Category Archives: Chicago Information

Navy Pier LGBT Event June 25th

navy pier chicaGO GAY PRIDE

“Navy Pier Pride 2016” Celebration Salutes Chicago’s LGBT Community

Chicago’s first-ever family Pride celebration outside of Lakeview

takes place at Navy Pier on Saturday, June 25

WOW!!!   THIS  IS  BIG  NEWS!

As it marks its 100th anniversary, Navy Pier will make Chicago history as it proudly hosts “Navy Pier Pride 2016,” the city’s first LGBT Pride celebration outside of the Lakeview neighborhood. This family-friendly event features entertainment and events throughout the Pier on Saturday, June 25. As part of the celebration, and for the first time in 28 years, Navy Pier is especially honored to display Chicago-centric sections of the internationally renowned The NAMES Project’s AIDS Memorial Quilt. All events for “Navy Pier Pride 2016” are free and open to the public, as part of the Fifth Third Bank Centennial Celebration®.

 

As one of Chicago’s top cultural destinations, “Navy Pier Pride 2016” is one of Navy Pier’s new arts, cultural and community programming initiatives. In addition to a lively atmosphere and a pier adorned in rainbows, highlights of this special Pride day-long event will include (times are approximate):

Noon – About Face Theatre’s IT’S FOR REAL is a collection of stories that connects issues around race, class, sexuality, age, gender, self-esteem, and family. Based on the true experiences of the performers in the show.

·         1 p.m. – A kickoff parade, led by the Lakeside Pride Marching Band.

·         1:30 p.m. – Performances by the legendary MILLY’s ORCHID SHOW, featuring Brigid Murphy as “Milly” and with an entire cast of such celebrities as Yuri Lane (“The Harmonica Beatbox Man”) and introducing rising gay icon, his 8-year old daughter, Delilah Rose, along with Alexa Grae, Robert Cornelius (former member of the group, “Poi Dog Pondering”), House-O-Matic, and many others. 

·         5 p.m. – “Chicago’s Biggest Wedding,” officiated by Angelica Ross (a leading figure in the movement for transgender and racial equality, and star of the hit series, “Her Story”). Make history with us and your loved one, as we hold a massive marriage ceremony on The Pier.

·         7 p.m. –  For outdoor dancing, with the Chicago skyline as a backdrop, join house music superstar and Grammy Award-nominated producer, DJ RALPHI ROSARIO, in the Miller Lite Beer Garden.

·         10:15 p.m. –Guests will observe a moment of reflection to honor those lost in the tragic events in Orlando, followed by a celebration of life with a special Pride-themed fireworks spectacular.

 

Another historic and moving part of the day is the return of The NAMES Project’s AIDS Memorial Quilt. The much-celebrated Quilt began to take shape in 1987 with a single 3 x 6 foot panel created in San Francisco. Today, it weighs 54 tons and is composed of more than 48,000 individual panels, each one commemorating the life of someone who was lost to AIDS. In 1988, Navy Pier became one of the first venues nationally to put The Quilt on public display.

 

“Throughout its 100-year history, Navy Pier has led the way in demonstrating compassion and commitment, while celebrating diversity and inclusiveness. Welcoming people of all backgrounds is at the heart of Navy Pier’s core values. We are, truly, ‘the People’s Pier,’” said Marilynn Gardner, President and Chief Executive Officer for Navy Pier, Inc., the non-profit organization that operates Navy Pier. “We believe ‘Navy Pier Pride 2016’ will be an event that embraces the ideals of respect, tolerance, love, and inclusiveness.”

 

“Navy Pier Pride 2016” has been in the planning stages for months and is one of the initial projects as part of Navy Pier’s bold, new Arts & Discovery programming initiative. Leading the vision and direction of this 18-month Arts and Discovery strategic planning initiative is Navy Pier’s leadership team, consultants from Dickerson Global Advisors, as well as more than 100 Chicago non-profit arts and culture organizations. Navy Pier’s cultural and community programming is supported by the Polk Bros. Foundation.

Recently appointed Guest Artistic Director, Steve Abrams, brings creative leadership and vision to the first series of Arts and Discovery programs. The programs launch this summer as a pilot initiative. As a driving force in Chicago’s diverse cultural landscape for the last three decades, Abrams brings an innovative arts background to Navy Pier. His prior experience includes senior and executive leadership roles at Steppenwolf Theatre Company and the Harris Theater for Music and Dance at Millennium Park, and producing numerous theatrical productions.

 

For more details on “Navy Pier Pride 2016,” and the Fifth Third Bank Centennial Celebration®, please visit the Navy Pier website at www.navypier.com or the Navy Pier Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.

 

 

About Navy Pier

Located on Lake Michigan, Navy Pier is the top-attended leisure destination in the Midwest, stretching more than six city blocks and welcoming more than 9 million guests annually. Originally opened in 1916 as a shipping and recreation facility, this Chicago landmark showcases more than 50 acres of parks, restaurants, attractions, retail shops, sightseeing and dining cruise boats, exposition facilities and more. In 2016, Navy Pier celebrates its 100th anniversary with a series of special events and programming, the grand opening of its new Centennial Wheel and ongoing pier-wide redevelopment efforts as part of the “Fifth Third Bank Centennial Celebration.” Navy Pier, Inc., a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization, maintains and oversees Navy Pier and its redevelopment into a bolder, greener and more contemporary urban space. For more information, visit our website at www.navypier.com.

Help Chicago Homeless Start Over

uptown chicago tent city

From Alderman James Cappleman –

I have worked hard to encourage the City of Chicago to adopt a housing first model to reduce the number of people living with homelessness after noticing its success in other parts of the country. This strategy works best when two components are in place: a sufficient amount of subsidized housing coupled with wrap-around services. The most difficult piece to this model is having a dedicated source of funding to make an investment for long-term cost savings. I’m working with Mayor Emanuel to have a steady stream of funds available so that we can remain focused on housing. Some of this funding will be through a 4% surcharge for a new Airbnb Ordinance and there will be some additional funding coming from the Clarendon-Montrose TIF development.

Our pilot program to get 70 people living under the viaducts along Lake Shore Drive directly into housing is now underway. We have had a number of meetings with housing advocates, the folks living under the viaducts, city departments, and other community leaders to create a plan that will work. After all of these individuals without homes are in their new apartments, the Dept. of Family & Support Services (DFSS) will assess what worked well with this project and where improvements can be made. Afterwards, DFSS will select more areas throughout the city where people are living outside in encampments to implement this housing-first strategy.

 

How You Can Help

I’ve asked Inspiration Corporation to help me with a “New Home Starter Kit” drive. This starter kit will provide these 70 individuals going into new apartments with some of the needed supplies to start life in their new homes. To organize this process of purchasing this starter kit, my office has created a registry with Target. If you’re able to help, please click here to go to the registry and purchase needed items that will assist these individuals start their new life in an apartment. Inspiration Corporation will host a day at their Uptown headquarters where you will be invited to help put these starter kits together so that they can be distributed.

A substantial number of people living on the streets have told me that they became homeless right after they were released from Cook County Jail with no employment or disability in place and no family available to help them start over again. Without these necessary supports in place, it’s no wonder why we have such a high recidivism rate in our prisons. Later this month, I will be meeting with Cook County Sheriff Dart’s Office, DFSS, and the Dept. of Public Health to discuss how a more effective transition could be made when people are released from jail.

I am pleased that so much is coming together to help those in need. It’s a very complex process, but lasting solutions require thoughtful planning with everyone working together.

Best,

Out in the Park Six Flags Chicago

OITP_2015_11x17_Poster900

Out In The Park at Six Flags Great America
Returns in 2015 BIGGER Than EVER!

