courtesy
Leather Archives & Museum
Comfort men
Out entrepreneurs Mitchell Gold
and Bob Williams will bring their
very popular home-furnishings
chain to Chicago, opening a store
in Lincoln Park this summer.
Photo by Dave Ouano
couples ready
for civil
page 10
page 22
page 29
Larry Kramer’s ‘Angry’ Heart
In this week’s AIDS @ 30 series,
Tracy Baim interviews Larry Kramer. His play The Normal Heart is
on Broadway for the first time,
and he speaks about his years of
activism, his continued anger in
the fight against AIDS, and much
more. Pictured: The Normal Heart
cast members Ellen Barkin (Dr.
Emma Brookner), Joe Mantello
(Ned Weeks), and John Benjamin
Hickey (Felix Turner).
Photo by: Joan Marcus
page 14
‘amazing race’
page 28
[email protected];*
May 25, 2011
May 25, 2011
Evanston Subaru in Skokie
this week in
Annual Memorial Weekend BBQ
More support for marriage equality
Tennessee’s anti-gay run
Baldwin; Minn. anti-gay amendment
LGBT market; IDAHO event
Out in Chicago unveiling EdgeAlliance; Spin; Hydrate show
TCRA civil-union event; Scouts
Couple readies for CU ceremony
Dignity’s award ceremony
TransActions conference Gay in the Life: Brad Kaylor AIDS @ 30 Views: Mason, Perry
Friday, May 27, Saturday, May 28 & Monday, May 30
Summer theater round-up
Leatherman spread
Stevie Nicks interview
Knight: Topp Twins
Lesbian winner of ‘Amazing Race’
Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams
Autos: New York’s show
Celebrations: McRaith’s new job Billy Masters
Real estate; classifieds
Calendar Q
Sports: Out figures, Bulls’ Noah
Go to www.WindyCityMediaGroup.com
to download complete issues of Windy City Times and Nightspots.
gry’ Hea
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online exclusives at
Read details of the Chicago Force’s win over
the St. Louis Slam.
Drawing this Friday, May 27th
The news out of Japan is
having a definite effect
on the supply of
automobiles throughout the world. During the past weeks many customers out
shopping have reported a lack of inventory on dealer lots and even fewer deals.
Evanston #Subaru in Skokie, Illinois’ #1 Subaru Dealer, is well stocked with 2011
Subarus in a variety of colors. And we’re still making great deals .
•31 MPG
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ABS, Side Curtain
Airbags, MP3,
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See photos from Diane Alexander
White’s gay-pride exhibit at Center on
Photo by Jerry Nunn
Find out why
LGBT-friendly hiphop artist Nicki
Minaj (above) was
in town.
Photo from
Amelia Gingold
‘ACES’ in the hole
tMay 25, 2011
Leather or Not
Glee’s Matthew Morrison (above) made
quite an impression at the Goodman
Photo by Jerry Nunn
Talkin’ ‘bout the Tonys
Whether you’re into
leather, rubber, bears,
barbecues or just
plain partyin’, this is
your issue!
‘08 Honda Pilot EX-L AWD w/NAVI ..Leather, Sunroof, 25K, Green, P3872 ..$25,995
‘10 Nissan Rouge Krom Edition..Automatic, Air, Full Power, Black, 7020A ..$20,995
‘08 Mazda CX-7 Touring ...... Leather, Moonroof, Auto., 60K, Silver, 7240A ....$18,995
‘08 Toyota Rav4 Ltd. ............Automatic, Sunroof, Full Power, Silver, 7223A ....$17,995
‘10 Toyota Camry LE ....................Automatic, Air, Full Power, White, P3881 ....$16,995
‘08 Nissan Altima 2.5 SL .......... Leather, Moonroof, Auto, Silver, P3850 ....$14,995
‘03 Toyota Sienna XLE ..........Leather, Sunroof, Remote Start, Blue, P3857 ....$11,995
‘05 Honda Accord EXL-V6 Sedan ..Auto., Leather, Moonroof, Grey, 6928A ..$11,495
‘03 Buick Rendezvous CXL AWD ................Leather, Sunroof, 48K, 6978A ....$10,995
‘02 Nissan Pathfinder SE 4x4 ......Automatic, Air, Power WIndows, P3879 ......$9,995
‘02 Ford F150 XLT 4x4 CrewCab............Auto, Locking Cover, Red, 6911B ......$8,995
‘06 Subaru Tribeca Ltd. .. Leather, Moonroof, Heated Seats, Silver, 7158B ....$18,995
page 18
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‘10 Outback Prem. ...... Automatic, All Weather, Power Seat, Black, P3875 ....$23,295
‘08 Subaru Outback Ltd. ........ Leather, Sunroof, Auto., Only 38K, 7259A ....$20,995
‘10 Legacy Prem. .................. All Weather, Auto., Power Seat, Blue, P3868 ....$19,895
‘08 Subaru Legacy GT Ltd. ...... Leather, Sunroof, 5-Speed, Grey, P3909 ....$18,995
‘08 Outback 3.0R LL Bean .... Moonroof, Leather, Loaded, Black, 7073A ....$17,995
‘09 Subaru Legacy SE ......Automatic, Sunroof, Power Seat, Green, P3882 ....$16,995
‘05 Subaru Outback .......... Automatic, Air, Full Power, 68K, Blue, P3911 ....$13,995
A fashionable
‘09 Subaru Impreza WRX 5-Door .......... 5-speed, White, 265 HP, 7204A ....$21,995
‘08 Subaru Impreza WRX 4-Door ............................ 28K, Black, 7042A ....$19,995
‘10 Forester Prem. 9-in-Stock, Moonroof, Pwr. Seat, #P3866, $23,995 to ....$21,995 ‘08 Subaru Impreza WRX 5-Door ...................................... Grey, 7184A ....$19.995
‘09 Forester LL Bean .......... Leather, Sunroof, Auto, Fog Lts., Silver, 7127A ....$21,995 ‘10 Impreza Prem. 5-Dr ..6-to-Pick, Sunroof, 6 CD, Auto., P3884, $18,995- ....$17,995
‘05 Forester XS ...... Auto., Sunroof, All Weather, Fog Lts., 6CD, Silver, 7209A ....$12,995 ‘10 Impreza Prem. 4-Dr .. Sunroof, 6 CD, Auto., All Weather, White, P3877 ....$16,495
‘07 Subaru Impreza 5-Dr ............Automatic, Air, Full Power, Silver, 7190A ....$13,495
Find Nightspots on
ABS, Side Curtain
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This week’s entertainment round-up
includes items on Steven Tyler, Lady
Gaga and out sports figures.
All the leathery
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Hot Dogs
Photo by Dave Bishop
Get the lowdown
on out designer
Miguel Becerril
(above) and his
recent show.
Win a Comfort
Photos on cover (left, from top): Stevie Nicks photo by Kristin Burns; photo of Jennifer Brier at
Out in Chicago unveiling by Hal Baim; image of James Darby and Patrick Bova courtesy of Erik
Roldan; Fellowship of the Boobs poster; photo of LaKisha Hoffman courtesy of CBS
10 AM -5 PM
Toll free: 1-888-380-3004
* Add tax, title license and $156.08 doc fee, rebates applied. Lease on approved credit score. Lease, 10k miles per year, 15 cents after.
Lessee responsible for excess wear and early termination of lease. Option to purchase; Imp.$10,749, For. $13,055. Legacy $12,224,
Outback $12,677 **Finance on approved credit score, subject to vehicle insurance and availability. º Gas mileage is EPA estimates#
Drawing held May 27th at 1pm. need not be present. †Based on New Subaru retail sales from SOA, in Illinois, for all of
2008, 2009 & 2010 and 2011 year-to-date. All offers end in 3 days, unless noted.
May 25, 2011
Gallup shows big
increase in support
of marriage equality
By Lisa Keen
Keen News Service
A survey by the respected Gallup poll organization reports a stunning jump in support for legal
recognition of the marriages of same-sex couples
and “the first time” in its own tracking history
on the issue that a majority of Americans “believe same-sex marriage should be recognized by
the law as valid.”
The poll was conducted May 5-8 of 1,018 adults
nationwide and its findings were released May
20. Of those polled, 53 percent said they think
marriages between same-sex couples “should”
be recognized by the law, with the same rights
as “traditional marriages;” 45 percent said they
“should not;” 2 percent had no opinion. The
margin of error is plus or minus four points.
The 53 percent who support legal recognition
for the marriages of same-sex couples represented a nine-point jump over year’s 44 percent
–the biggest jump in Gallup’s 16 years of asking
a same-sex marriage question.
“The trend toward marriage equality is undeniable—and irreversible,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese, in a statement
released May 20. “Marriage for committed, loving couples continues to be an important value
of the American people.”
Evan Wolfson, head of the national Freedom to
Marry organization, said the poll “reaffirms that
Americans have been listening … or, as President Obama would put it, ‘evolving.’”
Evan Wolfson. Photo by David Shankbone
Gallup has tracked the evolution since 1996,
when only 27 percent of Americans supported
legal recognition for the marriages of same-sex
couples. By 2004, when Massachusetts became
the first state to enable same-sex couples to
obtain marriage licenses, 42 percent supported
legal recognition for the marriages of same-sex
couples. Gallup said that 2004 level “stayed at
roughly that level through last year.” Gallup
also made a change, in 2006, in how it worded
the question. From 1996 until 2007, it asked,
“Do you think marriages between homosexuals should or should not be recognized by the
law as valid, with the same rights as traditional
marriages?” Beginning in 2007, it asked “Do
you think marriages between same-sex couples
should or should not be recognized by the law
as valid, with the same rights as traditional
marriages?” But the change in wording did not
seem to make a significant difference in results
at that time.
Gallup noted that, in the past year, Congress
passed a bill to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,”
something its polls indicated Americans had
supported since 2005. But there have been
many other changes that could explain the uptick, too. In August of 2010, a federal judge
in San Francisco, in probably what is the most
widely publicized gay-related cases in history,
ruled California’s ban on same-sex marriage to
be unconstitutional. Just one month earlier, a
federal judge in Boston had—in two cases—
struck down a section of the federal Defense
of Marriage Act (DOMA). And marriage equality
laws took effect in Washington, D.C., and New
Hampshire, bringing to five the number of states
with marriage equality laws. Then, in February of
this year, the Obama administration announced
that it could no longer defend DOMA as passing
constitutional muster at all levels in all courts.
Gallup noted there was an increase in support among Democratic and Independent voters polled, but not among Republicans or older
Americans. It said “fewer than 4 in 10 Republicans and older Americans” support recognizing
marriages of same-sex couples.
anti-gay run
Tennessee made a name for itself last week
in the LGBT world—and not in a good way, as
far as the community is concerned.
Responding to a Nashville ordinance banning LGBT discrimination in Nashville, the
Tennessee legislature has passed a measure
that bans all cities and counties from enacting non-discrimination ordinances, according
to Advocate.com. The bill prohibits localities
HRC President Joe Solmonese (above) has
spoken out against Tennessee’s SB632/HB
600. Photo by Rex Wockner
  
 
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  
 
from adopting all anti-discrimination laws,
including those based on race, religion, sex
and age.
On May 23, Republican Gov. Bill Haslam
signed the measure, known as SB 632/HB 600.
“Limiting the rights and protections cities
and counties can provide their own citizens
is fundamentally unjust,” said Human Rights
Campaign (HRC) President Joe Solmonese in
—Kevin Jennings
leaving Dept.
of Ed. post
—Trans mayoral
candidate places third
—Lisa Lampanelli (left)
counters anti-gays
with $44K donation
“Republicans in particular seem fixed in their
opinions,” said Gallup, noting that “there was
no change at all in their support level this year,
while independents’ and Democrats’ support
jumped by double-digit margins.”
An Pew Research Center poll involving 1,504
adults nationally, registered a new high in support for allowing gays to marry in March. While
46 percent told the Pew Research Center they
opposed allowing gays to marry, 45 percent
said they favored doing so—a two-point jump
in the space of six months. (Nine percent said
they were unsure. The margin of error was plus
or minus three points.)
©2011 by Keen News Service. All rights reserved.
a statement. “We call on Governor Haslam to
veto SB 632/HB 600 and preserve the right of
cities and counties to protect their residents
from discrimination.”
Several major Tennessee-based corporations—such as Alcoa, FedEx and AT&T—have
joined HRC in opposing the bill.
However, AT&T is also on the outs with
at least one organization, as Garden State
Equality has voted to withdraw its honors of
three national corporations—AT&T, KPMG and
Pfizer—that serve on the board of directors
of the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and
Industry, which lobbied for the bill.
The Legacy Project—the nation’s only organization committed to creating memorials to
honor LGBT historic figures, beginning with
the dedication of “The Legacy Walk” in Chicago—also issued a press statement criticizing
the measure.
“The recent passage of SB 632 by the Tennessee State Senate, banning any academic
discussion of gay people in their schools, is a
reckless act that sends a chill down the spine
of every reasonable, free-thinking, fair-minded American,” the statement reads, in part.
“And those who are tax-paying parents of gay,
lesbian, bisexual or transgender (GLBT) children are doubly outraged.”
“The sense of isolation this imposes on our
children is immeasurable, and SB 632 makes
a difficult situation worse by closing off the
only possible avenue for GLBT kids—for all
children—to learn about the many ways GLBT
people have helped to shape the world we
In addition, the Tennessee Senate has approved, by a 20-10 vote, a measure that bans
public school teachers and students in grades
kindergarten through eighth grade from discuss homosexuality—although talking about
heterosexuality is fine, according to AllGov.
com. State Sen. Stacey Campfield sponsored
SB 49, known to some as the “don’t say gay”
Opponents contend that the bill is unfair to
same-sex households and may lead to more
May 25, 2011
Baldwin may run
for U.S. Senate
Minn. sends
to voters
By Lisa Keen
Keen News Service
U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin’s office is, thus far, silent on whether the openly gay legislator might
make a bid for the U.S. Senate. However, buzz
about that possibility is hot—particularly within the LGBT community—because, if successful,
Baldwin would become the first openly gay person to serve in the U.S. Senate.
An aide to Baldwin did not respond to this
reporter’s inquiry.
However, the state Democratic chair told reporters in a phone call with state media outlets that Baldwin is “very seriously considering
running,” according to the Milwaukee Journal.
The Journal added, “A close adviser to Baldwin
echoed that sentiment.”
The Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, which supports openly gay candidates, indicated on its
website that “sources close” to Baldwin said she
is “very likely” to run.
“This would obviously be a top priority for us,”
said Victory Fund president Chuck Wolfe, according to the website. “This would be a remarkable
milestone for LGBT Americans. Congresswoman
Baldwin is one of the most admired public officials I know. She would have the strong support
of those who want to see our economy work for
all Americans, and who believe that all voices
deserve a place at the table.”
There is no shortage of potential candidates
for the seat being vacated by retiring Senator
Herb Kohl, the incumbent Democrat from Wisconsin. Kohl made an announcement May 13
that he would not seek re-election in 2012—an
announcement that had not been expected.
Newspapers in Wisconsin immediately began
identifying a list of potential candidates—a
very long list—that included Baldwin. Others
mentioned, on the Democratic side, include former U.S. Senator Russ Feingold, who lost his reelection bid only last year to newcomer Republican Ron Johnson.
Most prominent in the GOP category is Rep.
Paul Ryan, who has been much in the news for
his proposals, as chair of the House Budget Committee, to make enormous cuts in spending.
Ryan said he would make his decision in the
next few days. A former aide to Feingold said
Feingold would probably decide within the next
The Democratic Party of Wisconsin holds its
annual convention in Milwaukee beginning June
3, so some candidates may hold off on their
decisions until they have a chance to test the
waters with state party leaders.
The 2010 Senate race in Wisconsin was a very
close one, with Republican Johnson winning
with 51.9 percent of the vote, over incumbent
Feingold’s 47 percent. Political maps of party
leanings show a state with several pockets of
Democrat and Republican voters, but more than
half the state leans toward no particular party.
The Milkwaukee Journal quoted one of the
state’s Democratic strategists as saying a key
to determining who will emerge as a viable
candidate is who can show the ability to raise
between $2 million to $4 million just for the
Baldwin needed only $1.2 million last year to
win re-election to her seventh term.
She has represented the district that includes
Madison, with a focus on health issues.
Baldwin, who turned 49 in February, graduated from Smith College in Northampton, Mass.,
and earned a law degree from the University of
Wisconsin Law School. She was elected Dane
County Supervisor for four terms, then served
three terms in the State House of Representatives, before running for Congress. With her
U.S. Rep.
election in 1998, she became the first woman
from Wisconsin to serve in the U.S. House and
the first non-incumbent openly gay person to
win a seat to Congress.
As one of four openly gay people in the U.S.
House, Baldwin has been a leader on numerous
bills of interest to LGBT people and a prominent voice for ensuring that legislation covers
all sexual minorities.
©2011 Keen News Service. All rights reserved.
After five and a half hours of debate, Minnesota’s House of Representatives voted 7062 on May 21 to send voters a referendum to
amend the state constitution to ban same-sex
Gay couples already are prohibited from
marrying, but supporters of the constitutional amendment said it would be stronger than
the current statutory ban.
The vote came around 11:30 p.m. Protesters
outside the chambers could be heard chanting “Just vote no” as legislators pushed the
Four Republicans voted against sending the
amendment to the ballot and two Democrats
voted in favor of the move. Sixty-eight yes
votes were needed to advance the amend-
“We basically lost by three votes,” said
Dale Carpenter, an openly gay professor at
the University of Minnesota Law School. “The
atmosphere outside was moving, powerful.
Hundreds on our side, almost none on theirs.
... A movement was born here tonight.”
Gay people will fight the amendment via a
new coalition called Minnesotans United for
All Families.
“Our campaign is hitting the ground running and we plan on using every resource
available to defeat this anti-family constitutional amendment,” said spokesman Donald
The proposal had passed the Senate 38-27
on May 11. It will appear on the November
2012 ballot.
According to the Human Rights Campaign,
29 states ban same-sex marriage via their
constitutions and 18 of them also ban civil
unions. Five states and Washington, D.C., let
same-sex couples marry.
—Assistance: Bill Kelley
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Rouzati Oriental Rugs
The rise of
LGBT markets
NEWS ANALYSIS by Cheril N. Clarke
Members of the LGBT community and allies gathered in New York City recently for a synergistic
day of education, networking and discussion on
how to successfully market to gays and lesbians.
An energetic group of advertising, marketing
and PR professionals came together at the Kimpton Hotel for the fourth annual Gay and Lesbian
Marketing Conference. Hosted by Community
Marketing Inc. (CMI) and Pink Banana Media,
the one-day event kicked off with a whirlwind of
data presentations and case studies from John
Lake, director of corporate development for the
Human Rights Campaign, and David Paisley, senior research director for CMI. “It’s expensive to
try and be all things to all people. Focus and find
your niche,” the presenters imparted. “There is
no [all in one] gay market.”
For the past four years, CMI has published
an annual community survey that has grown
to have more than 45,000 respondents, making
it the largest of its kind. According to Thomas
Roth, president of CMI, organizations cannot
continue to “market to gay men and lesbians
in the same manner.” As he paced the dimly-lit
stage exuding an aura of assuredness and candidness, Roth peppered the attentive audience
with comprehensive information, such as:
—74 percent of CMI’s survey respondents prefer the term(s) “Gay and Lesbian/Lesbian and
—19 percent of CMI’s survey respondents favor the title(s) “Queer” or “Alternative”;
—Current advertisements are lacking representation of ethnic minorities, the 55 and older
May 25, 2011
age group, as well as single gays and lesbians;
—Corporations such as Wells Fargo and Kaiser
Permanente have used up-to-date and believable images of our community in their past campaigns, while the majority of advertisers are still
using stock photography that is not authentic to
the community.
Roth was joined by Darren Spedale, founder of
StartOut, and Richard Oceguera, who heads the
National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce
New York. The trio segued into the importance of
joining professional organizations and network-
ing. They acknowledged the new website www.
dot429.com (“the LinkedIn” for the gay and
lesbian community) in addition to the Gay and
Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and StartOut.
The morning sessions had attendees livetweeting nuggets of information to their followers. After a comedic luncheon sponsored
by The Advocate, the afternoon opened with
a spirited presentation by Jerime Black, LGBTQ
sales and marketing manager of Barefoot Wine.
Black delved into some of the creative strategies
that Barefoot Wine has used to make their logo
and name a “lovemark” for LGBT consumers, providing an example of when the company set up
a giant, inflatable wedding cake on which San
Francisco pride goers could climb atop as bride
and bride or groom and groom and slide down to
have their photograph taken. The cake was positioned directly in front of City Hall and the event
was shortly after the California gay-marriage debacle. Using fun, but timely and photo-worthy
marketing, Black made clear that a company can
be supportive as well as savvy.
Lesbians and gay/lesbian
families: Emerging markets
Curve magazine’s editor-in-chief, Merryn
Johns, and Jessica Rothschild, senior entertainment editor for Autostraddle.com, were exciting
additions (as women presenters were absent
from the first half of the conference). CMI still
at the
IDAHO event.
Photo by
Carrie Maxwell
Curve Editor-in-chief Merryn Johns presented at the conference. Photo from Cheril N.
Chicago activists
mark IDAHO
By Carrie Maxwell
Cash only, please.
has a bit of work to do in attracting women and
ethnic minorities—something it is trying to
When it comes to marketing to lesbians, it is
unfortunate that the common belief is they are
not a viable and profitable segment, or worse,
reluctant to spend. Although untrue, lesbians are
still shrouded in stereotypes, which hinder the
perception of advertisers. “Think of lesbians as
women first,” and “think beyond stereotypes,”
Johns encouraged while showing a lengthy slide
show of how different lesbians look.
Lesbian media has been hit harder than any
other during the recent recession. Johns and
Rothschild covered lesbian statistics, gave tips
on how to reach lesbians through the blogs ads,
print media and offline at events such as women’s music festivals. Their presence was warmly
received and they were eagerly sought as some
attendees had never heard of Curve magazine,
the nation’s bestselling lesbian periodical.
All in all, the conference was a success and is
bound to grow as it continues to provide valuable and thought-provoking information. It is
a suggested event for all businesses to attend,
whether GLBT oriented or not. This is clearly an
emerging market full of opportunity for those
who have the prudence to pay attention to it.
For more information on CMI and the LGBT Marketing conference visit: http://www.communitymarketinginc.com.
Millennium Park was the setting for a demonstration sponsored by the Gay Liberation
Network on May 17th to mark the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and
Transphobia (IDAHO, which began in 2005).
About 30 people marched with huge rainbow flags and signs highlighting examples
of anti-LGBT actions in countries around the
world as the workday was ending in the Loop.
Marchers took turns with the portable microphone calling out chants while flyers were
handed out to the passers-by on Michigan Avenue. The protest was met with no opposition
and there was no visible police presence.
Andy Thayer, co-founder of the Gay Liberation Network (GLN), pointed out that in most
countries this demonstration would not be allowed so it is important for those of us who
can to speak out about the injustices felt by
LGBT people around the world. He also said
“the LGBT movement in this country needs
to be much more international than it is
right now. We, in the United States, stand to
learn a great deal from LGBT activists around
the world, for example gaining simple legal
equality which was achieved in South Africa
when they wrote their constitution following
the Apartheid era which the United States is
light years away from achieving.” He also said
that we need to have basic solidarity with fel-
low LGBT people around the world.
Vicki Cervantes of La Voz de los de Abajo
had this to say about the rally: “We are here
to support the day against homophobia for
many reasons including the situation in Honduras where we do a lot of work. There is lots
of violence against the LGBT community and
since the military coup of 2009 it’s become
a horrible problem. It is a country with less
than 8 million people and it is the second
most violent country against the LGBT community in the hemisphere only after Brazil.
Since the coup there has been 30 documented murders of LGBTI activists and many other
people have just disappeared. This is why we
are here.”
The GLN’s Bob Schwartz said, “LGBT people and their allies need to get out into the
streets to be visible and rally for equal rights.
Relying on politicians has been a disaster
and I hope that people in Minnesota will be
aggressive in their campaign to defeat the
constitutional amendment up there. In other
states like Maine and California we were just
too nice and our enemies pulled out the stops
and played the fear card and won. Both of
those fights should have been won...We have
to put a human face to this fight and be visible.”
At the end of the demonstration Thayer
told the crowd about upcoming events that
the Gay Liberation Network is planning. To
find out more about these events check out
their website http://www.gayliberation.net/
May 25, 2011
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Chicago History
Museum unveils
LGBT exhibit
By Joseph Erbentraut
“It’s not every day I get to design a show with a
disco ball, black bra and a motorcycle,” revealed
Chicago History Museum (CHM) senior designer
Dan Oliver as his latest creation—the museum’s
“Out in Chicago” exhibition—was unveiled at a
preview party May 20.
The exhibition, as previewed in the May 18
edition of Windy City Times, tells the story of
Chicago’s LGBT community against the backdrop
of the city’s development over the past century
and a half.
Exhibition co-curators Jill Austin and Jennifer
Brier developed Out in Chicago over the course
of just over three years. Brier described watching the exhibit anew through the lens of those
May 25, 2011
who came to see it as “amazing.”
Particularly poignant, she added, was the attendance of many of the LGBT Chicagoans who
themselves play a critical role in the exhibit
through videotaped interview segments that are
a part of “In the Life,” one of its four main sections. Memorable interviews feature long-time
community activists including Chuck Renslow
and Kim Hunt, participants in the School of Opulence and many others.
“Seeing it through their eyes made every fear
I had about the exhibit, every thought that we
hadn’t done well vanish,” Brier said.
The exhibition is rich with a wide swath of
content carrying forth many of the ideas discussed through the Out at CHM series, an annual
selection of programs held at the museum since
The ribbon-cutting for the CHM OUT in Chicago exhibit, from left: Gary T. Johnson (CHM president); John W. McGowan (senior vice president of CHM OUT in Chicago lead corporate sponsor
Northern Trust); Suzanne Connor (senior program officer for arts & culture for the Chicago Community Trust); James T. Alexander (co-trustee of The Elizabeth Morse and Genius Charitable
Trusts); Karen Sendziak (partially hidden, president of Gerber/Hart Library); co-curator Jill
Austin; Anita Medina Tyson (managing director, JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A, co-trustee, The
Elizabeth Morse Charitable Trust); co-curator Jennifer Brier; and Dan Oliver (designer of the
exhibit). Photo by Hal Baim; more photos online at http://www.WindyCityMediaGroup.com
2004 that Brier and Austin also help put on. It
is said to be the first exhibition geared toward
LGBT communities to be put on by a mainstream
urban history museum.
Besides “In the Life,” which addressed how
LGBT Chicagoans made homes and formed a variety of relationships and families, the other sections touched on how queer people presented
themselves to the outside world, created social
spaces and over time became a vulnerable political force within the city.
While the exhibition offers no shortage of
content, Brier acknowledged there are still many
more stories to be told regarding the development of queer Chicago as we know it today. In
the last section of the exhibition is a booth
where visitors can record their own stories. Videos from the booth as well as a number of materials that did not make the cut for inclusion in
the exhibition will be shared over its Facebook
page (www.facebook.com/OutinChicago) in the
coming months.
“We hope that we have done justice to the
stories and that when we have not, people will
do what LGBT Chicagoans have long known how
to do: Tell us what we got wrong and record their
stories so future generations of queer historians
can learn about their lives, love and struggle,”
Brier said.
“People should think about coming a couple
of times because it’s a big exhibit and there’s a
lot to learn and a lot to read,” she added.
Also on hand at the opening was one of the
exhibition’s three honorary chairs, chef Art
Smith, who formerly served as personal chef to
Oprah Winfrey and co-founded Common Threads,
a non-profit organization intended to educate
children about other cultures through food and
Neither of the other honorary chairs—actor
Jane Lynch and writer-activist Dan Savage—was
able to attend, although Savage’s brother, Bill,
spoke on his behalf.
Entertaining attendees at the event were DJ
Charlie and FurrLesque, who offered up a titillating three-song performance. The next day,
numerous groups, including the Lakeside Pride
Band, entertained the crowds. Members of the
Dykes on Bikes drove en masse to the museum.
Several speakers addressed the opening night
gala as well as a ribbon-cutting held earlier that
day. Gary T. Johnson, CHM’s president, welcomed
the exhibit as an important step for all of Chicago.
