Category Archives: Community

World of Chocolate Dec. 3rd

world of chocolate

It’s finally the sweetest time of year  is  HERE!

Tickets for World of Chocolate 2015 are on sale now.


Get hotsy-totsy and party like Gatsby for an evening of chocolate galore! Inspired this year by the glitz and glamour of the 1920s, World of Chocolate is Chicago’s commemorative World AIDS Day event held at the beautiful Chicago Union Station.


Revel in chocolate delights from more than 25 of the city’s top chefs, imbibe to your heart’s content at our open bars and win fabulous prizes, including vacations to New York City, Las Vegas and more.

Kick off your holiday season with the AWESOME  EVENT! Come Hungry!~

Chocolate Ticket Button
Since its inception, World of Chocolate has raised over $1.7 million to fund vital HIV services and programs at the AIDS Foundation of Chicago. Purchase your tickets today and savor the sweet satisfaction of making a difference!


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Hydrate TURN ABOUT Show for TPAN

hydrate replay elixir chicago


Don’t miss your chance to see staff LKH doing DRAG for charity!

The annual LKH TURNABOUT SHOW proceeds go to benefit TPAN via Hydrate, The Den, Replay Andersonville, and Replay Lakeview participants in BARLESQUE!

Doors at 8 pm
Show starts at 9:30 pm

$10 suggestion donation includes Hosted Bar and Hors d’Oeuvres from 8:30 pm – 9:30 pm!!


Join the Facebook  page  HERE


Chicago Homeless Youth

chicago homeless youth

Chicagoans know fall means bitter cold is on its way. People will soon scurry to stay inside day and night. Yet, more than 20,000 young adults and students are looking for a permanent home, not just overnight shelter.

In the spirit of giving back this upcoming holiday season, the Chicago-area community will come together on Friday, Nov. 20, for an overnight sleep out to raise visibility and funds to help provide a stable living environment for youth experiencing homelessness.

The first-of-its-kind event in Chicago, the Out In the Open Sleep Out, will bring together members of the community to raise funds for 18 organizations serving youth experiencing homelessness. The event will be at Cricket Hill near Montrose Ave. and Lake Michigan.

Attendees will hear from individual teens and participate in a variety of activities. There will also be dozens of entertainers performing during the event.

“We are striving to bring new people and resources to this critical issue in Chicago,” said Tracy Baim,Windy City Times publisher and executive producer of the event. “We’ve modeled the event after similar events in other cities, and we plan to also showcase the talents of this next generation.”

The following nonprofit partners will benefit from the event:  AIDS Foundation of Chicago; Care2Prevent, the University of Chicago; Center on Halsted; Chicago House; Chicago Youth Storage Initiative; Howard Brown Health Center’s Broadway Youth Center; Illinois Safe Schools Alliance; La Casa Norte; Lurie Children’s Hospital – Division of Adolescent Medicine; Neon Dorms – Heartland Human Care Services; New Moms; Puerto Rican Cultural Center – El Rescate; TaskForce Prevention and Community Services; Teen Living Programs; The 750 Club Apartment Adoption Project; The Night Ministry; Thresholds; Unity Parenting and Counseling, Inc.; and YEPP: Youth Empowerment Performance Project.

The event is hosted by the newly formed Pride Action Tank, AIDS Foundation of Chicago, Edelman, Agency EA and Windy City Times newspaper, along with a wide range of other partners. Best Gay Chicago is a proud media partner of this event.

To donate or sign up for the inaugural event as well as to learn more about individual teen’s stories, please visit




Pride Action Tank, a new, results-driven group that addresses challenges facing individuals and groups within LGBTQ communities through a collaborative process of inquiry, advocacy and action, is launching this month as a project of the AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC).

Kim L. Hunt, former executive director of Affinity Community Services, will be Pride Action Tank’s executive director. Tracy Baim, founder of Pride Action Tank, will be the president of its advisory board.

The work of Pride Action Tank focuses on six overlapping issue areas: housing, health, safety, financial security, youth and aging.

Pride Action Tank will bring together and support the work of subject matter experts as well as people directly impacted by challenges facing the LGBTQ community to envision and realize practical and longer-term policy solutions. Moreover, Pride Action Tank will fuel collaborations among organizations, departments, experts, policymakers and community members in order to fill in gaps and ensure better supports for all people in LGBTQ communities.

The mission of Pride Action Tank is to “improve the health, safety and progress of individuals and groups within the LGBTQ community by inspiring, supporting and leading collaborative action that improves policy, service, access and community dynamics in the core areas of housing, health, safety, financial security, youth and aging.”

Sign up to receive updates and action alerts from Pride Action Tank!


AIDS Walk Chicago 2015 Sept. 26th

aids walk chicago 2015

Runners, walkers will put their feet down at AIDS Run & Walk Chicago on Saturday, Sept. 26

Thousands expected to gather at annual day of remembrance, fundraising and awareness


WHAT:                Chicago-area residents will gather to change the HIV epidemic at the 14th annual AIDS Run & Walk Chicago on Saturday, Sept. 26. The event will start and finish at Soldier Field in Chicago, and courses for the 5k walk and the 5k/10k runs will stretch along Lake Michigan.

WGN-TV’s Dean Richards will be the master of ceremonies for the morning’s festivities, which will include brief speeches by AFC President/CEO John Peller and two longtime HIV advocates, Evany Turk and Patricia Johnson.

The opening ceremony will also include a performance from the Broadway musical RENT by Artists Giving Back, which is producing a production of “RENT” to benefit AFC on Dec. 1. Afterward, participants will warm up before their run or walk with Fitness Formula Club trainer Joy Miles.

Panels from the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt will also be on display, and free HIV testing will be available on site.

Funds raised through AIDS Run & Walk Chicago will benefit programs and services for the AIDS Foundation of Chicago and 35 other metropolitan organizations that provide life-saving services to people living with HIV and AIDS. Since it was established in 2001, AIDS Run & Walk Chicago has netted nearly $5 million to battle the epidemic.

For more information, visit or call 312-334-0946.


WHO:   Media are invited to attend the event and speak with the AIDS Foundation of Chicago’s President/CEO, John Peller, as well as additional AIDS Foundation of Chicago representatives, event volunteers and race participants.




WHEN:                                Saturday, Sept. 26*

7:15        Registration and packet pickup open

8:00       Opening Ceremony begins

8:25       Warm-up stretch led by Joy Miles of Fitness Formula Clubs

8:45       10k run start

8:50       5k run start

9:05       Walk start

9:30       The NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt display opens

10:00    Closing Ceremony begins

*Times are subject to change. Check for more details.

WHERE:             Soldier Field (1410 Museum Campus Dr., Chicago, IL 60605)
*Media may park at Waldron Garage (600 E Waldron Dr., Chicago). Parking fees apply.


AIDS RUN WALK Chicago 2015


AIDS Run & Walk Chicago is AFC’s grassroots fundraising event where people from all walks of life help change the story of HIV in our lifetime.

As beneficiaries of the event, AFC and our CommunityDirect partners are greatly impacted – beyond just the obvious ways.

