Gay Queer Chicago’s Alternative Scene Chances Dances and Guerrilla Gay Bar

The Boystown scene is pretty big,
and so is Andersonville.

But there are those who are always seeking something different. Something downtown. Something off the beaten path, something fresh and sexy…..and Chicago offers 2  alternative choices;  CHANCES  DANCES  and  GUERRILLA GAY BAR.

Chances Dances are 3 seperate party nights.

The original incarnation is held every third Monday at Subterranean,
2011 W. North  Ave. Free Dance party.

Danny’s Tavern hosts “Off Chances” each second Tuesday, 1951 W. Dickens. More  laid back, dive-style, dance optional. Free.

The Hideout gays it up every first Saturday, 1354 W. Wabansia. $5 Dance party.

The venues all have one thing in common: Though they are not gay bars, they are all gay-friendly venues, with drinks available on the cheap and a pretension check located just outside the door.

Chances Dances was co-founded in 2004 by Bruce Weist (pictured above, middle) and Latham Zearfross, artists who foresaw a party that would, in the words of the event’s mission, “function to bring together the varied LGBTIQ communities of Chicago.”

“Chances was a really inclusive space where a lot of different people could come together and dance to different kinds of music.  We have a more relaxed and less flashy way of approaching a dance party, whereas at bigger clubs, people feel the need to dress up, spend lots of money and it’s a kind of competitive atmosphere.”

Going into their fifth year, Chance Dances continues to grow.  When the  parties began to generate a profit, the organizers created the Critical Fierceness Grant in 2008, a twice-yearly micro-grant awarded to queer-identified artists as an “opportunity for personal exploration, community development and radical change through art.”

“We saw a lot of people around us creating queer art and we wanted to give these artists an impetus to move their projects along,” said Rita Bacon, another Chances organizer, of the grant.

The next Chances party is at the Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia, on Saturday March 6, featuring DJ sets from John Twatters and Nina Ramone and an interactive performance from Anthony Romero. $5  cover. GET THERE  EARLY!  IT FILLS TO CAPACITY!

Another group of gays in Chicago’s South Loop wanted an alternative to heading North to Boystown. Since there are virtually no gay bars left downtown they started  the roving monthly Guerrilla Gay Bar parties a little over 1 year ago.
Guerrilla Gay Bar: South Loop Chicago is a group dedicated to bring a fun bar atmosphere to the South Loop area of Chicago. Beyond this the goals are open to  members and they expect them to be edited, like a wiki.

The Guerrilla Gay Bar concept has been around for about 10 years, in cities all over the US. In Chicago, a different location is chosen each month. It’s always in a straight, but gay-friendly establishment.

Events are announced about a week out. They don’t want to overwhelm an establishment or be met with an anti-gay slap in the face. “and we don’t want to promote it too heavily…”  says  Scott Feldman, one of the organizers. “part of the charm is mixing in the regular crowd and exposing people who normally wouldn’t be exposed to our community.” If it’s promoted too much in advance, regulars  might stay away.

Their next event –
 GGB @  Franklin Tap

9:00PM Friday, March 12th, 325 South Franklin Street

Events happen the second weekend of each month.
Follow them on Facebook for more details and upcoming events!

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