James L. Alexander, co-trustee of The Elizabeth Morse and Genius Charitable Trusts, was a
force behind the Out at CHM series at its birth,
and he has been a critical supporter of the efforts ever since. He, too, welcomed the opening
as a historic day for Chicago. Others who spoke
included Anita Medina Tyson, managing director
of the JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., co-trustee of
The Elizabeth Morse Charitable Trust; Suzanne
Connor, senior program officer for arts and culture for The Chicago Community Trust; John W.
McGowan, senior vice president, Northern Trust,
the lead corporate sponsor of the exhibit; and
Karen Sendziak, president of Gerber/Hart Library
and Archives.
The exhibition will run through March 26,
2012. Visit http://www.chicagohistory.org/outinchicago to learn more. See more photos from
the opening at http://www.WindyCityMediaGroup.com.
—Also contributing: Tracy Baim
EdgeAlliance talks
mission, objectives
May 25, 2011
The Chicago Bar Association (CBA) on LGBT
rights and issues welcomed special guest speakers Jim Flosi and Allen Hailey of EdgeAlliance
for a presentation on the organization’s mission,
new direction and initiatives.
Hailey, EdgeAlliance’s vice president of advancement, kicked off the discussion with a
visual, historical tour of EdgeAlliance, formerly
known as AIDSCare. He said that the organization was originally founded in 1992 as AIDSCare,
a nonprofit whose mission was to provide housing and services for disenfranchised and marginalized men and women who were dying of AIDS.
In 2009, AIDSCare became EdgeAlliance and adopted a wider mission to decrease homelessness
and offer support to those living with HIV/AIDS,
persons with disabilities and Veterans. Hailey
believed that the name change was a step in
the right direction to better reflect a more allencompassing mission.
“We changed our name to EdgeAlliance in
2009 to better reflect an organization that is
continuing to evolve to a position to respond
to the housing and service needs of other vulnerable populations, in particular Veterans and
seniors,” said Hailey.
Hailey went on to share with guests EdgeAlliance’s building and service expansions. In an
$18-million capital campaign, the organization
plans to build five buildings on the West Side
known as the North Lawndale Campus. EdgeAlliance has already erected three of the five
buildings including: The Phoenix, a 32-unit
apartment building with studios for adults;
Sawyer Gardens; and Garden View, a 34-unit
building with mostly single parent, female-led
households (with one-, two- and three-bedroom
apartments). The Daniel R. Ruscitti Wellness
Center and The Liberty are currently in the works
to target and support veterans and seniors. The
campus provides services for residents as well.
“We believe that housing and support services
should be provided in combination to contribute
to positive outcomes for our residents,” said Allen.
According to EdgeAlliance’s website, the campus offers residents permanent supportive housing and features the following services available
to residents: property management and development, life progress services, finance develop-
Allen Hailey, David Amen and Jim Flosi. Photo
by Terrence Chappell
ment and social enterprises. In particular, the
life progress services aims to develop residents
into more socially and financially stable citizens.
Residents can participate in support groups for
sober living, health and wellness workshops that
focus on proper food preparation and nutrition,
tenant relations, as well as other life skills. Jim
Flosi, founder, president and CEO of EdgeAlliance, said he trusts that the programs and services are great to not only continue to serve EdgeAlliance’s original demographic but also new
ones under the organization’s revamped mission
“We try to do our best in supplying the development of housing, the actual housing of
people, the feeding of those people and the care
of those people—and in doing that we really
realized that we needed to expand our services
to other populations,” said Flosi.
Flosi went on to share EdgeAlliance’s longterm goal to become an umbrella organization
that other similar non-profits can reach out to
for assistance and guidance. He added that he
surveyed and found that most nonprofits from
his survey and observation are excited to carry
out their programs but tend to dislike administrative work and fundraising.
David Amen, the vice president of the LGBT
committee for the CBA, was delighted to host
Flosi and Hailey.
“I thought that it was extremely informative. I
learned a lot of what EdgeAlliance does, and how
I could participate in the future,” said Amen.
Hydrate cancels
controversial show
by Kate Sosin
The gay Lake View nightspot Hydrate cancelled a drag show it had booked for Friday,
May 27, in response to outrage from many
that the performer, a white gay man, sports
Charles Knipp had been billed to perform
two shows at the Boystown club, but management canned the act just hours after local
organizers launched a Facebook campaign alleging that Knipp’s act is racist.
Videos on Knipp’s website of drag persona,
“Shirley Q. Liquor,” shows Knipp performing
his blackface routine. In one mock commercial, Shirley Q. Liquor gives a sales pitch for
“Ebonic Airways,” during which she draws on
several racial stereotypes.
Shiren Rattigan, a program coordinator at
the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Women
Leadership and Resource Center, was an organizer of the Facebook page against Knipp’s
Hydrate performance. She said that she was
“appalled” to find out that Knipp would be
performing in blackface in Chicago.
“I was disgusted,” she said. “People were
really upset.”
It’s not the first time that Knipp’s performances have come under fire. In February
2007, GLAAD came out against Knipp’s Shirley Q. Liquor portrayal, stating that the Knipp
was perpetuating racial stereotypes. A 2005
letter to Windy City Times from one Evanston
man said that Knipp “displays a hatred and
contempt for Black people in general and
Black women in particular bordering on the
Hydrate owner Mark Liberson posted notice
that he had cancelled the event just a few
hours after the Facebook page against the
event surfaced. “While the promotions team
had good intentions, the advice they received
regarding the diversity of this entertainer’s
appeal was misguided,” the statement read.
“I regret that this error in judgment was allowed to occur.”
Local organizers will hold a community
meeting to address racism within the LGBTQ
community May 27 in place of what had been
an anticipated protest against Knipp’s performance.
“I think the larger question isn’t about
Mark [Liberson] and Hydrate,” Rattigan said,
adding that organizers were not looking to
scapegoat Hydrate. “It’s about, ‘How could
this have been booked in the first place?’”
The community meeting will be held Friday,
May 27, at 5:30 p.m. at Q4/Multi Kulti, 1000
N. Milwaukee, 4th floor. For more information, e-mail [email protected]
Former employee
sues Spin nightclub
A former Spin Nightclub employee has filed
a lawsuit against the Boystown hotspot and
its manager, Robert Hoffman. The suit, which
was submitted to the United States District
Court for the Northern District of Illinois in
February, alleges repeated sexual harassment
and unfair termination.
Monte Schulz, who worked as a security
guard at Spin from March to September 2009,
claims Hoffman frequently verbally harassed
and sexually propositioned him. The lawsuit
further alleges that when the harassment was
brought to the attention of Spin’s owner David Gassman, Schulz was promptly fired. Spin
did not have a sexual-harassment policy in
place for the duration of Schulz’s employment.
“The law says that you can’t violate somebody’s rights. The fact that you don’t have
a policy not to violate somebody’s rights
doesn’t suddenly mean you can,” said lawyer,
Aaron Maduff, who spoke on Schulz’s behalf.
“People are hired to do a job and, regardless
of what that job is, they were not hired to be
victims of sexual harassment.”
Hoffman did not respond to multiple interview requests. Gassman said he could not
comment on an ongoing legal matter, but did
issue the following statement: “For what it’s
worth, anybody can file a lawsuit, and there
are plenty of lawyers out there who will take
them on contingency. They’ve got nothing
else to do.”
This is not the first lawsuit for Spin and
Hoffman. In early 2010, two women working
as A&C Productions sued the nightclub over a
contractual dispute; the pair claimed Hoffman
treated them unfairly because they are lesbians. A “Boycott Spin” Facebook group that
grew to 600 members documented alleged
unfair treatment of women and racial minorities.
Couples plan to
make it official
at TCRA ceremony
By steven chaitman
Tony Harper and James Abernathy have been
in love for almost 11 years. They live together,
work together, travel together—travel to work
together—and soon they will make history together. On June 3, they will be among the first
LGBT couples across the state of Illinois to be
civilly united in a community-wide public ceremony titled “Unite with Pride: A Community
For Harper and Abernathy, who both work for
the City of Country Club Hills and run a personal
assistant company for celebrities, the busy nature of their work schedules would have longdelayed their plans to unite and celebrate with
family and friends. They say the “Unite with
Pride” event will allow them that opportunity
while removing the stress of planning.
“We’ve been in love for eleven years and what
better way to show that than something shared
with all of the people that had a struggle in
this battle for same-sex domestic partnership,”
Harper said. “And not just do it by ourselves, but
with our friends, colleagues and families.”
Harper and Abernathy will be one of an estimated 40 couples to come together at the at
the Chicago History Museum’s Uihlein Plaza. The
event is a fundraiser for its host group, The Civil
Rights Agenda (TCRA), an equal rights advocacy
organization that was part of the Springfield
lobby that helped pass the civil union bill back
in January.
“We had about five people down (in Springfield) working full time during the period civil
unions were coming together and this is just a
very fitting and appropriate event to usher in a
new era for gay and lesbian couples in Illinois,”
said TCRA Board President Jacob Meister.
TCRA Executive Director Anthony Martinez
said that the event is not only a celebration for
the couples but also for TCRA, which has seen a
lot accomplished after forming less than a year
“We really wanted to take part in [the event]
as a way to tie it back to [when the civil union
law was signed],” Martinez said. “I think for us
as a new organization, we wanted to do something to commemorate our anniversary and as
a community organization, we wanted to give
back to the community as well.”
Martinez said another goal of “United with
Pride” was to provide couples who had previously planned quick ceremonies in other states
or countries with legalized civil unions and mar-
May 25, 2011
riage the opportunity to stay in Illinois while
being able to afford an actual celebration.
Erica Feliciano, who proposed to girlfriend
Vanessa Pabon last year, said the couple had
been planning to go to another state to legalize its relationship. Now, she said, they can
celebrate with friends and family, most of who
live in and around Chicago, as well as with the
greater Chicago community.
“We thought that [the event] would great idea
to participate in the community,” Feliciano said.
“It just felt right. We planned on just doing
something ourselves, but then thought it would
be great to be part of history and part of the
community together.”
Among other historical ties, the Chicago History Museum, which rented out its event facilities for the evening, also recently debuted “Out
in Chicago” a Chicago LGBT history exhibition.
All couples and community guests that register
for the event will be able to view the exhibition.
The Chicago History Museum has a 20-year
history of working with the Chicago LGBT community beginning with an AIDS exhibit in 1992
in conjunction with the Gerber/Hart Library. Executive Vice President and Chief Historian Russell Lewis said that TCRA’s event occurring at
the same time as the new exhibit marks a coincidence that proves history is in the making.
“People have an expectation that [museums]
are ‘validating history’ and that’s exactly what
we wanted to do,” Lewis said. “We wanted to say
to them that this is a group that has a history
and it’s a powerful history and it’s as much part
of history as anything else is.”
Some couples registered for the event are
chiefly looking forward to celebrating this new
chapter in history. Chris Link and his partner,
Stephen Gruhn, had a formal partnership ceremony in Australia five years ago, but are looking forward to celebrating with more friends and
family as well as those who feel equally passionate about their new legal protections.
“We considered [that the event] was great
reason to not only celebrate ourselves and our
relationship, but also the new law that gives us
the opportunity to do so,” Link said.
For Harper and Abernathy, the event constitutes a one-of-a-kind opportunity.
“You’re only slotted so much time in your gay
life to experience an occasion like this,” Harper
said. “There are so many naysayers and nonbelievers who might try and revoke something
like this. We want to take advantage of what we
Chicago’s Dedicated and
Comprehensive LGBT Program
Valeo at Chicago Lakeshore Hospital
provides comprehensive psychiatric
and addiction-related treatment for
gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender
and questioning (LGBTQ) individuals.
The program offers a safe, affirming
therapeutic environment for members
of the LGBTQ community. The Valeo
staff is comprised of well-trained,
experienced gay and gay-sensitive
behavioral health professionals from
a wide variety of disciplines.
Erica Feliciano and Vanessa Pabon.
have now. Regardless of what a piece of paper
may say or society says, we have been united
since 2001.”
The ceremony begins at 5:30 p.m. to be followed a black-tie optional cocktail reception
in the museum’s “Chicago Room.” Professional
photographers will be on hand as will local caterers, bakeries, florists and entertainment. Taylor & Co., led by president Derrick Taylor, will
plan and direct the event.
The Chicago History Museum has been working
with the Chicago Police Department to provide
Meeting focuses
on Boy Scouts
and gays
Rev. Rudra Vilius Dundzila of Second Unitarian
Church spearheaded an exploratory meeting
with supporters and other church members
that addressed the Boy Scouts of America’s
long-standing policy that marginalizes people
based on sexuality and religious affiliation—
but also offered a blueprint of plans of actions, solutions and future steps.
According to a statement made by the Boy
Scouts of America in 1993, the organization
prohibits gay individuals as members or as
leaders in the organization. Dundzila said
he believes that the policy goes against the
mission of The Boy Scouts of America to aid
youth in their emotional, mental and physical
“Scouting is great for youth,” said Dundzila. “The Boy Scouts of America is supposed to
be this organization that is open, warm, and
affirming. There is nothing affirming about
their discriminatory policy.”
The policy also targets individuals of different religious beliefs by prohibiting those to
replace God with their religion’s title version
in the Boy Scout’s oath. During the meeting,
solutions such as encouraging people to join
alternative organizations such as Navigators
USA and Spiral Scouts were discussed. According to the organizations’ websites, both
specialize in working with young boys and
ample security for the event.
“Unite with Pride” costs $50 for the community and $75 for couples wishing to be united.
All fees go to the TCRA’s Families United Project,
a social networking project that aims to educate and inform about civil unions. Guests and
couples who register by the May 28 11:59 p.m.
deadline will also be entered in a drawing to
have brunch with U.S. Sen. Al Franken at a private event on June 12. To register or for more
information, visit http://www.jointcra.org.
girls 7-18 regarding community service and
outdoor activities.
Second Unitarian Church member Nancy Epperson remembers having a positive experience as a Girl Scout when she was younger—
being taught by her Navy Seal father on a
number of building projects, different knots,
and other outdoor activities. “The Boy Scouts
of America is already losing its members. So,
kicking someone while they’re down seems
vindictive but sharing another way seems
progressive,” she said.
Another plan of action discussed was to
write letters to The United Way, the organization that funds The Boy Scouts. The letters
would express the outrage over the discriminatory policy, request transparency, and inquire if The United Way were even aware of
the policy. Long term, Dundzila is planning on
having a booth at Northalsted Market Days to
pass out pamphlets of information regarding
The Boy Scouts’ policy; how people can object
to the policy; and other similar organizations
people can become involved in independent
of The Boy Scouts.
Meeting attendee Br. Michael C. Oboza remembered his vivid experience with The Boy
Scouts as a young boy when a teacher caught
him kissing another male scout. “Unclean,
unsanitary, and you can’t do that” were the
words Oboza remembered when the teacher
saw the two boys kissing. Soon, Oboza was
asked to leave the organization.
“After I got kicked out, I lost all faith in
the church. The Boy Scouts of America has no
oath on a sexual identity to it,” said Oboza.
May 25, 2011
Longtime couple
to be part of
June 2 civil unions
By Carrie Maxwell
On June 2, 30 couples, including Patrick Bova
and James Darby, will take part in civil-union
ceremonies in Wrigley Square at Millennium Park
on the corner of Randolph and Michigan.
It was July 17, 1963 at 10:30 p.m., Darby
said, when they met. It was outside Woodworth’s
Bookstore in Hyde Park and as Bova was looking
in the window Darby drove up on his motorcycle.
They clicked right away and began dating immediately.
Bova was attending the University of Chicago’s Graduate School in Education and Library
Science and Darby had already graduated from
Roosevelt University and was just about to
start teaching at Gage Park High School. After
a whirlwind courtship of about two months they
moved in together in September 1963 and have
been together ever since.
Bova was born in 1938 and moved here from
Erie, Pa., in 1960 to attend the University of
Chicago after he finished his undergraduate
studies at Georgetown University in Washington
D.C. For the next 38 years, Bova worked for the
National Opinion Research Center as their librarian and data archivist before retiring in 1998.
Darby, born in 1932, is a Chicago native having graduated from Englewood High School. He
was drafted, joined the Navy and was a communications technician second class on the aircraft
carrier the U.S.S. Midway for much of his tenure
in the service. Graduating from Roosevelt University with the help of the G.I. Bill in 1963, he
then received a master’s degree from the Illinois
Institute of Technology. He spent his 30-year
career as a Chicago Public School high school
teacher instructing students on a variety of subjects before retiring in 1992.
Bova and Darby became activists as they
continued to work in their respective careers,
primarily around LGBT veterans’ issues. Darby
founded the Chicago chapter of the American
Veterans for Equal Rights (formerly GLBVA) in
1991. Over the years he has served on its national board in a variety of capacities and is
the longtime president of the Chicago chapter.
Darby has also been the secretary of the Mayor’s
Advisory Council on Veterans Affairs for the last
16 years. Bova has been at Darby’s side every
step of the way, doing this volunteer work.
They have also lobbied with the Equality Illinois contingent in Springfield on a variety of
LGBT issues and marched in the Memorial Day
and the Pride parades for many years.
Traveling to Washington D.C., they visited the
Congressional Cemetery to participate in a ceremony honoring technical sergeant and Vietnam
War veteran Leonard Matlovich, who came out as
a gay serviceperson in 1975 while still in the Air
Force. Matlovich was the first highly publicized
gay service member to fight the ban on gays.
Darby’s Navy uniform is currently on display at
the Out in Chicago exhibit at the Chicago History Museum along with a picture of his arrest
and a plaque explaining his LGBT activism history.
It was while they were at the cemetery in
Washington D.C. in 1995, after a day of lobbying
Congress, that Darby asked Rev. Darlene Garner
of the MCC Church to marry him and Bova. She
agreed to officiate, and did the ceremony right
on the spot. An impromptu reception was held
at the restaurant Kramerbooks & Afterwords with
friends who came to the cemetery for the Matlovich ceremony.
How did they feel when the “Don’t Ask, Don’t
Tell” repeal was signed into law? Bova talked
about the Republican’s efforts to stall the bill
officially becoming the law of the land but he
hopes that their efforts can’t come to fruition
and the repeal becomes final over the summer.
“I couldn’t believe it was actually happening,
Darby said, adding, “There was so much negativity about it the previous week with the obstacles
that were put in the way. ... Now after all these
years ... it’s almost over.”
Both men attended the ceremony at the Chicago Cultural Center earlier this year where Gov.
Pat Quinn signed the civil-unions measure into
law. Darby was asked to take part in the ceremony with other LGBT veterans, and they recited the pledge of allegiance. At the close of
the ceremony their state representative, Barbara
Flynn Currie, handed Bova and Darby pens that
Quinn used to sign the bill.
Darby said he was ecstatic when the civilunion bill was signed into law and “couldn’t believe that it finally happened.” “It was a great
accomplishment towards full marriage equality,
Bova said, adding, “It’s a ‘separate but equal’
situation but I’m very happy.”
When asked what they expect on the day of
their civil-union ceremony Bova poked fun at
their 47 years of dating and said it was high
Get ready for Summer!
feels better
when you
work out at
World Gym
James Darby (left) and Patrick Bova. Photo
courtesy of Erik Roldan
time that they got hitched while Darby was
looking forward to other people giving them
toasts during the reception. Both said they will
be exchanging rings in front of 10 friends, seven
of whom are straight individuals.
Bova said, “It’s quite gratifying that our
straight friends are very happy for us and want
to be a part of the day.” Darby added, “I’d love
to wear my uniform [like others have suggested]
but, unfortunately, I’ve loaned it to the Chicago
History Museum.”
The City of Chicago Commission on Human
Relations’ Advisory Council on LGBT issues and
the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and
Special Events—in partnership with the Chicago Office of Tourism and Culture, Lambda Legal, Equality Illinois and the Alliance of Illinois
Judges—are co-sponsoring the event.
Cook County Clerk David Orr, Chief Judge of
the Circuit Court of Cook County, Timothy C. Evans and Cook County Circuit Court Judge Tom
Chiola—who, in 1994, became the first openly
gay candidate elected to the bench—and other
members of the Alliance of Illinois Judges will
be the officiates of the ceremonies.
Notables such as Quinn and Mayor Rahm Emmanuel are slated to attend. If there is inclement weather the ceremonies will be moved to the
Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington, where
a private reception sponsored by Lambda Legal
and Equality Illinois will follow for the couples
and their guests. The ceremonies are open to
the public and all who would like to attend are
invited to witness this occasion.
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May 25, 2011
Dignity/Chicago marks 39 years
By Tully Satre
Dignity/Chicago presented the annual John
Michie Award for community service to Alderman James Cappleman and his partner, Richard
Thale, during an anniversary mass for the organization May 22 at the Broadway United Methodist Church.
Dignity/Chicago celebrated 39 years serving
LGBT Catholics in Chicago since its founding in
1972. The Chicago chapter of the umbrella organization DignityUSA was the fourth of its kind
in the country, giving LGBT-affirming Catholics
a public venue to celebrate their spirituality.
Dignity/Chicago’s annual anniversary mass and
award ceremony recognizes, “individuals or organizations that show hospitality and service
in our community,” said Chris Pett, Dignity/
Chicago’s board president. “Richard and James
certainly meet and exceed that criteria.”
The award was established to honor the memory of John Michie, a member of Dignity/Chicago who was known for his hospitality. It was
created after Michie passed away in the 1980s.
Awardees have included both individuals and organizations that have helped to make Chicago a
more welcoming city for LGBT people.
Pett presented the award to the Cappleman,
Chicago’s second openly gay city council member, and Thale.
“Both have shown [not only] a long-term commitment as members of Dignity/Chicago,” said
Pett, “but also a dedication to the larger Chicago community through their work to improve
life for residents in the Uptown neighborhood.”
Both Cappleman and Thale served on the Dig-
From left: Dignity/Chicago’s Chris Pett, Richard Thale and James Cappleman. Picture by Tim Carroll Photography
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nity/Chicago board in the 1990s and have been
active in Uptown community organizing since
the late 1990s.
Cappleman has been on the board of directors for the Uptown Chicago Commission (UCC),
a not-for-profit neighborhood organization
that seeks to improve the quality of life for all
Uptown residents. He just finished serving his
second term as the board president. Cappleman
has helped form block clubs, organize service
projects, and create open access to necessary
information for residents throughout the 46th
He formerly worked in quality improvement
research at ACCESS Community Health Network
and published a book for individuals with chronic illness titled, Asking the Right Questions to
Get the Health Care You Need.
Thale, Cappleman’s partner of 19 years, is chair
of the 23rd Police District’s Court Advocacy Committee and a CAPS facilitator for Beat 2312.
Dignity/Chicago holds a weekly Roman Catholic Mass at 5 p.m. on each Sunday at Broadway
United Methodist Church. For more information
about Dignity visit http://www.dignity-chicago.
org or http://www.dignityusa.org.
confab looks at
health services
by Kate Sosin
AIDS service providers tend to agree: When it
comes to fighting HIV infection rates among
transgender populations, one of the biggest
obstacles might just be connecting them with
health services, period.
A dearth of statistics exist to prove it, but
it is generally believed that lack of unemployment, high rates of discrimination, and a scarcity of gender-affirming healthcare providers
mean that many transgender people live without access to necessary medical care.
That reality was subject of a May 19 conference, “TransActions: Increasing Access to
Care,” organized by AIDS Foundation of Chicago.The day-long sessions, comprised mostly
of healthcare providers and therapists, focused on obstacles facing transgender people
accessing care and in protecting themselves
against HIV/AIDS.
Keynote addresses were given by three renowned transgender figures: Joanne Herman
who wrote Transgender Explained for Those
Who Are Not, Amanda Simpson’s whose role
advising President Obama has made her the
first openly transgender appointee of a U.S.
presidential administration, and Jamison
Green, Ph.D., an international expert in Transgender Health from University of California.
All three speakers seemed to suggest that
combating discrimination against transgender people was key to opening up access to
“We change the world when we change our
attitudes and change our behaviors,” Green
said. “We change the world when we speak
Green noted that transgender men especially are left out of research on HIV/AIDS and
healthcare, despite the fact that many are
having unprotected sex with other men. He
worries that transgender men are not being
reached at all in study or in healthcare because they have historically been categorized
as a group not at-risk.
Amanda Simpson focused on divisions within the LGBTQ community that often marginalize transgender people and said that elevated
rates of HIV among transgender people were
a “symptom of a greater illness in society.”
Simpson said that symptom was bigotry, even
from gay people.
“Every time we divide ourselves, we move
further away from our goals,” Simpson said.
Simpson spoke only briefly President Obama
and gay issues, noting that it was not her
field of expertise and that she was not representing the administration at the conference.
Still, she named Obama’s memorandum that
same-sex couples be allowed hospital visitation as well as the fact that governmental
anti-bullying site www.stopbullying.gov has
an LGBT link as advancements for the LGBT
The conference also showcased local advocacy efforts in transgender care. Presenters
from Broadway Youth Center’s TWISTA (Trans
Women Informing Sista Trans-women on
Pete Subkoviak and Amanda Simpson at
TransActions. Photo by Kate Sosin
AIDS) Program, talked about methods they
have used to successfully ally with young
transgender women of color in preventing
TWISTA presenters said that they used a
peer-based approach in working with transgender youth to build transgender and ethnic
pride and educate youth about HIV and STDs.
The latter is especially important for transgender women, said LeVea-Tyler Nole, a facilitator for TWISTA.
Nole said that it’s not just unsafe sex that
can place transgender people at risk of HIV
infection. Sharing of needles for hormone
injections and “pumping,” an unlicensed and
often dangerous practice in which silicone
is injected directly into the body to provide
more feminine features, can put many transitioning people at risk of infection as well.
Other workshops were facilitated by the
Chicago Department of Public Health, Transformative Justice Law Project of Illinois, and
the Young Women’s Empowerment Project.
The AD Host Committee was comprised of
representatives from Chicago Department of
Public Health, Howard Brown Health Center,
TransActions and AIDS Foundation of Chicago.
protest May 27
To protest Illinois’ civil-unions bill, a
group headed by Peter LaBarbera (president
of Americans for Truth about Homosexuality) and “ex-gay” Linda Jernigan will stage
a demonstration Friday, May 27, at St. Peter’s
Church, 110 W. Madison, at 11 a.m. The rally
will be followed by a march to the Thompson
Several pro-LGBT groups, including LGBT
Change and the Gay Liberation Network, plan
to stage a counterdemonstration at the same
See http://www.goodasyou.org/good_as_
May 25, 2011
GAYin the
Beef ‘n Brandy
Brad Kaylor
Restaurant and Bar
127 S. State Street
In the Theater District
the stats
Brad Kaylor
Warren Park
Kassel, Germany
Three dogs (named Sassy
Sausage, Schnicker Doodle
and Nibbles), one cat (Bobo
Jenkins), 10 fish and three
Relationship status
Job title
Assistant branch manager
(Fed Ex) and chief architect
(Kaylor Concepts)
Graduated from Kansas State
University in 1993
Kaylor has more than 500
photos on display, pinned into
the walls at his home. “Who
has time to dig out old [photo]
albums,” he said.
Brad Kaylor has turned his childhood passion into a part-time profession.
We’re talking Legos, Lincoln Logs and Girder & Panel—especially Legos.
Kaylor has been toying around (no pun intended) since he was 5, when his grandparents gave
him his first erector set. Now he’s building life-like, extremely detailed replica buildings out of
Legos and other traditional childhood toys—some as high as nine feet tall and weighing 100
pounds or so.
He extrapolates paradigm schematics of material, light, shape and function in his various pieces.
His primary focus is structural integrity, and he fuses art with imagination and brings a sense of
modern-day relevance to his towers.
Kaylor’s works include swimming pools, dance clubs, motor-driven rotating restaurants and
lights—all powered with green-energy, LED components.
“I don’t know, maybe this is my calling in life,” said Kaylor, who built a nine-foot-tall rendition
of the Sears Tower—when it was named as such.
In fact, he’s built and sold his version of the Sears Tower
10 times.
He can build the Sears Tower in one day, if focused, he
Kaylor said it costs him up to $1,000 to build the Sears
Tower out of Girder & Panel parts, or up to $2,000 if made
from Legos.
He sells each for about three times his cost.
“It’s a lot of fun,” said Kaylor, who stores and does all
his construction inside his third-story apartment. And,
yes, the buildings certainly are conversation-starters, he
“They bring out the kid in everyone.”