A Spectacular Night of Amusement and Entertainment
Presented by MINI Cooper Chicago & Ketel One Vodka
That Will Help Benefit Northalsted Business Alliance
Saturday, September 12th, 2015 from 7PM to 12AM

Hosted by Amanda Lepore AND Pablo Hernandez this year! Attendees for this year’s fourth annual Out In The Park Celebration are in for a night of EPIC proportions.

All night, attendees can follow the bass to the Hometown Square dance area where The DJ’s of SCARLET Bar Chicago and Hostess Trannika Rex and some adorable go go’s well keep the party jumping.

Andrew Christian supermodel and “king of selfies” Pablo Hernandez will be riding rides with guests all night and taking photos. Then at 11:00 he will debut 2 of his new songs, followed by the Queen of New York nightlife, Amanda Lepore, with the worlds most expensive body!

Out In The Park is an annual private LGBT Saturday night fundraising event featuring unlimited riding of ALL Six Flags Great America’s amazing THRILL rides with a portion of all ticket sales each year help benefit various non-profits. “One of the best elements of this event is that it is closed to the general public and this year our event piggy-backs a daytime corporate buyout so our attendees will be entering an EMPTY PARK!” explains Michael Snell, co-owner of BestGayChicago.com. “The LGBT community, their family, friends and supporters can enjoy the park with little to no lines and without homophobic hassles from anyone. It’s like a Fall Gay Pride Celebration with even MORE amusement and entertainment!”

In an interview with ChicagoPride.com: “We are very excited that this private night for charity continues to grow every year and we have gifted over $35,000 to various groups,” said Derrick Sorles, Snell’s husband of 16 years and business partner, “We are more than thrilled that Amanda Lepore is flying in from New York and the handsome Pablo Hernandez (from Los Angeles) will debut his new music at our event this year!”

Advance $40 tickets can be purchased NOW at www.GaySixFlagsChicago.com
FREE parking for this special event! In September the price goes up to $45. $50 the day of the event. All ages event. Drinks are available for purchase to those 21+
Hotels –if you are coming to Chicago for the weekend, we have 3 hotel choices in the heart of Boystown! CITY SUITES, WILLOWS HOTEL and MAJESTIC HOTEL. All the hotels are on our website GaySixFlagsChicago.com

Gerber House is 2nd National LGBT Landmark

Gerber,_Henry_House_chicagoJPG

The Henry Gerber House is a house at 1710 North Crilly Court in the Old Town Triangle Chicago Landmark District of Chicago, Illinois, United States. The house was built in 1885. In the 1920s it housed the apartment occupied by Henry Gerber, founder of the short-lived Society for Human Rights, which was incorporated in Illinois as the first American organization working for gay rights. The building was designated a Chicago Landmark on June 6, 2001. This month, it was designated a United States’ National Historic Landmark.

The  Gerber House is only the second LGBT-related property in the country to receive the recognition. The iconic Stonewall Inn in New York City is the other building listed primarily for its impact in LGBT history, according to the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Carrie Barnett, board president of the Gerber/Hart Library and Archives, said the spotlight on Gerber and his home helps to fill in the historical narrative of the gay rights movement. The library in Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood is named for Gerber and Pearl M. Hart, an attorney who also fought for the rights of gays and lesbians.

“Given the often hidden and erased nature of gay and lesbian history, and the frequent difficulty of finding even basic documents pertaining to such history, it is doubly fortunate that this house has remained so well preserved,” the landmark application states.

The recognition of the Gerber House is part of an effort by the Interior Department to document a more complete story of the gay rights movement. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced the initiative in May 2014.

Ty Herndon at Chicago Pride Parade

ty herndon gay singer

Country singer Ty Herndon hopes that the support he received after coming out last year is indicative of a progressive Nashville, one that’s becoming more tolerant toward the LGBT community than in years past.

“One of the biggest fears I had in coming out and being authentic was that I wouldn’t get to continue doing what I do for a living, and that’s country music,” he told The Huffington Post in an interview. “How great is it that I have the opportunity, for the first time in my life, to sing about truth? That makes me a very happy man.”

Herndon, 53, sees his latest project as a prime opportunity for him to pay that happiness forward. On June 12, he’ll take the stage at the first Concert For Love and Acceptance at Nashville’s City Winery, which he is co-hosting with Meghan McCain, the daughter of former Republican presidential hopeful John McCain and an outspoken advocate for LGBT rights.

PRIDEChicago, the organizers of Chicago’s annual gay pride parade, announced Monday that out country star Ty Herndon will be the Grand Marshal for the 46th Annual Chicago Pride Parade.
“I have struggled with being gay my entire career and life,” Herndon told ChicagoPride.com just days after that interview. “Of course, I’ve had so much support from my friends and close family that supported me, that knew I was gay. But it’s been so freeing for the fans to know; the fans in country music, especially. They have really been supportive and awesome.”

Chicago Pride Fest Entertainment Announced!

chicago pride fest 2015 boystown

TWO DAYS and LOTS of Entertainment!

CHICAGO PRIDE FEST TO SHOWCASE ECLECTIC MUSIC MIX
‘Keep Pride Proud’ Motto Transcends Festival

Chicago Pride Fest returns to Boystown June 20 – 21 with a mix of national headliners and festival favorites. The annual event, hosted by the Northalsted Business Alliance, debuts the ‘Keep Pride Proud’ catchphrase to capture the enduring spirit of not only the festival, but the neighborhood and community at-large.

This year’s entertainment line-up is a blend of big names and beloved local bands. On Saturday Deb Gibson, Jessica Sutta and The Veronicas take to the Main Stage. Sunday features Big Freedia, Estelle and St. Lucia.

The Red Bull Dance Stage and Kit Kat Lounge & Supper Club Runway add to the celebratory scene. The ever popular Pet Parade returns, led by Miss Foozie and serves as Sunday’s opening ‘act.’

Northalsted Business Alliance Executive Director Christopher Barrett Politan expanded on the ‘Keep Pride Proud’ movement. “Our vibrant neighborhood has an enduring respect for both our history and future and that is something we want to share with everyone who visits Boystown, be it for a festival or event, or just an average day.”

Saturday, June 20
Main Stage (Halsted and Grace)
2:45 pm Deb Gibson
4:55 pm Adam Barta
6:40 pm Alicia Madison
8:15 pm Jessica Sutta
9:00 pm The Veronicas
South Stage (Halsted and Addison)
3:30 pm Ginger
7:45 pm Wedding Banned

Sunday, June 21
Main Stage (Halsted and Grace)
12:30 pm Pet Parade
1:30 pm Estelle
3:00 pm Crystal Waters
3:50 pm Big Freedia
5:05 pm Cazwell
6:15 pm Inaya Day
7:30 pm St. Lucia
South Stage (Halsted and Addison)
2:15 pm Catfight
4:10 Rod Tuffcurls
6:50 pm 16 Candles

Chicago Pride Fest-June 20-June 21
Halsted from Addison to Grace
11 am to 10 pm        $10 Suggested Donation

About the Northalsted Business Alliance (NBA)
Formed in 1980, NBA represents more than 80 businesses along the North Halsted Street corridor. The organization hosts major events throughout the year including Chicago Pride Fest, Northalsted Market Days and the Halloween Parade.

For information about NBA visit www.northalsted.com.

 

PLUS – the party continues

MONDAY  JUNE 22nd  5pm- 10pm

PRIDE SPLASH!  @  Hurricane  Harbor!

Chicago Gay Adoptions

gay adoption chicago

If you are interested in expanding your family through adoption and have questions about how to get started, we are here for you! Join us at “Growing Your Family: A Guide for Prospective LGBT Adoptive Parents,” an Equality Illinois presentation co-hosted by the Cradle on Tuesday, January 13, from 5:30-7PM. You can sign up for this event here

At this event, we will cover an overview of adoption law and answer your legal and procedural questions about adoption in a safe and friendly environment. In addition, you will receive the new Equality Illinois adoption guide, which includes an extensive list of recommended adoption agencies. 