AIDS Run & Walk Chicago stands up to the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS allowing progress to continue toward ending the epidemic. Run & Walk invigorates the sector by increasing awareness for the cause, growing our passionate community and allowing new leaders to emerge.

In 2014, AIDS Run & Walk Chicago raised over $394,000 net to benefit the AIDS Foundation of Chicago.

Over and above that, we granted $240,000 to our CommunityDirect partners. These funds allow us to continue saving and improving the lives of those living with or at risk for HIV.



Joey Kisling Fund Raiser

joey kissling gay chicago

Most everyone in Chicago is thinking about the upcoming weekend and Market Days  and how they plan to celebrate  and party  with friends……no one really thinks  about  if they will even be alive to enjoy it. They just assume, they will be.


If you knew how much time you had left in this world, what would you do?  Quit your job?  Travel?  See all the places you ever wanted to see?  Take every risk you feared before?  Eat all the things?  Would you make a bucket list?

I know that thinking about your fatality is not necessarily enjoyable, but imagining that you could live out the rest of your life without worry, without financial burdens, and instead with freedom and clarity certainly sounds amazing, doesn’t it? Magical, even; romantic, like something that only happens in movies.

This is a chance for YOU to make this dream a reality for someone.

Boystown’s beloved Joey Kisling, at the young age of 31,
has fallen victim to the monster that is cancer.  An aggressive, rare, and terminal cancer, and he needs our help.

Joey has been a bartender and DJ in Chicago for years.  He’s probably poured you a shot, danced with you, inspired you to Shazam something from one of his mixes; he’s probably made you smile.

Now it is our turn to make him smile, to help him live out the rest of his life just as he wants.  Let us work together to send him to sandy beaches in far away lands, let’s send him to rooftop pools in swanky hotels in Paris and Berlin.  Let’s send him to The Big Easy and then Tahiti to enjoy cocktails with tiny umbrellas at swim-up bars.

Let’s help him do it because he deserves it; let’s do it because it would be amazing if someone did the same for you.

Please consider donating any amount to this fund.  No amount is too big or too small; Joey will appreciate every cent.  And he will appreciate every single one of you- even more than he did before.

TUESDAY  August 11th    TAT TUESDAYS @ REPLAY for also host a fund raiser!

replay gay bar tat tuesdays


Chicago AIDS Walk Sept. 26th

chicago aids walk

“Put your foot down.” That’s the message behind this year’s AIDS Run & Walk Chicago, hosted by the AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC) and benefiting 35 other community organizations — known as CommunityDirect partners — on Sept. 26 at Chicago’s Soldier Field.


“We want supporters to put their foot down and make a difference in this epidemic, especially among communities most impacted by HIV,” said AFC President/CEO John Peller. “At the biggest annual HIV awareness event in Chicago, we want to make it clear that new HIV infections can be a thing of the past if we put the right resources in the right places — including AFC and our 35 CommunityDirect partners.”

The 35 CommunityDirect partners that will raise funds through this year’s event will receive 90% of all money raised by their teams. Last year, the 32 CommunityDirect teams raised a combined $270,000.

The aim of the event — and the CommunityDirect program — is to support HIV/AIDS programs and services across Chicago, particularly in neighborhoods most affected by the epidemic.

“There are uncertain times ahead for many human services providers in Illinois,” said Simone Koehlinger, Senior Vice President of Programming. “AIDS Run & Walk Chicago  brings funds and awareness to organizations having a significant impact on the HIV community — organizations that are making communities healthier and stronger.”

The CommunityDirect partners serving the South Side are Black Methodists for Church Renewal, COIP/UIC School of Public Health, Greater Full Gospel Pentecostal Church, Men & Women in Prison Ministries, Michael Reese Research & Education Foundation and the University of Chicago (Care2Prevent).

Those serving the North Side are Asian Human Services, Center on Halsted, Chicago House and Social Service Agency, Howard Brown Health Center and Test Positive Aware Network (TPAN).

CommunityDirect partners on the West Side include the Austin CBC Initiative, CALOR, Children’s Place Association, Erie Family Health Center, Mount Sinai Hospital, New Age Services, Project Vida, Puerto Rican Cultural Center (Vida/SIDA) and Taskforce Prevention and Community Services.


Organizations that provide citywide services are the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, AIDS Legal Council of Chicago, Alexian Brothers Housing and Health Alliance, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago, Chicago Black Gay Men’s Caucus, Chicago Recovery Alliance, Chicago Women’s AIDS Project, FCAN, Heartland Health Outreach, Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health (ICAH), The Night Ministry, Pediatric AIDS Chicago Prevention Initiative, Ruth M. Rothstein CORE Center and Season of Concern.


And finally, AFC is proud to partner with organizations that serve people outside of Chicago: Canticle Ministries, Open Door Clinic and Youth Outlook.


Event registration is $40 in advance for 5k walkers and $50 for 5k or 10k runners. To register as an individual or as a team, or to donate to a CommunityDirect team, visit or call 312-334-0946. Online registration ends Sept. 20

Put your foot down to end new HIV infections

To give both AIDS Run & Walk Chicago participants and HIV advocates a way to express their demand for better support for HIV prevention and services, AFC is leading a social media campaign from now through Sept. 26 that invites people to “put their feet down” for the cause.

Participants are invited to print a template and write the reason they “put their foot down” to change the epidemic. They can then take a photo of the template with their foot, post to their social media platforms with the hashtag #aidsrunwalkchicago and share it with their communities. More information about the campaign and a link to the template can be found at


Out in the Park Six Flags Chicago


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 “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 “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
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


New gay boy in town …By Sebastian Saenz

new gay boy in town sebastian saenz

A few days after I arrived to the windy city, a friend of mine told me that Chicago has the advantages of big cities, without it actually being to big and chaotic. Also that it is beautiful and the gay scene not too complicated; and so far he has been right. I got here a month ago from Mexico City, and so far my expectations have not been let down. I actually visited this city a couple years ago for St. Patrick’s Day weekend, and I have great memories from those crazy days, but this time it’s different since I intend to stay for a few months, looking for a change in my life.

I’ve actually been privileged and visited and even lived in some of the most exciting and multicultural cities in the world: London, Paris, Berlin, Florence, Lima, Cancun, Oslo, New York, and of course, Mexico City, just to name a few. And even though I love the beach for quiet vacations every now and then, and I am capable of camping for a few weeks, I have to admit I’m a city boy. I love the people, the night life, the culture, the history, the food, the streets, the fashion… So, of course, I am having a lot of fun adapting to this city.

Of course Chicago has a lot to offer to everybody, tourists and locals. Seems a bit unnecessary to mention Millennium and Lincoln parks, the zoos, the museums, the shops, the baseball and hockey games, the theaters, the river, the breathtakingly tall buildings, and of course, the deep dish pizza and the hot dogs. However, I must confess, I come from a blessed place in terms of weather, and this June has been a roller coaster, and I’ve been told to get ready for a very cold winter if I am still here by then.