Kaylor has several buildings now under construction inside his apartment, and also a replica village that is modeled after Roscoe Village, with its three-story flat homes.
Kaylor’s constructions have also, sadly, met ill-fated collapses. Once, a drunken friend accidentally damaged three
buildings that he was ready to sell.
“The next day, I was pretty pissed, but he felt really bad
[about what happened],” Kaylor said.
To date, Kaylor has sold about 25 buildings—and estimates that, in his lifetime, he has spent $50,000 on the traditional childhood toys, including
about 3,000 model cars.
“I love Legos. They are my peace,” Kaylor said. “I have no regrets. I really enjoy it and they
definitely are good conversation pieces.”
In addition to building detailed replicas of established buildings, Kaylor also constructs his own
buildings. Each is so detailed, right down to a policeman eating a donut in one.
Kaylor’s dream is for an architect to build a building based on one of his models. “That would be
awesome,” he said.
Thursday, June 2
7:30 p.m.
Leslie Jamison
The Gin Closet
Kiki Petrosino
Fort Red Border
Sunday, June 5
4:30 p.m.
Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan
A Tiger in the Kitchen
5233 N. Clark
(773) 769-9299
[email protected]
Parking Available
Wheelchair Accessible
Have your
See me:
Charles T. Rhodes,
2472 N. Clark
State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company
(not in NJ)
State Farm Indemnity Company (NJ)
Home Offices: Bloomington, Illinois
May 25, 2011
Special Project
A special series in partnership with the
AIDS Foundation of Chicago
The angry ‘Heart’
of Larry Kramer
Interview by Tracy Baim
The lifetime achievement award for “angriest
queer” may not come with a fancy trophy or
star-studded awards show, but for sheer longevity, there is no one who comes close to Larry
Kramer and his sustained anger.
This anger has been a force for both good
and bad. The good includes the founding of Gay
Men’s Health Crisis in 1982 and ACT UP in 1987,
as well as writing numerous fiction and non-fiction plays and books. The bad includes alienating many of his friends and colleagues. Kramer’s
intensity is still very high. His play The Normal
Heart is now in its Broadway debut and he is
working on a several-thousand-page history of
America through a gay lens.
Kramer started his career in a more mainstream
environment. He was nominated for an Academy
Award in 1969 for his Women in Love screenplay.
However, by the 1970s the gay community became the main inspiration for most of his work.
In 1973, he wrote a play called Sissies’ Scrapbook. In his 1978 book Faggots, he slammed
down the gauntlet on his own gay male community. He dared tear open the closet door on
a sexual lifestyle he found shallow and dangerous. Little did he know that the free-love 1970s
would lead to the AIDS crisis the next decade,
but in hindsight he believes it was almost an inevitability. According to The New Yorker, Kramer
said of the book: “The straight world thought I
was repulsive, and the gay world treated me like
a traitor. People would literally turn their back
when I walked by. You know what my real crime
was? I put the truth in writing. That’s what I do:
I have told the fucking truth to everyone I have
ever met.”
When AIDS first began to take hold in the
United States, New York’s gay community faced
some of the highest rates of infection, even
before doctors knew what was infecting their
patients. Kramer’s The Normal Heart deals with
these terrifying early years, when people were
dying within weeks of diagnosis, and no one
knew how it was transmitted. The play uses fictional names for real-life heroes, with Ned Weeks
as Kramer’s fictional stand-in.
The play, first produced at The Public Theatre
in New York 1985, has not lost any of its significance, and it is as powerful as ever. Some of the
actors in the new Broadway production were not
even born when AIDS was striking down people
in 1981, when The New York Times first mentioned that authorities were tracking strange
diseases diagnosed in a few gay men. This new
production, directed by Joel Gray and George C.
Wolfe, is in a limited run at the Golden Theatre. It stars Ellen Barkin, Joe Mantello, Patrick
Breen, Mark Harelik, John Benjamin Hickey, Luke
Macfarlane, Lee Pace, Jim Parsons, Richard Topol
and Wayne Alan Wilcox.
PHOTOS THIS PAGE: Larry Kramer handing our flyers about AIDS after the May 15 matinee performance of The Normal Heart on Broadway. Photos by Tracy Baim. See page 17 for a transcription
of the flyer.
In 1983, The New York Native published Kramer’s groundbreaking speech “1,112 and Counting,” a call to arms for gay men. Many ignored
his call, but some were inspired. “If my speech
tonight doesn’t scare the shit out of you, we’re
in real trouble,” Kramer said. “If what you’re
hearing doesn’t rouse you to anger, fury, rage,
and action, gay men will have no future here
on earth. How long does it take before you get
angry and fight back?”
Kramer was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize for
his 1992 play the Destiny of Me, a follow-up to
The Normal Heart, and he has received two Obie
Awards. His work includes 1988’s Just Say No, A
Play about a Farce, highlighting the hypocrisy of
the administrations of President Ronald Reagan
and New York Mayor Ed Koch. In 1989 some of
his essays were collected into the book Reports
from the Holocaust: The Story of an AIDS Activist. His non-fiction work also included a book
based on his 2004 essay, The Tragedy of Today’s
Gays, delivered soon after George W. Bush was
re-elected president. Kramer said the Bush vic-
tory was caused by the continued hatred of gay
In 2007, he wrote yet another important and
powerful essay, “We Are Not Crumbs; We Must
Not Accept Crumbs,” on the 20th anniversary of
ACT UP. The essay was timed for the presidential
primary, and Kramer was not happy with any of
the candidates for president. He tried to inspire
a new generation of activists to learn their history, and fight for their lives:
“One day AIDS came along. It happened fast.
Almost every man I was friendly with died. Eric
still talks about his first boyfriend, 180 pounds,
28 years old, former college athlete, who became a 119-pound bag of bones covered in
purple splotches in months. Many of us will always have memories like this that we can never
“Out of this came ACT UP. We grew to have
chapters and affinity groups and spin-offs and
affiliations all over the world. Hundreds of men
and women once met weekly in New York City
alone. Every single treatment against HIV is
out there because of activists who forced these
drugs out of the system, out of the labs, out of
the pharmaceutical companies, out of the government, into the world. It is an achievement
unlike any other in the history of the world. All
gay men and women must let ourselves feel colossally proud of such an achievement. Hundreds
of millions of people will be healthier because of
us. Would that they could be grateful to us for
saving their lives.”
Throughout all of these years, starting in the
late 1970s, Kramer has also been working on
a massive book project: The American People:
A History. Publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux
has acquired rights to the work, a combination
of fiction and non-fiction, and the first of the
books may be published in 2012.
While Kramer has been ostracized from parts
May 25, 2011
of the LGBT community, he still has a passion for
it that was obvious during my recent interview
with him. We sat down after the May 15 matinee
performance of The Normal Heart, but not before
he enlisted me in helping hand out his flyers
after the show.
Kramer, who learned he was HIV-positive in
1988, is still fighting back, and acting up—even
if he sometimes seems like a tree in a forest,
with nobody listening.
Tracy Baim: It is difficult to interview you
right after seeing the play. It is still so powerful. How many times have you seen this
Larry Kramer: I didn’t go to the rehearsals,
because [Director George C. Wolfe] wanted the
actors alone, which is fine. So I went to a couple
weeks of previews, and then basically when I
come in to hand out the flyers, every once in
awhile I like to come in the second act, to see
Ellen [Barkin] do what I call her [Ethel] Merman
moment, and say hello to the actors to let them
know they’re still loved.
TB: How about seeing it 25 years later?
LK: It’s surreal, I don’t know how to describe
it. I happened by chance to see some footage of
the first production, with Brad Davis. It was so
innocent, and Brad seemed so innocent, compared to what we know now and what we went
thru after. Brad and Joe [Mantello] both give
marvelous performances, of its time. Joe is sort
of almost patriarchal, from the Old Testament,
and Brad was sort of like a much younger version
of a person who hadn’t grown up somehow. [Davis starred in the film Midnight Express; he was
diagnosed with AIDS in 1985, the same year he
Revisiting The Normal Heart
by Joan Lipkin
The year was 1985. I had an asymmetrical haircut, Jefferson
Starship was playing on the radio and no one I knew had
died of AIDS. However, I was living in St. Louis, where visibility about the epidemic was minimal. To be sure, there
were rumblings. Rumors about a few people being sick and
the St. Louis community were beginning to quietly organize
in response. However, these were faint stirrings. It was, after
all, the Midwest. In New York City, it was a different story
as many found their inner activist for the first time to organize in the face of presidential and mayoral administrations
and mainstream media that were all ignoring the burgeoning
As I have so often done, I found my way to the theater,
looking for stories to tell the truth about our lives. As the
theater and NYC have so often been a harbinger, not surprisingly, I found The Normal Heart by Larry Kramer.
With the exception of Brad Davis
(a stand-in for author Larry Kramer), who was poised for fame on
the basis of his performance in the
1978 film, Midnight Express, this
was not a star-struck affair. In addition, Concetta Tomei, in the role
of the Dr. Emma Brookner, was a respected stage actress but no movie
star. Instead, the pull was this
shocking drama that had people
buzzing, and its collision between
fact and fiction. Did it really take
14 months for Mayor Ed Koch to
agree to a meeting with the Gay
Men’s Health Crisis and then only
send a representative? Did The New
Joan Lipkin. Photo
York Times really refuse to provide
by Rachel Brandt
any significant coverage about
AIDS while running front-page articles on toxic shock syndrome.
This inaugural production, produced by Joe Papp and directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg, captured the imagination
of the theater world and ran in New York for 294 performances. It was electrifying drama and depicted a crisis that
was all too real, including for Davis, its leading man who
was also diagnosed with AIDS that year. At least in St. Louis,
AIDS seemed somewhat removed.
It quickly became a reality. In response, friends and colleagues created the St. Louis AIDS Foundation or began
volunteering. I founded the Alternate Currents/Direct Currents Series at the St. Marcus Theatre, opening with Michael
Kearns, the first openly gay, openly HIV-positive actor in
Hollywood and intimacies, his groundbreaking one-man
portrayal of various characters with AIDS. I remember how
hungry people were for information and how Michael’s show
somehow made it safe for them to explore some of the complexities of this new disease, including the social stigma so
often attached to it.
starred in The Normal Heart, but he kept the illness a secret. He died in 1991 of an intentional
drug overdose because of the severe pain he was
experiencing from AIDS complications.]
TB: In writing The Normal Heart, you probably thought then that more people would
get as angry as you.
LK: I still do.
TB: Even back then it was still only a few
thousand people who acted up and fought
LK: If I knew the answer to that … what’s
your answer?
TB: That it always only takes a few people
to make a change.
LK: When you consider how many of us there
are, you think there would be more. To my dying day I would like to find the answer to that
Turn to page 16
Now, of course, it is hard to remember a time when AIDS was
not part of our landscape. Now, the facts are stunningly real.
Since 1981, when Kramer began his clarion cry, more than
35 million people have died and an estimated 75 million
women, men and children have been infected with HIV/AIDS
In October 2011, The Normal Heart was resurrected for an
acclaimed one-night staged reading on Broadway in which
it raised $150,000 for charity. I suspect producer Daryl Roth
was floating the idea for a Broadway run. Now, a scant six
months later—a virtual nanosecond in theater time—the
show has opened on Broadway and playwright Larry Kramer
is having his Broadway debut at the age of 75. I also suspect
that Kramer, a leading figure in the fight against AIDS who
also co-founded the Gay Men’s Heath Crisis and ACT UP, is
less excited about the cachet of Broadway than about the
ability to continue to get the story out. He has been seen
handing out flyers outside the theater about the seriousness
of the AIDS crisis.
Unlike the original production 26 years ago in which buying a t-shirt (did they even have them?) would be considered a snazzy form of marketing, this production has the
admirable forces of social media behind it. Kramer was an
early proponent of same-sex marriage and the performing
and production team have joined forces with Evan Wolfson
and Freedom to Marry to raise money, awareness and organize. Additionally. part of the profits will go to support the
Actors Fund, amFAR, Friends in Deed and the Human Rights
Campaign. Every Tuesday night following the play, there is
a free post-show conversation at the theater with notables
from the HIV/AIDS, LGBT and allied communities. Tickets are
also affordable and available at virtually every price point.
That is my kind of marketing, one that acknowledges and
supports the communities from which a work is borne. I was
thrilled to learn that this historic play would be remounted
and interested to see the way today’s multi-media platforms
could involve new audiences and stimulate new conversations.
And I was also nervous to see it—anxious about whether
it would hold up as a vibrant piece of theater. I also wondered how it would feel to revisit some of my own history,
in a sense, to bring the ghosts of late friends and colleagues
with me. Was critical objectivity possible? Did I even want
to be objective?
All of that fell away with a burst of percussion that precedes
the opening scene. The stripped down set by David Rockwell
allows the action to focus sharply on the tightly written
narrative with furious or funny scenes that frequently erupt
in histrionic monologues like arias. In revisiting the play so
many years later, I discovered new colors and textures that
had passed me by in the rush of that heightened emotional
time. I had forgotten how terrifying it was when people had
no idea how HIV was transmitted and how their fear affected both friendships and intimacy. I hadn’t remembered
the utter exhaustion of the early activists as they worked to
organize, raise money and call attention to the crisis. Also,
while LGBT people still don’t have full protections under the
The front of the Golden Theatre in NYC. Photo by Tracy
law in most of the country, the workplace discrimination was
more pervasive back then, promoting closeting and yet more
tensions between colleagues and friends.
The Normal Heart is one heck of a history lesson. We know
that some of the characters we meet in the course of the
play will contract HIV/AIDS or lose partners and friends.
So the drama is not in discovering the narrative but rather
in knowingly seeing it unfold with the insight of time and
distance. Nevertheless, it packs a wallop, especially as the
real-life names of the dead projected onto the brick walls of
the theater mount, until they are filling the whole space.
In today’s Broadway, it is unusual to put up a chestnut
without a star. In this case, a bevy of stars: Joe Montello
of Angels in America fame, John Benjamin Hickey from The
Big C on Showtime, Luke MacFarland from Brothers & Sisters
and, of course, Ellen Barkin, a genuine movie star. However,
it is also an excellent ensemble and some of the strongest
work comes from younger actors like Jim Parsons, an upand-comer who has attracted a lot of attention for his work
in the TV comedy The Big Bang Theory.
Co-directed by George C. Wolfe—who directed Angels in
America on Broadway—and Joel Grey, this production finds
humor when it can and it is welcome relief. Because understandably, there is yelling. A lot of yelling. Also, the need to
verbally and physically project in a Broadway house sometimes threatens the nuances that characterize the best of
any theater.
However, ultimately, it doesn’t matter. It is riveting drama and a must-see for fans of both theater and those who
would seek to understand our history. I sat shell shocked at
the conclusion of the play along with most of the audience,
drawn into the story, wondering about the passage of time
and deeply saddened, frustrated and yes, angered at the homophobia that allowed a possibly containable virus to spin
out of control.
Joan Lipkin is the artistic director of That Uppity Theatre Company and most recently directed The Big, Fat,
LGBT Show of Shows in St. Louis which is touring to both
schools and corporations and Happiwy Ever After for the
Fresh Fruit Festival in New York City. Her work with LGBT
youth is also featured in the new anthology, Out & Allied.
KRAMER from page 15
question. I never have been able to. And you’d
think that in the mid-1990s, when that was the
worst of AIDS, when there wasn’t anything, and
everybody was really dying, that there couldn’t
have been more than a few thousand across the
country with all the ACT UP chapters and Project Inform … considering how many of us there
are, 10-20 million, it’s just amazing, that people
wouldn’t fight to save their own lives.
TB: Some people today think there was so
much going on back then that it couldn’t have
only been a few thousand people. They think
it’s too impossible to make change. But a few
core people did make changes in treatment
LK: I think [ACT UP] represents the greatest
achievement that a people have ever succeeded
in, in history, period. I think it’s one of the
greatest grassroots organizations that ever was.
Every single treatment is out there because of
ACT UP. It didn’t come from the NIH [National
Institutes of Health] or government, it didn’t
come from anybody but a lot if dying men who
were scared shitless. And who fought like hell
and learned everything they could and changed
the system. The story has never really been told
in the detail it should. … It’s about a healthcare emergency, it’s not about gender studies,
queer studies. The women and the men worked
together side by side.
TB: So you believe men and women worked
side by side?
LK: They did here, in New York. I learned so
much from the lesbians in ACT UP, I cannot tell
you. About everything. Not only about lesbians,
but about women, gay women and gay men.
Also from Maxine Wolfe, an old activist from
day one, I learned about so many of the movements that preceded us. She had been in a lot
of the movements. Some of my best friends were
women from ACT UP, and some from GMHC.
TB: What about the gay men who vilified
you for your controversial 1978 book Faggots.
Has there ever been an acknowledgement that
some of what you said was right?
LK: They still vilify me. … I have 8 million
May 25, 2011
Barbra Streisand fans vilifying me … [Kramer
criticized her for her long delay on filming The
Normal Heart, which never happened.]
TB: Is the film now going to happen? With
Ryan Murphy from TV’s Glee? [Ironically,
Kramer was in the Varsity Glee Club at Yale
LK: From your mouth to his ear. He’s a man of
mystery in my life. He paid me a lot of money.
We have the same goals. He wants Glee as his
attempt to deal with gays in school, which is a
magnificent attempt, and mine is to get everybody to learn our history, so we’re not that far
away in our goals. But we’re both difficult men
and we haven’t had enough time to get to know
each other.
TB: Some of the issues in The Normal Heart,
like gays getting married, are now coming
LK: Are they? I don’t think the marriage that
is happening is the marriage I want to see happening. These marriages are useless; they’re just
feel-good marriages. They aren’t the benefits
straight people get when they get married—
that’s what we’re entitled to. I happen to personally think that: number one, it’s taking forever; number two, it’s taking much longer than
it should; and number three, I don’t think we
should have gone state by state because we’ll all
be dead before we get all the states. I don’t begrudge anybody getting married, and people tell
me it makes you feel wonderfully … you girls
TB: We don’t believe in it.
LK: There you go. I don’t mean to call you
“girls”… . My partner doesn’t want to get married either. But I do have friends that are quite
moved by the whole experience. And it changed
their lives. Elton John and David Furnish are
married, but in a country where they get something for being married.
TB: You are pushing for us to learn our history. Do you think our lack of a sense of history is part of the reason LGBT youth are at
risk for suicide?
LK: I don’t know that it’s anything new; I just
think we’re hearing about it [suicides] more. It’s
always existed. I tried to kill myself my freshman
The Normal Heart cast: Seated on floor: Patrick Breen, Richard Topol; Second row: Ellen
Barkin, Jim Parsons, Joe Mantello, Mark Harelik; Back row: Luke Macfarlane, Lee Pace, John
Benjamin Hickey, Wayne Alan Wilcox. Photo credit: Joan Marcus
Joe Mantello as Ned Weeks and John Benjamin Hickey as Felix Turner in Larry Kramer’s The
Normal Heart at the Golden Theatre. Photo credit Joan Marcus
year at Yale, that didn’t make the papers, partially because I didn’t succeed. But I think it’s
been here forever. I think that the knowledge
base is different. But I do think the fact that we
don’t have any opportunity to learn our history
is very harmful to us. I don’t think what they
teach in school—the queer theory, the gender
theory—is gay history. I attempted to do this
with Yale, and they closed me down because I
screamed too much about what they were doing
that I didn’t think was right. And they wouldn’t
do what I wanted, which was to teach that Abraham Lincoln was gay, George Washington was
gay, let’s find out who was gay, let’s name them.
Black people began to be taken seriously, as a
discipline to study, the minute that Thomas Jefferson’s Black mistress was validated academically. If we could do the same for Lincoln and
Washington, who were both gay, among many,
many others, maybe they would take us more
TB: Your 2007 speech, “We’re Not Crumbs,”
was during the presidential primary. When
Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were running and fighting it out for the LGBT vote.
You were saying both of them were not the
solution. What do you think of Obama now?
LK: I think Obama is a very careful bureaucrat
who says the right things and then doesn’t do
them. And he has this way of pacifying the Human Rights Campaign and all the people who are
fighting for us in D.C. to shut them up, and it’s
not satisfactory.
TB: What about on AIDS?
LK: On AIDS he’s bad. I don’t know if you saw
how far behind they are on funding international
AIDS commitments, and the Ryan White money
is really bad in so many states. I don’t think we
face up to the fact sufficiently that we are hated, and I use HATED in capital letters and urge
everyone to consider that that’s what is going
on. I am not talking about dislike or discomfort,
I’m talking about hate. … The things the Tea
Party and these Republicans are saying, saying
in public about us, you couldn’t say about Jewish people, about Black people … hateful words,
that is hate.
TB: What about low self-image? Is that contributing in unsafe sex?
LK: That’s another question like why isn’t everybody fighting for their lives. Why isn’t everybody taking better care of themselves? What’s
the big deal about using a condom. I think
they’re sexy myself. I don’t know.
TB: Is it an internalized hate?
LK: I don’t like these jargonese expressions.
“Internalized homophobia.” Nobody likes themselves, whatever they are, gay straight, fat,
thin—you’re never happy with yourself. Or
you’re always aware that you could be a better
self. I don’t know. They think all these drugs
[are a solution] … anybody who has been on
these drugs for any length of time will tell you,
they’re not always so easy to take as everybody
thinks, not to mention the cost.
TB: I wanted to ask you about a few folks
we lost and your memory of them. Including
Stephen Gendin. You did a great memorial
tribute to him when he died in 2000.
LK: Stephen and Mark [Aurigemma] were both
fresh-faced kids … they became this beautiful
couple. Stephen was exceedingly gutsy, and put
a lot of effort into ACT UP. …
TB: Chicagoans Danny Sotomayor and Scott
LK: That was a very moving experience, I have
a vision of them dying side by side in the hospital … Lori Cannon is still the keeper of the
TB: There is a new book about Vito Russo,
co-founder of ACT UP, as well.
LK: Vito was among our great people. He just
took what he believed in and fuck you if you
didn’t agree with him. Which is what activism is
all about.
TB: What about your American history book.
Is it coming out next year?
LK: I am meeting with my publisher next week,
and that’s the same thing he’s going to ask me!
I try not to think about what I got myself into.
After Faggots came out, around 1978, I, like so
many gay writers, decided to write my Proustian
life. So I started writing something, when I had
the chance. I just kept writing. In the [1980s],
when the shit hit the fan, I didn’t have quite
the time. But I wrote a lot of ancillary stuff, like
The New York Native articles, then I wrote The
Normal Heart, and I began to realize I wanted
to write the history of America, and I wanted
to write a really long book. And I have no idea
why. Like I was going to build the Empire State
It had to do more … with an intellectual challenge. I love writing a lot, I love to write, I’m
miserable when I’m not in front of my computer.
But everything I’ve written has had a different form. Every play has had a different form.
Screenplays are different. What I’m writing now
is not the same as Faggots. I like trying new
forms. Because I don’t want to write another
play like Normal Heart, or Destiny, which has
another structure. So it’s the technique of it all
that’s interesting to me. What makes a person
read a long book, what makes a person turn the
page? … It just kept getting longer and longer
and longer.
Then one day Jonathan Katz told me Abraham Lincoln was
gay. And I started to say if he was gay, why, and you begin
to get into history and you realize we’ve been here since the
beginning. Man has had a dick since man has been on earth.
Don’t tell me he didn’t know what it was or what to do with
it—excuse me if I just talk about men—or whatever. To maintain that all this didn’t happen, and that homosexuality or
sexuality or whatever you wanted to call it because it didn’t
have a name, back then, is any different than it was back
So it slowly became a history of America. And the AIDS stuff
became the end of the book. As so often when you write a
book, you don’t go forward, you go back, and the further I
went back the further I went back, until I got to the monkeys
in the jungle, who were gay, literally. Then I fell into stuff, and
people gave me stuff. We’ve had wonderful gay historians, who
no one ever paid attention to. That fact that George Washington was a big queen is not original to me. There was an
incredible historian, Charley Shively, who wrote all this stuff
in the 1950s. He’s the first historian who wrote about the gay
Walt Whitman, which is accepted now. But no one would ever
publish him. It was finally published in something called Gay
Sunshine, which was a San Francisco publication, a rag, and
no one saw it. Not only that [Washington] was gay but that he
was a raging queen. Isn’t that wonderful? And that this other
man wins a Pulitzer Prize for writing 2,000 pages on George
Washington and doesn’t mention that the guy was anything
gay makes me ill. These are the fights I had with Yale … which
led them to shut my gay studies thing down. I still have very
painful feelings about that.
So I kept writing this book, and the more I wrote and the
more I found out, who were the gay presidents, who were the
enemies who had a great deal to do with hating us through the
years. All of this really leads to AIDS. You can see where AIDS
came from. AIDS is a disease that was caused by us being hated for so many centuries. That’s really what the book is about.
But it is also … when I finished the first draft it was 4,000
pages. It’s a pain in the ass just to read it, re-read it—for me!
My friend and editor Will Schwalbe said polish up 300 pages
and see what happens. … The very first person he showed it
to was Jonathan Galassi, who is Mr. Publishing—head of Farrar
Straus, the class act in publishing. When all the gay “literati”
saw I was being bought by Farrar Straus, suddenly I was being
paid attention to. Hypocrisy, be thy name. … So Jonathan
said “I must have this book.” He had not read the 4,000 other
May 25, 2011
pages. So I found myself at age 75, about to be age 76, editing
a book that is so long. I still have the mental ability, I hope
it doesn’t evaporate—and with HIV you never know—but it
would have been easier to edit it all 20 years ago than it is
now. It’s an enormous chore … but I’m aware it’s got to be just
TB: It is more of a novel, not an academic book?
LK: I didn’t want to call it a novel, because while there is
some fictional stuff in it, it’s basically both. I would like to
call it “novel” in quotes. But Jonathan thinks we should call it
a novel, and there is some advantage in that—I don’t have to
prove it, I can just say it. Some of the stuff quite frankly is no
more provable than proving that a person is heterosexual. You
don’t know. The fact that most history is written by straight
people, they just assume everybody is straight. That begins to
grate after awhile. … I don’t want to publish it until I finish
the whole thing. It’s slowly taking shape and here’s hoping I
can finish it before I die.
TB: I wanted to ask about The New York Native. It was
such an angry publication, around HIV and AIDS, but it
had such an influence. Publisher Charles Ortleb went off on
some strange direction near the end [it closed in 1997].
LK: When I wrote ‘1,112 and Counting’, and Chuck Ortleb
named it, it was the longest piece they ever published. And he
allowed it to be published by any paper in the country, just to
run it. About a dozen or so gay papers ran it. That was like a
network that covered the country. It got the word out. It’s a
great loss we don’t have that anymore. You can get stuff out,
we have the Internet, but it’s not the same. More people see
it, but more people throw shit on it too.
TB: What more do you want to say about The Normal
LK: Elton [John] claims he wants to take it around the world.
He’s, by the way, a very great man. I can’t tell you what a nice
person he is. … [With the Tony Awards] it would be nice, I
very much want Joe Mantello to win; he’s unfortunately up
against the strongest competition of everybody. It would be
nice, it’s never happened before. … The fact that the play was
even nominated for a Tony, the fact that a play is on Broadway,
means that European theaters will pay attention. They don’t
care about off-Broadway, or London; they care about Broadway. I’ve already had offers from markets, including Spain. It
didn’t make any difference that it was the longest-running play
at the Public; that was off-Broadway. The fact that we moved
a couple blocks is ridiculous, but there you go.
Local man with HIV prompts nationwide
change in Chase Bank fees
In response to pressure from consumer and disability rights
advocates, Chase Bank announced May 13 that it would end its
$12 monthly fee on basic checking account customers with direct deposits of at least $500 per month in aggregate from Social Security payments. This change could save customers with
disabilities in Illinois alone over half a million dollars a year.
A Chicago Chase customer contacted the AIDS Legal Council
of Chicago (ALC) in March after his account was charged a $12
fee because he didn’t have a direct deposit of at least $500
into his checking account. Because the Chase customer has a
history of working in low-wage jobs, he receives two disability
checks every month. When he went into is local Chase bank to
complain about the fee, he was told to have Social Security
combine the two checks—an obvious impossibility. He then
called the ALC, stating he felt the policy discriminated against
people with disabilities.