Space is limited. Register today by clicking HERE.

Boystown Gift Cards – Last Minute Gifts

north halsted boystown gifts

NEED A  LAST MINUTE GIFT???

Shop local. And give back to your community.

 

Buy a Northalsted Gift Card and earn FREE MONEY with the return of HOLIDAY BUCKS! This holiday season get an extra 20% added to every Northalsted Gift Card you buy!

 

That’s right! For a limited time (while supplies last*), when you purchase your Northalsted Gift Card, you’ll receive an extra 20% of value applied directly to your card.

The Northalsted Gift Card is accepted at 
 over 40 Boystown area businesses!

Buy Your Northalsted Gift Card!

First please select your pick up method:

1)  We will mail your Gift Card to your address free of charge.  Please include full name name and complete mailing address.

2) Or you can pick up your Gift Card at the Northalsted Business Alliance Office, located at 801 West Cornelia Avenue Suite 2S, directly above Hydrate Night Club.  Open Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm

Please select Gift Card value between $25.00 – $400.00

20% Bonus* added after purchase price
For every $25.00 purchased earn $5.00 bonus!

Halloween Chicago 2014

halloween chicago events

HALLOWEEN  in Chicago’s  Boystown is officially celebrated  Friday  October 31st.

THE FREAKSHOW 

Live Acts, Curiosities, Costume Contest, Parade, and More! 

 

Location
Halsted Street from Belmont to Addison

Registration
Halsted Street just north of Belmont near The Playground Theater from 5pm to 7pm

Costume Contest
Enter one of five categories:
Pet, Scariest, Drag, Group and Original
The top winners in each category will be featured in the parade and win an assortment of cash and prizes

Parade
Kicks off at 8PM on Halsted Street starting at Belmont traveling north to Addison

Afterwards all the bars will also be hosting events.

revolution matthew harvat chicago

SATURDAY  November 1st   Get an extra hour to celebrate!


Saturday, November 1st will be our official HALLOWEEN event so get ready for the biggest costume dance party Chicago has seen a very long time. ( “FALL BACK TIME CHANGE” AND STAY OPEN THAT EXTRA HOUR!!!)

“Hollywood” should BLAST the costume department wide open for everyone, so lets see whatcha got!. There will be a red carpet and photographers, so come dressed for the paparazzi.

We are creating an amazing night with all new lasers, our signature massive set designs, spectacular shows featuring the incomparable Aurora Sexton, internationally spectacular Jett Adore and an all new show from Circuit MOM. Grammy nominated producer, DJ Tony Moran is at the helm bringing his legendary sound sure to fill all 5 stories of House Of Blues with the best beats.

$40 Early Bird tickets are available now at Cram Fashion! We will post an online link here in the coming days.

Aurora-fb-web

 

 

Bike Sharing in Lakeview in Boystown

When I was Paris a couple years ago, I thought their  bike rental program was pretty cool, with rental stations all over the city. Now, Chicago launches DIVVY bike sharing program , that will allow people to use bikes for $75 a year!  By 2014, they want to have 400  stations all over the city. 

Lake View officials and the Chicago Department of Transportation have officially chosen almost all of the locations locals will be able to snag a bike in the city’s new bike share program.
Now dubbed “Divvy” to reflect the nature of bike sharing, the program is launching more than 28 kiosks
where Lake View neighbors can pick up bicycles. The new cycles will
also be painted the iconic “Chicago Blue” to “provide a high level of
visibility on the street,” Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said. Divvy is expected to launch downtown around Bike to Work Day on June 14, with about 75 stations.
How cool is that?!

The Best Hotels in Boystown and Lakeview Are Three Hidden Gems

 

It’s funny, we have lived here about 10years and have always known about these three hidden gems. Yet, I talk to people who have lived here their whole life!  And they are not familiar with City Suites, The Majestic and The Willows.

Willows and Majestic are tucked away in quiet neighborhoods, where you can blend right in with the locals. While City Suites is right on Belmont amidst the buzzing energy!

Spring has awoken in Chicago! And that means a slew of LGBTQ events!  Whether you are a local and have friends traveling that will need rooms or you are a traveler reading this – it’s NEVER TO EARLY TO RESERVE YOUR ROOM. The small inventory of rooms in Boystown and Lakeview always sell out.


IMPORTANT DATES TO KNOW:

IML, Grabbys and Bear weekend + Memorial Weekend May 24-27, 2013

Gay PrideFest  June 22-23, 2013
Gay Pride         June  30, 2013

Market Days   August  10-11, 2013
Out in the Park at Six Flags   Sept. 13-15, 2013

(not to mention, every weekend is a great weekend, in Chicago!)


In Boystown/Lakeview you get  small, intimate restaurants and a treasure trove of shopping neighborhoods with unique shops and art galleries! Golf courses, the Lincoln Park Zoo, Wrigleyville and the Cubs Stadium, Old Towne, marinas and harbors, Hollywood gay beach, Andersonville, plus endless waterfront  walking and bike paths, are all very accessible!

 

For years, visitors and locals alike have branded The Majestic Hotel the pre-eminent boutique hotel in Chicago. Offering the atmosphere of a well-appointed, upscale English country estate, this 100 percent, non-smoking Hotel offers the perfect haven of relaxation amidst the  energetic city life found in the  popular Lakeview neighborhood.

 

Broughton Hotels has 3 properties in the area.  The Majestic Hotel, The Willows Hotel & The City Suites – each welcome you with an abundance of personality, style and charm that epitomizes the essence of their environments.

Exuding the charm of historic buildings – circa 1920s – They are a collection of boutique hotels that combine a stylish, unique and alluring atmosphere with a location that is ideal and accessible – just 10 minutes north of downtown Chicago’s business, financial and shopping districts – and brimming with the quintessential qualities of an upscale, city hotel. You can be just steps away  from all of the gay events, in a cool neighborhood!

 All three  properties in  Boystown pride themselves on their personalized care, premier service and exceeding the needs of their discriminating leisure and business travelers. The staff is passionate here and  ensure an enjoyable and memorable stay – something you don’t often see in the big hotels downtown. These properties boast a welcoming “neighborhood” charm yet with all the luxury boutique services and amenities of a full-service hotel.
 
Many packages are available depending on your interests. Everything from theatre and dining to comedy and baseball!

Use CODE BGC When Booking!

CITY SUITES HOTEL

THE WILLOWS

MAJESTIC HOTEL


The Majestic         773.404.3499
The City Suites     773.404.3400
The Willows          773.528.8400

The Best of Gay Chicago

Historical Chicago Walking Tours with Broughton Hotels and Tour Guide Sawyer

My name is Sawyer, like Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. I’ve been
guiding individuals, middle school and high school groups, and senior
citizens for over two years.

 I’m a midwestern boy with a love for our
region’s natural beauty, farmers markets, craft beers, small-batch
coffee roasters, antique shopping, thrift stores, vintage fashion, and
boutiques. I spend my free time studying Chicago’s rich history and
architecture, without which, Al Capone would never have been able to
host his most important clients and friends at the infamous Stratosphere
lounge in the crown of the Jeweler’s Building on the Chicago River. I
hope to see you on my next tour!


From JANUARY 7 – FEBRUARY 23, Join Sawyer (The Friendly Greeter!)  and  Broughton Hotels, on one of three historical walking tours and shop-alongs that take you off the beaten path in Chicago’s Loop, River North and East  Lakeview  Area’s.  – I don’t care how long you have lived here! These tours are sure to show you new things. These are great tours for friends visiting and/or locals wanting to learn more about Chicago!