But let’s get to the point, the scene: Soho, Les Marais, The Pink Zone, Castro, WeHo… and now we have Boystown and Andersonville. Gay districts all over the world have become famous for welcoming our community, offering friendly entertainment and nightlife options that satisfy our taste of music and people. And I could not have arrived to Illinois in a better time of the year for my community, since June is Pride month, and expectations have been exceeded. The gay scene in Chicago has given me some interesting perspectives.

Obviously the locals are gorgeous, and the variety is immense: twinks, bears, daddies, redheads, Middle Eastern, Caucasian, Black, Hispanic, athletic, jocks, preppy, trashy, trendy, and the list goes on. But this has gone beyond: an unintentional social experiment. In some ways Chicago hardly differs from other cities in the Western hemisphere. We all wear Calvin Klein and Banana Republic, we all smell of Abercrombie and Paco Rabanne, we all dance to RiRi and Madge, we all drink beer and Cosmos, and we all use Grindr. However, some differences have appeared too. Chicagoans do not dress up as much to go out dancing, they are more into Hip Hop (not my favorite style), and are a bit more aggressive when it comes to… let’s say getting numbers (not that I’m complaining, but maybe I’m more used to Mexico’s more timid approach).

Even though in Mexico we celebrate Pride every last Saturday of June, I had no idea Chicago made a month out of it. Parties, festivals and special events throughout the whole month have been vast and fun. Pride Month was everything I could have asked for, with maybe some extra harnesses. I loved that the parade was not only for fun, but that actual activist groups (such as police men, politicians, NGOs, judges and families) were present, raising civic participation. All the festivities were organized, clean and amusing. And of course, we all had to celebrate the now national possibility to walk down the aisle.

Chicago has been welcoming, and a great experience so far. I really hope to find ways to stay longer. It is, without a doubt, a city that offers everything, no matter your background. I definitely made the correct decision coming here, and most people that have visited this city might agree with me. So, for those who have not come, put it at the top of the To Do pile.


Kit Kat Lounge Benefit June 16

Water With Blessings Fundraiser at Kit Kat Lounge and Supper Club 

Dine, Drink and Donate to Benefit Nepal’s Earthquake Victims 

Tuesday, June 16         6-8 p.m.        $20 donation

Kit Kat Lounge and Supper Club invites you to drink, dine and donate to those affected by the earthquakes in Nepal. On Tuesday, June 16, the Lakeview-located restaurant will offer an Effen vodka hosted bar and passed hors-d’oeuvres from 6-8 p.m. to benefit Water With Blessings, an organization that is dedicated to bringing clean water to families in Nepal. The minimum participation fee is $20 per person (tickets available at the door). For every $30 the charity receives, they will be able to provide three needy families with a water filtration system.For more information, visit or contact Kit Kat at 773-525-1111.

Kit Kat Lounge & Supper Club
3700 N. Halsted Street
Chicago, Illinois 60613

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 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 House Spring Fashion Brunch


A sell-out year after year, the Spring Brunch and Fashion Show is an annual rite for Chicago House supporters and sponsors alike. After a lavish brunch,  attendees  were treated with a  runway fashion show  featuring  exclusive men’s and women’s fashions from local greats.


In the early years of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the US, nearly 100 activists met at the historic Baton Show Lounge to address the dire need for housing for Chicagoans living with AIDS. On September 9, 1985, Chicago House was incorporated in Illinois as not-for-profit the goal of providing housing for those with AIDS.

FOR 30  YEARS  Chicago House and Social Service agency  has served individuals and families who are disenfranchised by HIV/AIDS, LGBTQ marginalization, poverty, homelessness, and/or gender nonconformity by providing housing, employment services, medical linkage and retention services, HIV prevention services, legal services and other supportive programs.


Please visit  their site and be sure to LIKE them on Facebook!


Chicago Pride Fest Entertainment Announced!

chicago pride fest 2015 boystown

TWO DAYS and LOTS of Entertainment!

‘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


PLUS – the party continues

MONDAY  JUNE 22nd  5pm- 10pm

PRIDE SPLASH!  @  Hurricane  Harbor!


Gay Queer Contra Dance Chicago April 25th

Queer Contra Dance Chicago will hold its next dance on Saturday, April 25 2015 from 6:00-9:00pm in the community hall at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church of Logan Square, located at 2649 N. Francisco Ave, Chicago, near the Blue Line Logan Square stop.

Contra dance is a form of folk dance, similar to square dancing, but with lines of dancers rather than squares. This dance will feature live music by Common Taters performing dance music from the British Isles. The caller will be Maggie Jo Saylor.

Admission to Queer Contra is a sliding scale of $ 0-10, payable at the door. No advance planning or experience is needed and no one will be turned away for lack of funds. Everyone, gay, straight and in-between is welcome! Potluck snack and beverages encouraged. For more information, contact the new organizers Stephen Ulrich at and Das Janssen ( or

SCHEDULE FOR Saturday April 25:
6-6:30pm             LESSONS FOR NEWCOMERS
8:30-9pm             POTLUCK REFRESHMENTS

We think Contra Dancing is a great way to have fun, stay active physically, and connect socially. And we have some great people who help make this all happen. It’s a welcoming, diverse community and we hope you can join us.  Additionally, Pastor Erik Christensen, St. Luke’s Lutheran Church of Logan Square adds: “St. Luke’s firmly believes that music and all the arts build community across lines of difference by bringing people together in an environment of creativity, self-expression, and joy.  We’re proud to have queer contra dancing coming to St. Luke’s, and excited to see how we can be part of supporting a diverse, inclusive neighborhood.”

We organizers are currently making arrangements for a dance on May 30 as well, and will provide additional information on that as details become available.

MORE ABOUT CONTRA DANCE: Contra dance is a centuries-old New England folk dance tradition. It’s the rowdy red-headed stepchild of English country dance (the kind of dancing you see in Jane Austen movies). Contra dancing is done to live traditional fiddle music in a variety of styles, from lilting Celtic-inspired tunes to rollicking bluegrass. All dances are taught by a caller, who “calls out” instructions throughout the dance. Queer contra dance takes the traditional division of the dance into “gentlemen” and “ladies” and gives it a queer twist. Instead of gender roles, dancers choose whether or not to wear an armband, which determines their role. (If you’re curious, the “armband” role corresponds to the traditional gentleman’s or leader’s role, but there’s not much difference between the two roles.) The caller uses the term “armbands” or “bands” to refer to the dancers wearing armbands, and “barearms” or “bares” (no, not bears) to indicate those without armbands. (Description courtesy of Lavender Country and Folk Dancers –

WARHOL Wonka Ball April 10


Come claim your 15 minutes of fame at About Face Theatre’s annual gala WONKA BALL:

WARHOL, where guests are invited to step into Warhol’s infamous factory for one night only. This year’s highly-anticipated soiree takes place Friday, April 10, 2015 at 8 pm (VIP Cocktail Reception at 7 pm) at Moonlight Studios, 1446 W. Kinzie St. in Chicago.


