chicago free press | a common Voice for a Diverse community | april 1, 2010 | Vol. 11, no. 30
THE TOP GAY CARS OF 2010
Ricky Martin Comes Out page 4 Cruising the Options
Bebe ZaharaBenet’s “Drag Race” coverage page 11
“Right as Rain” page 12 page 14
Activist Sherry J. Wolf on the Politics of Change. Pg 6
This week’s Click! in FreeTime page 16
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A Common Voice for a Diverse Community 819 W. Lawrence Ave, 3rd Floor • Chicago, IL 60640 phone (773) 681-0856 fax (773) 681-0857 Publisher David Costanzo managing editor Kerrie Kennedy GRAPHIC DESIGNER Kirk Lyman MUSIC, TV and film EDITOR Gregg Shapiro THEATER EDITOR Larry Bommer FREETIME EDITOR St. Sukie de la Croix ONLINE EDITOR Tony Merevick OPINION COLUMNISTs Jennifer Vanasco Paul Varnell Editorial & PHOTO Contributors Matt Alderton Web Behrens Jessica Bell Brian Kirst Fred Newton Jon Peterson Rick Stuckey
This week in Chicago Free Press News
Nation & World Report Page 4
Interview: Brian Hill Pages 9-10 Live Music Page 13 TV & Film Page 11 Theater Page 12
Midlife Crisis Page 16 Back in the Day Page 17 Bar & Club Guide Page 18 Bar & Club Map Page 20
Local & National Pages 5-6 Opinion: Paul Varnell Page 8 Opinion: Jennifer Vanasco Page 8
Account executives Dave Etz Gary Gangi Michael Koontz National Sales Representative Rivendell Media. Inc.
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a p r il 1, 2 010a p r White contracted AIDS from a tainted transfusion of a blood-clotting agent used to treat his hemophilia. He drew national attention to the plight of children with HIV in the 1980s when as a 13-year-old he was banned from a school near Kokomo. “Life deals us so many strange things,” White-Ginder said. “Ryan was only supposed to live three to six months. I had him five and a half years, which at that time, was an awfully long time for someone to live with AIDS. You do the best you can with what you have. ... It’s hard, but to have this, to have his legacy continue, and have Elton be a part of his life—it’s just so wonderful.”
Pentagon eases enforcement of ban on gays 1
Controversial gay Jesus play canceled STEPHENVILLE—The performance of a play that portrays Jesus as gay has been canceled at Tarleton State University amid what school officials say are “safety and security concerns.” Critics say the Terrence McNally play “Corpus Christi,” which premiered in 1998 in New York, is blasphemous. But the Tarleton student who was directing the production said he chose it to help gay youths who may be struggling with their faith. Security concerns were cited in prompting the university to initially change the start time and restrict attendance for Saturday’s production. Then, last Friday night, the school put a statement on its website saying the professor decided to cancel it due to safety and security concerns. The school said the production will not be rescheduled. Stephenville is about 70 miles southwest of Fort Worth. 1
Ricky Martin comes out of the closet
After years of speculation about his sexual preference, singer Ricky Martin has publicly announced that he’s gay. The “Livin’ La Vida Loca” crooner cited his twin sons—fathered through a surrogate in 2008—as the reason for his revelation. “This is just what I need, especially now that I am the father of two beautiful boys that are so full of light and who with their outlook teach me new things every day,” Martin said on a March 29 post on his website. “These years in silence and reflection made me stronger and reminded me that acceptance has to come from within and that this kind of truth gives me the power to conquer emotions I didn’t even know existed.” In a 2000 interview, Barbara Walters questioned Martin about his sexuality, a decision she says she now regrets. “I pushed Ricky Martin very hard to admit if he was gay or not, and the way he refused to do it made everyone decide that he was,” she told The Toronto Star. “A lot of people say that de2
stroyed his career, and when I think back on it now, I feel it was an inappropriate question.” Martin is the founder of the Ricky Martin Foundation, which supports the education and health of children around the world.