Majestic-chicago.com/chicago-hotel-deals
Chicagocitysuites.com/packages
Willowshotelchicago.com/packages

Found In Town – Lost and Found Service

Did you LOSE something?

Did you FIND something?

First step –
REGISTER at FOUND IN TOWN.

What is Found in Town?


Found in Town is a community-based lost
and found program that creates an easy way to facilitate returning
lost items to their owners. FiT operates through a network of local
bars and nightclubs committed to helping out the members of their
community.


How does it work?

Users can register here for free to receive FiT tags for their personal belongings. All tags will bear a unique serial number, or FiT code, and will instruct the finder to visit found-in-town.com in the event that it’s found, where and when an anonymous message can be sent to its owner.

How many times have you left something in a cab? Found In Town (FiT)
is a new company based in Chicago that recently launched its free
online service that facilitates reuniting owners with their lost or
misplaced items. “120,000 cell phones are lost annually in Chicago taxi
cabs alone. Imagine how many keys, wallets and jackets are lost,” said
Zach Haller, of Lakeview, CEO and founder of Found in Town. “Everyone loses things.
People want to return lost items, but they often don’t know how. We make
it easy and hassle-free to be a good Samaritan.”

Zach, a  Minneapolis native has stated the business is slowing growing. Less than 1000 participants signed up and he
has solicited four Boystown bars to advertise on the key-chain tags. But
the brand recognition necessary to make the service extremely helpful
isn’t there yet. “I think people may see the sticker and
think, Found in Town? I don’t get it.” –  soon though, it will catch on!

SO SIGN UP TODAY. IT’S FREE!

Rahm is Proposing to Do Away With LGBT Council



Though an influential group of 200 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Chicagoans stood up behind Mayor Rahm Emanuel and endorsed his candidacy earlier this year, many LGBT activists in the Windy City expressed alarmed at the new mayor’s latest move: a proposed budget that eviscerates their community’s city-sponsored advisory council.


At the latest meeting of the city’s Advisory Council on LGBT Issues, the Windy City Times reports that many council members are hoping to “go down fighting” against their council being combined with the city’s Women’s Issues Advisory Council under a new name: the advisory council on Gender and Sexuality.


Some council members object both that the words “lesbian,” “gay,” “bisexual” and “transgender” have been removed from the council’s title and that they were not consulted with concerning the change.


In a previous story addressing the cuts, the Windy City Times reported that the council’s director, Bill Greaves, will lose his job as of January 1. The council’s chair Beth Kelly said the change “sends a message that Chicago does not care about this community.” Kit Duffy, the first-ever LGBT liaison to the mayor, added that the change “signals a lack of recognition, and I think it signals an ignorance of impact.”


READ THE FULL ARTICLE ON HUFFINGTON POST

Chicago Gay Pride Details for 2012 Announced – Curb Your Dinking??



On average, the last few years numbers for  Chicago Gay Pride Parade day have swelled to about 400,000-500,000.    This summer, 2011,  we had amazing record temperatures of 75-77 – I have never witnessed temps that perfect!  It is usually a sweltering 85-95! 

It is my humble opinion, that numbers for the parade swelled this year to 800,000 – because of the perfect weather.  I interviewed hundreds of heterosexuals that said it was the very first Pride event this year. I think also, as GAY becomes more fashionable, more hipsters in Chicago want to be a part of it.

Well, Police and officials freaked out!  They found it hard to control the crowds. And I have always said,  by landlocking people on “the island”  (the triangle bottle neck area of Broadway – Halsted ) was a bad idea. What if there is a 911 Emergency?

DRINKING IS  A  BIG PROBLEM – some say.  So for 2012, Chicago is altering the route, size and starting time of its annual Gay Pride Parade to curb public drinking and accommodate crowds. Gays like to drink!  What can we say??

I think changing the route is good idea, eliminating the island.  But starting earlier?  I don’t think that will affect the drinking much….the parade  will step off at 10 a.m. instead of noon.


“Unless you’re a hard-core drinker, most people don’t drink at 10 o’clock in the morning,” said parade coordinator Richard Pfeiffer. Um, really?  I think on  a gay celebration day, people are gonna drink!


Ald. Tom Tunney (44th), Chicago’s first openly-gay aldermen, added, “There’s people concerned about alcohol being consumed on that day. Complaints are that people actually bring their coolers and consume a lot. An earlier start time will promote less drinking.”

The number of entries will be reduced from 250 to 200 to shorten the duration of the parade and return the streets to neighborhood residents sooner.

The route of the parade will be lengthened five blocks — from 17 to 22.

The new route will begin at the corner of Montrose and Broadway and travel south on Broadway to Halsted before turning east on Belmont, south on Broadway and east on Diversey to Canon Drive
.


The Chicago Gay Pride Parade was first held in 1970 with about 250 participants and spectators.


Chicago’s North Halsted Market Days 2011 Full of Surprises!


The 2011 Northalsted Market Days® will take place this weekend August 13-14, when a crowd of more than 100,000 from across the country will converge on Halsted Street to celebrate our annual event.
 
It’s the largest two-day street fair in the Midwest and lives up to its reputation as one of the country’s finest festivals!

It was recently announced  GLEE  STAR hottie Darren Criss will be here to entertain us – as well as the singing sensation Prince Poppycoock.





With temperatures expected to be 75-80, expect  BIG  CROWDS!
Other top names include  Gloria Gaynor, Lisa Lisa  and Expose.

See the full schedule online.


(check out the deep fried TWINKIES and DILL  PICKLES
across the street    from Steamworks!)


Marilyn Monroe in Chicago?



This is kind of odd, I think….. a 26-foot statue of Marilyn Monroe replicating her famous subway scene in “The Seven Year Itch,” will be unveiled this Friday at 7:00p.m. on Chicago’s Pioneer Court.  As of today the statue, by New Jersey based artist Seward Johnson is half-complete with the lower part of Monroe’s body viewable. Visitors to the plaza will see her legs, her iconic white sandals, and the skirt of her white dress as it blows in the wind exposing her “hot” panties.  The top part of the statue is carefully wrapped in a patriotic red, white and blue cloth.

Johnson, born in 1930, is famous for his trompe l’oeil painted bronze statues that although criticized for being kitsch always draw attention and controversy.  The artist’s work appears around the globe including a 25-foot version of “Unconditional Surrender,” the V-J kiss in Times Square.  Chicagoans may remember Johnson’s famous “American Gothic” sculpture that graced Pioneer Court in 2008 or his King Lear statue that spent the summer and fall of 2009 in the same spot.

The statue is located just south of the Tribune Tower in Pioneer Court at 400 N. Michigan. Visitors are welcome to view and take pictures of this striking piece of public art. Zeller Realty Group, is responsible for Pioneer Court’s installations. For more pictures of the Marilyn Monroe bronze go to the home page of WGN radio The statue is expected to remain in place through Spring of 2012.

Chicago Pride Fest 2011 is a Awesome DIVA Fest!


It’s all about GLBT pride at Chicago Pride Fest®! 

June 24-25, 2011 – immediately before Chicago’s iconic Pride Parade on June 26 – this festive two-day event marks the first official party of summer.


Hosted by the Northalsted Business Alliance, this crowd-pleasing gay and lesbian celebration of community pride showcases an eclectic lineup of arts and crafts, food and other vendors. It also features entertainment on two stages with one dedicated to some of Chicago’s fine performers in the gay community.

Pride Fest showcases an eclectic lineup of arts & crafts, food and other vendors. It also features entertainment on two stages including one dedicated to some of Chicago’s fine performers in the gay community.