WARHOL will celebrate the pop art icon and his cadre of superstars, celebrities and subjects. Guests are invited to experience live, Warhol-inspired art-making by Matthew Lew, JoJo Baby and Edgewater Workbench, short experimental films by Warhol and contemporary Chicago filmmakers, a punch-out prize wall, a photo booth and more. Guests will also enjoy fantastic food with catering by Wolfgang Puck, delicious drinks and stellar silent and live auctions, including a three-night stay in Key West.

Join Chicago’s celebrated center for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and ally arts (LGBTQIA) as it celebrates its 19th year on this unforgettable evening. Tickets are currently available at or by calling (773) 784-8565.
VIP Cocktail Reception

Join About Face for an exclusive VIP Cocktail Reception beginning at 7 pm, guests will enjoy early access to the venue, specialty cocktails, an exclusive raffle with complimentary raffle tickets, culinary treats, live entertainment and a VIP gift bag. The reception will be hosted by the evening’s honorary co-chairs and members of the AFT Board of Directors.


WONKA BALL: WARHOL Honorary Co-Chairs include AFT Artistic Associate Precious DavisJohn Dalton and Kristen Kaza.


Proceeds from WONKA BALL: WARHOL will support About Face Theatre’s award-winning mainstage programming, new play development series and nationally-recognized educational program. Since 1995, About Face has created exceptional, innovative, and adventurous plays that advance the national dialogue on gender and sexual identity and have entertained and challenged audiences in Chicago, across the country and around the world. Support from Wonka Ball enables About Face to thrive as Chicago’s celebrated center for LGBTQIA arts; an inclusive home where diverse artists, youth, audiences and community partners come together for artistic exchange and cultural dialogue.




Date: Friday, April 10 from 8 pm – 11 pm;  VIP Cocktail Party at 7 pm

Location: Moonlight Studios, 1446 W. Kinzie St. in Chicago

Tickets: General admission: $150 (Early Bird Special $125 through March 13, 2015). VIP Cocktail Reception: $200 (Early Bird Special $175 through March 13, 2015). Additional sponsorship packages are available. Tickets currently available at or by calling (773) 784-8565.



Catering: Wolfgang Puck Catering. Liquor: AbsolutAngels EnvyGoose Island and Sidetrack. Event furniture: Cort. Photo booth: Red Weddings. Restaurant Partners: Wow BaoGarrett PopcornHamburger Mary’sCabot CheeseInsomnia CookiesYo Soy!, Swirlz Cupcakes, Mariano’sRique’s ChicagomEATDS Tequila and Do-Rite Donuts. Key West vacation: Historic Key West Inns.


About Face Theatre creates exceptional, innovative, and adventurous plays to advance the national dialogue on gender and sexual identity, and to challenge and entertain audiences in Chicago, across the country, and around the world.


Andersonville is TOP Neighborhood in Chicago

andersonville chicago illinois

ACCORDING  TO  CURBED CHICAGO….If you’re looking to buy a home in Chicago this year, real estate listing and brokerage site Redfin says that Andersonville will be the neighborhood to watch.

According to the site’s latest top ten list of hottest neighborhoods in the country, Andersonville is the hottest in Chicago and the seventh hottest in the country.

The pick marks a departure from the last two years, when Redfin chose the quickly gentrifying Logan Square (2013) and Humboldt Park (2014) neighborhoods. Buyers have led this shift, according to Redfin, opting for value over “hipster havens.”  – Frankly – it’s a bit late.  Prices  have already WENT UP  over the last 10 years!  A  bargain  would be hard to find!

Andersonville is a neighborhood in western Edgewater.  At the time of the 2000 United States Census, the proportion of single-sex couples in Edgewater was 6.6% in the 60660 zip code and 8.0% in the 60640 zip code. This compares with the US national average of 1.1%.

Edgewater is home to the Gerber/Hart Library, the largest gay and lesbian library and archives in the Midwestern United States. Kathy (Osterman) Beach (named after a former alderman but historically referred to as Hollywood Beach, referencing Hollywood Ave. where it is situated) is a hugely popular hangout for a diverse community of beachgoers during the summer months. Chicago’s oldest LGBT synagogue, Congregation Or Chadash, is situated in Edgewater.


Center on Halsted & About Face Theatre

center on halsted gay chicago

Center on Halsted & About Face Theatre
                                         STANDING UNDERNEATH NIGHT AND DAY
Many in the LGBTQ community are or have at one point experienced loneliness or isolation because of how they identify. As a community-based organization, Center on Halsted tackles this need through providing programs, services, and space for individuals to commune and live powerfully in supportive inclusive environments.

In a new collaboration with About Face Theatre, Center on Halsted is hosting an OUT FRONT Series performance entitled STANDING UNDERNEATH NIGHT AND DAY, a narrative, theatrical work in progress about youth, seniors and the gaps in between that explores the intergenerational sense of isolation in the LGBTQ community. The piece, led by About Face Theatre Artistic Associate, Kelli Simpkins, uses a collection of 50 interviews conducted over a five month period with intergenerational members of the Chicago LGBTQIA community and those advocating for youth and seniors.

Bruce is one of the dozens interviewed for the project and weighed in on the problem of loneliness in the LGBTQ community.

“As a psychotherapist and social service professional,” he said, “I hear the lament of loneliness almost as much from today’s LGBTQ young people as I did from my own generation. In spite of all the progress we’ve made toward securing our rights, the truth is that many LGBTQ youth continue to experience rejection, ostracism, harassment and violence that is fueled by homophobia.”

Kyla, another interviewee, believes this piece is poised to be inspirational and an agent for change.

“I want this [project] to turn apathetic people outside of the community into spokespeople for what the new idea of normal really is,” she said. “To be normal is to be true to yourself. [This project has the potential to] strengthen the existing community and provide common ground for youth and elders despite differences.”

Eric, who was also interviewed, agrees and sees conversation as integral to bridging community. In his experience, “life continues on, love always has a way to find you, and community will always back you up in times of strain.”

Center on Halsted and About Face Theatre invite you to join us in community, learn from our collective experiences, and combat loneliness in OUT FRONT: STANDING UNDERNEATH NIGHT AND DAY.\

$10  suggested   donation

January 24th @ 7:00 p.m.
January 25th @3:00 p.m.
Center on Halsted
Reserve your seats today 

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.


LGBTQ Homeless Youth Chicago

750 club chicago LGBT youth

Apartment Adoption Project starts for      homeless Chicago youth

The 750 Club Apartment Adoption Project is launching this week in Chicago to provide private apartments for youth moving out of transitional housing. The project was initiated at the LGBTQ Homeless Youth Summit hosted earlier in 2014 by Windy City Times newspaper.

The 750 Club aims to provide additional scattered-site housing to unstably housed youth who are in school or working at least part-time. There will be a special focus on LGBTQ youth, but the program is not exclusive.

Studies show that stable housing is a basic necessity to maintain health and safety. Without it, youth have difficulty attending school, finding and keeping jobs, eating right, staying healthy, and more.

The 750 Club will address this issue by raising funds for private “adoption” of apartments. Existing homeless youth agencies and their case manager programs will provide supportive services to the residents. The program will cover young adults ages 18 to 25, or emancipated minors.