The ALC partnered with Woodstock Institute to raise the fee
issue with Chase and its banking regulator. Woodstock Institute, a research and advocacy nonprofit focused on fair lending,
wealth creation and financial reform, and the ALC challenged
the new Chase bank account fee policy that imposes on customers with disabilities and other low-income customers an
excessive $12 monthly fee unless the customer has at least
one direct deposit of at least $500 per month or maintains
substantial assets at the bank. Under the federal Community
Reinvestment Act (CRA), Chase has an obligation to serve the
banking needs of all persons in its service area, including lowand moderate-income people. Chase is currently undergoing its
periodic CRA examination, which includes a fair lending analysis.
After raising the fee issue with Chase and its federal banking
regulator, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Ann
Hilton Fisher of the ALC and her client, and Dory Rand and Tom
Feltner of Woodstock Institute met with Chase May 9 in Chicago. In addition, consumer advocates from around the country
participated in the meeting by phone, including Kevin Stein of
California Reinvestment Coalition, Sarah Ludwig of NEDAP in
New York City, and Peter Skillern of the Community Reinvestment Association of North Carolina. The advocates and Chase
customer asked Chase to consider several options to better
serve community needs, including waiving fees if the customer
has direct deposits of at least $500 per month in aggregate.
On May 13, Chase announced that it has agreed to change its
policy so that customers with direct deposits of Social Security
payments totaling at least $500 per month in aggregate will
qualify for the fee waiver. Chase is working to implement this
change as quickly as possible, probably within a few statement
cycles or months.
The following organizations also expressed support for this
policy change and applauded the advocates’ successful efforts:
World Institute on Disability (Oakland, Calif.); Health & Disability Advocates (Chicago); Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities in Illinois; National Disability Institute (Washington, D.C.);
Equip for Equality (Chicago); Access Living (Chicago); and the
National Community Reinvestment Coalition (Washington,
Ann Fisher remarked “When people with HIV stand up for
their rights the world becomes a better place—not just for
them but for so many others. We are grateful to our client for
bringing this issue to our attention and to our colleagues in the
advocacy community who worked with us to make this change
A letter from
Larry Kramer:
Please Know
The following is the flyer distributed by Larry Kramer and
members of the cast and crew after some of the performances of his play The Normal Heart, now on Broadway
in NYC.
Thank you for coming to see our play.
Please know that everything in The Normal Heart
happened. These were and are real people who lived
and spoke and died, and are presented here as best as
I could. Several more have died since, including Bruce,
whose name was Paul Popham, and Tommy, whose
name was Rodger McFarlane and who became my best
friend, and Emma, whose name was Dr. Linda Laubenstein. She died after a return bout of polio and another
trip to an iron lung. Rodger, after building three gay/
AIDS agencies from the ground up, committed suicide
in despair. On his deathbed at Memorial, Paul called me
(we’d not spoken since our last fight in this play) and
told me to never stop fighting.
Four members of the original cast died as well, including my dear sweet friend Brad Davis, the original
Ned, whom I knew from practically the moment he got
off the bus from Florida, a shy kid so very intent on
becoming a fine actor, which he did.
Please know that AIDS is a worldwide plague.
Please know that no country in the world, including this one, especially this one, has ever called it a
plague, or acknowledged it as a plague, or dealt with it
as a plague.
Please know that there is no cure.
Please know that after all this time the amount of
money being spent to find a cure is still miniscule, still
almost invisible, still impossible to locate in any national health budget, and still totally uncoordinated.
Please know that here in America case numbers continue to rise in every category. In much of the rest
of the world—Russia, India, Southeast Asia, Africa—
the numbers of the infected and the dying are so grotesquely high they are rarely acknowledged.
Please know that all efforts at prevention and education continue their unending record of abject failure.
Please know that there is no one in charge of this
plague. This is a war for which there is no general and
for which there has never been a general. How can you
win a war with no one in charge?
Please know that beginning with Ronald Reagan
(who would not say the word “AIDS” publicly for seven
years), every single president has said nothing and
done nothing, or in the case of the current president,
says the right things and then doesn’t do them.
Please know that most medications for HIV/AIDS are
inhumanely expensive and that government funding
for the poor to obtain them is dwindling and often
Please know that pharmaceutical companies are
among the most evil and greedy nightmares ever loosed
on humankind. What “research” they embark upon is
calculated only toward finding newer drugs to keep us,
just barely, from dying, but not to make us better or,
god forbid, cured.
Please know that an awful lot of people have needlessly died and will continue to needlessly die because
of any and all of the above.
Please know that the world has suffered at the very
least some 75 million infections and 35 million deaths.
When the action of the play that you have just seen
begins, there were 41.
I have never seen such wrongs as this plague, in all
its guises, represents, and continues to say about us
Signed, Larry Kramer.
For more information, visit
May 25, 2011
Don Lemon:
Young, gifted,
Black, gay
and handsome
Recently, you may have heard the news that
the esteemed CNN news anchor, Don Lemon has
“come out” and announced to the world that he
is a gay or a same-gender-loving man. I congratulate him for taking this very courageous and
personally liberating step. However, I am also
extremely dismayed that he is being criticized
for why it took him so long to do so.
Some say that Lemon came out to create buzz
about the release of his new book, Transparent,
and to increase book sales when his memoir is
released. Others are criticizing him because he
did not make a bolder public announcement. As
a same-gender-loving man, I know that it is not
uncommon for gay people to delay announcing
to friends and family that they are gay, and perhaps with good reason!
Even though the United States purports itself
to be a democratic nation that embraces all cultures, religions, and ethnicities, regrettably, still
many Americans unfairly bash President Obama,
spewing out racial slurs like venomous snakes
characteristic of the ‘60s and adamantly oppose equal rights for same-gender-loving people--specifically in regards to marriage equality. One need look no further then the fierce
battlegrounds of New York City, where a heated
contentious war is being waged against samegender-loving people to prevent them from marrying the person of their own choosing.
In the past three years there has been an unprecedented number of youth and young adults
committing suicide because of gay bullying.
Movies and music have been saturated for decades with gay slurs, homophobic lyrics and
stereotypical story lines that insult, demean
and discriminate against gay people, much like
Blacks were portrayed in black-and-white films
in the past.
Noted essayist Cleo Manago—founder and CEO
of the African, American Advocacy, Support-
Adding ‘M’
So the law has almost caught up with LGBT love.
Whether you’re planning a civil union or not,
everyone needs to talk about the “M” word at
some point.
The “M” word is “money.” Here’s a series of
questions on my website, http://www.claudiaperryink.com, that can help you start that talk
with your loved ones. Most people say they need
time to think about all this stuff. However, few
folks shut off their computers, put the dog in
the crate and silence all media and concentrate
on their financial needs. The following will help
you get started.
1. What do you care about?
2. Who are you responsible for?
Services & Survival Institute (AmASSI)—could
be named among the long list of critics, who
in my opinion engaged in the recent bashing
and criticizing of Lemon for not being more vocal on issues that relate to the African-American
community and insinuating that the only reason
Lemon was selected by CNN is because he is a
fair-skinned brother whom as Manago puts it,
“may possibly be in his position at CNN because
he is a light-skinned, homosexual Black man
who is likely seen, by Whites, as less threatening than another type of Black man.”
While I do agree with Manago, that CNN has
skirted around and even blatantly ignored pertinent issues that pertain to the African American
community and same-gender-loving people, I do
not agree with his assessment of Mr. Lemon’s
journalistic skills, qualifications and/or CNN’s
reasons for hiring Lemon. Lemon is a man of
integrity. He is personable and caring, in addition to being an excellent journalist who is more
than qualified to be an anchor for CNN.
Moreover, I applaud CNN for supporting Lemon
in his decision to make his sexual preference
public and I believe that they were very wise to
do so! Rachel Maddow, as you know, is perhaps
one of the most respected and courageous samegender-loving female journalists on television
today.People all over the world regularly view
her telecast and appreciate her thorough, unbiased, incisive cutting-edge style of reporting. I
sincerely believe that because Lemon has elected to be more transparent regarding his personal
life, that he is poised and primed to become
one of CNN’s most dynamic and most watched
anchors, who will boldly seize new opportunities to address many of the issues that Manago
claims are intentionally omitted by CNN.
I’d like to remind everyone involved in any
type of judgmental action, that Lemon’s private
life is exactly that: private.
No one but God is privy to the elements, factors and reasons that motivated him to bravely
announce to the world that he refuses to go on
hiding this aspect of his “private” life any longer. Furthermore, it is clear to me that he is selfassured and comfortable enough in his own skin
to publicly say to the world, this is who I am!
You may judge me on my professional merits and
my public persona, but you may not judge me on
who I choose to love!
Whether Lemon realizes it or not, his public admission will impact his life positively, if viewed
from an objective perspective. It has become
clear to me that this revelation has no doubt
helped him to identify who his true friends and
supporters are. His true friends will be the people who will continue to love him and embrace
him for the wonderful man that he is. The people
who will now shun him and negatively criticize
him and his sexuality will be the people (that in
my opinion) he can easily do without. Furthermore, it is to his advantage to identify these
people now and remove them from his life so
that the quality of his life will be more fulfilling,
happier, more productive and stress-free.
Thousands who heard his announcement unanimously agree that Lemon is setting a terrific
positive example for our LGBT youth. It is undeniable that it was his phenomenal talent, drive,
and journalistic ability which landed him the job
as news anchor and these are the wonderful attributes that the world’s LGBT youth will recognize and want to emulate.
In conclusion, I wish to state that when questioned by the media as to why he chose this moment and time to come out, Lemon responded
by stating that he did it to save lives because so
many LGBT youth and young adults are committing suicide.
As a global HIV advocate, I know that Lemon’s
coming-out is extremely significant, not only
because his actions are a deterrent in regards to
keeping same-gender-loving people from committing suicide, but also because it has been
proven by clinicians and HIV caregivers the
world over that people who embrace their sexual
orientation are less likely to become infected
with the AIDS virus!
Today, millions of Americans remain unaware
of the fact that HIV rates continue to climb at
terrifying rates in the African American and Latino communities. More than 1 million people in
the United States are now HIV positive, and 1
out of 5 people are unaware that they are even
infected with the disease. According to The Center of Disease Control, AIDS is the third leading cause of death for both black men and black
women ages 35 to 44.
I think news analyst and author Herndon Davis
said it best when he expressed his congratulations to Lemon in his article, “Will Black America
Embrace CNN’s Lemon Lemon’s Coming Out??”
Said Davis, “Whether you are straight or gay,
you should embrace Don Lemon’s coming out not
because of a politically correct induced statement but because he is someone taking a risk,
placing himself, his career and even his physical safety on the line in order to help so many
others. And that within itself is well worth my
support. Congratulations to DonLemon!!”
I would just like to add my “Amen!” to that
thought-provoking statement!
Terry Angel Mason is a best-selling author
and HIV/AIDS advocate.
3. Where do you live and how do you pay for
4. What will happen if you can’t work and pay
your bills?
5. How is your health?
6. Will your health always be what it is now?
7. How do you want to live when you no longer
8. What will you do if you lose your work?
9. How will you take care of the people you
love if they need your help?
10. Do you believe in planning ahead?
Answering these questions is a good way to
start figuring out what you need to protect. For
example, your ability to earn a living is your
biggest asset. Is that protected if you are sick
or hurt? You may have some benefits through
your job. What happens if that job goes away?
If you have a partner or children and something
happens to you, have you made sure they won’t
have to leave your home or skip college?
Also, when you’re old, do you want your partner worrying about getting help if you need
care? If you’re still on good terms with your biological family or have a family of choice, could
you count on them for help in your later years?
People who love you may not want to change
your diapers or help you bathe when the need
for those services arises.
Lastly, do you want your money to outlive you,
or would you prefer the other way around? In
my work, insurance and financial services, most
people want their money to outlast them. There
are a number of ways you can make that happen. The specifics vary with each client so I
won’t discuss individual products here. However,
May is Disability Income Awareness Month as
well National Bike Month. The sponsors of each
campaign probably weren’t thinking along these
lines, but a bike accident can disable you and
put your income at risk. As a cyclist and a driver,
I’m careful. Not everyone is.
So as the LGBT community celebrates the civilunion step on the road to full equality, make sure
you and your loved one will be able to celebrate
additional steps on this road without worry. In
short, what’s your story and how do you want to
make sure as many of the chapters are as happy
as possible?
Claudia Perry is a broker for several insurance companies and a supporter of Equality
Illinois. For more information, visit http://
VOL. 26 No. 34, May 25, 2011
The combined forces of Windy City Times,
founded Sept. 1985, and Outlines newspaper,
founded May 1987.
Tracy Baim
ART DIRECTOR Kirk Williamson
Matheny, Kirk Williamson, Dave Ouano, Kirk Smid
NATIONAL SALES Rivendell Media, 212-242-6863
SENIOR WRITERS Bob Roehr, Rex Wockner, Marie
J. Kuda, David Byrne, Tony Peregrin, Lisa Keen,
Yasmin Nair, Emmanuel Garcia
CINEMA WRITER Richard Knight, Jr.
Mary Shen Barnidge, Steve Warren, Lawrence
Ferber, Mel Ferrand, Jerry Nunn,
Alicia Wilson, Jonathan Abarbanel
COLUMNISTS/WRITERS: Yvonne Zipter, Jorjet
Harper, Lee Lynch, Tully Satre, Lisa Keen, Charlsie
Dewey, Michael Knipp, Lisa Klein, Joe Erbentraut,
Carrie Maxwell, Billy Masters, Kate Sosin, Chuck
Colbert, Micki Leventhal, Sarah Toce, Erica Demarest, Dana Rudolph, Sally Parsons
Ferrand, Hal Baim, Steve Starr, Emmanuel Garcia,
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by Rick
David Cerda (left) and Chad Ramsey star in Hell in a Handbag’s TROGG! A Musical. Read more below in WCT’s summer theater roundup.
Fun and ‘James.’
Page 25.
Start spreadin’ the news.
Page 30.
Out and proud.
Page 38.
Photo from The Gospel According ot James
by Liz Lauren
Photo of the 2013 Ford Taurus at New York’s
auto show from Gaywheels.com
Photo of Rick Welts
from the Phoenix Suns
Summer theater
preview for 2011
The great outdoors might not be so great for
allergy sufferers and for those who burn far
too easily in the sun. So for some indoor summer fun, check out these shows that are brand
spanking new (or just new to Chicago), or of
LGBT interest.
Brand new, or new to Chicago
The Detective’s Wife, Writers’ Theatre, Glencoe, now-July 31: This world-premiere drama by
Keith Huff (Mad Men) is about a widow who undertakes her own investigation to uncover why
her police detective husband was gunned down
while on the job. 847-242-6000
Murder for Two—A Killer Musical, Chicago
Shakespeare Theater, now-June 19: It’s a musical murder comedy by Joe Kinosian and Kellen
Blair where one actor plays the inspector and
another plays all 10 suspects while both play the
piano. 312-595-5600
Waiting for Drew Peterson, Annoyance Theatre, now-July 7: It’s a dark comedy about two
women who are obsessively in love with an alleged murderer. 773-561-4665
Northwest Highway, Gift Theatre, May 26July 17: William Nedved’s world-premiere drama
is about a man who must face facts when he
attempts to sell his Jefferson Park home. 773283-7071
Mother Bear, Mortar Theatre Company at
Athenaeum Theatre, May 26-June 19: Chicago
premiere of Jayme McGhan’s drama is about a
union organizer who attempts to recruit a gang
of truckers in the Utah desert. 800-982-2787
The Sign of the Four, City Lit Theater Compa-
ny, May 27-July 31: The world’s most famous detective is back in Terry McCabe’s world-premiere
adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s second
Sherlock Holmes novel. 773-293-3682
The Last Act of Lilka Kadison, Lookingglass
Theatre, June 1-July 24: Celebrate the company’s Regional Theatre Tony Award with a worldpremiere ensemble piece about a spirited woman
in the twilight of her life. 312-337-0665
Sister Calling My Name, Uncovered Theatre
Company at Trap Door Theatre, June 2-12: Buzz
McLaughlin’s drama is about a man who must
come to terms with his mentally disabled (but
extremely artistically talented) sister. 773-3840494
Sketchbook: Evolution, Collaboraction at
Chopin Theatre, June 2-25: The company’s 11th
edition variety revue features 16 sketches, short
plays and other performance art pieces in repertory. 773-278-1500
The Chicago Landmark Project, Theatre
Seven of Chicago at Greenhouse Theater Center,
June 2-July 10: A world-premiere compilation
spotlights 12 short plays in repertory by 12 playwrights exploring 12 different Chicago neighborhoods. 773-404-7336
15 minutes, The Ruckus at The Side Project
Theatre, June 2-26: Mitch Vermeersch and Aaron
Dean’s drama is about five people who meet a
strange man in an ultra slick urban environment.
Lighthousekeeping, New Leaf Theatre at
Storefront Theater, June 8-July 17: Georgette
Kelly’s world-premiere adaptation of Jeanette
Winterson’s novel is about a young woman who
is sent to apprentice with a blind Scottish lighthouse keeper. 312-742-8497
Field of Souls, eta Creative Arts Foundation,
June 9-July 31: An African-American family’s
dreams go awry when a soldier returns home in
Darlette McAlpin’s drama. 773-752-3955
Yellow Face, Silk Road Theatre Project at
the Chicago Temple, June 14-July 17: Chicago
premiere of David Henry Hwang’s Obie Awardwinning comedy is about a writer’s struggle to
define racial identity in contemporary America.
Middletown, Steppenwolf Theatre, June
16-Aug. 14: The regional premiere of Will Eno’s
Northwest Highway. Image from The Gift Theatre
comic drama explores the dark aspects of a supposedly friendly small town. 312-335-1650
Chinglish, Goodman Theatre, June 18-July 24:
A world-premiere comedy by David Henry Hwang
is about an American businessman who tries to
conduct business in China, only to discover that
he doesn’t know how to operate in the system.
Cirque Shanghai Extreme, Navy Pier Skyline
Stage, June 23-Sept. 5: A new circus revue features death-defying tricks executed by imported
Chinese performers. 800-745-3000
A Girl with Sun in Her Eyes, Pine Box Theatre
at The Second Stage Theatre, June 25-Aug. 7:
The premiere of Joshua Rollins’ drama is about
two police detectives who must get over their issues to investigate the disappearance of a fellow
South Side Chicago officer. 773-549-1815
Let X, Nothing Special Productions at Strawdog Theatre, June 27-July 20. Gwydion Suilebhan’s dark comedy is about a train conductor
who would like to have an adulterous relationship with his wife’s mathematician friend. 773528-9696
Cirque du Soleil’s OVO, United Center, Limited run begins June 30: The human-circus spectacular is inspired by insect life. 800-450-1480
The Adventures of Pinocchio, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, July 13-Aug. 28: A world-premiere family musical by Neil Bartram and Brian
Hill is based upon Carlo Collodi’s classic tale of
a wooden puppet who yearns to become a real
boy. 312-595-5600
The Rose of Stambul, Chicago Folks Operetta
at Chopin Theatre, July 16-31: Leo Fall’s classic
Viennese operetta about an independent-minded
woman in a Turkish harem might as well be new
since it hasn’t been seen locally in more than a
half century. 708-383-2742
The Mommies—A Musical Blog, Royal George
Theatre, open run beginning July 28: A musical
comedy revue explores the joys and sorrows of
motherhood. 312-988-9000
For the Boys, Marriott Theatre, Lincolnshire,
Aug. 17-Oct. 16: A new musical by Aaron Thielen
is based upon the 1991 Bette Midler film about
the careers of big band USO entertainers. 847634-0200
Of LGBT interest
Sleeping with Straight Men, Ludicrous TheTurn to page 24
Ties that bind:
May 25, 2011
Leatherman Chuck Renslow subject of new biography
by Tony Peregrin
Chuck Renslow—co-founder of the International
Mr. Leather (IML) contest and owner of one of
the first leather bars in the world—is the subject of a new biography that offers a backstage,
all-access peek into the mind and heart of this
controversial and well-respected figure.
Over the last several decades, many writers
have attempted to pen Renslow’s biography, but
his complex and inspiring life-story has never
made it into book form—until now. Leatherman:
The Legend of Chuck Renslow, written by Chicago journalists and authors Tracy Baim and Owen
Keehnen, is the story of a sexual renegade and a
savvy businessman whose Chicago bar, the Gold
Coast, set the standard for raunchy kink and gay
sexual liberation.
Shortly after graduating from Lane Technical
High School, young Renslow, who is now 81,
launched what was to become a six-decade-long
empire, starting more than two dozen businesses
in Chicago including bars, discos, photo studios,
health clubs, bathhouses, gay magazines and
newspapers, hotels, restaurants and bookstores.
Throughout it all Renslow dealt with Mafia and
police payoffs; anti-gay political policies; harassment from censors; and even controversy
within the gay community.
A collaborative effort between the two authors, Baim—publisher and executive editor
at Windy City Media Group, which produces the
Windy City Times—focused on topics related to
media, politics and legal issues, while Keehnen
concentrated his efforts on Renslow’s early years
as well as the topics of leather, IML, bars and
bathhouses. Both Baim and Keehnen worked on
gathering a wide-range of interview subjects for
the book.
“Renslow, at 81, really wanted the biography
to be written,” said Baim. “He fully supported
us, and he knew that we would be looking for
the good and the bad—and he wanted that,
“Chuck’s story is so key to LGBTQ life in this
city—and worldwide—not only within the leath-
er and BDSM community but in literally every
aspect of gay life,” added Keehnen. “I think it is
important as a reminder that all these privileges
and things we take for granted today exist because people years before us had the balls to do
things, oftentimes at great personal risk. Chuck
is a risk-taker and he took a lot of them.”
Windy City Times: “Legend” is a powerful
word—why do you think Chuck Renslow qualifies as a legend?
Tracy Baim: We toyed with many titles. Originally it was more “urban legend” because so
many people had so many mistaken notions
about Renslow and his “Family.” So, the word
“legend,” in this context, means both debunking
the myths, and it also has to do with validating
the truth. Renslow is a legend in our community
in so many ways. He started more than two dozen businesses, IML, and much more. He was the
push behind the Leather Archives & Museum,
and he saved GayLife from financial doom.
Owen Keehnen: For me, the legend aspect was
just so apparent in talking with the guy. Every
single conversation, every interview, every time
we met I was excited by just the stories and the
history he shared. I would always leave those
sessions saying “Oh my God!” Chuck’s story is a
legend because his life has been almost bigger
than reality. The amount he has accomplished—
and continues to accomplish—is pretty damn
WCT: Renslow is known as the “daddy” of
his “Family.” Over the last few decades, there
have been many theories regarding what this
whole concept actually means.
TB: The “Family” is Renslow’s extended family of lovers and friends. They have a mystery
about them, but a lot of that is just cultivated
from those inside the Family. For the book, we
interviewed many current and past Family members, and used interviews by Jack Rinella and
others of past Family members who have since
died. Renslow, at one time, owned the Dewes
Mansion, and many members of the Family lived
there, as well as in subsequent Renslow homes.
OK: The “Family” means the “Renslow Fam-
ily.” To me, it was the embodiment of the sort
of communal one-for-all and all-for-one 1970s
feeling—with BDSM [bondage/domination, sadism/masochism] thrown in for good measure.
Chuck was the Daddy of the Family and ruled the
roost, so to speak, but with a loving hand.
WCT: As is the case with any iconic figure,
there are many rumors and myth-like stories associated with Renslow. What are some
things you learned about Renslow that might
surprise readers and fans?
TB: There are many, many myths about Renslow, including ones he happily helped cultivate
over the years. In the book, we address as many
as we could—some myths proved to be true, and
some were false.
Ultimately, the conclusion we came to is that
no exaggeration is needed where Renslow is
concerned. He did accomplish so much in his
life, and some of it was pretty amazing. He was
involved in Democratic politics, published magazines and newspapers, fought postal censors,
donated to charities, started IML, and so much
more. It was hard to get a handle on all of it, but
we feel we did our best to capture the essence of
the man.
OK: There were so many falsities about Renslow that were printed somewhere, and then reprinted or gossiped about, and they took on this
life of their own. A lot of those things proved
to be false or exaggerations. However, for me, I
think the personal stuff might actually be more
surprising than the public aspect. That’s one of
the things that makes his life so cool is that
there is no one area that was boring. I think his
personal interests will surprise a lot of people.
WCT: Leatherman features more than 300
images, including murals and drawings by
Dom “Etienne” Orejudos, posters for IML, and
photos from the Gold Coast, Pride Parades,
IML contests, physique magazines and more.
Were there any images that you were particularly surprised to stumble upon during your
TB: The Etienne images are among our favorites, because he was an internationally renowned
Renslow in the 1950s. Courtesy the Leather
Archives & Museum.
artist and a Chicago treasure.
OK: The images really bring so much of the
story to life. My favorites are the Etienne/Dom
murals and artwork, as Tracy mentioned, as well
as the pre-AIDS photographs. They really help to
capture the feel of an era and show this incred-
The life and legend of Chuck Renslow
Chuck Renslow and his mother,
Charlotte. Photo courtesy of Chuck
Renslow in 1948 at the desk of
the studio he ran with John Baran.
The studio was called Renslow
Studio; John Baran, photographer.
Photo courtesy of Chuck Renslow
Mars magazine, one of Renslow’s
men’s physique publications. Courtesy Leather Archives & Museum
Renslow’s long-time partner Dom
‘Etienne’ Orejudos in the 1950s.
His artwork was used to help
promote numerous Renslow projects, including the Gold Coast and
International Mr. Leather. Courtesy
Leather Archives & Museum
Etienne artwork used to promote
the Gold Coast leather bar, where
the first IML was held.
May 25, 2011
ibly vibrant gay life that is all but forgotten today. My favorite image is one of two leathermen
on a motorcycle outside Jumbo Jarry’s, which
was a hot dog stand and hangout area across the
street from the Gold Coast bar. That photo says
volumes about the era and the area.
WCT: The dark “pit” inside Renslow’s Gold
Coast leather bar set the standard for raunchy
kink and gay sexual liberation. Describe the
Gold Coast and its place in Chicago gay and
lesbian history.
TB: The Gold Coast had several locations over
its many years in business. It was among the
first gay leather bars in the U.S., it was the longest lasting, and it’s the birthplace of IML. It’s
most recent home was in Andersonville where T’s
is now located. In Leatherman, we relive the bar
through the memories of dozens of men (and a
few women) who went there over the decades.
The Gold Coast experienced bar raids and was,
truly, a raunchy place. Renslow actually paid off
the Mafia and the police for several decades to
keep the bar open—even into the 1980s. Some
people thought he was just a front for the Mafia.
But he denied this and says he, like other gay
bar owners, just paid off the Mafia and police to
stay open. The book details this extensively.
OK: For me, the Gold Coast almost became a
character—the smoke; the scrape of the boots
on cement; the camaraderie; The Pit, with the
sex going on, the catacombs beneath the old
sidewalks, the great cast of characters that tender bar there, the hanky code on their business
cards, and even the chute for cans and bottles.
It became legendary as the prototype for the gay
leather bar, and as this sort of flag for gay sexual
liberation. Sure, it was a raunchy bar, but it was
also a center for this amazing community that
was developing. And the tales from that area—
from the few square blocks of that River North
neighborhood in the 1970s—are pretty incredible.
WCT: Renslow famously danced with another
man at the 1977 inaugural ball for President
Jimmy Carter, and he actually moved in some
pretty famous circles. What are some of his
favorite memories of interacting with celebrities?
TB: He danced with Bill Kelley, our co-editor
on the book, at that event. He interacted with
Marlene Dietrich and has a signed photo from
her. He rubbed elbows with every Chicago mayor
starting with Daley Senior. He pushed Mayor Jane
Byrne to cover gay employees in city government
protections. Entertainers and dancers (Nureyev!)
hung out at Man’s Country and his Center Stage
disco (including Sylvester and Grace Jones). I
actually think the political folks mean more to
him than celebrities, and those photos are the
most prominent on his office wall.
OK: He was so coy about a lot of the celebrity
things. We have the names of some famous Man’s
Country and Gold Coast members and guests, but
Chuck is pretty discreet about saying this person
or that person is a member of Man’s Country.
In addition to those names Tracy mentioned,
there’s some great stuff from and about Lynn
Lavner, Al Parker, Divine, Rusty Warren, and Sally
Rand. If those names don’t ring a bell you are in
for a treat because in this book you are going to
be introduced to a real cast of characters.
WCT: How does Renslow view the world of
leather today?