Judge won’t force US district to hold prom JACKSON—A federal judge ruled last Tuesday that a Mississippi school district violated a lesbian student’s rights by refusing to allow her to bring her girlfriend to the prom, but he said he would not force the school to hold the event. The American Civil Liberties Union sued in U.S. District Court to force the Itawamba County school district to sponsor the April 2 prom and allow Constance McMillen to escort her girlfriend and wear a tuxedo. School officials said in court they decided to call off the prom at Itawamba Agricultural High School because McMillen’s challenge to the rules had caused disruptions. U.S. District Judge Glen H. Davidson denied the ACLU’s request for a preliminary injunction. He said he’ll still hold a trial, but he did not set a date, meaning any ruling would likely come too late to have the prom when it was originally scheduled. Davidson did say in his order that the district had violated McMillen’s constitutional rights by denying her request to bring her girlfriend and wear a tuxedo. “We consider this a victory,” said ACLU Mississippi legal director Kristy Bennett. McMillen, who lives with her grandmother and has a 3.8 grade point average, has kept her 16-year-old girlfriend out of the spotlight at the request of the girl’s parents. She has appeared on the “The Early Show,” “The Wanda Sykes Show” and “The Ellen DeGeneres Show’” to talk about how she is fighting for tolerance. The DeGeneres presented her with a $30,000 college schol3
WASHINGTON—The Pentagon made it harder to boot gay men and lesbians out of the military last Thursday, acting on its own while Congress considers President Barack Obama’s goal of lifting the ban on gays serving openly. Defense Secretary Robert Gates approved new rules to ease enforcement of the 1993 congressional ban, saying the changes reflect “common sense and common decency.” The new guidelines, meant to keep the “don’t ask, don’t tell” law from being used to launch witch hunts or settle grudges, represent the first significant step by the administration to address what Obama calls an injustice. The changes would tighten the rules for evidence when someone reports that a soldier is gay and put higher-ranking officers in charge of dismissal proceedings. As for outright repeal of the ban, it is unclear whether there is enough support in Congress. Conservative Democrats have joined Republicans in warning against lifting the ban at a time of two wars, and even the go-slow effort has strong critics in and outside the military. The Pentagon didn’t officially begin tallying discharges until a few years after the law was implemented, and official figures show roughly 11,000 discharged since 1997 with the peak in 2001 before the military became strained by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. 5
arship from Tonic, a digital media company. A Facebook page set up by the ACLU for McMillen has over 400,000 fans.
Elton John to commemorate life of Ryan White INDIANAPOLIS—JeanneWhite-Ginder still gets Christmas cards from singer Elton John nearly 20 years after her son, Ryan White, died of AIDS. The singer befriended White during his public battle for acceptance and plans to perform during a late April event to bene fit the Indianapolis Children’s Museum and John’s AIDS foundation. White is featured prominently in the museum’s “Power of Children: Making a Difference” exhibit. White-Ginder spoke to schoolchildren last Wednesday at the museum, which has preserved contents of her son’s room, including a teddy bear wearing a sparkly vest that the singer gave the teen during a hospital visit. When asked whether she still kept in touch with John, who performed at the teen’s funeral, White-Ginder told the small crowd that the superstar would be coming to Indianapolis next month to lead a celebration of her son’s life. White-Ginder said that as the 20-year anniversary of White’s death approached, she wrote John a letter asking him whether he’d perform in honor of her son, who died April 8, 1990, at age 18. White-Ginder said the singer called her and quickly agreed to participate. The Children’s Museum and EJAF will cohost the April 28 benefit at Clowes Memorial Hall at Butler University. The evening will celebrate White’s life and legacy in education and feature John’ performance, as well as appearances by other celebrities and speakers. Proceeds will benefit the Elton John AIDS Foundation and the Indianapolis Children’s Museum. 4
Events to mark gay marriage anniversary in Iowa DES MOINES—An Iowa gay rights advocacy group says events are scheduled throughout the month of April to mark the one-year anniversary of the Iowa Supreme Court decision that legalized gay marriage. The group One Iowa and Lambda Legal will hold a gala on April 3. A panel discussion at the University of Iowa will also mark the anniversary. Other events are set for Ames, Cedar Falls, Cedar Rapids, Council Bluffs, Newton and Waterloo. The Iowa Supreme Court ruled unanimously last April that a law banning gay marriage violated the state constitution. 6
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Local Anti-gay Naperville organization labeled hate group By Kerrie Kennedy Staff writer
Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, an anti-gay group based in Naperville, was recently labeled a hate group. The Southern Poverty Law Center, a nonprofit civil rights organization dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry, released the designation in the latest issue of its Intelligence Report magazine, an investigative journal that tracks the activities of hate groups. The law center now lists the anti-gay group alongside such hate groups as the Ku Klux Klan, Nation of Islam, and other neoNazi and racist skinhead groups. Americans For Truth About Homosexuality, which bills itself as an organization “devoted exclusively to exposing and countering the homosexual activist agenda,” was labeled a hate group after repeatedly spread-
ing slanderous propaganda about GLBTs. The suburban group is led by Peter LaBarbera, a former reporter for the Washington Times and founder of the anti-gay Illinois Family Institute, also labeled a hate group. According to the SPLC, hate groups in America are currently at record levels, with nearly 1,000 nationwide. In the most recent issue of the Intelligence Report, “Rage on the Right,” the organization documents the surge in extremism across the country and its infiltration into the mainstream. Last week, Mark Potok, editor of the Intelligence Report, discussed the rise in hate groups with Terry Gross on National Public Radio’s Fresh Air.