Every $750 raised will get approximately one youth in one apartment for one month.

Team Captains who agree to recruit 10 people to each give $75 a month for two years will have adopted one apartment for one youth for two years, which is the average minimum time agencies recommend for stabilizing a formerly homeless young person.

“This is an amazing, one-on-one way our community can make a difference in the lives of at-risk youth,” said Tracy Baim, publisher of Windy City Times. Baim is overseeing the project, and is seeking help from team captains willing to recruit friends to commit to raising $75 each for two years. “A small group of just 10 people can change the world of one youth. The case managers will handle the logistics, but we also help to provide mentorship opportunities as well.”

All funds raised will be collected and administered by the AIDS Foundation of Chicago’s (AFC) housing program, so all donations will be tax deductible. Agencies who utilize scattered-site youth housing options will then apply for the use of the funds.

“AFC has the infrastructure to pay rents on behalf of residents, and we coordinate services for over 750 supportive housing residents each month,” said John Peller, president & CEO of AFC. “The 750 Club is a cost-effective extension of our existing programs that will help youth, including LGBTQ youth, a population that is highly vulnerable to HIV. We are grateful for Tracy’s leadership to address a serious, long-standing community need.”

The donation categories are:

Bronze: $75 one time – House one youth for three days

Silver: $75 per month for 10 months – House one youth for one month

Gold: $75 per month for 24 months – Partnered with nine others, you will house one youth for two years

Platinum: $750 a month for 6 months – You will house one youth for six months

Titanium: $750 per month for 24 months – You will house one youth for two years

Online donations and monthly pledges can be done via the AFC website, .

For landlords interested in donating the use of an apartment at no or low-cost, please contact Baim to discuss options. Email:

Note: The average studio apartment rented through the agencies is $750 a month. The 750 Club will use this as the target goal to raise funds for two-year leases for youth who are working through agencies to find stable, long-term housing. In some cases it might be a two-bedroom apartment at average rent of $1500. Because this is an average number, in some cases the funds will help more than one youth, and in others additional money will be needed. Any extra funds will roll over into additional apartment rentals.



FREE Hiv Tests at Chicago Walgreens June 27th


As part of its ongoing commitment to fight HIV/AIDS, Walgreens is collaborating with Greater Than AIDS to help offer free HIV testing in support of National HIV Testing Day, June 27.

Free testing provided by health departments and AIDS service organizations will be available to the public with no appointment necessary at 27 Walgreens stores in Chicago. For more information, including a complete list of participating Walgreens locations, visit


What:             Free HIV testing, no appointment necessary

When:             Thursday, June 26, 3-7 p.m.

Friday, June 27, 3-7 p.m.

Saturday, June 28, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Where:           27 locations in Chicago including:

  • 151 N. State St., Chicago, IL 60601 – phone: 312-863-4249
  • 5401 S. Wentworth Ave., Chicago, IL 60609 – phone: 773-268-5664
  • 2340 W. Madison St., Chicago, IL 60612 – phone: 312-226-7913
  • 953 W. Irving Park Rd., Chicago, IL 60613 – phone: 773-935-6414
  • 1554 E. 55th St., Chicago IL 60615 – phone: 773-667-1177
  • 3405 S. King Drive, Chicago, IL 60616 – phone: 312-326-4058
  • 2924 E. 92nd St., Chicago, IL 60617 – phone: 773-721-6603
  • 11 E. 75th St., Chicago, IL 60619 – phone: 773-224-1211
  • 8628 S. Cottage Grove Ave., Chicago, IL 60619 – phone: 773-651-8500
  • 3401 W. Roosevelt Road, Chicago, IL 60624 – phone: 773-542-1232
  • 3800 W. Madison St., Chicago, IL 60624 – phone: 773-826-1817
  • 7410 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60626 – phone: 773-743-6784
  • 6330 S. King Drive, Chicago, IL 60637 – phone: 773-324-8500
  • 5440 N. Clark St., Chicago IL 60640 – phone: 773-596-5022
  • 833 W. 115th St., Chicago, IL 60643 – phone: 773-568-4034
  • 5222 W. Madison St., Chicago, IL 60644 – phone: 773-287-0380
  • 1601 N. Milwaukee Ave. Chicago, IL 60647 – phone: 773-342-9161
  • 2015 E. 79th St., Chicago, IL 60649 – phone: 773-734-2492
  • 7109 S. Jeffery Blvd., Chicago, IL 60649 – phone: 773-665-8990
  • 912 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago, IL 60657 – phone: 773-665-8990
  • 2817 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60657 – phone: 773-327-6119
  • 3046 N. Halsted St., Chicago, IL 60657 – phone: 773-325-0413
  • 3201 N. Broadway St., Chicago, IL 60657 – phone: 773-327-3591
  • 3245 N. Halsted St., Chicago, IL 60657 – phone: 773-248-3160
  • 111 S. Halsted St., Chicago, IL 60661 – phone: 312-463-9142
  • 522 Torrence Ave., Calumet City, IL 60409 – phone: 708-868-5669
  • 12854 S. Ashland Ave., Calumet Park, IL 60827 – phone: 708-239-1136

Why:               According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 1.1 million people nationwide are living with HIV/AIDS.  Yet, one in six do not know they are HIV/AIDS positive.1


Early diagnosis and treatment can improve health, extend life and help to prevent the spread of the disease. In fact, people with HIV who take prescribed medication regularly reduce the risk of transmitting the virus by as much as 96 percent.2


Community pharmacists at Walgreens HIV-specialized pharmacies are specially trained to provide continued support to meet the unique needs of HIV-positive patients. Walgreens HIV-specially trained pharmacists can help patients better manage their health by encouraging patients to take medications as prescribed and providing tips related to coping with barriers to care.


IGNITE Chicago Rooftop Party for AFC May 16th


Light our fight. Ignite our future.

Igniting our 30th year of service –

AIDS Foundation of Chicago

IGNITE  Fantastic Rooftop party coming May 16th!

Open bar, delectable world fare and dancing. Guests will also enjoy live glass artistry, roof-top views of the sunset over the skyline, and chances to win Luxury Vacation Packages in our raffle.

Friday, May 16 – 6-9PM  |  Tickets: $185

Ignite Glass Studio – Map
401 North Armour Street
Chicago, Illinois 60642

Valet parking will be available upon arrival at 401 North Armour Street. 




Legacy Project Teams with Equality House to Showcase LGBT Contributions

Victor Equality House

This coming weekend, the Legacy Project will officially unveil its first-ever satellite-installation at Equality House in Topeka,Kansas – across the street from the infamous Westboro Baptist Church.

The event is part of a series of planned weekend festivities — following GLSEN’s National “Day of Silence” on April 11th — to protest the bullying and harassment faced by Lesbian, Gay,Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) students and their supporters.

            The grand opening of the Legacy Project installation at Equality House will begin with a two-hour reception starting at noon on Saturday April 12th. Following the open house, those gathered will join the anti-bullying march to the Kansas State Capital, sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Church.