TB: I think that one of Renslow’s proudest
achievements is the founding of the Leather
Archives & Museum. Because of that museum,
he believes the leather world will be strong
for decades to come. And, of course, the same
can be said for IML. Renslow sees that leather
is much more accepted now and a part of the
mainstream—gay and straight—but he thinks
there is still a need to preserve that legacy of
the past.
OK: Chuck has a huge commitment and attachment to the Leather Archives & Museum and its
mission to preserve the lives and history of so
many outside the sexual norm. In leather specifically, I think the thing that surprises him most
is that all the leather stuff began as a symbol for
BDSM play, and that over the past 50-plus years
it has turned into this giant consumer market.
As he said to me “It was never about the leather—that was only the symbol.”
WCT: What’s up next for the Leatherman?
TB: Renslow is still is very involved in all of
his businesses. He is being honored in June by
the Kinsey Institute for his contributions to gay
and lesbian Chicago history, and for his formation of the Leather Archives & Museum. He always speaks at IML, and will do so again this
year. He talks of retirement, but he really loves
being involved in life every day. He even still
Chuck Renslow on a motorcycle at the Touché leather bar, 1978.
Courtesy of Leather Archives & Museum
talks—and boasts about—his boyfriends.
OK: Chuck loves to go to work. I talked to him
the day of the huge blizzard this past winter
and he was so upset because he couldn’t get his
car out and head into the office. The only thing
Chuck loves more than that is sex and love, of
course. For Chuck, it is always about falling in
love and when I last counted he was still juggling three boyfriends.
Leatherman: The Legend of Chuck Renslow is published by Prairie Avenue Productions, 414 pages, $24.99 black and
white (ISBN 1-46109602-2), $79.99 color
(1-46111908-1). It is available on Amazon.
com and on Kindle (soon to be on iPad).
People can search for the title, for the color
version type (color) after the name. It is also
available at Women & Children First and Unabridged bookstores.
Baim and Keehnen will be joined by Renslow at the Leather Market at International
Mr. Leather this weekend at the Hyatt, for 2
p.m. booksignings Friday, Saturday and Sunday. They will also do a talk and booksigning
at Women & Children First Friday, June 24,
7:30 p.m.
Tracy Baim is publisher of Windy City
IML 1988 co-producers Ron Ehemann, Chuck Renslow, Gary Chichester and RJ Chaffin onstage
at IML. Photo courtesy of RJ Chaffin
A selection of photos chronicling the life and accomplishments of Chuck Renslow, complied for the book Leatherman: The Legend of Chuck Renslow.
Chuck Renslow at the Dewes
Mansion, 503 West Wrightwood
Avenue, in the 1970s. Photo by
A.J. Epstein, courtesy of Leather
Archives & Museum
Chuck Renslow at one of his
famous White Party annual galas,
this one at Navy Pier. Photo courtesy Ron Ehemann
Chuck Renslow and the singer
Sylvester promoting his planned
show at Bistro Too. Photo courtesy
of Ron Ehemann
Chuck Renslow at the helm of GayLife newspaper in the early 1980s.
Photo courtesy of Ron Ehemann
Tom of Finland did this portrait of
and for Chuck Renslow in 1981.
Courtesy of Renslow
Starry nights
and summer
theater stars
By Jonathan Abarbanel
Hey, look around! It’s summer in Chicago: the
trees are leafy and green, the flowers are in
bloom and its forty degrees and foggy. OK, the
weather has been a bit strange this year, but
nonetheless the warm season is upon us and
that means theater under the stars as comedy,
drama and music move to the Great Outdoors
throughout our region. Here are a few of our
perennial favorites.
On, Wisconsin
American Players Theatre, Spring Green—In
recent years, American Players Theatre (APT) has
vigorously marketed itself to Chicagoans and employed several well-known local directors such as
William Brown, James Bohnen and Kate Buckley,
all three of whom return to APT this season. The
June 4-Oct. 2 outdoor season in the 1,148-seat
(comfy seats) Up-the-Hill amphitheatre includes
works by Shakespeare, Coward, Steinbeck and
Sheridan playing in repertory, while the indoor
season in the new, smaller Touchstone Theatre
offers Williams, Dostoyevsky and Sophocles. In
addition to APT, Spring Green (50 miles west of
Madison) offers boating and fishing on the Wisconsin River, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin, country B&Bs, antiques and good local restaurants.
Tickets are at http://www.americanplayers.org;
$40-$65. NOTE: It’s 20 percent off all single tickets purchased by June 3.
American Folklore Theatre, Fish Creek—The
famous Door County peninsula north of Green
Bay has been a summer haven for years and offers a hat-trick of outdoor playhouses. Situated
within Peninsula State Park just outside Fish
Creek, American Folklore Theatre offers 90- minute, family-friendly, original musicals based on
Wisconsin and American history. They describe
themselves as “humble yet polished, hopeful yet
not sentimental, historical yet hysterical.” The
June 15-Aug. 27 outdoor season offers Bing!
The Cherry Musical, Guys and Does and Lumberjacks in Love, all of which sound sexual to me
but aren’t. Tickets: http://www.folkoretheatre.
com, $19 (adult general admission, sharply discounted for kids and teens)
Peninsula Players, Fish Creek—Just down
the road apiece from the Folklore folks is the
legendary mother of all summer-stock theaters,
the Peninsula Players now in its 76th year. Still
under the direction of long-time Chicago favorite Greg Vinkler, Peninsula Players (PP) this
year offers a June 14-Oct. 16 five show season
with A Few Good Men, Yazmina Reza’s God of
Carnage and The Importance of Being Earnest (
with Vinkler as Lady Bracknell) among the titles.
With its new, comfortable and weather-sheltered
pavilion, its garden campus directly on the Lake
Michigan shore and the nightly post-show bonfire, Peninsula Players remains a Door County
must-do. Tickets: http://www.peninsulaplayers.
com, $32-$38
Door Shakespeare, Baileys Harbor—Across
the Door Peninsula on the quieter Eastern Shore,
Door Shakespeare offers Twelfth Night and Jane
Austen’s Pride and Prejudice for its 12th season,
July 8-Aug. 21. The company location is a beautiful, 400-acre private estate called Bjorklunden
which makes a perfect garden setting for Door
Shakes. Tickets: http://www.doorshakespeare.
com, $25 (adults, sharply discounted for teens
and kids)
We’re loyal to you, Illinois
Illinois Shakespeare Festival, BloomingtonNormal—For 31 years, Illinois Shakespeare Festival (ISF) has presented The Bard on the grounds
of Ewing Manor, a beautiful private estate with
pseudo-Tudor buildings and splendid gardens.
May 25, 2011
For the last decade, performances have been
in a handsome, purpose-built 250-seat outdoor
theater. This year’s June 23-Aug. 7 season ofTHEATER ROUNDUP
fers Romeo and Juliet, The Winter’s Tale and
The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged),
a comic romp through 37 plays in 97 minutes.
Bloomington-Normal is heaven for those who
love luxury B&Bs, antiquing and Victorian architecture. Tickets: http://www.thefestival.org,
First Folio Theatre, Oakbrook—The sumYou’d never know to look outside now,
mer offering for 2011 is Romeo and Juliet, July
but we’re right on the brink of summer.
6-Aug. 7, directed by Nick Sandys (who would
“Summer”—you remember. Not switching on
have played Romeo just a coupla’ years ago).
the porch light until after 8 p.m. There are
He’s also an esteemed fight director so the
soft breezes by the lake instead of Captain
swordplay should dazzle. First Folio is in the
Ahab-strength gales. You can have canned
bucolic setting of the Peabody Estate, Mayslake
beer that doesn’t freeze your fingers, and picForest Preserve, with beautiful gardens and even
nics with sparkling chilled wine.
a charming little chapel. Bring your own blanket
You can also take off your clothes to play
or folding chair (or rent one), come early to picoutdoors—well, maybe not all your clothes,
nic and relax. The official prohibition of alcohol
but dressing in shorts and sandals and skimpy
is not too strictly enforced. Tickets: http://www.
tank tops to engage yourself in healthy exfirstfolio.org, $29-$35
ercise, or to enjoy the sight of other scant Oak Park Festival Theatre, Oak Park—Someily clad people engaging in healthy exercise.
thing has happened to the fireflies—there aren’t
Theaters in Chicago are likewise looking to
nearly as many as there used to be—in woodsy
raise a sweat, whether by romping with big—
Austin Gardens in the Oak Park Historic District.
uh, swords aloft or with body-grapples of the
Instead, you can watch the many rabbits cavort
more gentle kind.
as the sun goes down and the stage lights come
National Pastime Theater’s Naked July Festival annually celebrates the beauty of unclothed bodies, bringing back the popular Living Canvas dance troupe (who perform garbed
only in lights and video pics), augmenting a
production of Oscar Wilde’s Salomé—the latter featuring, in addition to history’s most
famous striptease, a buck-nekked King Herod
and John the Baptist. The roster for 2011 also
includes the Beast Women cabaret cuties, an
art show, a Hedwig-Priscilla-Rocky-and-Fritz
film festival, several special events and, possibly, a dating game with a hypnotist playing
cupid. (June 24-Aug. 6. For final schedule information, phone 773-327-7077.)
The Homosexuals recounts the adventures
of an itinerant gay youth at his first queer
party. Playwright Philip Dawkins promises
that this About Face production—described
as a 21st-century riff on the groundbreaking 1960s drama, The Boys In The Band—
will boast plenty of “the usual undies, hot
dudes and erections.” (June 20-July 24;
The Oak Park Festival Theatre will feature,
The provocatively titled Pornography (July
among others, Jack Hickey (above) as Sir
28-Sept. 3; 866-811-4111) and The Naked
John Falstaff. Photo by Lila M. Stromer
King (June 3-June 23; 773-871-3000) entice,
but do they deliver? The former is Simon Stephens’ diatribe on how the Internet robs us
of our humanity, but Steep Theatre director
up between two mighty oak trees. For its 37th
Robin Witt, while hesitant to give too much
season, June 9-Aug. 20, the Oak Park Festival
away (“A girl’s gotta hold something back”),
offers The History of Henry IV (Shakespeare’s
assures us that having an online porn addict
Parts I and II combined) and Henry V. There are
among the play’s characters guarantees a
bleacher seats, or bring your own blanket and/
portion of “sexual content.” Also, the Organic
or chair. Austin Gardens is an easy drive with
Theatre Company is holding everything back
easy street parking, and also just a short walk
as regards their latter adaptation of The Emfrom the Blue Line terminus at Harlem. Tickets:
peror’s New Clothes.
http://www.oakparkfestival.com, $25.
For those desiring spectator-sport sweat,
Theater on the Lake, Chicago—The red brick
there are still three left of this season’s eight
pavilion on the lakefront at the foot of Fullerton
productions of Romeo and Juliet—and behas played host to summer theater since 1942.
fore you dismiss Shakespeare’s Greatest Hit
For some years now, it’s offered a summer showcase of hit Off-Loop productions from the regular season and this year is no different. Theater
on the Lake will present one-week runs of eight
shows, June 15-Aug. 7, among them hits from
Theo Ubique, Infamous Commonwealth, Eclipse
and Collaboraction ranging from Ibsen’s A Doll’s
House to Big River and the songs of Harold Arlen. Although your head is covered, the walls are
open to the elements and the chill off-the-lake
breezes do sometimes blow, so we’ve included
this venue in our outdoor category. Tickets:
http://www.chicagoparkdistrict.com, $17.50
As with all outdoor venues, especially those
beyond the city limits, bring a sweatshirt or
jackets against the chill night air, and bring insect repellent. Mosquitoes like summer theater,
too, and they like summer theater audiences
even more!
Summer sweat:
Theater sex and
violence in 2011
as soppy chick-lit, remember that our hero
runs with a gang (or 15th-century equivalent
thereof) with all the same-sex loyalties that
accompany such allegiances.
First Folio’s dramatic environment is the
neo-gothic romantic period, where formalities quickly give way to necrophilic laudanum-fueled nightmares culminating in bursts
of violent passion—or so, proclaims director Nick Sandys—along with “boys in poet
shirts, girls in gossamer dresses and a Byronic
Mercutio casually corrupting anything that
moves.” (July 6-Aug. 7; 630-986-8067) The
Illinois Shakespeare Festival in Bloomington
offers a more traditional interpretation of the
popular Elizabethan teen weepie—although
one should look for D.C. Wright’s swordplay to
provide a burst of pulse-pumping testosterone (June 26-Aug. 6; 309-438-2535). Also,
Shattered Globe’s bar-hopping interactive
Down and Dirty Romeo and Juliet proposes
to smooth the course of true love by allowing audiences to offer advice to the immature
lovers and their confederates (currently playing in an open run; 773-770-0333 for times
and locations).
Summer’s not just star-crossed hets—a
short drive to the western suburbs takes you
to Oak Park Festival Theatre’s double ticket
of the almost all-male Henry IV and Henry
V, replete with “band of brothers” orations
and battlefield farewells (June 11-Aug. 20;
708-445-4440). If that’s all still too much
costume pageant, there’s always Broadway
In Chicago’s touring production of West
Side Story. Can you get more sweaty than
a rumble in The Heights (July 19-Aug. 14;
Finally, there are the shows that blend sex
and violence: Group fertility rites are at the
focus of Euripedes’ 2,500-year-old tragedy,
adapted by Oracle Theatre’s Jamie Bragg into
The House of Bacchus, a modern shocker
about an orphan boy’s rise to power in the
sordid world of gay brothels and hustlers
(June 25-Aug. 6; 773-244-2980).
Women also sling steel and body fluids this
summer: the fiery Babes With Blades swash
buckles in The Double, Barbara Lhota’s comedy about the early days of cinema (Aug.
19-Sept. 24; 773-904-0391). For you chopsocky fans, the intrepid Dewdrop continues to
avenge her beloved—and unfaithful—lesbian
lover in the tarentino-esque Soul Samurai
until June 5 (773-975-8150).
Redtwist’s revival of Bug, Tracy Letts’
locked-room study of lovers infected with
all-American paranoia, is the first local production since its premiere in the mid-1990s,
where it went on to become a movie directed by William Friedkin (May 27-June 26;
773-728-7529). However, on a distinctly different note, the folks who brought you Boobs
and Goombas! return to Gorilla Tango armed
for a Dungeons & Dragons-styled burlesque
entitled—are you ready?—The Fellowship of
the Boobs (June 2-Aug. 25; 773-598-4549).
Be sure to wear your Ray-Bans, now. All
that bare and gleaming skin can be downright
Romeo and
Photo by
David Rice
11:02 AM
Page 1
May 25, 2011
OR CALL NOW 312.977.1717 • GROUPS CALL 312.977.1710
May 25, 2011
From left:
Joanne Dubach,
Thomas Gebbia
and Gail
Rastofer in
Photo by
Jeff Pines
Playwright: Marisa Wegrzyn
At: Chicago Dramatists, 1105 W. Chicago
Tickets: http://www.chicagodramatists.org;
Runs through: June 12
Marisa Wegrzyn’s premise is that embedded
within each of us is a “mortal clock,” literally
a pocket watch on a chain, pre-set for the final moment of our life. Most people remain unaware of it, but a few gain knowledge of their
clock and undergo painful extraction operations
to gain advance knowledge of when they will
die, or attempt to alter the time mechanism.
Should a mortal clock stop too soon, an individual doesn’t die but instead is frozen at his/
her age at that moment, remaining ageless until
the mortal clock is repaired. This work of magic
realism is told across three generations of a
contemporary family which operates a neighborhood watch and clock repair business.
In the world of metaphysical science-fiction this conceit could be a springboard for
the pursuit of immortality and the control of
lives through control of the time mechanism.
Wegrzyn does explore the latter, but refuses to
Heartbreak House
Now Playing at 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe
Corporate Sponsor
Foundation Support
explore the former, which is odd and brave of
her because it’s the obvious avenue. The theme
of Hickorydickory, however, isn’t length of life
but quality of life as measured by love given
and received. Not unlike Harry Potter (to which
Wegrzyn includes a shout-out), love is a secret
weapon. Those who tamper with mortal clocks
do so not to extend their own lives, but to extend the lives of those they love. Of course, every action has a reaction so Hickorydickory is
This world-premiere production is in three acts
and runs two hours and 40 minutes, which is
somewhat longer than it needs to be. Other than
that, there’s no fault to be found with how director Russ Tutterow and his amiable five-person
cast have brought it to life with humor and compassion. Simon Lashford’s storefront scenic design, brimming with clocks and tools, is a thing
of beauty, and Barry Bennett’s music and soundscape add an important element.
Still, I wanted this work to soar more than
it does; I wanted to be swept up in it, and I
wasn’t. It took me a few minutes to figure out
why (or why not): It’s the fact that Wegrzyn tells
her story within a mundane context of kindly
but small people—everyday shop folk. However,
her premise isn’t mundane. It’s large and colorful and calls for size and exaggeration it doesn’t
have. It needs an old castle not a neighborhood
clock shop. I think, perhaps, it should not be
set in the 21st century, but at an earlier time in
which Wegrzyn could follow the path either of
gothic horror or of grandiose romance. My reservations notwithstanding, Hickorydickory is refreshingly original, which is one reason Wegrzyn
is a rising-star playwright both locally and nationally. Her interesting work is worth seeing.
SUMMER from page 19
A world premiere adaptation of Richard Adams’
Thursday–Sunday through June 19, 2011
Call 773-761-4477 or visit www.lifelinetheatre.com
atre Company at Heartland Studio Theatre,
now-June 4: Ronnie Larsen’s comic drama
is based upon the 1995 Jenny Jones Show
shooting tragedy about a gay man who revealed his secret crush on a straight man.
TROGG! A Musical, Hell in a Handbag Productions at Chopin Theatre, now-July 3: A new
drag musical by David Cerda, Cheryl Snodgrass
and Taylor E. Ross spoofs Joan Crawford’s final
film about a living prehistoric caveman who
is discovered in 1960s California. 800-8383006
Gay UK, Pride Films and Plays at Theater
Wit, June 1-19: A series of one-night-only
readings features gay British plays like My
Night with Reg, Maurice, Blowing Whistles,
Pig and The Pride. 773-506-8150
Lips Together, Teeth Apart, Remarcable
Productions at Viaduct Theater, June 2-July 2:
Terrence McNally’s 1990s comic drama about
two heterosexual couples who vacation in a
Fire Island beach house after a relative has
died from AIDS. 773-296-6024.
Vincent River, Theatre Y at Lacuna Artist
Lofts, June 7-Aug. 27. Philip Ridley’s drama is
about a mysterious young man who confronts
a mother grappling with the death of her gay
son. http://theatre-y.com
The Homosexuals, About Face Theatre at
Victory Gardens Richard Christiansen Theater,
June 11-July 24. Philip Dawkins’ world-pre-
Read a review
of the production
Aces online at
Passing Strange, Bailiwick Chicago at
Chicago Center for the Performing Arts,
through May 29. JC Brooks and The Uptown
Sound really rock it out in this funny and
touching coming-of-age story of an AfricanAmerican artist who leaves the conformity
of suburban Los Angeles to find inspiration
in Amsterdam and Berlin. SCM
Performing Tonight: Liza Minnelli’s
Daughter, The Neo-Futurists, through June
4. The life, career and other odd trivia surrounding Liza Minnelli gets obsessively and
amusingly recounted and recreated by performer/author Mary Fons, all the while she
asserts that she should be the famed gay
icon’s daughter. SCM
Soul Samurai, InFusion Theatre Company
at Theater Wit, through June 5. Not another
chop-socky spoof, but an adrenaline-pumping multi-media roller-coaster ride through
a post-apocalyptic Freudian universe as
dark as your favorite graphic novel. MSB
Working, Broadway Theatre at Water Tower Place, through June 5. In Studs Terkel’s
America, there are neither insignificant jobs
nor insignificant jobholders. This jubilantly
proletarian musical revue reminds us how
grateful we oughta be for that. MSB
—By Abarbanel, Barnidge
and Morgan
miere comic drama is a modern take on The
Boys in the Band as it follows a poor young
man who is immediately taken in by a circle
of new friends at a party. 773-871-3000
Fifth of July, Infamous Commonwealth
Theatre at Raven Theatre, June 11-July 10:
A revival of Lanford Wilson’s classic drama
about a disabled gay Vietnam War veteran
trying to make peace with his Southern family. 312-458-9780
Darkest Before Dawn: A Gay Cabaret, Center on Halsted Hoover-Leppen Theatre, June
16-18. It’s an evening of songs and monologues by Chicago LGBT and gay-friendly
straight actors. 773-426-1168
Good Boys and True, Kokandy Productions
and Towle Theater at Theater Wit, June 22July 9: A revival of Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa’s
drama is about a promising prep school boy
whose future career is threatened when a disturbing videotape is found on campus. 773506-8150
The Women, Circle Theatre, Oak Park, June
24-Aug. 14: Get ready to bear your junglered claws with this revival Clare Booth Luce’s
much-quoted 1930s all-female comedy about
a New York society woman who wonders if she
should divorce her unfaithful husband. 708660-9540
30 Queer Plays in 60 Straight Minutes,
Neo-Futurarium, June 24-25: It’s a special
edition of “Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go
Blind” with a queer theme. 773-275-5255
The Gospel
According to
Playwright: Charles Smith
At: Victory Gardens Theatre
at the Biograph, 2433 N. Lincoln
Phone: 773-871-3000; $20-$50
Runs through: June 12
One day in 1930, in the Indiana town of Marion,
a white man was shot and killed, three Black
men were arrested, two were hanged by an angry
mob, one was spared and a white woman was
May 25, 2011
somehow involved. Of these facts we are sure—
or are we? No sooner do we become acquainted
with one version of the events than it is contradicted by another, introducing a Rashomonstyled dialectic of conflicting reports.
Memory is a slippery creature. Studies have
shown that individuals viewing the same event
may come away with widely differing descriptions and that gullible citizens can be likewise
psychologically manipulated into fabricating
fictional occurrences. Human beings may may
deliberately erase from their consciousness what
is too painful to bear, or flat-out lie, for reasons
noble or ignoble. Add in other factors—passage
of years, rewards to be reaped, arguments over
whether some things ought to be remembered—
and it’s hard to know just what to believe.
A lynching is a sight so terrifying to behold
The Gospel According to James. Photo by Liz Lauren
Macbeth, Shakespeare’s classic
tragedy of regicide and murderous madness, gets mixed with
modern “green-screen” filming
technology in Roundhouse Productions’ new take on the notorious “Scottish Play.” Roundhouse
Productions’ Macbeth runs 7:30
p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays through June 25 at New
Rock Theatre, 3933 N. Elston.
Tickets are $20. Call 989-4939424 or visit http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/174214.
Photo courtesy of the company
that writers habitually restrict themselves to
painting us a single shocking picture of the
grisly scene before quickly turning to related
(and safely distant) topics—aggravating incidents, grieving families, bystander response,
etc. However, playwright Charles Smith doesn’t
provide us with a tidy concluding statement to
assure us that Truth Will Out and Justice Triumph. Indeed, the final testimony in his play
is that of a character whose contribution to the
brutality is speculative, lacking a deathbed confession. Instead, the initial exchange of flashbacks gradually gives way to an atmosphere of
operatic emotion, climaxed by an account of the
fatal execution in all its rural-gothic horror—a
progression meant, presumably, to render us so
viscerally stunned as to be indifferent, if not
oblivious, to the absence of a resolution to the
nebulous questions raised.
Under Chuck Smith’s expert direction, guest
artist André De Shields delivers a Hoosier tornado of a performance, orating and sparring
with Linda Kimbrough as his flinty (but always
secondary) antagonist, while a bevy of capable
young supporting players—in particular, the
mighty-voiced Christopher Jon Martin and the
quietly stoic Diane Kondrat, as a pair of concerned parents—skillfully anticipate the atrocities to come. So go ahead and leave your intellect in the cloak room at intermission, if you
like, but don’t forget to bring your hankies with
Stevie Nicks: Rock legend
on gays, Glee and
her new album
By Chris Azzopardi
Ten years have passed since Stevie Nicks released
her last solo album, but she’s still the same gayloved goddess of earthy rock she built her legend
on. The new release, In Your Dreams, is exactly
how the gypsy queen left us —with that uniform
sense of mystical otherworldliness that’s made
Nicks a go-her-own-way virtuoso since her days
with Fleetwood Mac. White horses, vampire tales
and ethereal love parables all seep into this set,
Nick’s first all-new studio project after reuniting
with Fleetwood Mac for 2003’s Say You Will.
Nicks recently spoke with us about taking a
trip to “the magical world of fairies and angels,”
the dress drag queens love, and how her own
music motivated her to lose a dozen pounds.
Windy City Times: Why did it take so long to
release another solo album?
Stevie Nicks: Even though I haven’t made
another solo record in 10 years ago, I’ve been
making music solid since Trouble in Shangri-La.
I came off the road from 135 shows in 2005 with
Fleetwood Mac and was going to make a record,
and the business people around me said, “We
don’t think you should do it because the music
business is in chaos”—you know, with Internet
piracy, which was really hitting us in the face in
2005—“and it’s just going to be a really emotional pull on you. We don’t think you should do
it. Tour while you can, do big shows and sell lots
of tickets, that’s what you can do.” And I just
was stupid enough to kind of go, “OK.”
WCT: When did you wise up?
SN: At the end of the Fleetwood Mac tour in
2009. We were in Australia, and I wrote the
“Moonlight” song (from In Your Dreams) there,
and when I got done with that song—I started
it in Melbourne and I finished it in Brisbane—
there was a piano. I stood up and I said to my
assistant, “I’m ready to make a record now.”
WCT: What was it like recording In Your
SN: The whole year of recording this record
was like this magical mystery tour that we did
at my house. We recorded the whole thing at my
house and (the Eurythmics’) Dave Stewart, and
his entourage were there every day, and my girls
and everybody were there every day. It was just
a fantastic experience. We started in February
May 25, 2011
and ended in December, and when it was over I
was heartbroken. I didn’t want it to ever end.
WCT: The concept of the video for the first
single, “Secret Love,” is intriguing—it merges your older self with your younger self. How
do you feel now versus then?
SN: That’s why the little girl that’s in the video, Kelly, is wearing the green outfit that was my
first colored outfit made in 1976, 1977—that’s
when my designer, Margi Kent, started making my clothes. But my outfits were black, and
that’s one of the only colored ones she made;
it’s a kind of tie-dyed green outfit. The little girl
that’s playing me, she’s 15 and she’s one of my
goddaughters, she, like, fits into this and we’re
looking at her going, “Oh my god, we were that
But anyway, that’s what I wanted. I wanted
Kelly to be the 25-year-old Stevie, and then
there’s the older Stevie. That song was written
in 1975, so I wanted the spirits to blend. That’s
why you see her leaving the white horse and
then you see me leaving the white horse and
then we’re both together, because in my dreams
as a little girl that white horse was very important.
That horse was so beautiful. (While shooting
the video) we looked down out of my bedroom
window and saw this horse—and there was a
fog machine on and the actual sun was coming
through all the evergreens in my backyard—and
I was like, “That can’t possibly be real.” If that
horse had a horn you would’ve thought, “OK,
I’ve died and gone to fairyland,” because it was
so, so mystical and so real in its magicness. This
horse was like Guinevere.
WCT: Let’s talk about those fairies, because
you know a lot of gays adore you.
SN: I know. I’m glad. All these visions that I
see, I love when people get them. Sometimes
people don’t get it, you know, and I love when
people do, because I think that everybody needs
to move into that magical world sometimes. A
lot of people do not ever move into the magical
land of fairies and angels and they just live in
the hardcore miserable world that this world is
right now. It’s chaotic, horrible, there’s nothing
we can do—it’s such a bummer.
I can do benefits and go to Africa, but the reason I make music—the reason I’ve always made
Stevie Nicks. Photo by Kristin Burns
music—was to try to just make a record of songs
that makes everybody, for an hour a day, feel
better. We can all stay friends and we can all be
in this world and we can rise above everything
else for a minute. And that’s really the only reason I wanted to make music.
WCT: When did you know you were a gay
SN: When “Night of a Thousand Stevies” (a New
York City-based salute to Stevie Nicks featuring
impersonators) started happening 20 years ago,
it was a clue. And you know, I always felt it
was because I was not a fashion statement like
Madonna was. I’m very different than her; she’s
very chameleon-esque. That little outfit that
Kelly is wearing is exactly the same as the black
outfit I have on in the video. The eye makeup
she has on is the makeup that I’ve been wearing
since high school. I don’t change much.