(Deborah Cox , above)



 


Entertainment 
Friday, June 24
South Stage
6:00pm – The Personnel
7:30pm – Chicago Spirit Brigade
8:15pm – Sixteen Candles


North Stage
5:00pm – Drag Show featuring Chicago’s Best Female Impersonators
7:00pm – Deborah Cox
8:00pm – Drag Show featuring Chciago’s Best Female Impersonators
9:00pm – Ultra Nate

(Crystal Waters, right )





Saturday, June 25
South Stage
Noon – Lakeside Pride Show Band
1:00pm – Pet Parade with Miss Foozie
2:30pm – Chicago RedLine
3:30pm – ROTC
5:00pm – ROTC
6:00pm – Rock Candy
7:30pm – Windy City Cowboys
8:00pm – Wedding Banned
 


North Stage
1:00pm – Pet Parade with Miss Foozie
1:30pm – Drag Show featuring Chicago’s Best Female Impersonators
2:30pm – Mya
3:00pm – Drag Show featuring Chicago’s Best Female Impersonators
4:30pm – Xelle
5:30pm – Drag Show featuring Chicago’s Best Female Impersonators
7:00pm – Crystal Waters
8:00pm – Kim English
8:45pm – Inaya Day



 Your gate donation benefits the Northalsted Business Alliance.


The Northalsted Business Alliance works cooperatively to maintain a diverse, safe and thriving shopping and entertainment district. In 1980, a small group of retailers in a four-block area along Halsted Street joined forces to promote the street and improve business conditions.


Since its inception, the Northalsted Business Alliance has grown to represent more than 80 businesses along North Halsted Street from Barry Street to West Irving Park Road. The Association has been recognized by the media, the City of Chicago and local residents as a major force in the community, championing positive change and growth.

BestGayChicago.com


Cook County to Shower Happy Couples With Presents on June 1st – The first Official Day of Civil Unions



June 1st will be an exciting day for the Cook County Clerk’s office.  Not only will we be issuing our very first Civil Union licenses, but we will shower the happy couples with the wonderful presents donated by area businesses.”  said   David Orr, Cook County Clerk.


 


Illinois will begin offering Civil Union licenses at every county clerk’s office on June 1. The Cook County Clerk’s office will open its downtown office early to mark the momentous occasion. “I’m thrilled this day has finally come,” Clerk David Orr said. “This will be a joyous day for all couples – gay and straight – who want to make history as part of the inaugural group of civil unions.”

 



WHEN:


Wednesday, June 1. The Clerk’s downtown Chicago Vital Records office will open at 7:30 a.m.

 



WHERE:


Before 6 a.m., couples should line up outside the Daley Center’s northeast door, located near Randolph and Dearborn Streets. The Daley Center, 50 W. Washington St., will open at 6 a.m. Couples should take the escalators down to the lower level (Pedway) and line up outside the Vital Records office, Room CL-27.

 



INFO FOR COUPLES:


Civil Union licenses will be available to same-sex and heterosexual couples. The Clerk’s office encourages all couples who wish to get a license on June 1 to visit the downtown office (not a suburban office). All couples need to meet the following criteria:

 




• Be at least 18 years old;


• Not be related to one another;


• Have valid, current identification, such as driver’s license, state ID or U.S. passport;


• Pay a $35 license application fee. Cash preferred. MasterCard, American Express & Discover accepted. Personal checks and Visa will not be accepted.


• Couples who are currently registered as Domestic Partners in Cook County will receive a $20 discount and their domestic partnership will be automatically dissolved.


• Any couple planning to participate in a June 2 ceremony – including the Millennium Park event hosted by the City of Chicago, Lamda Legal, Equality Illinois and the Alliance of Illinois Judges – MUST obtain a license from the Clerk’s office on June 1.


A license is valid for a ceremony held within 60 days of the issue date. By law, couples must wait until the day after they obtain their license to have their Civil Union ceremony performed so June 2 is the first day Civil Union ceremonies can be held. Within 10 days of a ceremony, Civil Union officiants must return the completed license for it to be certified and recorded by the County Clerk.



CELEBRATION:


Civil Union “presents” have been donated by 20 local businesses. The first couple in line at 7:30 a.m. will receive a gift package. Other presents will be distributed by raffle; couples in line by 7:30 a.m. will be eligible. The Clerk’s office will invite all couples back to a party room for cake and chocolate, donated by Eli’s Cheesecake and Illinois Nut & Candy.

 



SPONSORS:


Wilde Bar & Restaurant


Transistor Starbelly Studios Photography Restoration Salon


The Palmer House Hilton


Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago Sierzega & Associates, Ltd.


Mendell on the Move


LaSalle Flowers


Lambda Legal


Lady Gregory’s


Illinois Nut & Candy Goodman Theatre


Eli’s Cheesecake


Downtown Bar & Lounge


Crew Bar + Grill


Chicago’s First Lady Cruises


Best Gay Chicago


Angel’s Restaurant


ADH Meetings & Events

CIVIL UNIONS Available in Chicago and Illinois June 1st

 JUNE 1st 2011! 

That is the first day couples can officialy register their CIVIL UNION with the State of Illinois!   –  It’s NOT gay marriage –  but it a huge step in the right direction, for the state and MANY couples are expected to register.


“Here we are in 2011 on the eve of Abraham Lincoln’s 202nd birthday and I think this is very special,” Governor Quinn said. “We believe in civil rights and we believe in civil unions.”

With the move, Illinois joins five other states and the District of Columbia in establishing statewide laws to provide the equivalent of state-level spousal rights to same sex couples.




LOTS OF EVENTS WILL BE HAPPENING THAT WEEK!





Thirty Illinois Couples to Hold Civil Union Ceremonies in Chicago’s Millennium Park on June 2, 2011
 
Governor to Attend Chicago’s Celebration of Civil Unions
 
In celebration of the first day of civil union ceremonies in Illinois, the City of Chicago Commission on Human Relations’ Advisory Council on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues will host 30 civil union ceremonies at 10 a.m. on Thursday, June 2, in Wrigley Square at Millennium Park, Randolph Street and Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois.

“Our state’s first civil union ceremonies will mark a day of celebration and an historic milestone on the road to full marriage equality for LGBT Illinoisans,” said Mayor Emanuel. “I look forward to attending this joyful event.”

The event is 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. Governor Pat Quinn will attend, and Cook County Clerk David Orr, the Hon. Timothy C. Evans, Chief Judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County, and members of the Alliance of Illinois Judges will officiate the civil union ceremonies.




THEN on JUNE 3rd – @ 


Chicago History Museum


1601 North Clark St. , 
Chicago

Unite with Pride:
A Community Celebration
, hosted by the Civil Rights Agenda. a multi-couple civil union ceremony to celebrate the enactment of civil unions in Illinois and the beginning of Pride Month in Chicago.

Unite with Pride will provide couples an opportunity to be civilly united in an historic outdoor community civil ceremony on the picturesque “Uihlein Plaza” just days after the civil union law takes effect.

The festivities will continue as couples, family, friends, and the community attend a black-tie optional cocktail reception with entertainment, hors d’oeuvres and desserts provided by various vendors from the event planning industry.

In addition to the ceremony and reception, guests will be granted access to the newly opened Chicago History Museum exhibit “Out in Chicago”. The “Out in Chicago” exhibit will explore how the evolution of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) community mirrors broader changes throughout the city over the past 150 years.

This fundraiser will benefit our Families United Project. The Families United Project is an exploration of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer families in Illinois. The goal of the Families United Project is to gain equality for every family in Illinois through the use of social media, political advocacy and by building community. We seek to engage all people who believe that every family in America deserves to be equal.