            “We’re very proud and excited to be part of this important occasion,” said Victor Salvo, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Legacy Project in making the announcement. “This ground-breaking initiative in America’s heartland is a natural extension of our continuing mission to redress the redaction of LGBT figures and events from history, which is central to the Legacy Project’s comprehensive strategy to challenge the ignorance which fuels anti-gay bullying.”

            The partnership with Equality House began in the spring of 2013 when the Legacy Project honored Aaron Jackson for his bold and pioneering work in creating Equality House. After touring the Legacy Walk in person, Jackson proposed the Legacy Project’s first-ever exhibit outside of Chicago be located at Equality House in the shadow of the Westboro Baptist Church – renowned world-wide for its unbridled anti-gay hatred and “God Hates Fags” mantra. After nearly a year of planning, the installation of the new permanent display in Kansas was completed in mid-March 2014.

            “Most people learn about people like themselves all the time,” said Salvo. “But the selective editing done to the lives of LGBT historic figures forces LGBT youth to grow up without any historically significant role models – leaving them unaware of the contributions people just like them have been making for centuries, unable to see that they are among the newest generation of a long line of gifted people who have made a difference in the world we all share.”

            “Public ignorance about the accomplishments of LGBT people forces sexual minorities to exist in a void – socially isolated, culturally marginalized, without historical relevance, and subject to the political and cultural biases that permeate our society — leaving them vulnerable to the violence such ignorance can incite.”

            “Recent statistics have revealed that every hour fifty (50) teens attempt suicide in the United States. The majority of them are LGBT youth bombarded by the message that they are ‘less than’ others,” continued Salvo. “That is why the Legacy Project is urgently committed to making sure our kids know that people like them matter – and have always mattered – even if nobody has ever bothered to tell them. The significance and symbolism of bringing that message to the doorstep of the Westboro Baptist Church – of all places – should be lost on no one.”

            The Legacy Project is funded entirely by donations. Its permanent exhibit at Equality House will be open to the public year-round, free of charge.

            Included in the Equality House installation in Topeka are tributes to:

            Jane Addams | Social Justice Pioneer

            Bayard Rustin | Civil Rights Visionary

            Alan Turing | The Father of Computer Science

            Alexander the Great | King of Macedonia/Greatest Soldier of All Time

            David Kato | Ugandan LGBT Activist/Martyr for LGBT Civil Rights

            Frances Perkins | U.S. Secretary of Labor/Architect of FDR’s “New Deal”

            Fr. Mychal Judge | Roman Catholic Priest/”The Saint of 9/11″

            Leonard Bernstein | Renowned Conductor of the New York Philharmonic

            Sally Ride | First U.S. Woman in Space

            Michelangelo | World Famous Artist and Sculptor

            Tchaikovsky | Legendary Composer

            Barbara Jordan | Iconic U.S. Congresswoman

            George Washington Carver | Renowned Agronomist

            Eleanor Roosevelt | First Lady/Influential Activist and Diplomat

            Two Spirit People | Indigenous North American LGBT People

            Sumner Welles | Asst. Secretary of State/Founder of N.A.T.O.

            Baron Von Steuben | Secretary General of the American Revolutionary War

            Josephine Baker| World War II Hero/U.S. Civil Rights Activist


Living in Lakeview: Who is My Neighbor?

Jewish and Christian Neighbors
presented by
St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Chicago

St. Peter’s is a diverse parish filled with people from all walks of life – gay, straight, married, partnered, single, young, and not-so-young. Wherever you are on your spiritual journey – doubting, full-of-faith, or in between – you are welcome at St. Peter’s. For more information about St. Peter’s, visit

St. Peter’s Episcopal Church is hosting an open discussion between Jewish and Christian people of faith on Sunday, January 26, 2014, at 5:30 p.m. This event is free, open to the public, and will be held in the parish house located at 621 W. Belmont Ave. (near the Belmont and Broadway intersection). The event kicks-off with a welcoming reception at 5:30 p.m.
The event will serve as a means to explore areas of commonality between people of Jewish and Christian faiths, and to develop a greater understanding of how each faith connects to and serves members of the community.  Rabbi David Wolkenfeld of Anshe Sholom B’nai Israel Congregation and The Rev. Dr. Steve Danzey of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church will lead the conversation, and those in attendance will have the opportunity to participate in the dialogue.

Crimes Continue in Boystown – Lakeview

 When will this madness stop? 

Every week, we seem to see more and more crimes, usually late night, in Boystown – Lakeview.  
But when you look at the Historic Crime Trend data from Chicago Tribune, is it really high or not? 
Maybe because we receive our news so fast, it just appears to be growing at record rates.

The first alert connects three attacks by men or groups of men in which a
hammer is used to threaten and/or strike the victim. Included in the
alert is a robbery in the 3000 block of N. Seminary that CWB reported on this morning
The second alert details robberies and purse-snatchings that have been
pulled off by individuals who may be men dressed as women.

This alert is connected to five incidents, four of which have been previously reported on CWB:

• Saturday’s pepper spraying/robbery at Sheffield and Cornelia.

• Saturday’s 7PM attack outside of Berlin nightclub, 954 W. Belmont.

• Yesterdays  incidents at Cornelia and Racine as well as the one at Belmont and Broadway.

CrimeInBoystown have uploaded the CPD-issued PDF files of these two alerts to our Google Drive for download. Alert 1 here and alert 2 here.

OUT IN THE PARK raises $11,000 for Chicago House

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You! To so many people who were involved in making Out in the Park at Six flags Great America 2013 a huge success.  alone, could not make this event happen without the help and support from our peers.  Our media sponsors  Stacy  Bridges and Mark Nagle from GRAB Magazine,  Mark Mariucci from QUEST Magazine in Wisconsin, Bill Pritchard and the staff of and the staff of  Zona Rosa Magazine all donated thousands of dollars in advertising, well exceeding our expectations  and everyone really pitched in and went above and beyond!  And a huge thanks to Mini Cooper of Chicago, our co-producer.


We always say, It takes a village to pull this off. This is not the Michael and Derrick show. It’s a community effort coming together for the greater good.  And an All Inclusive event. Almost   5,000 people came out this year to support the event and were so grateful. Six Flags Great America is willing to give our community an entire private Sunday 11am to 6pm but we have to deliver 10,000 attendees-we will get to that point-we’re determined to make it happen, that is the end all goal and feel  our community is ready to support an all day private event.

We all need to find our own ways to serve; our own ways to give back.  Our business on its own cannot write a big check to charity. However, we have a sizable network within our business, the relationship resources, strong partners and advocates, and ideas to collaborate and bring the community together – and all help write this year’s check, for almost $11,000!!  This check is not from – it’s from the  ENTIRE community. We were just the instruments to  help make it all happen.


Thanks  to Jess Godwin and Isaiah Grass for their super live vocal performances.  Teri Yaki, Debbie Fox and Cyon Flare all helped entertain the crowds.  DJ Matthew Harvat always delivers a great evening of music and this year Scarlet’s Scotty T and Team Scarlet got the evening off and running with a bang. Walgreens helped spread the word this year through many of their stores.  Scarlet, Taverna 750, Charlies and Lucky Horseshoe also helped with promotions and support.