WCT: Right. You stay very true to yourself,
and I think a lot of gay people can admire
that because we strive for that, too.
SN: I do, and I think that brings a little bit
of comfort to my audience. I still have the two
girls singing with me, because I love them and
they’re my dear friends. But I could’ve been
changing background singers every year, and
I chose to stay with Sharon [Celani] and Lori
[Nicks] because the sound of the three of us is
comforting to my audience. And those clothes
are comforting to my audience.
WCT: Any impersonators stand out to you?
SN: Well, I just think it’s very fun to see. When
I was wearing my beautiful white Morgane Le
Fay dress and my black velvet jacket, that dress
just took off. I noticed how popular that dress
was from the impersonators. [Laughs] I was
laughing, and Morgane Le Fay was just tickled
Artemis Singers
concert June 11
A new book profiling the lives and accomplishments of twenty of our community's living icons... who just happen to be black, gifted and gay.
Artemis Singers, Chicago’s lesbian feminist chorus, will celebrate Pride month with
a concert and dance Saturday, June 11, at
Broadway United Methodist Church, 3338 N.
Featuring songs about dancing and songs
to dance to, “Shall We Dance?” is open to
the public. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. A
dance follows the performance. Tickets are a
pink. So every time I’d do a little change, like
in the “Secret Love” video with the long floorlength, we’re laughing—Lori and Sharon and
I are laughing going, “We’re single-handedly
going to bring back the Victorian ball gown.”
There’s a whole new fashion statement coming
out of the three or four or more videos that will
come from this record, where we really stayed
very Victorian.
WCT: Drag queens will be all about that, you
SN: Yeah—I love it!
WCT: Glee recently dedicated an entire episode to Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours album. How
do you feel about having your work on a show
that’s been so controversial regarding using
other artists’ songs?
SN: You know, I went down there when they
were doing “Landslide” and I stayed there for six
hours and watched them film the whole thing. I
watched Gwyneth [Paltrow] and Brittany [Heather Morris] and Santana [Naya Rivera] sing the
song 50 times, and I had such a good time. What
I was very touched by was that Lea Michele, who
plays Rachel, said to me, “You know, in all the
big songs that we’ve done, which is many, nobody’s ever called us or come down or even written a note thanking us for doing ‘Jessie’s Girl’
or a Journey song.” They do such great versions
of all these songs; the original writers cannot
fault them. They’re magnificent—every one of
them. And she goes, “Nobody except you has
ever come down and told us that they thought
we were doing a good job.” And I thought that
was so sad. Very, very disrespectful.
WCT: As someone whose music has spanned
many generations, how does it feel working
with a new generation of performers—like
the Glee cast or, for instance, Taylor Swift at
the Grammys?
SN: I love that. A lot of the songs they love
are songs that I wrote when I was really young.
“Landslide” was written in 1973; I was 27. I may
sing it now at 62, but I was 27 when I wrote
that song. It’s not like they love a song that
was written by a 62-year-old woman. They love
a song that was written by a 27-year-old girl.
So I’m thrilled, and I don’t write any differently now than I did when I was 27. I just go to
the piano—inspired by something that happens
to me—with a cup of tea, incense burning and
the fire in the fireplace.
WCT: Was your muse for “Moonlight (A Vampire’s Dream),” which was Twilight-inspired,
Taylor Lautner’s abs?
SN: No. It’s nothing about him at all. The first
and third verse were written about me and Lindsey (Buckingham, of Fleetwood Mac) in 1976;
the second verse and the chorus were written
about Bella and Edward. It really is an amazing
blend—an ancient story blending Lindsey, Stevie,
Bella and Edward, and everything in between.
It’s my favorite. And, by the way, I have listened
to “Secret Love” and “A Vampire’s Dream” for the
last two and a half months and I’ve lost 12 and
a half pounds just from treadmilling to “Secret
Love” and “A Vampire’s Dream.”
WCT: No way. You treadmill to your own music?
SN: Way! And I have never gotten tired of either of those songs. I’ve just been listening to
those two songs for two and a half solid months,
and I am thinner than I’ve been since 1989. I
really attribute it all to those two songs.
suggested donation of $15; the price includes
admission to both events.
For the June 11 concert, Artemis Singers
will perform songs by artists ranging from
the Pointer Sisters to Shania Twain, plus two
jazz numbers. The program also includes
Holly Near’s “Sky Dances” and Georje Holper’s
“Away Ye Merry Lasses” from the 2010 Sister
Singers Network festival that Artemis Singers
hosted in Chicago.
See http://www.artemissingers.org for more
May 25, 2011
Knight, Jr.
The Topp Twins;
film notes
As I noted when the delightful documentary The
Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls played at Chicago’s Reeling Film Fest last fall: Who wouldn’t
fall hard for a movie that documents the extraordinary life of former farm girls turned countrywestern-folk superstars Down Under who just
happen to be twins—and lesbian, to boot? Leanne Pooley’s entertaining movie is the increasingly rare queer-themed movie that’s actually
getting more than a one-week engagement in
Chicago (continuing its theatrical run through
May 31 at Facets). Rarer still, the Topps are performers who—with equal parts talent, verve and
popularity and when Jools survived breast cancer (the one moment where the film seems to
head temporarily for the deep waters), family,
friends and seemingly the entire Australian nation supported the sisters.
Although it’s a tad on the long side, this
chronicle of Jools and Lynda—who call to mind
the Roches and, when in full voice, dueling k.d.
langs—is effervescent and just about irresistible. It’s a terrifically welcoming, feel-good film
and another reason why 2010 was the year of
the lesbian movie. See it and get happy. http://
Film notes:
—Call for entries: Amplify and the Red Hot
Organization, two non-profits dedicated to fighting the AIDS epidemic are sponsoring Red Hot
+ US, a national film competition for students
aimed at “addressing HIV/AIDS through a contemporary lens.” For over 20 years, the familiar
“Red Hot +” song compilations featuring a raft
of mega pop stars has helped to elevate awareness. Now, these two organizations are seeking
young artists and filmmakers to put their own
experiences with HIV and AIDS through a contemporary lens for a new generation. Deadline
for submissions is August 31. The winning entry will receive a $2,500 cash prize and a trip
for two to New York City to participate in World
AIDS Day. In addition, the first 50 entries will
receive a complimentary copy of the DVD “Dark
Was the Night.” Contest rules, submission forms
and further information at www.redhotand.us
—Recent DVDs of note: Facts of Life star
‘Woke Up Black’
at ICE Theater
June 8
Marcus Patrick in Violet Tendencies.
good sense to give a boyfriend (named Jesus
no less)—after all he’d been through the previous two seasons. There’s also Joe Manganiello as
the sexiest werewolf this side of Taylor Lautner.
Also, there are plenty of extras on the five-disc
set to tide us True Blood fans over until the next
season kicks off Sunday, June 26.
Those that love the music on Glee but aren’t
thrilled with the sometimes schizophrenic
plotlines of the show (you know who you are)
will be happy to bring home the DVD Glee Encore, which features just the music numbers
from the show’s first season and skips all the
weekly melodrama high jinks. Highlights include
the Gleeks warbling and dancing everything
from showtunes to rap. No doubt a compilation
of season two will follow.
Check out my archived reviews at http://
www.windycitymediagroup.com or http://
www.knightatthemovies.com. Readers can
leave feedback at the latter website.
Filmmaker/activist Mary Morten’s new
independent documentary, Woke Up Black,
will have a screening Wed., June 8, at 7
p.m. at ICE Theater 14, 210 W. 87th.
The documentary had its premiere Feb.
25 before a sold-out audience at the Gene
Siskel Film Center.
Director Morten’s team followed five
Black youths for two years to “get a
glimpse of their lives, their struggles, and
their dreams.” The youths come from diverse backgrounds, including one teen
boy raised by two gay dads and one genderqueer young woman who is struggling
to understand her parents’ lack of acceptance.
Tickets are $15 ($7 for students). See
Woke Up Black.
—Chicago Sun-Times
—Northwest Indiana Times
The Topp Twins.
witty timing—have broken down cultural barriers left and right in their homeland without
apparently breaking a sweat.
Now it’s been 25 years. Jools and Lynda Topp,
who hail from New Zealand, started out on a
dairy farm performing their infectious “little bit
country, little bit rock-n-roll” tunes in the hinterlands, eventually working their way toward
the bright environs of Sydney and beyond. Along
the way the duo created a batch of comedic
characters that became sure-fire crowd-pleasers
and led to their own television show. We not
only see the Topps performing these characters
in concert, Pooley gives us the added bonus of
charming interviews with them. The arsenal of
the Topps include Ken and Ken—the sheep farmer and the TV sports caster (which they perform,
natch, in male drag)—and the high falutin’ society ladies, among others.
In between the concert and character shenanigans, we also follow the gals (and their
girlfriends) around their daily lives of writing,
rehearsing and performing on what seems like
a truly charmed existence. The duo’s passion for
a variety of illustrious causes (from queer sexuality to the political) has only increased their
Mindy Cohn and a bevy of hunky, nearly nude
guys star in Violet Tendencies, the latest urban dramedy from the motivated team of queer
director-producer-actor Caspar Andreas and
writer-producer-actor Jesse Archer. Cohn, delightful and moving, plays the worlds “oldest
fruit fly” who suddenly decides that her own
love life needs to take priority. The film, enlivened by Cohn’s winning performance, did well on
the festival circuit and is just out on DVD via the
self-distribution route. It’s worth the support of
the queer community so grab a copy today.
Speaking of nearly nude hunks, there’s no more
guilty pleasure on TV than HBO’s sultry, audacious vampire/supernatural, gay-in-all-but-name
series True Blood from queer writer-producer
Alan Ball. Now all 12 episodes of hot, hot, hot
season three are here on DVD—complete with
the usual cast of regular hotties, queer characters and the addition this season of the enticing plot line surrounding the maleficent King of
Mississippi (played by out actor Denis O’Hare)
and Theo Alexander as Talbot, his 600-year-old
boytoy, as well as the burgeoning romance of
Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis) who producers had the
One actor plays THE INSPECTOR,
the other plays ALL 13 SUSPECTS,
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Lesbian wins ‘Amazing Race’
LaKisha Hoffman was born in Rosewood Community Hospital, grew up on the city’s South
Side and became a basketball standout at Seton
Academy in suburban South Holland.
Now 31 and living in New York, Hoffman still
calls Chicago home and has plenty of fond memories of the Windy City—other than the fact it is
quite windy.
“I want to come back [to Chicago] so bad, but
the weather … that wind, the snow, the winter,”
she said. “The things that I remember the most
of Chicago are, holidays [and events] … things
like the Taste of Chicago, the fireworks on the
Fourth of July, BBQs over Memorial Day weekend.
“I also remember walking along Lake Shore
Drive, field trips to the [Willis] Tower, and more.
I definitely consider Chicago home.
Hoffman averaged 16.2 points and 12.1 rebounds per game as a high school senior, and
has been honored for her basketball skills by the
Chicago Tribune, among others. She was a threetime all-conference player and two-time team
MVP. She led Seton Academy to the Class A Elite
Eight in the annual state tournament.
“I loved my high school experience,” Hoffman
said. “My most memorable [high school] experience was going downstate during my senior year
[for the state basketball playoffs].”
She then took her gym shoes to Western Illinois University and then to the University of
“Louisville was a great experience,” Hoffman
Hoffman, who is now a teacher and coach,
also is a millionaire—or at least part of a million-dollar team.
May 25, 2011
LaKisha (left) and Jennifer Hoffman compete
on The Amazing Race. Photo courtesy of CBS
Sisters LaKisha and Jennifer Hoffman were
crowned champions of The Amazing Race: Unfinished Business on May 8, as the returning
14th-season Racers highlighted the special twoepisode finale broadcast of the CBS reality competition’s all-stars edition. The Hoffman sisters
were the first team to cross the finish line in
Miami in the 18th season of The Amazing Race.
They won the $1 million grand prize.
Fifteenth-season Harlem Globetrotters Nathaniel “Big Easy” Lofton and Herbert “Flight
Time” Lang finished second. The 17th-season
father-and-daughter team of Gary Ervin and Mallory Ervin finished third.
“I’m still taking everything in. I’m still in
shock that we won,” said LaKisha, a lesbian. “It
hasn’t hit me yet, not even close. And I don’t
know when it will, so I’m just going about my
everyday life, with school, coaching, etc.
“When we finally got our checks, I didn’t cash
it for days, and everyone was wondering what I
was waiting for.
“My sister and I definitely feel like we can accomplish anything that set out to do, but we
knew that this would be a huge feat. Sure, we
had the confidence that we could win, but actually winning is still amazing. It’s still very, very
Hoffman, now working on her master’s degree
in social work, said she will use part of her winnings to pay off school bills. They also plan to
buy a home for their mom, and LaKisha added
that she will invest some, too.
“We have always been very, very close. We’ve
accomplished a lot of things apart, but this is
the first thing that we accomplished together,
as sisters, so it’s a great feeling,” LaKisha said.
“We got along this Race. The first time [on the
show], we struggled in the beginning. This time,
we had one blow up; that’s it.”
LaKisha, who is four years older than Jennifer,
said the show looks a lot easier on TV than it is
in reality. Plus, the show doesn’t always capture
their moments of physical and mental exhaustion—or the time when they had not showered
in four days.
“The Race is draining,” she said. “It’s a great
experience, but you definitely have to be mentally, physically and emotionally capable of handling the challenges that the Race gives you.”
She said her favorite stop on the Race was
Australia. “It’s absolutely beautiful; the weather
was perfect; the people were very nice. I definitely want to go back and visit,” Hoffman
Her least favorite stop was China, if only because it’s the hardest place to navigate in because of the language barrier, she said.
LaKisha’s sexual orientation was never mentioned on the show.
“I feel like there are a lot of aspects to my
personality, to who I am, not just that I am
a lesbian. I am African-American. I’m a sister,
a daughter, a coach. And also, a lesbian,” she
said. “I’m actually kind of excited about the
community’s interest in me.
I’m now really embracing the fact that I’m sort
of a role model for this community, and I definitely am open to that thought.”
The Hoffmans were tagged the “athletic sisters,” not the “gay-straight combo.”
A spokesperson for CBS said that LaKisha’s
sexual orientation “definitely” would have been
mentioned on the show, if it had been deemed
to be a “major story point” of her Race participation. As it was with the gay father-son team
of Mel and Mike White. The show also has similarly not noted the orientation of openly gay
‘Mother and Son’ team member Luke Adams, the
spokesperson added.
Hoffman came out nervously in 2003, first
telling her sister.
Jennifer’s reply: “I already know that. Is that
all?” LaKisha’s nerves were quickly calmed.
“That was an easy coming-out,” LaKisha said.
Then she told a friend, who admitted she, too,
was lesbian. Then there was her mom, which was
a different story.
“She definitely is opposed to my sexuality,”
said Hoffman, who noted that their relationship has grown and improved since she told her
“I think she recognizes that my sexuality is
just a small part of who I am. She still loves and
accepts me as her daughter, despite her religious
views [on homosexuality.]”
The rest of her family is totally fine with her
sexual orientation, she said.
So, are you single?
Hoffman laughed.
Yes, she is, but, Hoffman added, “Someone is
close to my heart right now.”
usic. T
ake M
me To
GROUPS CALL 312.977.1710
Kelly Lamont, David Lago, Lance Lipinsky, Sean Sullivan, Gabe Bowling PHOTOS BY GABE BOWLING AND RYANWARDTHOMPSON.COM
BY CONC ncierge
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May 25, 2011
Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams
stakes claim to Chicago
“Furnishing your home is a big deal,” said Mitchell Gold, chairman and co-founder of the lifestyle home furnishings brand Mitchell Gold +
Bob Williams.
Chicagoans will now have another option as
the company opens its first Signature Store in Illinois in Lincoln Park this summer. (Some items
are currently available in Chicago at Bloomingdale’s, Jayson Home and Garden and Michaelian & Kohlberg.)
The 10,000-plus-square-foot, two-story business will be across the street from the new Apple
store. Gold said it’s a perfect location, as Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams shares a similar customer
base with the technology brand that’s “into design and performance.”
The store will offer couches, chairs, dining
sets, storage units like dressers and entertainment centers, rugs, lighting, pillows, mirrors,
wall art and more. They’ll also feature fine-art
photography by Tipper Gore (the two got a look
at her work while designing the interior of her
and Al’s home).
“Everything in our store is organized to give
customers a good shopping experience,” said
Gold. Furniture will be set up in room vignettes
across limestone tiled floor, ceiling-to-floor
windows giving an open feel and adding natural
Coffee and other beverages will be served and
the music will be changed at different times of
day to set the right mood. The store will also be
dog-friendly. Gold said he and Williams are all
about making people comfortable and ensuring
that they won’t feel “rushed or harried.”
Gold and Williams describe their furniture as
Mitchell Gold
and Bob
Photos by
Dave Ouano
“soft and modern.” They take inspiration from
a range of places. “It could be a flea market in
Hickory (N.C.), a vacation in St. Barts or a safari
in Africa,” said Gold. Designs are traditional yet
“distinctly modern,” drawing from styles from
the 1950s through the ‘80s.
“Bob and I want things that are really going
to be around for a long time,” said Gold, adding
that they only design furniture that they’d want
in their own homes.
Customers can choose from several in-stock
fabric options for upholstered items, or customdesign their own looks with 350 fabrics and 50
leathers. They can also bring in their own material to use.
Gold and Williams have published two home
decorating books, Let’s Get Comfortable in 2007
and The Comfortable Home in 2009, both filled
with tips, tricks and ideas they’ve put together
through the years.
Gold started the company in 1989 with Williams, who was president of design and his
partner. Headquartered in Taylorsville, N.C., the
company has grown to almost 600 employees
with retail stores across the country and in Puerto Rico, Mexico and Canada.
Their furniture has been featured in numerous
home decorating magazines, is used in several
hotels, such as the W, and won design awards.
Gold saw an article about the furniture industry being one of the worst environmental
offenders when starting up the company, and
“we decided we were going to do things in an
environmentally responsible way.”
They found a foam manufacturer that produces
no CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons, organic compounds that deplete the ozone layer); use wood
from trees that grow back quickly; and make sure
their factory is eco-friendly. Gold now serves on
the board of the Sustainable Furnishings Council, helping to monitor other furniture producers.
Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams is committed to
equality in the workplace and has a 100 percent
rating with the Human Rights Campaign. They
try to get involved in every community where
their stores are, and hold a lot of non-profit
events, especially for the LGBT community.
“LGBT consumers really have to consider what
stores they’re supporting,” said Gold. He added
that many large retailers support political candidates that push anti-LGBT legislation.
Gold also edited the book Crisis, published in
2008, a collection of 40 stories about growing
up gay in the U.S., including those of Williams
and himself.
Gold and Williams think that their store will be
a great fit for Chicago, noting the mix of classic and modern in the architecture that matches
their aesthetic. “Chicago is a city of great taste,”
Gold said.
The Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams Signature
store will be located at 1555 N. Halsted. The
planned opening is for mid-August and a grand
opening charity benefit will be held in September.
Programs in Chicago, DC, Houston, and Los Angeles
May 25, 2011
e it?
u hav
do yo
Highlights of the 2011 New York
International Auto Show
is a bit longer and less rounded than the last
model; it’s also much more athletic and muscular.
Beetle fans can choose between three engines:
a 2.5-liter normally aspirated engine, a 2.0-liter
turbodiesel engine, or a 2.0-liter turbocharged
engine (the same found in the sporty GTI.) Both
manual and automatic transmissions, including
VW’s DSG dual-clutch automatic, will be available. Pricing has not yet been announced, but
rumor has it that the 2012 Beetle will start under $20,000.
—2012 Audi A7 Sportback: Joining the
small but steady proliferation of what are being
dubbed “four-door coupes”, the A7 also incorporates the best attributes of a wagon as well. Surprise guest Stephen Colbert appeared on stage,
partially to help launch the new car and partially
to announce his collaboration with Audi in the
Charleston Bermuda sailing race. All jokes aside,
the A7 is a stunning car with a fastback like
rear end that, though not quite as obvious as
the BMW 5GT’s rear, is certainly more handsome
than the Porsche Panamera. Models will include
gasoline and diesel engines, as well as Audi’s
famed quattro all-wheel drive.
—2013 Ford Taurus: Ford continues to make
small but significant improvements to its biggest
sedan, proving that the company is no longer
content to sit by and watch foreign competitors
overtake its newest models. In addition to its
This year at the New York International Auto
Show (held April 22-May 1 at the Jacob Javits
Convention Center) the theme we repeatedly
heard more than any other was fuel economy—
or, to be more precise, 40 mpg fuel economy.
Auto makers, both foreign and domestic, rolled
out a number of high-mileage cars that promise
to help us all fight the pain of four- and fivedollar-a-gallon gasoline. However, there was
also excitement in New York with sporty concepts and luxurious land yachts peppering the
Javits Center halls.
—2012 Subaru Impreza: A reworked Subaru Impreza Sedan and Hatchback receive more
angular sheetmetal, a much needed interior
upgrade including more front and rear-seat legroom, and a new 2.0-liter boxer engine teamed
to either a manual or CVT(Continuously Variable
Transmission) automatic transmission. That last
bit of information is crucial to the Impreza’s
story, as Subaru is promising cars equipped with
the CVT will see 36 miles-per-gallon, making the
2012 Impreza the most fuel-efficient all-wheeldrive car in America.
—2012 Volkswagen Beetle: The new 2012
Beetle is set to hit VW showrooms this fall, and
what a splash it will make! While still recognizable as the iconic VW coupe, the 2012 VW Beetle
standard 3.5-liter V6, the 2013 Ford Taurus will
offer an available 237-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbocharged EcoBoost engine that will deliver V6like power with impressive fuel efficiency. The
addition of the 2.0-liter turbo marks the second
EcoBoost engine offered in the Taurus line, the
other being the 365-horsepower twin-turbocharged V6 in the Taurus SHO. Other changes in
store for the 2012 Taurus include a new front
fascia with electrically operated grille slats that
help reduce aerodynamic drag when closed, LED
tail lights, and the addition of Ford’s MyTouch
configurable gauge cluster.
—2013 Chevrolet Malibu: The 2013 Chevrolet Malibu is treated to a sporty new makeover
that, when viewed from behind, makes the sedan
appear almost like a four-door Camaro. While
more curves have been added to the Malibu’s
sheetmetal, dash and wheel arches, the front
end seems to have missed the boat, retaining
a more angular appearance with strong ties to
the previous model. Inside, a new instrument
launched. Not wanting to tempt fate, the allnew 2012 Honda Civic doesn’t venture too far
from the successful formula that helped make
the last Civic a perennial best seller. While the
basic size and shape are familiar, the exterior is
now a bit more vivid, with added dimensional
sculpting on the hood, trunk and sides. There
are a total of seven Civic models, including the
sporty Si, Eco-friendly Hybrid and the luxurious
EX; this year also marks the return of the fuelefficient HF trim. Our own Nick Kurczewski will
have a full write up on the new Civic soon, so
check back for his in-depth review.
—2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8: Hot on the heels
of the new 300 sedan comes its sinister alterego, the SRT8. Still smooth and stylish, the
Chrysler 300 SRT8’s massive HEMI V8 engine,
which is good for 465 horsepower, can rocket
this big sedan from 0-60 mph in the four second
range. Talk about your ticket magnet! Also making their debuts were two new 300 trims: The S
trim is endowed with a more urban, youthful ap-
Concept A-Class.
Photo from
panel includes cool grooved bars that mimic the
flamboyant old dashes from the 50s and 60s, as
well as more interior room and a stunning attention to detail. We flat out love this interior.
The biggest news, however, is the addition of
the Malibu ECO, which uses GM’s eAssist electric
motor generator to assist the gasoline engine,
returning an estimated 26 mpg city and 38 mpg
—2012 Hyundai Accent: Hyundai has been
on a tear lately, and the new Accent is proof
the Korean car company is showing no signs
of slowing down. The lightweight Accent looks
great, comes loaded with features, yet will
probably barely reach the $17,000 mark with
all the bells and whistles. Better yet, Hyundai
is promising 40 mpg highway when either the
manual or automatic transmission is paired with
the 138-horsepower gasoline direct injection (a
first in this segment) 2.0-liter engine; figures
like these also mean the Accent bests the Honda
Fit, Ford Fiesta and Mazda Mazda2 in both horsepower and fuel economy.
—2012 Honda Civic: The previous Civic ran
for five years with only minor changes and still
looks as fresh and modern as the day it was
pearance, while the C Executive line is designed
to be the must luxurious 300 model ever.
Favorite concepts
Concept cars are only dreams formed in metal
and plastic (and sometimes clay). But, dreams
do come true, which is why we have our fingers
crossed for these two concept beauties:
—Scion FR-S: This car finally delivers on
Scion’s promise of a youthful, aggressive and
fun-to-drive coupe that anyone can afford. The
FR-S features a 2.0-liter boxer engine, rearwheel drive and a lightweight body with a nearly
50/50 front to rear weight distribution. However, it’s the styling that really gets us. WOW.
—Mercedes-Benz Concept A-Class: Fun,
smart and small are not adjectives normally attributed to Mercedes-Benz cars, but this little
concept could very well change all that. If MB
does it right (and prices it right), the A-Class
Concept could be the car that finally pulls in the
super cool, super young buyers that have long
alluded the German luxury car giant.
Read more about autos at http://www.Gaywheels.com.
A novel by Jeff Graubart
Alan Chin - Award-winning author of
The Lonely War, Match Maker and
Butterfly’s Child
Amos Lassen - Literary Pride,
“Come join the Party!
It's a Celebration!”Madonna
on Jeff Graubart’s shocking
memoir about gay activism
in 1970s Chicago and
Champaign-Urbana, Illinois.
May 25, 2011
[email protected];'.
[email protected];*
$1000 Cash, Trip to Vancouver, theatre/concert tickets & more!
Audience prize: TRIP FOR TWO to Vancouver.
Enter to Win at Semi-finals and Finals!
For more, visit windycitymediagroup.com or e-mail [email protected]
Windy City Media Group includes Windy City Times, Nightspots and WindyCityQueercast.com
sponsored by
May 25, 2011
compiled by PRIDEChicago
www.ChicagoPrideCalendar.org • [email protected] • 773-348-8243
Call phone number listed on each event to verify date
and time. To add an event, contact PRIDEChicago:
[email protected] The calendar includes Pride
events whose coordinators have sent a listing form or
press release to PRIDEChicago for inclusion.
JUNE (various dates) - CENTER ON
HALSTED - during June Pride Month, the center
will be hosting many events. 3656 N. Halsted. www.
JUNE (various dates) - WOMEN’S EVENTS
- during June Pride Month include: Lesbian College
Night, Beach Party, Lesbian Pride Party & many
others by the Doll House. Information: facebook.com/
Ninadollhouse, 312-927-1144.
JUNE (various dates) - ART EXHIBIT - to
celebrate L/G Pride at the Urban Art Retreat (Liz Long
Gallery), 1957 S. Spaulding. Opening reception: June 4
(1-4 p.m.). Other related events throughout the month.
[email protected]
com. 773-542-9126.
JUNE (various dates) - WORKSHOPS “LGBTQ People and the Bible” by aChurch4Me? MCC
at Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted-2nd Floor. 10:30
a.m. to noon. (Four-part workshop/discussion takes
place June 4, 11, 18, 25). www.achurchforme.org.
JUNE (various dates) - WORSHIP
CELEBRATIONS - “Celebrate Your Whole Life !” by
aChurch4Me? MCC at National Pastime Theater, 4139
N. Broadway. (Dates: June 5, 12, 19 at 11 a.m. and June
26 at 10 a.m.). www.achurchforme.org. 773-951-4268.
JUNE (through March 2012) - EXHIBITION
- “Out in Chicago” by the Chicago History Museum,
1601 N. Clark. This exhibit explores 150 years of urban
history through the lens of gender, sexuality and nonconformity. It presents the city’s diverse lesbian, gay,
bisexual and transgender communities through the
themes of self, homes and families, communities and
political action. www.chicagohistory.org.
JUNE (June 3 through Sept 24) - EXHIBITION
- “Edgewater Pride: Oppression to Expression” by the
Edgewater Historical Society (EHS). The exhibit focuses
on the LGBT movement within the Uptown, Edgewater
and Rogers Park communities. www.edgewaterhistory.
org. 773-506-4849.
