Category Archives: Guest Author

Home is Where the Art Is: Queer Ricans

puerto-rican-museum-chicago

As many in the US struggle to understand and accept the LGBT community, join us to discuss the particular challenges faced by LGBT Latinos, as teens and others share their stories and celebrate their culture.

WHAT:  Home is Where the Art Is:  Queer Ricans –  A Conversation with Lawrence La Fountain

WHEN: 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM  October 22, 2016

WHERE: National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture | 3015 West Division Street

The Great Books Foundation, in partnership with several Chicago community organizations, is pleased to present author, scholar and performer Lawrence La Fountain. Raised in Puerto Rico, Mr. La Fountain teaches at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and is featured in the Great Books Foundation’s anthology, Immigrant Voices: 21 Century Stories.

The free, four-hour program will include an interview and Q&A session with Mr. La Fountain, a panel discussion with teens, and an interactive storytelling workshop for the audience, presented by Public Narrative.

The Home is Where the Art Is program is underwritten by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Chicago Personal Trainer Fitness Tips

personal trainers chicago right fit for you

Right Fit for You

Chicago Trainer Pat Charette will be a  new fitness contributor to BestGayChicago.com  with tips  to keep you fit!

For Pat Charette, healthy living is a passion and lifestyle. He helps promote and educate this lifestyle through sports nutrition, training, strength and conditioning, flexibility/mobility, and safe/effective supplementation. In college, Pat earned a degree in Sports Medicine which taught him how to train athletes as well as the general public.

He loves the fitness industry and looks at it as prevention, not treatment. Let Pat help you fully optimize your life! 

personal trainer Patrick Charette

THIS WEEK   on YouTube  he talks  about BURNING  BODY  FAT!  

7 Steps to help with Fat Loss!  of course – it takes  will power  too –  be  he  reveals  some tips  that you may not be doing…..  WATCH

 

The Client/Trainer relationship is very intimate. Personal Trainers not only help their clients get into tip-top shape, but many of them become a client’s friend and someone they confide in and trust. If you aren’t comfortable and can’t truly be yourself with your Personal Trainer, chances are you will not reach your full potential.

“Right Fit for You wasn’t solely created because of a fear of running into a close minded Personal Trainer, but because I wanted to provide the LGBT community with an online marketplace of Personal Trainers that the LGBT community can relate to– no questions asked, no insecurities. At the end of the day, Right Fit for You is all about ensuring a comfortable personal training atmosphere for the LGBT community from beginning to end. Every certified Personal Trainer profiled on Right Fit for You will not only will help you get into shape, but will also identify as LGBT or as a straight ally to the community.”  says  founder  Sam  Provenzano

right fit for you chicago personal trainers

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.

Roundtable Salon with Top Authors

authors roundtable chicago melissa wilson

Join  Melissa G Wilson and Four Great Authors for an Invigorating Evening with the Written Word!

When:  Wednesday, October 15th, 5:30 – 8:00 p.m. 

Where: Space (a most unique connection space!) 444 N Wabash, Chicago, IL, 5th floor


Have you been longing for a fun, more connective way of meeting new people?

Do you like to learn new things in a warm, inviting social setting?

Are you ready for a very unique, interactive experience?

Then you will want attend this first of its kind authors roundtable adventure.

What to Expect

  • You will start by arriving at 5:30 where you will meet me as one of your hosts as well as other hosts who will introduce you around the room to others attending as well as the authors.
  • At 6:00 p.m. We will have a brief introduction to the authors and their tables of conversation around each of their books.
  • At 6:30 you will choose your first table to sit down at. Note that once a table is full you will have to go to one that has openings. At your table you will get the chance to not only listen to the author’s overview of his or her subject but also get to meet the other participants at your table and exchange ideas and ask questions to create great, stimulating conversation.
  • At 7:00 you will again switch to another table of your choice and, once again, meet new people and have create a great exchange of ideas.
  • At 7:30 you will have your third and final opportunity to sit down and converse with an author.
  • From 7:30 – 8:00 we will have an open room conversation sharing the insights and highlights from the authors and you and the other participants.
Note: This event is not just for other writers or people who want to be authors. It’s a social and professional, creative idea-exchange. My goal is to provide an environment where you can experience what I hope will be a more rich and beneficial way to connect to other.
Did I Hear Food and Wine?
We will have a nice amount of both red and white wines as well as water. However, if you wish to drink something else feel free to BYOB (eg your own fun wine or beer to share).
Food? We will have tasty and healthy food (and some sweets) to hopefully satisfy your hunger. It won’t be a heavy dinner but one that we think will be sufficient. Again, if you wish to bring something for yourself that would be just fine and/or something to share.
Charity
Anyone who knows me knows that I am about paying it forward and giving back. So, with this in mind half of the money made this evening will go to a very worthy cause called A Silver Lining Foundation. This organization ensures dignified, respectful and equal access to quality cancer education and services for all and is located right here in Chicago.
Our Great Roster of Authors

Craig S Wilson, Author of Dating for Life (www.datingforlife.com)

John St. Augustine, Author of Notes from the North, Living an Uncommon Life and Every Moment Matter (www.johnstaugustine)
Dan Tepke, Author of Hatching Your Million Dollar Business (www.hatchingyourmilliondollarbusiness.com)
 
Dan Weinfurter, Author of Second Stage Entrepreneurship (www.danweinfurter.com)
Mike Klein, Author of Million Dollar Sales Conversations (www.mikekleinauthor.com)
What’s Next? 
We hope to make this a regular event so let us know what you would recommend to make it even better once you have had the opportunity to experience it!
Maestro of the Event
Melissa G Wilson, Author of Networlding and 15 other books on leadership, networking, social media and publishing (www.networlding.com)
FINAL NOTE! – Only  a few seats available for the optimum connective experience!