Thank you to all of the volunteers and brand ambassadors who helped us spread the word. And most of all – thank you to YOU WHO BOUGHT THE TICKETS and came out and had a great time!


It is a huge risk to orchestrate an outdoor event a year in advance in the Midwest.  Thankfully, we had  a gorgeous Fall day.  Kohls had bought out the park for the next day for employees and their families, the temperature dropped dramatically and it rained and rained hard most of the day. How lucky we were that was not our day this year, we would have been very negatively affected.


Six Flags Great America also did an amazing job of emptying the park in a record 45 minutes. They closed to the general public at 7pm and were able to allow us to begin entering at 7:45pm into an EMPTY park.

We will be doing a similar Gay Days party at Six Flags St. Louis on a Saturday night, June 7, 2014 and we’ll be back to Gurnee next September on a Saturday night for Out In The Park 2014 as well. And we have one more AMAZING party event in the planning stages for 2014, a private, charity-based, Water Park, 12-hour Saturday Night Dance Party in late Winter/early Spring unlike anything the Midwest has ever been able to enjoy before….stay tuned for all the details.

Friend us, Follow us, LIKE  us – to get all of the updates as they happen.


Michael Snell

Derrick Sorles


Howard Brown Health Center Opens Aris Health

  Howard Brown Health Center (HBHC) is pleased to announce the opening of Aris Health by Howard Brown Health Center,
its new facility which provides comprehensive, primary healthcare and
support services for the entire community – regardless of its ability to


Brown Health Center is focused on creating a patient-centered medical
home for everyone in the community,” said Karma Israelsen, interim
president and CEO of Howard Brown Health Center. “We have designed a
health center that is excellent in every way. Aris Health, the newest
location that is part of the HBHC family, demonstrates our focus and
priority on providing quality healthcare for all.”


in the heart of Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood at 3245 N. Halsted,
Aris Health offers 9 exam rooms, and increase accessibility as a
standalone, street-level building with free on-site parking. Aris Health
will implement a patient-centered care model which ensures that
patients are involved in the care they receive from their medical
providers. This comprehensive approach focuses on the whole person,
providing coordinated medical and behavioral health services to meet the
needs of patients.


Health will continue to improve the patient experience and ensure they
receive quality medical care by using new technologies and operating
efficiencies. Through GE’s Developing Health™, a program launched in
Chicago in 2011 to increase access to quality healthcare through
skill-based volunteering, GE employees trained staff in strategies
designed to increase patient flow and reduce wait times. They also
helped prepare for the site opening. “Community health care centers
provide essential services and increase access to quality health care at
the local level,” said Linda Fiore, executive champion, Developing
Health Chicago. “We take our volunteer commitment to our community
partners very seriously.”


addition to new technology, Aris Health includes an on-site Walgreens
Pharmacy for patients to receive readily accessible prescription
medication. Walgreen’s has been a committed strategic health partner of
Howard Brown Health Center for more than 30 years. “The Walgreens
Pharmacy at Aris Health is part of our expanded network of
community-based health solutions,” said Denise Scarpelli, market
pharmacy director at Walgreens. “We are proud to work with Howard Brown
Health Center to create better health outcomes for their patients.”


new location will expand HBHC’s specialized geriatric care, which is
critical to the community because aging LGBT members have difficulty
accessing culturally appropriate healthcare. HBHC’s board-

geriatrician and Medical Director Magda Houlberg, M.D. will continue
working with patients and lead the Aris Health team.  Aris Health will
also carry on HBHC’s tradition and specialization in lesbian, gay,
bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) health.


are thrilled that Aris Health will allow us to serve everyone in the
community, regardless of the ability to pay, in a space designed with
patients in mind,” says Dr. Houlberg. “Our team treats each patient as a
part of the HBHC family, ensuring a welcoming, comfortable environment.
The new space will enable us to continue our important work, and serve
more patients in need.”


addition to the support given by Walgreen’s and GE, members of
Chicago’s artist community donated artwork to be displayed in the new
space.  Gethsemane Garden Center donated landscaping services to create a
garden upon entering the facility.


Aris Health will be open Monday, Wednesday thru Friday
from 9a to 5p and Tuesdays from 10a to 7p.  The Walgreen’s Pharmacy
will also operate during these times. For more information, call 773.296.8400


Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame To Induct 14 Individuals and 2 Organizations

Fourteen individuals and two
organizations will be inducted Nov. 12 into t
he Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of
Fame, the country’s only known government-sponsored hall of fame that honors
members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities.


The inductees were selected by a
committee composed of former inductees, which reviewed nominations submitted by
members of the public. The names were released by Friends of the Chicago Gay
and Lesbian Hall of Fame, a section 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.


The chosen nominees will be
inducted at the Hall of Fame’s annual ceremony, which will take place from 5:30
p.m. until 7 p.m. on Tuesday,
Nov. 12,
at the Chicago History
Museum, 1601 N. Clark St., Chicago. A reception begins at 5:30 p.m., and the
program is scheduled for 6 p.m
. The event is free and open to the


Mary F. Morten, a respected
Chicago women’s- and LGBT-rights activist and a former LGBT mayoral liaison
under Mayor Richard M. Daley, was recently elected as the new
co-chairperson of Friends of the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame. 
“I’m excited to step into this role as co-chair,” she said, “and I look forward
to supporting an institution that has consistently recognized the best and the
brightest from our communities and our allies. This year’s inductees are no


“We welcome the 2013 inductees’ addition,” said Israel
Wright, executive director of the Friends organization. “It continues to show
how the important contributions from our LGBT communities and from our friends
pave the way for the future. It is humbling to recognize each inductee’s
special efforts to create change in ways that affect us all so greatly.”


of Fame inductees fall into one of three categories: “individual,” “organization,”
or “friend of the community.” Nominees represent all of Chicago’s
sexual-minority communities, including LGBT Chicagoans, past, present, living,
and dead, as well as those who have supported or assisted them.

Those honored in 2013 are:



B. Alcaraz,
42, for almost 20 years of work on behalf of
women’s reproductive freedom, the interests of African American lesbian and
bisexual women, adolescent health, and other social concerns. She was a founder
of Affinity Community Services, a South Side social-justice group, and is the
Chicago Abortion Fund’s executive director.


L. Alexander,
63, for his contributions to Chicago cultural and
other nonprofit institutions, including LGBT- and HIV/AIDS-related
organizations, through board service, advice, and leadership and through
directing philanthropic support. He is co-trustee of The Elizabeth Morse
Charitable Trust and the Elizabeth Morse Genius Charitable Trust.


L. Bennett,
48, for his leadership in the nonprofit
community and a career as a comedic writer and performer.  He has fought
for social justice in the United Methodist Church and through other groups.   He has written and performed in 14
sketch- comedy revues and appears and emcees at radio and staged events.
 He is the Midwest regional director for Lambda Legal.  


41, for 16 years of social-service activism,
organizing, and leadership in LGBT Latina/o and HIV/AIDS organizations locally
and nationally, as well as in the Chicago leather community. He is director of
programs and services for Vida/SIDA, a Latina/o AIDS  service organization in Chicago.