JUNE (entire month) - PHOTOGRAPHY
EXHIBIT - “Gay Pride Parade Photography, Chicago
Style” by Diane Alexander White at Center on Halsted
(COH), 3656 N. Halsted. Portion of sales benefit COH.
Photographs date from 1976-2008 in color & black/white.
Exhibit runs through July 6. www.dawhitephotography.
com, [email protected] 773-837-7403.
Greet” at Broadway United Methodist Church, 3338 N.
Broadway. 7 p.m. www.broadwaychurchchicago.org.
JUNE 1 - CELEBRATION - “Under a New Moon”
by the Catalyst Ranch, 656 W. Randolph. Doors open
10:30 p.m. (May 31) w/ Ceremony at midnight (June
1) which is the time that Civil Unions in Illinois will
be legal. Reception follows (until 2 a.m.). Six couples
will win a civil union wedding, complete with cocktail
hour and reception featuring many local wedding
vendors. Facebook fan page: http://on.fb.me.fLCoUa.
312-207-1710 (Lauren).
JUNE 2 - CELEBRATION - “City of Chicago’s
Celebration of Civil Unions” by the Advisory Council
on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues at
Wrigley Square in Millennium Park, Randolph Street and
Michigan Avenue. 10 a.m. Free and open to the public.
[email protected] 312-744-7911.
Live: The Story of Triangle Square” 9 p.m. on WTTW11
HD (11.1). www.wttw.com
10:30 p.m. on WTTW11 HD (11.1). Pride Month kick-off
show. www.wttw.com.
Pride: A Community Celebration” by The Civil Rights
Agenda (TCRA) at Chicago History Museum (outdoor
“Uihlein Plaza”), 1601 N. Clark. 5 p.m. This mass civil
union ceremony will celebrate the June 1 enactment of
civil unions in Illinois. It also features a black-tie-optional
cocktail reception with entertainment, hors d’oeuvres
and desserts. In addition, guests will be granted access
to the newly opened Chicago History Museum exhibit,
“Out in Chicago.” This event is also a fundraiser for
TCRA with event proceeds going to the Families United
Project. Tickets: Community guests: $50; Couples ($75
suggested donation, but no couple will be turned away
from participating due to financial capability): www.
National Celebrates the Heartland” hosted by John and
Char Cepek at Kimpton’s Hotel Palomar, 505 N. State
St. 6-8:30 p.m. Tickets: $75 ($50 PFLAG members).
The event will honor Greg Harris (IL State Rep.,13th
District), Kim L. Hunt (Executive Director, Affinity
Community Services) & Officer Jose Rios (Chicago
Police Dept. 23rd District LGBT Liaison and LGPA/
GOAL Vice President). There will be food, drinks and a
silent auction to benefit the PFLAG Council of Northern
Illinois. www.pflag.org/chicago.
JUNE 4 - WALKING TOUR - of Lakeview by
Chicago History Museum (CHM), 1601 N. Clark.
10-11:30 a.m. $15/$10 CHM members. (Repeated on
7/9 & 8/6). This area was a suburb at the turn of the
century and is where Wrigley Field was built a few years
later. In the 1970s the area blossomed when LGBTs
moved in. Explore the history and architecture of the
country’s first officially recognized gay neighborhood.
JUNE 4 - MARCH/RALLY - “SlutWalk Chicago”
is one of many similar marches being held in cities
nationwide in support of education, and against
intolerance and revised cultural attitudes towards
sexual assault and rape. Meet: 11 a.m. at Randolph &
Clark (Thompson Center Plaza). Step-off at noon. Rally
afterwards in Daley Plaza with speakers, music and
performances. Allies of any age, race, gender-identity
and sexual orientation are welcome. For march route
etc.: www.slutwalkchicago.org.
JUNE 4 - PRIDE PICNIC - by C.A.A.N. (Community
Alliance & Action Network) at Joliet Iron Works historic
site, Columbia Street, Joliet, IL. 2 p.m. The picnic area is
sheltered, so event is rain or shine. www.caanmidwest.
org. [email protected] 815-726-7906.
JUNE 4 - WINDY CITY GAY IDOL SEMIFINALS - 9th annual competition by Windy City
Media Group at Sidetrack, 3349 N. Halsted. 2 p.m.
(door opens); 3 p.m. (start). Audience cover fee: $10.
www.windycitymediagroup.com. 773- 871-7610. www.
- What Do They Mean?” at St. Pauls United Church of
Christ, 2335 N. Orchard. 12:30 p.m. Discussion includes
legal and financial implications. RSVP by May 31 and
indicate if you want a box lunch available for $10. www.
spucc.org. [email protected] 773-348-3829.
GROUP - “Mennonite in a Little Black Dress: A
Memoir of Going Home by Rhonda Janzen at Women &
Children First Books, 5233 N. Clark. 2-4 p.m. A woman
returns home to her close-knit Mennonite family after
a personal crisis: a severe accident the same week
that her husband leaves her for a man he has met on a
web site. www.womenandchildrenfirst.com. [email protected]
gmail.com. 773-769-9299.
JUNE 7 - BTQ BOOK DISCUSSION GROUP “Pride/Prejudice: A Novel of Mr. Darcy, Elizabeth Bennet,
and Their Forbidden Lovers” by Ann Herendeen at
Gerber/Hart Library, 1127 W. Granville, 7:30 p.m. www.
gerberhart.org. [email protected] 773-381-8030.
JUNE 7 - PERFORMANCE - by members of Pride
Films & Plays Ensemble at Gerber/Hart Library, 1127 W.
Granville, 7:30 p.m. Includes selections from finalists in
the Pride Films & Plays Women’s Work Series featuring
works written by women with lesbian characters or
themes. www.gerberhart.org. [email protected]
JUNE 8 - CELEBRATION - of Civil Unions at
Broadway United Methodist Church, 3338 N. Broadway,
7 p.m. www.broadwaychurchchicago.org.
SERVICE - “Pride: ImaginACTion” - at Congregational
United Church of Christ, 1001 W. Kirchoff Rd., Arlingtron
Heights, IL 7:30 p.m. Co-sponsored by Chicago
Coalition of Welcoming Churches (CCWC). Offering
shared by CCWC & Night Ministry’s street program
for homeless teens. www.congucc.org [email protected]
sbcglobal.net. 847-392-6650.
America” 8 p.m. on WTTW11 HD (11.1). Features
stories told by LGBTs about their lives, hopes, struggles
and contributions towards advancements in equality
and broader social change. www.wttw.com.
JUNE 9 - WORKSHOP - “What Do You Want To
Be When You Grow Up?”: identifying your true career
directions, by Judi Lansky of Lansky Careers. 6:30-8:30
p.m. No charge, but advance registration required. For
location and information: 312-494-0022.
JUNE 10 (through July 24) - PLAY - “The
Homosexuals” by Philip Dawkins presented by About
Face Theatre at Victory Gardens, Richard Christiansen
Theatre, 2443 N. Lincoln. Various starting times. Tickets:
$28. www.aboutfacetheatre.com. 773-784-8565.
JUNE 11 - BENEFIT - “Flag Day Beer Bust
& BBQ” - 15th annual Pride Month fundraiser for
American Veterans for Equal Rights (AVER) at Bucks
Saloon, 3439 N. Halsted. 3-8 p.m. $10 donation. www.
buckssaloonchicago.com. [email protected]
com. 773-525-1125.
- celebrating Pride Month by the Artemis Singers at
Broadway United Methodist Church, 3338 N. Broadway.
7:30 p.m. Concert features songs about dancing and
songs to dance to. Tickets: $15 (include concert &
dance). www.artemissingers.org .
JUNE 14 - WORKSHOP - “How Do You Find A Job
in This Economy” by Judi Lansky of Lansky Careers.
6:30-8:30 p.m. No charge, but advance registration
required. For location and information: 312-494-0022.
GROUP - “A Grave Talent” by Laurie R. King at
Gerber/Hart Library, 1127 W. Granville. 7:30 p.m. www.
gerberhart.org [email protected] 773-381-8030.
Spirits” on WTTW’s Independent Lens show. 10:30 p.m.
The show deals with the life and death of Fred Martinez,
one of the youngest hate-crime victims in modern history
who was murdered at age sixteen. It also explores the
ancient Native American two-spirit tradition presented
on WTTW11 HD (11.1). Repeated on June 18, 7 p.m.
on WTTW Prime 11.2). www.pbs.org/independentlens/
two-spirits.org or www.wttw.com.
welcome at Berry Memorial United Methodist Church,
4754 N. Leavitt. 6-7:15 p.m. (Pride Worship service
at 7:30 p.m.). Co-sponsored by Chicago Coalition of
welcoming Churches (CCWC). www.berryumc.org
[email protected] 773-784-3273.
Month at Broadway United methodist Church, 3338 N.
Broadway. 7 p.m. www.broadwaychurchchicago.org.
JUNE 16 - FILM - “Fish Out of Water” with Q&A
with director Ky Dickens presented by Bodhi Spiritual
Center’s LGBTA Ministry, 2524 N. Lincoln. 7 p.m.
FREE. www.bodhispiritualcenter.org. [email protected]
bodhispiritualcenter.org. 773-248-5683.
Uprising: American Experience” 8 p.m. on WTTW11 HD
(11.1). Historical coverage of the Stonewall rebellion
that is credited with kicking off the modern day LGBT
rights movement. Repeated on June 18, 7 p.m. on
WTTW Prime (11.2). www.wttw.com.
Adventures (the NFP professional social networking
group). Location: C-View @ Affinia Hotel, 29th Floor,
166 E. Superior. 6 p.m. Wear some rainbow accessories.
JUNE 17 - TELEVISION PROGRAM “Schoolboy to Showgirl: The Alexandra Billings Story”
7:30 p.m. on WTTW11 HD (11.1). www.wttw.com.
JUNE 18 - GAY DAY - “Out At the Park” - at Six
Flags, Great America, Gurnee, IL sponsored by Gay
Chicago. All day, all ages. Buses from Touche and
Center on Halsted (portion of ticket sales benefit the
Center). $42 (without bus ticket). http://gaychicagonews.
com/outintheparktickets.html. [email protected]
com. 773-327-7271.
JUNE 18 - WALKING TOUR - of Andersonville
by Chicago History Museum (CHM), 1601 N. Clark.
10-11:30 a.m. $15/$10 CHM members. Repeated
on 7/23 and 8/27. This area was settled in the 1850s
by Swedish immigrants. In the 1980s lesbians began
claiming it as their own, and today has a thriving
LGBT community. The tour explores the area’s history,
architecture and cultural diversity. www.chicagohistory.
- 9th annual competition by Windy City Media Group at
Sidetrack, 3349 N. Halsted. 2 p.m. (door opens); 3 p.m.
(start). Audience cover fee: $10. Cash & prizes. www.
windycitymediagroup.com 773-871-7610.
JUNE 18 - CHORAL CONCERT - “Road Trip”Windy City Performing Arts’ 2011 Pride Concert
featuring Windy City Gay Chorus and Aria: Windy City
Women’s Ensemble at Senn Hall (on the Nicholas Senn
Campus), 5900 N. Glenwood. 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. Tickets:
$20 (Gen. Admission) online at: www.windycitysings.
JUNE 18 - PARTY/Benefit - “Green (Fairy)
Tea Party to celebrate Pride Month and raise money
for AIDS awareness and Japanese earthquake relief
charities by Asians & Friends Chicago (AFC) at the
Dana Hotel (Vertigo Sky/Rooftop Lounge), 660 N.
State. 4-6 p.m. Suggested donation: $15 ($20 door).
“Embracing the theme of absinthe--a distilled drink
best known for giving those who partake, a vision of the
‘green fairy.’” www.afchicago.org.
Uprising: An American Experience” 7 p.m. on WTTW11
Prime (11.2). Historical coverage of the Stonewall
rebellion that is credited with kicking off the modern day
LGBT rights movement. www.wttw.com.
JUNE 18 - SAPPHO’S SALON - Three-year
anniversary bash with Tret Fure and host Kat Fitzgerald.
$10 cover includes cake and champagne at Women &
Children First Books, 5233 N. Clark. 7:30 p.m. www.
[email protected]
Proud in Chicago” 8:30 p.m. on WTTW11 Prime (11.2).
Historical coverage of LGBTs in Chicago. Repeated
on June 23, 9 p.m. on WTTW11 HD (11.1). www.wttw.
Beyond Hatred” 11:10 p.m. on WTTW Prime (11.2).
JUNE 19 - FEMINIST BOOK GROUP “Evolution’s Rainbow: Diversity, Gender and Sexuality
in Nature and People” by Joan Roughgarden at Women
& Children First Books, 5233 N. Clark. 6-8 p.m. www.
[email protected]
JUNE 19 - BOAT TOUR - “Pride On the Water” by
Chicago History Museum (CHM), 1601 N. Clark. 7- 9:30
p.m. $60/$55 CHM members.Includes an open bar.
Advance tickets suggested. Cruise down the Chicago
River into Lake Michigan. Participants will learn about
key moments in LGBT history and how the community
has had an impact on Chicago history and culture. Also
information about the museum’s new exhibition, “Out in
Chicago.” www.chicagohistory.org.
JUNE 20 - RECEPTION - “Pride & Joy” by Chicago
Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame at Circuit Night Club, 3641
N. Halsted. 6:30-10 p.m. $20. www.glhalloffame.org.
[email protected] 312-744-7911.
JUNE 20 - PERFORMANCE - “Solo Homo
9” by NewTown Writers at Strawdog Theatre, 3829
N. Broadway. 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $12, online or cash
at door. (Repeat performance on June 21). www.
JUNE 21 - BENEFIT - “Summer Soiree” - 2nd
annual fundraiser for Chicago Danz Theatre Ensemble
at Th!nkArt Gallery and Policy Salon, 670 W. Hubbard,
1st Floor. 7-10 p.m. Tickets: $30 advance ($35 door).
All proceeds support ensemble performances and arts
education outreach programs for low-income students.
Includes a raffle. www.danztheatre.org.
JUNE 21 - PERFORMANCE - “Solo Homo 9”
by NewTown Writers at Strawdog Theatre, 3829 N.
Broadway. 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $12, online or cash at door.
www.newtownwriters.org .
Kids” by Patti Smith at Women & Children First Books,
5233 N. Clark. 7:30-9 p.m. It begins as a love story
(w/ Robert Mapplethorpe) and ends as an elegy. It’s a
salute to New York City in the late ‘60s and ‘70s with its
rich and poor, hustlers and hellions. A true fable and a
portrait of two young artists, a prelude to fame. www.
[email protected]
30 Awards” by Windy City Media Group at Center on
Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted. 5:30 p.m. The awards honor
30 outstanding young (under 30 years old) LGBT
individuals (and allies). www.windycitymediagroup.com.
JUNE 22 - OPEN MIC NIGHT - “All the Beloved” for
Pride Month at 3338 N. Broadway. 7 p.m. Includes poetry,
music, dancing, etc. www.broadwaychurchchicago.org.
JUNE 22 - PRIDE WORSHIP - “Whatever” inspired
by Philippians, at Lake Street Church, 607 Lake St.,
Evanston. 7:30 p.m. Co-sponsored by Chicago Coalition
of Welcoming Churches. www.lakestreet.org. [email protected]
lakestreet.org. 847-864-2181.
JUNE 23 - PRIDE NIGHT - “Chicago Sky Pride
Night” by WNBA Chicago Sky at Allstate Arena, 6920
Mannheim Rd., Rosemont, IL. Tickets START at $25
(includes ticket, t-shirt and donation). www.chicagosky.
net. [email protected] 866-SKY-WNBA
COCKTAIL PARTY - 14th annual event by Chicago
House at Room & Board, 55 E. Ohio. 6-9 p.m. Tickets:
$75 (advance); $85 (door). www.chicagohouse.org.
[email protected] 773-248-5200 x 303.
JUNE 23 - BOAT CRUISE - on Lake Michigan
by Lambda Legal on Chicago’s Fair Lady (at Michigan
Avenue Bridge and the South Branch of the Chicago
River). 6:30-9:30 p.m. Tickets: $65 (includes sunset
cruise, cocktails and music). To register, email Lambda
Legal. www.lambdalegal.org. [email protected]
& Proud in Chicago” 9 p.m. on WTTW11 HD (11.1).
Historical coverage of LGBTs in Chicago. www.wttw.
PARTY - “Backlot Bash” - 8th annual event in parking
lot behind Cheetah Gym, 5248 N. Clark (this threeday event continues on June 25 and 26). For list of
entertainers, DJs, age requirements, hours, cost, etc.
JUNE 24 (through August 6) - THEATRICAL
May 25, 2011
PERFORMANCES - “Naked July: Art Stripped
Down” at the National Pastime Theater, 4139 N.
Broadway. Various times. Tickets: $20. The July event
opens one week earlier this year to celebrate Pride
Festival. www.nakedjuly.com.
Pride Fest” by Northalsted Business Alliance (NBA),
Waveland at Halsted. 4-10 p.m. Suggested donation
goes to NBA. Live music, food, arts/crafts, vendors, etc.
(Two-day fest continues June 25, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.).
www.chicagoevents.com 773-868-3010.
JUNE 24 - BOOK SIGNING - “Leatherman: The
Legend of Chuck Renslow” featuring Renslow and
authors Tracy Baim and Owen Keehnen at Women &
Children First Books, 5233 N. Clark. 7:30 p.m. www.
[email protected]
JUNE 24 - MOVIE - “The Lies We Tell, But the
Secrets We Keep” by independent filmmaker, MVP
Productions at the Portage Theatre, 4050 N. Milwaukee.
8 p.m. Tickets: $15 advance. www.themakingsofmvp.
com. [email protected]om. 312-298-9298.
JUNE 25 - DYKE MARCH - rally and march at
south side location with post-parade activities in the
park. More information: www.chicagodykemarch.
PARTY - “Backlot Bash” - 8th annual event in parking
lot behind Cheetah Gym, 5248 N. Clark (this three-day
event continues on June 26). For list of entertainers,
DJs, age requirements, hours, cost, etc. www.
JUNE 25 - PRIDE RUN & WALK - “Proud To Run”
30th annual event includes a 5k and 10k and 2-mile fun
Kimpton’s 5th Annual
walk presented by Frontrunners/Frontwalkers Chicago
in Lincoln Park, Montrose and the Lakefront. 8 a.m. $30.
Proceeds benefit local community organizations. www.
JUNE 25 - STREET FESTIVAL - “Chicago Pride
Fest” by Northalsted Business Alliance (NBA), Waveland
at Halsted. 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Suggested donation goes
to NBA. Live music, food, arts/crafts, vendors, etc.
(Second day of two-day fest). www.chicagoevents.com.
Pride Golden Sail Adventure Sunset Cruise” by Class “C”
Entertainment. 4:30-7:30 p.m. (Board 4:30 p.m. sharp)
at Burnham Harbor, 1559 S. Lake Shore Dr. Tickets:
$35 (advance purchase only). www.classceechicago.
com. [email protected] 312-399-9669.
JUNE 25 - PRIDE MASS & SOCIAL - annual
event by Dignity Chicago at 3338 N. Broadway. 5 p.m.
www.dignity-chicago.org. 312-458-9438.
PARTY - “Backlot Bash” - 8th annual event in parking
lot behind Cheetah Gym, 5248 N. Clark. For list of
entertainers, DJs, age requirements, hours, cost, etc.
JUNE 26 - SERVICE - “Cultivating a Rainbow
Heart” at the People’s Church of Chicago, 941 W.
Lawrence. 10 a.m. Guest preacher: Rev. Jacki Belile.
www.peopleschurchchicago.org .
- at Wellington Avenue United Church of Christ, 615
W. Wellington. 10-11:15 a.m. Free, all welcome. www.
waucc.org. [email protected] 773-935-0642.
PARADE - coordinated by PRIDEChicago. Line-up
at corner of Halsted (800 West) and Belmont (3200
North). Step off from the Halsted/Belmont corner at
noon, proceeding north on Halsted (to Broadway);
then south on Broadway (to Diversey); then east on
Diversey (to Cannon Drive) in Lincoln Park. www.
[email protected]
GROUP - “Faggots” (book) and “The Tragedy of
Today’s Gays” (article) by Larry Kramer at Gerber/Hart
Library, 1127 W. Granville. 7:30 p.m. www.gerberhart.
org. [email protected] 773-381-8030.
JUNE 29 - SERVICE - “A Healing Parade” - by
Living Well Ministries, 6554 N. Rockwell. 7:30 p.m. Led
by Rev. Jacki Belile. www.livingwellministries.net.
JUNE 29 - PLAY - “Good Boys & True” by Kokandy
Productions presents Towle Theater at 1229 W.
Belmont. 8 p.m. Tickets: $22 (reservations suggested).
(Repeat performances on June 30, July 1,2, 6-9). www.
[email protected]
PRIDE - beginning this week there are dozens of
events scheduled for the LGBT Black Pride celebration.
JUNE 30 - PLAY - “Good Boys & True” by Kokandy
Productions presents Towle Theater at 1229 W.
Belmont. 8 p.m. Tickets: $22 (reservations suggested).
www.goodboysandtrue.com. [email protected]
For travel to the parade and other pride events
ride the CTA/PACE/METRA.
www.transitchicago.com (1-888-YOUR CTA)
or www.metrarail.com (1-312-322-6900)
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ART FAIR. July 9 & 10, 2011. Fine art. Prizes and
awards. Held on the Village Green, 5211 W. Oakton St.,
downtown Skokie, IL. Apply now. For applications or
information: [email protected] or 847-677-8163.
www.skokieartguild.org (6/30/11-18)
FEELINGS. Recognize your talents, strengths, successes. Overcome difficulties and confusion. Astrology can
help pull it all together. Relationships. Career. Plan the
future. Serious astrology for serious seekers. Private,
personal consultations. www.astrologicaldetails.com
Lin Ewing 847.609.0034 (1/7/12-52)
CHESTNUT CLEANING SERVICES: We’re a house cleaning
service for homes, small businesses and small buildings.
We also have fabulous organizational skills (a separate
function at a separate cost that utilizes your assistance) for what hasn’t been cleaned in many months
or years due to long-term illness, depression, physical/
mental challenges, for the elderly, if you have downsized and more. Depressed about going home to chaos?
We can organize your chaos, straighten out your chaos,
help you make sense of your chaos and finally clean
what is no longer chaos. Can we help you? Bonded and
insured. Chestnut Cleaning Service: 312-332-5575.
www.ChestnutCleaning.com (4/27/11-52)
Counseling and Clinical Hypnotherapy: Providing help
to individuals and couples in our community since 1987.
I specialize in relationship issues, spiritual issues,
childhood trauma, and recurrent patterns that inhibit
potential. Starla R. Sholl, LCSW, PC, 773.878.5809,
www.starlasholl.com (9/1/11-26)
DECK RESTORATION. Restore your deck. We will clean
and stain to get rid of that old dull grey. Protect your
wood. 847-414-3422 (6/8/11–4)
May 25, 2011
HOUSEMAN/HOUSEKEEPER Professional Houseman
needed. Couple in Chicago is seeking an experienced
Houseman with long term intent to assist in the care of
their modern home. Candidates should have experience
in high end homes, be very hands on (willing to clean),
and have excellent references. Technical savvy with
SmartHomes and commercial systems is a plus. Schedule is days, Monday through Friday, 40 hours per week.
Send resume to [email protected] (5/25/11–2)
INTERPRETING NEEDS: To consult with you or your
company with your ADA needs. Diana Thorpe CI/
CT/NIC Master, Nationally Certified Interpreter,
773-401-1339, or e-mail [email protected]
with over a decade of excellence serving our community. We pride ourselves in offering top-quality,
efficient, low-cost, damage-free moves. Small to large
trucks, fully equipped with modern tools, supplies
of the trade. Rates for guaranteed professional staff:
2-man crew $65/hr.; 3-man crew $85/hr.; 4-man crew
$105/hr. (plus low, one-time travel charge.)
Call 773-777-1110 or www.chicagocrescentmovers.
com. (3/23/11-26)
[email protected]
An independently owned and operated member of Prudential Real Estate Affiliates, Inc.
WWW.GAYREALESTATE.COM Free Instant Access to
Chicago’s Top Gay REALTORS® on-line at www.GayRealEstate.com or Toll Free 1.888.420.MOVE (6683)
SAUGATUCK COMPOUND most private property on “the
hill.” 3 cottages, campfire in the middle, steps to town,
steps to rental boat slips, seasonal Lake Kalamazoo
views, 2+ lots. Enjoy the compound with friends &
family, or rent out the cottages! With 2 lots, could also
tear down and build a home or two. [email protected]
com, 773-481-9928 (5/18/11–4)
COUNTRY LIVING! Completely remodeled farmhouse
on 3.6 acres in Forreston IL. Less than 2 hours from
Chicago. This is the getaway you’ve been looking
for! Doug ReMax of Rock Valley (815) 222-5806.
Camp on the Sand Bars
of the WI River
Let’s hear it for the boys! A talented trio of
testosterone—Michael, Adrian and Mejia—took
the final three slots May 23 at Roscoe’s, 3356
N. Halsted. Check them out at the semi-finals at
Sidetrack on Sat., June 4.
10% off for WCT Readers
Or Chadash
Healing Hands. Marilyn Fumagalli, CMT, Bellanina Specialist. Located in Andersonville’s historic Calo Theater
Building. Mention this listing for $5 off your first
appointment. (773) 965-0972 (9/21/11-26-KS)
EDGEWATER NEIGHBORHOOD GARAGE SALE 17th Annual Edgewater Neighborhood Garage Sale. Nearly 150
sellers! Located in the Edgewater neighborhood bounded by Broadway (1200W) to Clark (1500W) and Ridge
(5600N) to Devon (6400N). Maps will be available with
sellers’ locations. Don’t miss our yearly event!! SATURDAY, JUNE 4, 9AM - 4PM. (6/1/11–2)
Chicago's LGBT
Join us for Shabbat Services
Every Friday at 8:00 PM
Located at 5959 N. Sheridan
(in Emanuel Congregation)
For details
call (773) 271-2148
[email protected]
RENT SPECIAL, up to $5000 commission paid to
PROCURING CAUSE. New completely remodeled space
available, 12’ high deco tin ceilings exposed brick walls,
1/2 block north of the Raven Theater. Drive by and call
Gus 847-267-1422 (6/1/11–4)
& MORE. Licensed-Bonded-Insured. One year warranty.
Price by the job - not the hour. FREE estimates! Check
us out on Angie’s List. Andy OnCall, 773-244-9961.
www.getandy.com (8/3/11-26)
Carpet, Tile, Hardwood, Bamboo, Laminate, Vinyl, and
Window Coverings.Specializing in Helping with Material
Selections for your Budget. Professionally Installed. Nationwide Floor & Window Coverings, We Bring the Showroom to You! Call or email for a free consultation and
estimate. 773-935-8700, email [email protected]
com www.nfwchicago.com (8/3/11–13)
Photos by Dave Ouano. See more photos at
Miller is the presenting sponsor of Windy City
Gay Idol.
STRANDED ON EARTH? A commuter advantage is here in
Edgewater. Walk to beach, park, bus ,train and shops.
Big kitchen and dining room. Lots of cabinetry, closets
and storage. $900 with heat. Call 773.706.6065.
NORTH PARK COMFY APT! Sunny, newly painted and clean
1000+ sq ft 2 Bdrm; second flr of 2-FLAT in quiet area;
HDWD Floors throughout; eat-in Kitchen and separate
DR; large LR with built-ins, working WBFP; sunporch,
free laundry, good closets, easy parking, fenced yard;
pet friendly (w/fee), no smoking. Near NEIU. Available
May 1. $975/mo + security. References/credit check.
To view call 773-573-9252 between 10 am-6 pm.
floor apt. in desirable FOREST GLEN/SAUGANASH area.
Large kitchen,LR. and DR. C/A and great yard. Across
from Metra and a walk from blue line. Blocks from
90/94 and easy access to 294. NON SMOKING. Available
immediatly. Call 773-617-2025 $1,500 per month
all utilities included. (5/18/11–4)
FOREST PARK 8 RMS/2BA $1600, 3br/2ba in 2flat
with 2car garage, use of basement, family room, deck,
decorative fireplace. New kitchen, tile baths. Hardwood
floor in lr/dr & 1br. Call Joyce 708-218-0848/
[email protected] (5/18/11–1)
May 25, 2011
Share your special moments with the community
in Windy City Times’ new announcement section!
