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Chicago House Annual Fashion Brunch

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Those of us who remember the headline “Rare Cancer Seen in 41 Homosexuals” in The New York Times on July 3, 1981 also can remember the fear,  the shame, and the hysteria that followed soon after.  It was a full year before the reason for that “rare cancer” had a name: Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS).  It was even longer before a safety net was in place to catch those falling victim to HIV.

In 1985, Chicago House opened its doors as the first provider of AIDS Housing and Support Services in the Midwest, offering eight beds that would allow those with AIDS a place to die with dignity.  Many of those first residents were gay men. From the start, our founders, our staff, our board, and our residents were people from all walks of life who were:

  • Unified in fighting poverty and homelessness,
  • Unified in support of the LGBTQ community, and
  • Unified in serving those with HIV/AIDS.

It is now 30 years later, and thankfully HIV/AIDS has eased from crisis mode for many. Antiretroviral medications are now so effective that people who are positive are not only living healthy lives, but also are not passing on HIV thanks to undetectable viral loads. Concurrently, the preventive HIV medication PrEP (among other advancements) is now available to help assure that those who are HIV negative remain negative.

Similarly, LGBTQ civil equality has achieved unprecedented success and progress.  In 1985, the founders of Chicago House gathered around a table at The Baton in downtown Chicago to help provide an answer and some relief to the greatest needs of the LGBTQ community.  We can only try to imagine their joy had they been able to see the advancements achieved over these last 30 years.

Unfortunately the gains we have made in HIV/AIDS care and in LGBTQ equality have not been shared by many of those experiencing the first of our three founding calls to action: poverty and homelessness. In fact, those living with HIV/AIDS and those who identify as LGBTQ remain disproportionately affected by poverty and homelessness. Those who are low income are over five times more likely to have HIV, and 29% of all LGBTQ people experienced food insecurity in the last year. It is in the face of those facts that Chicago House recently cut the ribbon on the TranLife Center, and it is in the face of those facts that we continue working tirelessly to serve those most marginalized and most in need in the LGBTQ community and among those living with HIV.

Thirty years of service offers many reasons to celebrate, but the reality of disproportionate homelessness and poverty offers even more reasons to fight harder than ever for the people that we serve.  Thank you so much for remaining with us in the fight.

Chicago House: There at the Beginning. Here to meet the challenge.

This year’s Spring Fashion Brunch on May 3rd   is all about celebrating Chicago House’s 30 Years of Service and the last three decades of fashion.  In fact, all guests are invited to come dressed in his or her favorite fashion moment or trend from the past 30 years.  The fashion certainly won’t be limited to the runway this year!

THIS SELLS OUT EVERY YEAR!    GET  TICKETS  ONLINE  NOW!

 

 

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