 

Justin Jedlica Plastic Surgery Expert and Consultant

justin jedlica

If you could have free plastic surgery, what would you have done?

I think many gay people, especially gay men, pay A LOT of attention to their looks and to their body. Feeling good about yourself and getting compliments on how you look, give a person a boost of self confidence.

If I had the money, there are a number of things I would have done, trust me.

So why do so many judge Justin Jedlica, the human Ken doll,  which by the way, I hate that label.  Justin recently said, “I would say more of my inspiration stems from ‘manga’ or anime. I find that much more appealing in all honestly than a Ken doll. It’s sort of that over-stylized, cartoonish version of human form [that I like]. I have all these haters on my page being like, ‘Does that mean you want to cut off your penis?’ And I’m like actually, I wish it was dragging on the ground like anime. [Laughs] There’s actually this subgroup of people do that—they cut off their nipples and bellybuttons and castrate themselves!”

I have known Justin personally for about 2 years. He is very down to earth, very well traveled and educated. People assume he is a rich spoiled brat when in fact, he comes from a very simple lower middle class background. People who do not know him try to judge him and hate on him. I don’t understand that.

Justin and his husband of 5 years relocated to Chicago last year but Justin finds himself traveling all of time and most of his clients are in New York and Los Angeles naturally, where plastic surgery is more prevalent.

Your body is your temple, and Justin  can act as the architect–your design specialist. From his many years of personal experience within the body modification arena, Justin now retains an arsenal of the most skilled, accredited, cosmetic medical specialists who act with the utmost discretion. Through his discreet referral, consultative and coordinator services, Justin and his team can assure you the most direct and comprehensive route to achieve your desired result (whether subtle or more extreme).

THERE IS A GREAT INTERVIEW THIS WEEK WITH THE DAILY BEAST.

He says, (and I totally agree), “Who are people to tell me that [my surgeries] looks weird? I mean, why is western culture the only correct perception of beauty? That’s just ridiculous. It’s a completely ignorant statement. There seems to be this overwhelming idea that you should be happy with what God gave you or what you were born with. There’s this weird stigma around allowing yourself to feel ownership over your own body and really take charge of how people view it. I don’t understand that at all.”

Don’t Hate! Appreciate!

 

Meet Robert Kingett – Our New Columnist Sharing His Thoughts on being Blind – and Gay – And Dating

Do you ever stop and think about those who are less fortunate than us?  Those who have a harder life than us?  Those who face daily challenges in life? Do you ever give gratitude and thanks for the life you are living?