McRaith’s goodbye
State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz; Mike Bauer and partner Roger
Giles; Personal PAC CEO Terry Cosgrove; former state Sen. Carol Ronen; Chicago Department of Public Health’s Christopher
Brown; AIDS Foundation of Chicago President/CEO David Ernesto Munar; and WGN-TV entertainment reporter Dean Richards were among those who attended the farewell party for Michael McRaith at the sports bar Roadhouse 66 May 21. McRaith,
the openly gay director of the Illinois Department of Insurance,
will lead the new Federal Insurance Office in Washington, D.C.
McRaith—who said he was “honored and humbled” when he
found out about the federal position—will work with Illinois
Gov. Pat Quinn through the end of this legislative session,
which ends in May; he starts with the Treasury Department in
June. Photos by Hal Baim; many more online at http://www.
Got something to celebrate? Send
us information on your civil union,
anniversary, adoption, marriage or
any other joyous moment in life to
appear in our new section,
Please send an email to
[email protected]
and let Windy City Times join in your
Celebrate your Civil Union
Rev. Barbara Zeman
Roman Catholic priest
Leader - Dignity Chicago
Create your joyful ~ spiritual ceremony
Contact: [email protected]
for your
For rates and availability contact:
Marcy Baim
[email protected]
25-150 people
Events • Fashion • Fitness
Facebook: Dave Ouano Photography
[email protected]
Got something to celebrate? Send us information on your
civil union, anniversary, adoption, marriage or any other
joyous moment in life to appear in our new section,
Please send an email to [email protected]
and let Windy City Times join in your celebration.
May 25, 2011
vorite adult film stars in an evening that
highlights the top talent and performances in the industry. 7:30 p.m., Park West
Chicago, 322 W. Armitage
Mr. Club Krave Contest/Rihanna Concert
ticket giveaway Crowning the new Mr.
Club Krave. If you would like to compete
please send an e-mail to [email protected] for registration form
and rules and regulations. Marsean Devine
(Mr. Club Krave 2010) will be handing
down the crown to the newly crowned Mr.
Club Krave. It’s going to be a fierce competition. 10 p.m., Club Krave, 13126 S.
Western, http://www.clubkrave.com
Blowoff Party Rock and electronic music
powerhouses Richard Morel and Bob Mould
host and DJ BLOWOFF, a musical smackdown featuring their meaty signature mix
of indie rock, electro and house. $16.00,
21+; 11 p.m., Metro Chicago, 3730 N.
Clark, http://www.blowoff.us
Brought to you by the combined efforts of
Wed., May 25
Hope & Healing Support Group: LGBT
Loss 6:30 p.m., 847-556-1777, Japanese
American Service Committee, 4427 N.
Clark, http://http://www.carecenter.org/
T’s 10th Anniversary Party Celebrate a decade of business with the boys and girls of
T’s. 5 p.m., T’s Restaurant and Bar, 5025 N
Clark, http://www.tsbarchicago.com
Obama LGBT Campaign Kick-off LGBTspecific fundraiser and kick off event for
the 2012 Obama campaign, $20, buy online and RSVP at https://www.facebook.
com/event.php?eid=186519821398174; 7
p.m., Sidetrack, 3349 N Halsted St, http://
Injustice at Every Turn Center on Halsted,
in partnership with the National Gay and
Lesbian Task Force, is presenting the results of the very first national survey of
the transgender community co-authored
by the National Center for Transgender
Equality; reception and presentation;
RSVP online. 6:30 p.m., Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted, http://www.thetaskforce.org/chicago
Thursday, May 26
International Mr. Leather IML begins tonight with a roast of Tyler McCormick
at Leather Archives & Museum, 6418 N.
Greenview. IML runs through May 30; see
Bruiser: Tales of a Traumatized Tomboy
Some girls dream about their wedding
day. Others long to play with ponies.
Only a select few name and collect their
Wed., May 25
T’s, 5025 N. Clark, marks its
10th anniversary.
Image from website
scabs, speak to imaginary rodents in their
minds, and make mortal enemies out of
cute yellow doggies. Kelsie Huff brings to
the Chicago stage the true story of how a
misplaced tomboy blossoms into an even
more awkward adult. 8 p.m., 773-5984549, Gorilla Tango Theatre, 1919 N. Milwaukee, http://www.gorillatango.com/
Skin Trade Hydrate, GRAB Magazine, Fabscout and Channel 1 Releasing present
SKIN TRADE, the official Grabby’s weekend
kick-off party! The party starts at 9 p.m.
and goes all night long. $5 donation at
the door benefiting TPAN. Scheduled to
appear: Brent Everett, Jimmy Durano, Steven Daigle, Cameron Adams, Austin Wilde,
and many more. 9 p.m., Hydrate, 3458 N.
Halsted, http://www.hydratechicago.com
Friday, May 27
International Mr. Leather 2011: Leather
Market Through May 30; 12 p.m., Hyatt
Chris Kellner Photography Opening Party
Sunday, May 29
In celebration of IML weekend, Parlour
presents Chris Kellner Photography. Chris
Kellner’s work has been shown locally and
internationally. Come celebrate and support local art. 7 p.m., Parlour on Clark,
6341 N. Clark, http://www.parlouronclark.
IML Opening Ceremonies Event includes
the introductions of contestants and judges, doors open at 8 p.m., event begins
at 9 p.m., sponsored by I D Lube in the
Grand Ballroom; 8 p.m., Hyatt Regency
Chicago, 151 E. Wacker, http://www.imrl.
Exhibit opening of “A Room of Her Own”
Be the first to see the premiere Women’s
Leather History Exhibit; 8:30 p.m., Leather Archives & Museum, 6418 N. Greenview
Ave., http://www.imrl.com/visitorguide/
Robyn Showcase All Robyn music/video, DJ
Greg Haus spins electronica/indie-alternative music and video ‘til 4am Celebrating the release of her new remix single
“Call Your Girlfriend.” RSVP at http://
do312.com/event/2011/05/27/robyn for
free admission before midnight. 10 p.m.,
Berlin, 954 W. Belmont, http://www.berlinchicago.com
RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 3 Finalist Carmen Carrera at Spin RuPaul’s Drag Race
Season 3 Finalist, Carmen Carrera, will be
making her Chicago debut at Spin! There
will be two shows, 11:00 p.m. and 1:00am;
11 p.m., Spin Nightclub, 800 W. Belmont,
The Uniform Event at IML Meet and greet
for lovers of all types of uniforms: police,
military, leather, sports, and more; hosted by America’s leading uniform clubs‚
MAUL—Mid Atlantic Uniform League
www.uniformleague.org, California B&B
Corps—www.bbcorps.org, The Regiment
of the Black and Tans—www.blackandtans.org; 10 p.m., Hyatt Regency Chicago,
151 E Wacker Dr, http://www.imrl.com/
Saturday, May 28
Thursday-Monday, May 26-30
International Mr. Leather (IML) 2011 will take place,
with the main base of operations at the Hyatt Regency,
151 E. Wacker.
Belmont-Sheffield Music Festival 27th annual fest on Memorial Day Weekend, held
in the shadows of the Belmont El stop on
Sheffield between Belmont (3200 N) and
School Street (3300 N), features Chicagoland’s top tribute bands, food, libations
and more. Gate donation of $5 benefits
the Central Lakeview Merchants Association. Through May 29. 2 p.m., in the shadows of the Belmont El stop on Sheffield
between Belmont, http://www.chicagoevents.com
Grabbys Award Show Join us at the Park
West Theater for the 2011 Grabbys Award
Show, where fans come first! See your fa-
Photo from 2010 by Steve Starr
CycleOut: Bike the Drive Join lovely ladies
from Sapphic Adventures to enjoy to enjoy
the skyline and the shimmering water of
Lake Michigan as you cruise up and down
the entire length of Lake Shore Drive. 7:30
a.m., Foster Street Beach House, 5200 N
Lake Shore, http://www.sapphicadventures.org
Free BBQ/Jock Party Open at noon with gogo boys, games and more. $10 Miller Lite
& Coors Lite drafts, free BBQ 4-8 p.m.; 12
p.m., Spin Nightclub, 800 W. Belmont Ave,
Chicago Queer Writers Meetup Bi-Monthly
queer writing group. Free writing, constructive feedback, and discussions of upcoming publishing opportunities. 1 p.m.,
Gerber-Hart Library, 1127 W. Granville
Memorial Day BBQ Starting the Sunday of
Memorial Day weekend, Scot’s will barbecue every Sunday until Labor Day weekend. Brats, burgers, hotdogs and all the
fixins. 1 p.m., Scot’s, 1829 W. Montrose
PFLAG Oak Park Family Potluck Parents,
Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays
- is a non-profit organization dedicated
to promoting the health and well-being
of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people and their family and friends.
5 p.m., Fox Center, 640 S. Oak Park, Oak
Park., http://oakpark-pflag.blogspot.com
International Mr. Leather Contest Doors
open at 5 p.m., contest begins at 6 p.m.,
sponsored by Miller Lite featuring American English; 5 p.m., Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E Randolph
The War Party featuring Frankie Knuckles DJs Frankie Knuckles and David Harness are gonna rock the house with the
hottest party in Chicago. 9 p.m., Green
Dolphin Street, 2200 N. Ashland, http://
Friday, May 27
Greg Haus will spin tunes
by Robyn (above) at
Berlin, 954 W. Belmont.
[Note: The singer is not
slated to attend the
PR photo
fA at Large Benefit Show Featuring Tori
Sass, Lola LeCont, Lilly White Towers and
much much more. Raffle prizes include
Jello-Shots, 50/50 split the Pot, Artwork
by artist Tim Otte, Photo Session with
Photographer Bill Guest, Makeup Session
by MAC Artist Javier Pineda, and much
more. 10 p.m., Parlour on Clark, 6341 N
Clark, http://www.parlouronclark.com
Wed., June 1
Pride Films and Plays: Gay UK First night
in a series through June 19 of staged
readings celebrating LGBT works from
the United Kingdom including the Chicago premiere of Alexi Kaye Campbell’s
THE PRIDE, directed by Nick Bowling, $12
each reading, or $50 for a five play pass;
film and theater industry members and
students are $6. 7:30 p.m., Theatre Wit,
1229 W. Belmont, Chicago, http://www.
Queer Social Club A no-attitude, casual
evening for the Humboldt/Ukie Area LGBTQ and their friends to come in, have
drinks, meet new friends, mingle, etc. Just
a fun night beyond the traditional outlets
in Boystown and dance parties in Wicker
Park - Doing our own thing across the
Western Ave divide! 8 p.m., Archie’s Tavern 2600 W. Iowa, http://www.facebook.
Thursday, June 2
Monday, May 30
United House: A Night of Unity in House
Music Join Hydrate Nightclub, ChicagoPride.com, and host Cyon Flare for United
House: A Night of Unity in House Music,
featuring New Resident House DJ Semaj;
10 p.m., Hydrate, 3458 N. Halsted, http://
Black and Blue Ball DJ Ron Geronimo and
DJ Ted Eiel; 8 p.m., Excalibur Nightclub,
632 N. Dearborn, http://www.imrl.com/
Civil Union Ceremonies for 30 couples in
Millennium Park On the first day of civil
union ceremonies in Illinois, the City of
Chicago Commission on Human Relations’
Advisory Council on LGBT Issues will host
30 civil union ceremonies, co-sponsored
by The Chicago Department of Cultural
Affairs and Special Events in partnership
with the Chicago Office of Tourism and
Culture, Lambda Legal, Equality Illinois,
and the Alliance of Illinois Judges. 10
a.m., Wrigley Square, Randolph St. and
Michigan Ave., Millennium Park, http://
PFLAG Celebrates the Heartland Co-chairs
John and Char Cepek; honorees Greg Harris, IL State Rep.; Kim L. Hunt Executive
Director, Affinity Community Services; officer Jose Rios, Chicago Police Department
LGBT Liaison, 23rd District and VP LGPA/
GOAL Chicago; 6 p.m., Hotel Palomar, 505
N. State, http://www.pflag.org/chicago
Tuesday, May 31
Friday, June 3
Brunch Restaurant opening 6 a.m., 343 W.
Erie, http://www.brunchit.com
Join the Impact Chicago planning meeting Join the Impact Chicago is a politically independent organization of Chicagobased grassroots activists fighting for full
equality for LGBTQ people in all matters
governed by civil law in all 50 states. 7
p.m., 600 S. Michigan, Columbia College
- basement, http://jointheimpactchicago.
Cee-Cee LaRouge’s Miss Gay Illinois USo-
Unite with Pride: a Community Celebration Join The Civil Rights Agenda as they
begin Pride Month in Chicago at Unite
with Pride: A Community Celebration.
5:30 p.m., Chicago History Museum, 1601
N Clark, http://www.jointcra.org/index.
: WindyCityMediaGroup.com
May 25, 2011
“Tony must like boys, because he’s marrying
this—this little, small girl with no tits and—that
looks like a boy.”—Marc Cherry’s alleged quip to
Nicollette Sheridan at the wedding of Tony Parker and Eva Longoria. Just a tantalizing glimpse
of what will come out in Nic’s lawsuit for wrongful termination from Desperate Housewives.
I am just famous enough. People often recognize me at events. However, without hair and
make-up, I can go to the grocery store virtually
undetected (much like Faye Dunaway or the Collins sisters). But not a day goes by that Dan
Renzi isn’t recognized from his stint on The Real
World in 1996. It’s taken me a while to realize
that the impact this groundbreaking MTV show
had on pop culture during its peak is staggering. Why, Dan’s almost like Snooki—but with
less hair and make-up. This is all apropos of our
recent venture into Fatburger on Miami Beach.
Within minutes, Dan was accosted by a swarm of
very young people who must have been toddlers
during his RW stint. After talking to them (and
was the inevitable letdown—Don Lemon. There
are two types of people reading this column—
people who don’t know who Don Lemon is, and
people who thought Don Lemon was already out.
For those who fall in between the cracks, Lemon
is a dashing African-American anchor on CNN. I
suppose I should say “congratulations”—in between yawns.
Of course, we were all hoping the newsman
coming out would be Anderson Cooper. There
are two types of people reading this column—
people who already know Anderson Cooper is
gay, and people who think Liberace just never
met the right woman. (Honey, he was the right
woman.) One of my favorite Cooper pics is him
posing backstage with Scissor Sisters, arching
his eyebrow whilst ogling Jake Shears’ crotch.
Well, Andy, have I got a photo for you. Jake
recently received some jockstraps from the company Nasty Pig and decided to take photos of
himself posing as ... well, a nasty pig. He was
so happy with the results, he told the company
“I want my own jockstrap line”—which certainly
wouldn’t be an unlikely career move for the former go-go boy. While this isn’t the first glimpse
we’ve had of his bursting package or bare ass, it
won’t stop us from posting the pics on BillyMasters.com.
Weeks ago I told you about the Hollywood
Bowl presentation of Hairspray that will take
place Aug. 5-7. Back when I first announced this
event, I said that Edna would likely be played
by Bruce Vilanch. And that almost happened.
Then La Cage aux Folles closed on Broadway. The
connection? Now Harvey Fierstein is available—
and he always wanted to do “Hairspray” in L.A.
(When the national tour came to town, it was
led by La Vilanch.) So in one of those exclusives
you’ve come to expect from me, look for Harvey
to reprise his Tony-winning portrayal of Edna
Turnblad at the Hollywood Bowl. And in yet another scoop, I can tell you that Edna’s hubby,
Wilbur, will be played by Drew Carey. At some
point, I expect he’ll bellow, “Come on down!”
By the time this column hits the street, Celebrity Apprentice will be finished—much like the
Donald’s political career. While we don’t know
who won, it certainly wasn’t Star Jones. Once
NeNe Leakes was gone, there was little reason
to keep Star around. Yet the two have another
tie—allegedly NeNe is “dating” Star’s ex, Al
Reynolds. (I believe “dating” is a legal term for
“giving each other facials.”) NeNe might wanna
hold onto Al because he may be coming into
some money. We’re told that when he and Star
divorced, there was a clause prohibiting either
from making “disparaging remarks” about the
other, and violation of this term would result
in a penalty fine of $50,000. Clearly, legal eagle
Star added this clause so that Al couldn’t write a
tell-all. Therefore, it’s even more delicious that
she may be the one who violated the terms by
talking about Al and NeNe to Wendy Williams.
Star should know better—after all, she is a lawyer!
When celebs are asking to be called a Nasty
Pig, it’s definitely time to end yet another column. I know I said I’d be staying in L.A. for a
couple of weeks, but with The Go-Go’s at Mandalay Bay May 27 and Jeff Timmons with the Chippendales at the Rio All-Suites Resort, it would
appear I’ll be celebrating Memorial Day in Las
Vegas. While I’m tempting Lady Luck, you can
keep up with the latest gossip from the one site
that ain’t no gamble—www.BillyMasters.com. If
you’ve got a question, I’ll try to squeeze it into
a future column. Just drop a note to [email protected] and I promise to get back to you
before “Hairspray” features a spirited game of
Plinko! So, until next time, remember, one man’s
filth is another man’s bible.
the weekend could get a little dirty.
Scissor Sisters’ Jake Shears gets down to the
bare essentials. Photo by Jerry Nunn
taking a hysterical photo that will appear on BillyMasters.com), I learned that they knew him
from The Real World/Road Rules Extreme Challenge, which he did in 2001. Hey, MTV, with this
fan base, I think it’s time for him to turn up in
another one of those challenges. Plus, he could
use a new car!
Earlier that evening, we went to see Celebrity
Autobiography at the Adrienne Arsht Center in
Miami. My bon ami, Bruce Vilanch, was in the
cast, alongside Sharon Gless, Roger Bart, Paul
Provenza, Cady Huffman and creator Dayle Reyfel. I’ve talked about this show before, where
various luminaries read from the autobiographies
of other celebrities. In NYC, the show often features my buddies Sherri Shepherd and Mario Cantone (who was in Miami the previous week)—
their take on Destiny’s Child is beyond fabulous.
In the Miami production, the poetry of Suzanne
Somers was center stage, while Gless delighted
in her reading from Ivana Trump’s memoirs. And,
of course, who captures the essence of Cher better than Vilanch? You should definitely go see it
if you’re in NYC or if it comes to a city near you.
For more information and tour schedule, go to
Earlier that day, I noticed that a Chicago club
was advertising that Bruce would be appearing at an after-party for the upcoming Grabby
Awards. At least I think it was Bruce—the ad
listed “Bruce Villanche!” I asked the funnyman
about this: “Maybe HE will show up, but I won’t
be in Chicago that weekend.” Bruce and I have
a long history with the Grabbys. We were both
with the show from the beginning, and we’ve
both been inducted into the Grabby Hall of
Fame. And, mysteriously, neither of us has been
invited back. Bruce quipped, “Not even to sit at
the kiddie table!”
Last week it was widely rumored that a famous
news anchor would be coming out. Then, there
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More sports figures
out of the closet
By Ross Forman
Gay men and women have been coming out in
the sports world at a record pace in 2011, leading some sports-minded people to think it’s like
1947—another year when something really big
As of mid-May, 27 people with ties to sports
(athlete, coaches, team executives, media members, etc.) have come out of the closet, more
than in an entire year in the past.
No doubt more will come out in the second
half of 2011, perhaps a high-profile name, too,
not just high-profile professional athletes supporting gay equality.
“My prediction for 2015 is, we will look back
at 2011 as the year gay equality in sports made
its seismic shift. While we might not have our
Jackie Robinson, 2011 will be our 1947,” said
Cyd Zeigler, co-founder of the popular gay sports
website Outsports.com.
Jackie Robinson broke major league baseball’s
color barrier in 1947 and now, in death, is immortalized. Major League Baseball has held a
Jackie Robinson Day in April every year since
2004 to commemorate and honor his life, not
just his baseball career. Robinson was inducted
into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962 and his
uniform number, 42, has been retired throughout
baseball. In 1997, Major League Baseball retired
Number 42 for all teams, thus, no future player
on any major league team can wear number 42,
although players wearing number 42 at the time
were allowed to continue wearing it. New York
Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera remains active
and still sports No. 42 on his jersey.
Zeigler said, yes, the world is—and has
been—ready for an openly gay athlete in one of
the four major sports (baseball, football, basketball and hockey). “A majority of athletes, fans
and sports reporters are ready for it,” he said.
“The world wasn’t ‘ready’ for a Black baseball
player in 1947, and they weren’t ‘ready’ for gays
to marry in Massachusetts in 2004. But [each
event] happened and the earth kept spinning.”
Added Shawn Albritton, president of the Chicago Metropolitan Sports Association (CMSA):
“I am hopeful that we will soon see an active
player in one of the major [male] professional
leagues come out.”
Ted Cappas of Chicago said there definitely has
never been such a flurry of positive coming-out
Rick Welts. Photo courtesy of the Phoenix
stories in the sports world.
“I don’t think there is any specific catalyst
causing all this activity, but more of a slow momentum of acceptance,” Cappas said. “What Rick
Welts has done is another positive step for the
gay community. He should be commended and
held up as a role model. His comments about
professional sports being one of the last frontiers of acceptance for gays and lesbians is unfortunately accurate. Hopefully his revelation is
another chink in the armor of homophobia.”
Rick Welts, the president and CEO of the Phoenix Suns, revealed in an interview with the New
York Times in May that he is gay. His high-profile coming-out attracted supportive calls and/
or emails from Charles Barkley, Dallas Mavericks
owner Mark Cuban and Arizona Cardinals President Michael Bidwill, among others. Welts told
the Associated Press that, within 24 hours after
the New York Times story hit, he had “a couple
hundred” supportive emails, some from people
he didn’t even know.
The day after Welts came out, former Villanova
basketball player Will Sheridan, who graduated
four years ago, revealed he is gay. Sheridan is
only the second former Division I male basketball player to publicly come out as gay; John
Amaechi was the first. Travon Free, who played
at Long Beach State University, previously came
out as bisexual.
Sheridan revealed to ESPN.com that he came
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May 25, 2011
out to his teammates and dated men while in
Sheridan was followed days later on the coming-out trail by Jared Max, a sports-talk host
at ESPN 1050 in New York City. Max came out
in the final minutes of his radio show May 19,
talking about how the coming-out of Welts and
Sheridan, along with the supportive words of
Basketball Hall of Famer Charles Barkley, pushed
him to come out. Ironically, his radio show is
called Maxed Out.
“I’m taking this courageous jump into the unknown having no idea how I will be perceived,”
Max said on air.
The same day as Max’s announcement, the
world learned Scott Norton also is gay. Norton
is the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA)
Rookie of the Year, and he wrote on the PBA
website that chose to come out because it’s
“important to show people that being gay has
nothing to do with one’s ability to do anything
as a man, least of all compete at the highest
level of sports.”
Many on the PBA Tour knew he was gay, Norton added.
“To me the impact of [Welts’] coming out is
best measured by what he went through to get
here,” Zeigler said. “Welts sacrificed personal
happiness to stay in the closet for decades. He
mourned the death of a partner alone. He sacrificed a 14-year relationship. He sacrificed his
own integrity. When he decided to come out,
he went through hoops and over countless emotional and mental hurdles. And after all of that,
he decided that coming out was too important
to himself and to young people. Given that, it
seems to me this is a pretty big deal on a deep
personal level to him and to a lot of people in
Welts’ shoes.
“Unfortunately people like Welts, who are successful businessmen with strong legacies and
deep pockets, continue to convince themselves
that they have to stay in the closet. But Welts’
coming out is a very big deal because we’re seeing, yet again, that they don’t have to [worry].
Welts didn’t have to endure years of silence and
the loss of a relationship. He has the support of
his league commissioner, his team owner, and
the star player on his team. He could have done
this years ago with the same result, and his
coming out is powerfully shining light on the
increased acceptance of gay people in sports.”
Zeigler said Sheridan’s coming-out also is an
important step forward for race relations; Sheridan is Black. And the coming-out of CNN host
Don Lemon, who is African-American, on the
same day that Welts did also is high-profile, significant.
Chicago Bulls player
uses anti-gay slur;
reaction is swift
Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah used an
anti-gay slur during game three of the team’s
Eastern Conference series with the Miami
Heat, according to USA Today.
Noah used the same slur that Los Angeles
Lakers guard Kobe Bryant said last month—
one that caused him to be hit with a $100,000
fine from the NBA.
The Bulls player was fined $50,000, according to the Chicago Tribune. The NBA office announced that Noah was fined for “using a derogatory and offensive term from the bench,”
adding that Noah’s fine was less than Bryant’s
because “Kobe’s fine included discipline for
verbal abuse of a game official.”
After the game, Noah said he was sorry:
“A fan said something, and I said something
back. I apologized. I don’t know what’s going
to happen. I got caught up. I didn’t mean any
disrespect to anybody.”
“We’re impressed by the NBA’s precedentsetting effort to eliminate gay slurs on the
court,” said Joe Solmonese, president of the
Human Rights Campaign. “We are seeing a
new conversation beginning in the world of
Here’s a look at people who have come out
of the closet in 2011 (compiled by Outsports.
—Steve Buckley, Boston Herald sports
—Travon Free, former Long Beach State men’s
basketball player (bisexual)
—Akil Patterson, greco-roman wrestler
—Johnny Weir, Olympic figure skater
—Brad Usselman, Washington high school
—Ben Newcomer, high school soccer player
—Robert Scott, high school soccer player
—Craig Cassey, Philadelphia high school
—Steven Davies, English cricket player
—Jamie Loo, San Francisco high school
—Graeme Obree, Scottish cyclist
—Emma Dehlson, California high school
basketball player
—Anton Hysen, professional Swedish soccer
—Mari Burningham, University of Redlands
women’s head volleyball coach
—Brandon Stoneham, Adelphi University
men’s soccer player
—Nick Clark, Siena Heights University
assistant men’s volleyball coach
—Colin Joyner, Bowdoin College head men’s
tennis coach
—Ben Chadwich, Bowdoin College men’s
lacrosse captain
—Emerson Whitney, Transgender sports
—Jeffrey Wammes, Dutch gymnast
—Mike Verschuur, Dutch race car driver
—Kevin Rohle, Adelphi University swimmer
—Seth Pamperin, Carroll University tennis
—Will Sheridan, former Villanova University
basketball star
—Rick Welts, president of the Phoenix Suns
—Jared Max, ESPN 1050 radio host
—Scott Norton, pro bowler
List compiled by Outsports.com. To read the
entire article, visit http://www.windycitymediagroup.com/gay/lesbian/news/ARTICLE.
sports, where a growing number of pro-athletes are publicly standing up for equality.”
Kevin Boyer, GLAAD Chicago Leadership
Council co-chair, stated before news of Noah’s
fine hit that “The NBA and the Bulls must take
action against Joakim Noah. Anti-gay slurs
fuel intolerance and have no place in sports.
The NBA has a responsibility to create a safe
environment for fans, employees and players
and, yes, even fans of opposing teams who
heckle players. Noah’s non-apology, excusing
his behavior by blaming “frustration,” shows
that he doesn’t really understand that these
kinds of slurs aren’t ever acceptable. Coming
so close on the heels of the public incident
with Kobe Bryant, the NBA needs to take
swift action in speaking out against Noah’s
Mark Sakalares, commissioner of the Chicago Metropolitan Sports Association’s (CMSA’s)
men’s basketball league, released a statement
saying: “Even our hometown heroes make
mistakes that can be not only offensive but
harmful. CMSA is also the proud home of the
world’s largest gay basketball league, and we
often gather to cheer for the Bulls—our favorite NBA team.
Noah’s slur came a week after Phoenix Suns
executive Rick Welts came out of the closet.
May 25, 2011
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May 25, 2011
Baird & Warner presents:
A networking event for LGBT professionals and their
colleagues and friends to kick off pride month in Chicago!
Tuesday, June 7th
6 to 8:30pm
Vertigo Sky Lounge
2 West Erie
$10 suggested donation to benefit VitalBridges, a non-profit agency
committed to help people throughout metropolitan Chicago impacted
by HIV and AIDS to improve their health and build self-sufficiency by
providing food, nutrition, housing, case management and prevention
services. Guests will enjoy complimentary appetizers and 2 drink
tickets good for sponsored cocktail.
Enjoy an evening of meeting, mixing & mingling
with other Chicago-area professionals