Please go to www.jointcra.org to buy your tickets!
AND CHECK THIS OUT!  
Those guests and couples who register or have already registered for the event by 11:59 p.m. on Saturday May 28 will be automatically entered in a drawing to have brunch with Al Franken when he is in town on June 12!  This is a private event and you will be able to meet and brunch with the Senator. Senator Franken is a leader on progressive causes and is committed to advancing LGBT Rights.
Don’t miss this opportunity to meet the Senator and register now!




on  Sunday June 5, 12:30PM     Civil Unions – What do they mean?
St. Pauls United Church of Christ,   2335 N Orchard, Chicago 60614


As this new Illinois law goes into effect on June 1, what are the legal and financial implications for you and your loved ones? Is a civil union a good idea for you? Bring your questions to this panel discussion featuring legal professionals, including a representative from Lambda Legal.


Box lunch available for $10.
Please RSVP by May 31, indicating if you’d like a lunch, to: jcarlson@spucc.org or phone 773-348-3829.






WHAT IS THE PROCESS FOR GETTING A CIVIL UNION?

OUT IN CHICAGO opens at Chicago History Museum

The Chicago History Museum
has presented the history of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Chicagoans since 2004 through the Out at CHM programming series.

Now, in its eighth year, the Museum will continue this educational programming and  will also present the exhibition Out in Chicago opening May 21, 2011. (this past weekend) and runs through March 26, 2012.

 The exhibition will explore how the evolution of these Chicago communities mirrors broader changes throughout the city over the past 150 years. Out in Chicago is the latest in the Museum’s ongoing series of exhibitions addressing Chicago communities and neighborhoods. 

Out in Chicago takes a new perspective on Chicago’s history through historical artifacts, documents, and individual testimonies. Based on research and new scholarship, the exhibition encompasses four thematic sections that reflect the evolution of the LGBT communities over the past 150 years: from the stories of individual Chicagoans, to the building of families and home life, to the evolution of communities and city neighborhoods; and to the communities’ expansion into political activism.

Chicago History Museum, 1601 N. Clark St., Chicago



LATER  THIS YEAR – special  events  include –

Secret Historian   Thursday, September 8
Author Justin Spring visits the Museum for a lecture and book-signing about his recent award-winning book, Secret Historian. Drawn from the never-before-seen stories of Chicagoan novelist, poet, tattoo artist, and university professor, Sam Steward, Spring re-creates a sensational reconstruction of one of the more extraordinary hidden lives of the twentieth century. Tickets are $12/10 members.

In the K/Now: Gays in the Military   Thursday, November 10
This conversation about gays in the military led by community leaders and military veterans is presented in partnership with an array of gay military alumni groups. After more than a decade of debate, this is still one of the most controversial issues facing the LGBT community. FREE.

Chicago in Leather    December 1
The LGBT leather community in Chicago has made a historic, cultural, and meaningful impact on the city in a variety of ways. A panel will discuss these contributions to LGBT history, Chicago history, and leather history. This program is in collaboration with the Leather Archives & Museum. Tickets are $12/10 members.


Chicago History Museum, 1601 N. Clark St., Chicago


BestGayChicago.com

What Exactly Does the Center on Halsted Do?



I am really amazed when I talk to friends here in Chicago who really have no idea of what goes on at the CENTER ON HALSTED . They just think it’s a place to hang out and have no idea of what the Center has to offer!

Everyone should sign up for their monthy newsletter . And from time to time, we’ll provide a snapshot of some of the months highlights. There really is something here for everyone!

For March –


“When Romeo Was A Woman,” a presentation of the Out at CHM series
Thursday, March 10, Cocktails at 5:30 p.m. event at 6:30 p.m.
$12/ $10 students/CHM members

Charlotte Cushman, 1816-1876, was the nineteenth century’s most famous cross-dressing and woman-loving actress. Her performance of Shakespeare’s star-crossed lover was legendary, and she wowed male and female audiences alike at local theaters, like McVicker’s in Chicago, during her American tours. Join cultural historian Lisa Merrill for a behind-the-scenes look at how spectators and critics talked and wrote about sexuality on stage. Jill Austin, museum curator, will begin the program with a brief introduction to LGBT-related life and themes in mid-19th-century Chicago. About Face Theatre Artistic Director Bonnie Metzgar and the Laramie Project’s co-author Leigh Fondakowski will join the discussion to talk about how gender-bending pioneers continue to impact our stages.



 


Speed Dating for Men 21+



 Thursday, March 10, 7PM       $12 at the door
Looking to date, make friends or to meet that special someone? It’s time for some real-time, fun-time speed dating at Center on Halsted. You will have an opportunity to meet everyone and leave with contact information for your matches! Cash bar opens at 6:45 PM.
 



Civil Unions: What You Need to Know 
a conversation with Atty. Ray Koenig
Tuesday, March 15, 6:30PM FREE

Beginning this summer, Illinois will offer civil unions to same-sex couples. Hear from legal expert Ray Koenig about what this will mean for you—whether you have partnership arrangements or not.
Ray J. Koenig III, is a member in Clark Hill’s Litigation Practice Group in its Chicago office. He practices in the areas of probate litigation, trust litigation, fiduciary litigation, elder law and estate planning. Ray has represented individuals, families, financial institutions, medical institutions, and governmental organizations in all areas of his practice. Ray has extensive trial, appellate and mediation experience in state and federal courts.


 Ray is frequently appointed Guardian Ad Litem and defense counsel by judges in guardianship cases, and has been appointed Special Administrator in probate matters. Ray has also been appointed Special Assistant Attorney General in numerous matters. Ray served on a task force formed by the Commissioner of the City of Chicago Department on Aging to develop and draft legislation to significantly revise the Illinois Elder Abuse and Neglect Act.




Introduction to PowerPoint
Begins Thursday, March 17, 10AM (3-week series)        $15. Sliding scale available.
Call (773) 661-0730 to register. Pre-registration required.
This class is designed for the beginning PowerPoint user and includes: creating a presentation, working with text in slides, working with slides, using design templates, different presentation views, and printing presentations.




 

<
SAGE Early Bird Jazz Supper Club


Thursday, March 17, 6PM         FREE. Pre-registration required.
Interested in a night of fine dining, smooth live jazz, and apple martinis –and getting home by 10pm? Want an alternative to your traditional St. Patty’s Day celebration? Then come on out for the SAGE Early Bird Jazz Supper Club. Bring a date, rendezvous, or live on the edge and meet someone new! Come for the sumptuous cuisine prepared by Center on Halsted’s “What’s Cookin’” program and stay for our three sassy song stylists and apple martinis. Space limited to 36.




Bisexual Movie Night

Monday, March 21, 7PM (3rd Mondays)


A casual, FREE movie night with popcorn and refreshments.









SAGE Women’s Creative Writing

Thursday, March 24, 6PM (Thursdays weekly)


Experienced facilitator from Northwestern University will guide the group through expressions of self through poetry, fiction, and journal writing. Class is limited to 15; please call or e-mail (773) 472-6469 to register.








 
Speed Dating for Women 21+
Thursday, March 24, 7PM       $12 at the door
Looking to date, make friends or to meet that special someone? It’s time for some real-time, fun-time speed dating at Center on Halsted. You will have an opportunity to meet everyone and leave with contact information for your matches! Cash bar opens at 6:45 PM.








Legal Clinic at Center on Halsted
Tuesdays 4PM-7PM and Wednesdays 6PM-8PM   
(please call to make an appointment)

Center on Halsted’s free legal clinic allows LGBT and Ally people to speak one-on-one with a licensed attorney about their specific legal concern and receive appropriate information and referral options. There is no fee for this service. For more information or to make an appointment, please contact 773.472.6469, ext. 290.




This is just a small glimpse into the Center on Halsted. Every day more than 1,000 visitors, participants and clients walk through the doors of Center on Halsted. Come experience the richness of their  theatre, gallery exhibits and cultural programs. Take a class in  the Computer Technology Center or use the free wi-fi throughout the building. Be a part of The Center .