Meet Robert Kingett: Watching Robert walk into his local college with his red and white cane isn’t amazing.
What is amazing, however, is listening to the story of struggle to success that he so captivatingly tells as a motivational speaker.
Today he is an honors student at The City College of Chicago getting his general transfer degree. He has been on the Deans’ list ever since his first semester ended. He’s always on the honor roll. In his spare time he’s just like any other young adult. Frequent nights at the movies with his friends, an arcade game or two at the local mall, a nice fun trip to the coffee shop where his friends embrace life along with him, or a solitary quiet trip to the library or the bookstore are just a few of the activities that he does amongst his hard work.
Even with the plethora of activities he likes to frequent the bookstore the most.
“I’ve always been a veracious reader… book worm… my audio book count is way higher than my body fat,” he said laughing.
He’s not just a hard worker in college. He’s a hard worker in the literary market. He’s a writer, having published many reviews, literary essays, poems, and accessibility related articles for a wide range of media both print and online. He’s a regular editor for Americascomedy.Com while also maintaining a third hobby of motivationally speaking.
He tells his story at personal bookings that he schedules himself throughout many venues. He tries to speak at schools the most if he can.
Kingett hopes to bring some of the troubles that abused kids endure, and ways to overcome and shine. “I want to inspire others to do way more than I have accomplished!”
Every story has a once upon a time. With the exception of his premature birth, the first six years of Kingett’s life were his most tranquil. Weighing a mere 6 ounces, a hospital error would lead to his disabilities on September 9, 1989.
“They placed me in an incubator because my lungs weren’t developing adequately and they were not monitoring the oxygen level,” he said. “It was too much so it caused me to have cerebral palsy and blindness.”
While his mother visited occasionally, his maternal grandparents raised him in St. Augustine Florida
Even though his grandmother had Alzheimer’s and dementia, he said, “I lived a spoiled life.”
Shortly before his eighth birthday, his grandmother had a stroke and had to go into a nursing home. Shortly after, his grandfather died from cirrhosis of the liver.
He had no idea what he was in store for when he first moved in with his mother and younger half sister and brother.
“I realized it pretty quickly after the first argument between her and her husband that this was not going to be a good situation,” he said. “They were both intoxicated and they got physical and verbal.”
Afterward, she would come into his room.
“She didn’t know how to let that anger go and so she’d turn it on me and my sister,” he said.
Kingett said his mother’s words varied but they often reflected what he believes she really wanted to say to her boyfriends and ex-husband.
If he or his sister ever talked back, she would then get physical he said, slapping them multiple times, and calling them pitiless names. Cries and complaints were not heard as the mother’s intoxication took over.
Sometimes he would hit back, but he said that only made her hit harder.
While the physical abuse happened only about four times a week, the verbal abuse was constant he said, attributing much of it to his mother’s constant alcohol abuse.
Kingett never called the police about the abuse. Even when the police came due to his mother’s domestic violence situations, he would lie to keep her out of jail.
“To me it was normal,” he said. “I was trying to protect the roof I had over my head. Facing the expected was a lot better alternative than going into an unknown foster system.”
Kingett said he feared what life would be like if he was removed from the home by the government. Numerous times, DCF, Department of children and families would have to investigate a suspicious complaint about Kingett or his siblings.
A smart kid, Kingett would ace tests at the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind but he consistently neglected homework.
It was during a meeting with the principal at age 14 when he had his first life changing epiphany.
“I came to the conclusion that if I stayed here, I’m not going to be successful at all,” he said.
At age 16, he began researching how to get his social security disability checks signed over to his name instead of his mother’s. The plan was to take the $625 a month and move out. The research wasn’t easy, as he was also trying not to flunk his classes while the neglect and abuse was still taking place at the home. Eventually, the research was replaced by diligent schoolwork until a year later.
At 17, he called the social security office and was told the only way the money could be signed over to him was to attend a hearing.
“I froze when I was told that because I knew that my mom had to be in on the knowhow,” he said. “I tried to keep it a secret from mom as long as I could but she could see the mail coming in and I could not. When she saw that hearing notice, she became extremely angry because that was I taking her money away. She said, ‘How could I do such a thing. Your sister and I live off that money. That’s how you are able to have a roof over your head.’”
The day of the meeting was a mere week from his 18th birthday.
Kingett said his mother tried to make him look incompetent, telling the social worker that he didn’t know how to clean his own room much less tie his own shoes.
The social worker sided with Kingett, but there was one big problem.
“I couldn’t cash any of it,” he said.
Kingett did not have a bank account, a state id, or even access to his birth certificate.
Once he got home, the violence escalated.
“She hit me so much it knocked me out and into consciousness,” he said. “I had to leave because I didn’t know what was going to happen to me if I stayed there. I grabbed my cane and backpack, threw old dirty clothes in it, and walked out the front door.
Kingett left his home and soon stayed with a family friend, Kevin, until he moved in with a woman named Debra. Knowing Robert had nowhere to go; she offered him a place to stay. Kingett stayed there until his high school graduation.
He graduated in June of 2010.
Graduating high school was only half the battle. Kingett’s plans were to attend a college and pursue his long awaited dream of getting a degree in journalism or English. He needed a way to pay for school, and that’s when the scholarship hunt began.
“I had a really hard time meeting the requirements of a scholarship, any, for that matter.” He said. “My high school grades were not good due to my negligence of school work despite my intelligence, so I had a low grade point average.”
Kingett would apply to many scholarships only to be denied.”
Determined to find a place where he could be independent he scoped the internet hunting for a place to live.
“I admit I can’t cook. I can definitely eat though.” he said laughing. “I needed a place that wasn’t a nursing home, per say, but just a fractional inch more assistance I could use. I have cerebral palsy and there are just some things that I simply need help with.”
After months of looking he found Freedman Place. Friedman Place is a non-profit Supportive Living Community for blind and visually impaired adults in Chicago. Their building has been designed with the needs of the blind and visually impaired in mind. Each resident has a private studio or one-bedroom apartment, with a kitchenette and bathroom. A full range of services and activities is provided so that residents’ days are healthy, dignified, and stimulating
“I needed a place to stay. This place sounded wonderful! That way, flux would be minimal. No more would I ever have to rely on friends.”
Since Kingett has stayed at this helpful place, he can finally let the past go and have a little fun at last.
“It’s not about the horrors I’ve gone through it’s about me overcoming so many things,” he said, attributing his sense of humor to his positive outlook.
His reward comes in the form of emails and postings on his website from students who say their lives were changed by his tale.
“I can’t tell you how awesome it was that I could make someone happier,” he said.
But now that Kingett has secured his present, what is his future dream? “I dream that one day I could be standing in a bookstore at a book signing of my own and knowing in my mind that I have improved so many lives.”
Follow His LGBT Dating Column at our  BEST GAY NEWS site