J. Claps,
52, for public service in political and government
roles as an openly gay man and for advancing LGBT rights goals. He began on
Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan’s staff in 1987, worked in federal and
Democratic National Committee positions during the Clinton administration, and
since 2003 has been director of the Illinois Department of Human Rights.


Johnson, Jr.
(1947–2006), for 23 years as a well-known and
well-regarded North Halsted Street bar owner who led the Northalsted Merchants
Association and other neighborhood groups, instituted and promoted local
festivals, sponsored sports leagues and events, and lent and recruited support
for a wide array of LGBT nonprofit organizations and pro-LGBT politicians.


A. Newell II,
64, for his community service in Chicago from 1976
to 2001. He led the financial revival and growth of Gay Horizons (an early
precursor of today’s Center on Halsted); documented local events, assembling
what is now a Chicago History Museum collection of some 5,000 photos; led the
city’s first LGBT PAC; and was an officer in neighborhood groups.


55, for her community involvement since 1986 as a bartender in numerous
venues, where she has built a loyal customer base, won mixology awards, and
volunteered and raised funds for numerous organizations, while also devoting
countless hours to organizations rescuing and rehoming lost, neglected, and
discarded pet animals, both locally and after Hurricane Katrina.


53, for more than three decades as
a journalist, editor, biographer, lecturer, teacher, and internationally active
arts critic and interviewer in print and electronic media, besides media
advocacy since 1979 for LGBT and HIV/AIDS concerns. A lifelong Chicagoan, he is
critic-at-large for WFMT Fine Arts Radio and contributing critic to the Chicago


46, for generous donor support and board service to
LGBT and non-LGBT organizations, including Lambda Legal, Housing Opportunities
for Women, GayCo Productions, Opportunity Education, and Democratic Party
entities. She has backed ecotourism and, as a part owner of the Chicago Cubs,
is the first openly LGBT owner of a Major League Baseball team.


(1917–1985), a native Chicagoan, for his
contributions to the early days of television and in particular for his
creation of unforgettable puppet characters such as Kukla and Ollie. He
enriched the lives of children and adults through the Kukla, Fran and Ollie
show with co-host Fran Allison, as well as through other performances over five
decades beginning in 1936.


58, for 31 years of producing and directing Chicago and LGBT theater as
well as developing new stage and screen plays, especially through the former
Bailiwick Repertory’s Pride Series and now through Pride Films and Plays. He
has won numerous awards, has directed in cities around the world, and has
helped to enrich LGBT lives and advance social equality.




Lambda Legal, for
the 20 years of groundbreaking, precedent-setting work done by its Midwest
Regional Office since its 1993 establishment in Chicago, involving such local
issues as equal parade participation, HIV and fertility-treatment insurance
coverage, real-estate discrimination, adoption rights, and student organizing
rights, plus participation in critical national litigation.


POW-WOW (once
formally known as Performers or Writers for Women on Women’s Issues, Inc.), for
10 years of offering an open and affirming space for women, especially those of
color, to create and present artistic performances and writing, as well as
helping women and girls re-entering society to develop artistic careers and
providing socially relevant, arts-based literacy programs.

“Friend of
the Community” Category


Neil Steinberg, 53, for 26 years as a Chicago
writer or columnist who has repeatedly portrayed LGBT lives and
social-justice issues while insightfully commenting on them. His work has
contributed to better public understanding and has often been produced when
issues were more unpopular than now, such as human-rights laws in the 1980s and
marriage rights in 1996.


Brenda Webb, 60,
executive director of Chicago Filmmakers, for her 32 years of perseverance as
organizer of Reeling, the Chicago LGBT international film festival. Reeling is
said to be the world’s second-oldest such festival and has become a major
cultural event for Chicago’s LGBT communities and the city’s general arts and
culture scene.


The Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame was established in
1991 under the auspices of what was then the Chicago Commission on Human
Relations’ Advisory Council on Gay and Lesbian (later, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual
and Transgender) Issues, a municipal government agency. At the end of 2011, the
advisory council ceased to exist after a commission restructuring, and the
Friends organization succeeded it as caretaker of the Hall of Fame in
partnership with city government.


Beginning with the first ceremony in 1991, former Mayor
Richard M. Daley personally participated in the Hall of Fame’s induction
ceremonies. Current Mayor Rahm Emanuel has continued to do so.


The Hall of Fame’s purpose is to recognize the achievements
of LGBT Chicagoans, their contributions to the development of the city, and the
help they have received from others. In 2013, it holds its 23rd annual
induction ceremony and continues to represent an official recognition by
Chicago’s government of the city’s LGBT residents and their allies.


Those selected for the “individual” category are or were
members of Chicago’s LGBT communities and have made single far-reaching or
significant long-term contributions to the quality of life of those communities
or of the city as a whole. Those in the “organization” category are LGBT
businesses and nonprofit groups that have done likewise. “Friends of the
community” are non-LGBT-identified individuals and organizations that have
contributed to the quality of life of the city’s LGBT communities.


Groupon employees to participate in October 22 Marriage Equality March on Springfield

Groupon has long been a strong supporter of marriage equality in
Illinois. Today they released a video, produced by Groupon employees, to
showcase that support.
We’re also excited to announce that Groupon will be
participating in the March on Springfield, busing interested employees
to the rally that day in support of marriage equality on October 22.
About the March
The March on Springfield for Marriage Equality will take place on Oct. 22, 2013,
the scheduled first day of the fall veto session of the Illinois state
legislature. The “March on Springfield” is part of a broad grassroots
strategy to secure final passage of Senate Bill 10, the “Religious
Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act,” already approved by the Illinois
Senate. Once adopted, Illinois will become the 14th state plus the
District of Columbia, to treat all of its citizens equally under state
marriage laws. For more information, visit


In Loving Memory of Miss Foozie’s Mother

Hello Pineapples,

As a lot of you know Miss Foozies mom didn’t make it
out of ICU and passed away on July 24th. Miss Foozies mom, “Mama
Foozie” was Miss Foozies biggest fan. She attended many events and
totally supported Miss Foozie in every way she could. She was a
wonderful person with a heart of gold like Miss Foozie. Mama Foozie is
now Miss Foozies angel and will help watch over the pineapple patch!

Miss Foozies mom was also his best friend. They were extremely close, and she was Miss Foozies world.

Foozie has decided that since her mother is going to be cremated, that
Miss Foozie wants to purchase a special bench, with his spot also, so he
is next to his mom. The bench with the two spaces is very expensive,
and I wanted to try and help him to reach out to his fans, to make sure
he is able to follow through with this sad part of life.

 Miss Foozie has
been entertaining, loving and and making everyone feel special for 16
years. Lets all come together and help her be able to purchase this, so
he is assured he will be at rest next to his mom on the beautiful bench
she has picked out. No donation is too small, if we all come together
with what we can, we can accomplish this together! 
Thank you all so much
for all your love and support for Miss Foozie, and Thank you for being a
More details for donations at Go Fund Me