 

Chicago Restaurant Week February 18-27



For ten days, over 200 restaurants will offer special prix fixe menus starting at $22* for lunch and $33/$44* for dinner. Take this opportunity to discover new dining hot spots and re-visit a few of your favorites.

Participating restaurants may offer Restaurant Week menus for lunch, dinner or both – at their discretion. Please view individual restaurant profiles for menu details .

*Beverages, tax and gratuity are not included  

Breaking News – Civil Unions for Chicago and Illinois is One Step Closer

CIVIL UNIONS LEGISLATION
 PASSES IN ILLINOIS!

THE CIVIL RIGHTS AGENDA
& LGBT CHANGE MOVE
FORWARD WITH MARRIAGE
EQUALITY IN ILLINOIS
 
Springfield, Illinois – Tuesday, November 30, 2010 – Today, the Illinois House of Representatives voted to pass the Illinois Religious Freedom and Civil Union Act by a vote of 61 to 52.  After passage by the Senate (hopefully this week) and being signed by Governor Quinn, the Act will take effect July 2011. 

With this vote, the Illinois General Assembly has taken one more step towards equality in Illinois. “Today the Illinois House of Representatives made history,” stated Anthony Martinez, Executive Director of The Civil Rights Agenda and Co-Executive Director of LGBT Change. “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) families in Illinois have gained desperately needed protections that surround the most personal times of our lives.  With this victory, The Civil Rights Agenda (TCRA) and LGBT Change have verified that our strategy is effective and impacted this vote for the better.”

TCRA and LGBT Change have already shown that their grassroots approach to organizing the community and working with allies has been effective.  In the last election, The Civil Rights Agenda Fund and LGBT Change, working in coordination with a number of allied groups, reached nearly 70,000 LGBT friendly voters and saw a 75% turn-out in targeted precincts across Illinois. The organizations also identified specific races where the stakes were high for LGBT civil rights, and impacted the outcome by driving voters to the polls.  As civil unions came close to a vote, TCRA and LGBT Change used their grassroots strategy to mobilize hundreds of volunteers, made close to 20,000 calls to constituents in target legislative districts and had a continuous lobbying presence in Springfield. 

“When our organizations became engaged in this issue, we realized that Representative Harris, the Chief Sponsor of the Bill, was diligently working in the absence of support from the community and was lacking support from community organizations in critical areas. Immediately we deployed a legislative team and began working to secure votes on both sides of the aisles,” said Lowell Jaffe, Political Director of The Civil Rights Agenda.

LGBT Change and The Civil Rights Agenda will be working together to ensure that those Legislators that voted ‘NO’ will be exposed, targeted and defeated.  We will also ensure that the Legislators that stood by the LGBT Community will be thanked and protected. 

The Illinois Religious Freedom and Civil Union Act will grant the same benefits, obligations and responsibilities of marriage, under state law, while protecting the rights of religious institutions to define marriage as they choose. The major benefits include hospital visitation, healthcare decision making, disposition of a deceased loved one’s remains and probate rights. Civil unions would be available to any couple, same-sex or opposite-sex, in a committed relationship who are:  18 years of age or older, not in an existing marriage or civil union, and are not related. The Act will also provide for the dissolution of civil unions in the same way as divorce. This Act will take effect July 2011. 

“We are finally on the bus,” said Jacob Meister, President of The Civil Rights Agenda, “but we will keep fighting until we are no longer relegated to the back.  For too long the leadership in the LGBT community has been willing to accept ‘separate but equal’ status. The Civil Rights Agenda and LGBT Change’s success with civil unions proves that if we continue to organize and build coalitions, we will reach a point of full civil rights for all people.” 

Additionally, The Civil Rights Agenda and LGBT Change will now turn their efforts to marriage as a matter of full equality.  “It’s time to open a new chapter and start the march toward full marriage equality,” Matty Zaradich, Co-Executive Director of LGBT Change added, “We won’t drink from a separate water fountain; we won’t accept ‘separate-but-equal’ treatment, and we won’t tolerate a government that discriminates against its own citizens.”


Chicago Taxi Cabs May Get More Expensive

ONLY TOURISTS TAKE
TAXI CABS IN CHICAGO,
RIGHT? 

Um,  WRONG!

According to Alderman Ed Burke, he thinks only tourists use cabs and  he is asking for a new increase of $1 to be added on to the already high $2.75 for a single passenger, to just step into a cab.

What’s a buck?! “It’s not a big amount.” he says, as he cashes is $3000+  weekly check.

If only tourists take cabs – than pass the buck to THEM.
Allow  RESIDENTS with an ID, to  waive the $1 surcharge!

“it seems to me to be a painless, easy way to generate about $70 million that we sorely need,” Burke said. “A $1 surcharge isn’t going to hurt anybody in my opinion, and it doesn’t impact Chicago citizens.”

Gilbert Uranta, 50, who has been driving a cab in Chicago for 15 years, threw his hands up in exasperation when he heard about the plan. In Chicago, cabbies pay a $78 per month ground transportation tax and a gasoline tax.

Uranta said that ultimately the added $1 will mean fewer tips for the drivers.

“They are trying to use us to collect their money,” Uranta said. “The driver always loses.”

Read the full article at the Daily Tribune .

CALL AND COMPLAIN  TODAY!
Call the Committee of Finance at 312-744-3380
Send the Committee of Finance an e-mail!

Inside Your Chicago

Gay Chicago Police – HELP WANTED

HELP WANTED!

The City of Chicago
is currently accepting applications
 for entry level Police Officer positions.
 
Applications are only available online and will be accepted through Friday, November 26, 2010, at 11:59 p.m. CST. 
 
Some of the basic requirements for entry level Chicago police officer positions include:

Age – At least 21 years of age at time of application and 25 years of age at time of hire for non-military personnel. 

At least 21 years of age for military personnel with appropriate service. 

 Must be less than 40 years old at the time of hire.

Education/Military Experience:

60 semester (90 quarter) hours of college credit, or
3 years (36 months) of continuous active duty in the U.S. Military, or
30 semester (45 quarter) hours of college credit and one year of continuous military service.

Valid driver’s license.

Payment of registration fee of $30.00. 
A fee waiver is available for qualifying individuals.
 
This position requires applicants to complete the application process, to submit all required documents, and to complete a written exam. 

The written exam will be held on Saturday, December 11, 2010.
 
Individuals interested in applying should go to City of Chicago Police Officer .
 
Applicants should call the DHR hotline/customer service at 312-744-4976 if they have ANY questions before they push the “submit” button on application. Customer service representatives are available Monday-Saturday from 8:30-4:30. 

Best Gay Chicago.com

DuPage College Has Anti-Gay and Hate Groups on Campus

You think we live in a tolerant city in the Midwest…not so. Don’t be fooled.
Many think Gays and Lesbians DO NOT deserve rights.

The College of Dupage, based in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, (but with a large campus here in Chicago)  is one of the larger community colleges in the nation with 31,000 students. A few days ago,  this hideous opinion piece published in the October 29 edition of its student newspaper, The Courier. He compares homosexuality to INCEST and PEDAPHILIA!

The piece was authored by  WAYNE  LELA, and by the extremist group  HOME , Heterosexuals Organized for a Moral Environment.
Lela, in addition to staging anti-gay protests at college campuses, and once running for U.S. president, has the backing of NARTH, the wildy discredited group whose “research” is often cited by anti-gay groups. Lela has been active in the anti-gay movement for some time.

The paper’s editor can be reached at editor@cod.edu. 

TOWLEROAD  actually first broke the story. And he contacted the editor.
TODAY, TOWLEROAD  reports, “I received an email from the paper’s editor, Vikaas Shanker, today, which I’ll share:”

The Courier will print an editorial in this Friday’s issue (Nov. 5) which will address the decision to print Mr. Lela’s letter in the Oct. 29 issue. Due to space issues, we will not be able to print all letters to the editor, but we will print the petition sent to us and some letters from the college community. Most other letters will go on the web in a viewable PDF format. All letters are subject to editing for grammar, style, language, length and libel as stated in our Courier policy.”

Wait and see I guess.  I contacted to editor also –  and he has not responded. I am sure his in box is FULL!

Best Gay Chicago

Pat Quinn Trailing Bill Brady in the Polls

 GLEE inspired campaign!  Pat Quinn has a clever idea  to capture the attention of voters!  Recent polls  show Quinn is behind in the polls against Republican (and anti-gayBill  Brady .

From receiving an “F” for his voting record on minority rights, to multiple attempts to restrict rights for LGBT Illinoisans, it’s clear that Senator Brady wants to “return Illinois and America to John Wayne’s America.”

Brady has sponsored or co-sponsored a disturbing number of anti-LGBT bills in Springfield – from a constitutional ban on civil unions to gutting the Illinois Human Rights Act.

PLEASE  GET OUT AND VOTE!  VOTE  PAT  QUINN  FOR GOVERNOR!

Best Gay Chicago

 

 

Absolutely The Best Segway Tours in Chicago!

This past weekend I had the pleasure of going on my first Segway Tour. Absolutely Chicago Segway Tours  had been highly recommended to me, so that is who we chose. And it was  a great tour and experience!

The owners of the company have over 50 years of combined experience in the hospitality industry, having owned and operated some of the most successful, recognized and reputable restaurants and companies in the Chicagoland area. When starting Absolutely Chicago Segway Tours it was clear that they wanted to create that same memorable service, and to leave visitors with a wonderful impression of Chicago.

The Segway itself is only one part of the total touring experience. “We believe that your tour guide will have the biggest impact on your experience. At the risk of bragging, we have the best guides in the business, bar none. That’s because we only hire the best. They have undergone extensive Segway certification training. They have to be professional, courteous, and articulate. So whether the group is comprised of teens, grandmas, or corporate execs, our guides can connect with everyone.” says owner Timmie McGuire Cortina.

They offer several different tours and those can change with the season, and the weather. We took the 8 mile / 2 hour Museum Campus tour. Before you can go on a tour, you have to watch a short safety film, then there is a short “class” learning session. Many people think you jump and go, and control your speed and braking with your hands and handlebar. This is not true.

Riding the Segway  feels like nothing you’ve ever experienced because there’s never been anything like it. Step on and your instinct will be to steady yourself, as you would on anything with two wheels. But almost immediately you’ll realize that the Segway  is balancing for you, almost like it has become an extension of you. Just lean forward a little and you’ll see that the Segway  isn’t moving you on its own; it’s moving in response to you and what you tell it to do. It all feels natural and really cool.

The Segway  uses LeanSteer™ Technology to move you from Point A to B. Gently move the LeanSteer frame and handlebar left or right in the direction you want to travel and feel the machine respond almost instantly.

The Segway  balances by using five micro-machined angular rate sensors and two accelerometers that sense the changing terrain and your body position at 100 times per second.

For HALLOWEEN  SEASON: There is the  Chicago Haunted Tour!  The first of its kind in Chicago. “Our Guides will be your ghost hunters on this guided segway tour. They will escort you to the most mysteriously haunted locations in Downtown Chicago while relating the stories of Chicago’s Haunted Hotels, houses, ghosts, murders, and gruesome disasters. Eerily we will creep through the shadows and darkness of the park to the sites that have claimed the lives of many tortured souls, places where paranormal experiences have been shared, where lingering spirits have appeared in the air.

This extraordinary Chicago Ghost Tour will visit the sites of Haunted Fort Dearborn, the Iroquois Theatre disaster, the Morgue on State, the Dead Alley, and the past home of Al Capone’s haunted yacht. Some say that the sounds of screaming can still be heard. We have more haunted places and stories to share, so come along and glide with us … if you dare!”

HAUNTED  DISCOUNT!  Get a group together of 4 or more for the 9:15 Wednesdays or Thursdays Haunted Tours and each person gets a $10 discount!   or  Get a  $5  discount on Friday or Saturday tours IF YOU MENTION THIS ARTICLE !

Most tours are about $60-$65 – and well worth it! Explore Chicago by day or night on this picturesque Lakefront tour of Chi-Town. We travel along fragrant garden paths while viewing the famous Chicago attractions of Grant and Millennium Parks, Soldier Field, Buckingham Fountain, and the Museum Campus. Our evening tours provide views of Chicago’s fabulous skyline at dusk.

Absolutely Chicago Segways  is located right near Millenium Park at 337 E. Randolph.
If you drive downtown and tour with them, you can park with them for $10 for the day.
Call 312-552-5100 to make your reservations
Tell them Best Gay Chicago.com  sent you!

Best Gay Chicago.com

Kathy Osterman Hollywood Gay Beach House Grand Opening

Kathy Osterman Beach
is the official name of the lovely crescent of sand known to most Chicago residents as Hollywood-Ardmore Beach. Others call it the Hollywood Beach, or some call it the Gay Beach. Located off Lake Shore Drive, between Bryn Mawr and Hollywood.

The beautiful beach is nestled amongst high-rise buildings and sunsets there are nice as the sun drops behind the tall buildings. The southern end is a  very popular spot for gays, but  the beach overall remains a family beach. Parents and kids come here to swim, (when the water is warm enough!)  and also to enjoy volleyball and frisbee. But don’t take balls in the water – that’s a no-no, for some reason. On any given weekend you will find a few hundred LGBT people here at  the southern end.

Just hours ago was the official grand opening of the new beach house / comfort station. A One-story, 2570 square feet, fully accessible facility providing  a Concession Area, called  PICNIC, Family Restroom, Men’s  and Women’s Restroom and a Life Guard Lockerroom. Plus outdoor rinse-off shower heads and more bike racks. The new building is filled with environmental sustainability features like rainwater harvesting, skylights and solar powered trash compacters!

Mayor Daley spoke at the ceremony and gave praise to Kathy Osterman as being a true visionary and he applauded her achievements including being at the forefront of the progress of human rights and LGBT issues.

The PICNIC concession is an off-shoot of The Waterfront Cafe , located just up the street at Berger Park.  They are providing a much smaller menu here, but have a very nice seating area patio and will be offering beer and wine soon. Fresh made sandwiches ($7-8) and things like guacamole and hummus ($5-6) plus lots of assorted cold drinks are available.

 Kathy Osterman   was a known as a “Friend of the Community”, 48th Ward alderman, city special events director, and longtime political activist, she helped to forge critical links between Chicago government and the lesbian and gay community. She played a crucial role in passage of the city’s human rights ordinance.

An ebullient, optimistic, dynamic individual, Osterman was a fierce and outspoken lobbyist for the passage of Chicago’s Human Rights Ordinance. She worked closely with gay and lesbian activists, helping formulate logistics. She personally introduced many of the key players to each other, and is also credited for developing the imaginative “bring in the nuns” strategy, calling on women of the cloth to lobby the large Roman Catholic bloc of aldermen within the City Council. The Human Rights Ordinance was passed in 1988, and Osterman considered this to be one of her greatest accomplishments in public life.

On May 1, 1992, Osterman was married to Bruce DuMont, founder and President of the Museum of Broadcast Communications and host of the nationally syndicated radio program “Inside Politics.” She was the mother of two sons, Harry Joe and Matthew, who live and work in Chicago. Kathy Osterman died that same year of cancer on December 8, 1992.

Though the beach officially closes Labor Day, you will find people out thru the early fall if the weather is nice. But there are no lifeguards on duty after Labor Day – but I am told the PICNIC concession will remain open thru October 1st.

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