Chicago Physician Appointed to Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS By Kerrie Kennedy Staff writer
Dr. Patricia Garcia, an Associate Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Northwestern University and the director of the Perinatal HIV Program at Northwestern Memorial Hospital was recently appointed to the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS. Dr. Garcia will join the 24-member council of HIV/AIDS experts composed of a diverse group of researchers, service providers and community leaders from around the country. The council provides advice, information and recommendations to the president through the Secretary of Health and Human Services on domestic and global HIV/AIDS policy issues. The council also plays an im-
portant role in providing input for the National HIV/AIDS strategy. In addition to her roles at Northwestern, Dr. Garcia is founder and board chair for the Pediatric AIDS Chicago Prevention Initiative and is personally involved in every call to the Illinois 24/7 Perinatal HIV Hotline and provides direction to PACPI case managers. “It is a great honor to serve the HIV/AIDS community and women and children affected by AIDS as part of this council,” Garcia said. “I look forward to the strategic planning of the PACHA in assisting Health and Human Services in developing and implementing National HIV/AIDS strategy.
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Local The Politics of Change An interview with LGBT author and activist Sherry J. Wolf By Tony Merevick STAFF WRITER
If you’ve ever been to a gay rights rally in Chicago, you’ve probably seen author and activist Sherry J. Wolf. She’s the one standing on an improvised stage in her signature denim jacket, chanting the battle cries of the growing gay rights movement with her made-for-megaphone voice. Known for her groundbreaking book, Sexuality and Socialism: History, Politics, and Theory of LGBT Liberation and her role as editor of the International Socialist Review, Wolf is perhaps the leading expert on gay liberation today. We recently spoke with Wolf about the condition of the movement: Chicago Free Press: What are your thoughts on the current state of the gay rights movement in this country? Sherry Wolf: The movement, at its grassroots, is developing and I think it’s in pretty healthy shape after the march. There are enormous debates about which way forward and they’re good ones. Should we partake in civil disobedience actions? Should [there be] more debate and discussion? Should we be pushing just “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” or the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act? Or should we be asking for full equality? As for me, and my opinion in all of this, I think we need to get some of these discussions out on the table because people need to learn from the history of the black civil rights struggle about, strategically, what kinds of steps we need to take now that we had this big march and all these thousands of small groups that have popped up throughout the country as a result. CFP: Do you think we’re fighting for different things? SW: I think that it’s inevitable that there’s going to be different perspectives in any political movement. These divisions are often a reflection of real tension and differences. For example, the world looks mighty different from behind the wheel of a Chevy then from the driver’s seat of a Mercedes. So the more conservative and wealthy wing of the movement that tends to be in groups like the Human Rights Campaign have a much more corporatist strategy and agenda, whereas the younger and more working-class elements of the movement in grassroots gatherings like Equality Across America tend to be much more about, “How do we take mass action, civil disobedience? We want
I’ll be blunt with you. Our power is not in the voting booth. Our power is in the streets. full equality now.” Much more impatient. Of course, that’s where I side. CFP: There’s been discussion on various gay blogs about a perceived lack of leadership within the gay rights movement. What do you think about this idea that we’re missing a leader? SW: Our society often fetishizes leaders— rather than understanding that leaders themselves are shaped by larger movements and struggles—and that in fact, what we need is a movement of leaders. CFP: How do you think that the LGBT community can wield its power at the voting booth in the upcoming elections? SW: I’ll be blunt with you. Our power is not in the voting booth. Our power is in the streets. Our power is in the classroom, where we can debate our next steps. Our power is in the community centers, where we gather huge numbers to mobilize for action. If you look at history, whether it is the black civil rights struggle or the women’s liberation struggle, any gains that wound up being codified in the law happened as a result of mass action taken to the streets.
CFP: What can any person who cares about the LGBT movement do to make a difference? SW: What these people can do—especially young activists—is read. Whether it’s my book, Sexuality and Socialism, or John D’Emilio, or Estelle Freedman, people need to read about their history, and about the politics that shaped previous movements. There is a strife of anti-intellectualism in this society that people need to reject because you cannot move forward if you don’t know what went wrong and what went right in the past. CFP: What do you think is the first thing people should be thinking about when they go out to organize and mobilize? SW: They need to act independently of the Democratic Party. They need to be critical of politicians and political parties that say one thing and historically, as well as today, do another. You cannot have your agenda written by politicians. CFP: How is the Democratic Party influencing the movement? SW: They are stalling and they are pan-
dering to the right wing. Ninety percent of the American population believe in anti-discrimination laws on the job, and yet we still don’t have employment non-discrimination acts passed. Three quarters of the American population are for the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, my god, even Dick Cheney has just come out for its repeal. And the majority of Americans, for that matter, don’t agree with denying LGBT people the right to have at least civil unions, if not marriage. So in fact the Democratic Party and the entire political establishment in this country appear to be to the right of mass opinion. CFP: In a nutshell, what was learned at the EAA Unite + Fight Midwest Conference? SW: At both the Midwest and Northeast EAA conferences this March, around 700 LGBT activists and allies came together to debate lessons from the history of our movement and discuss strategies forward. More regional conferences are coming up where I expect even greater numbers to get organized into EAA. In sum, this is without question the most multiracial and workingclass LGBT movement in my 27 years of organizing and the fierce advocacy for solidarity with all economically and socially oppressed groups is a sentiment being put into action. It bides well for the fight for full equality. In fact, I’m stoked. CFP: What are your plans-in terms of activism-for the near future? SW: I continue to speak on campuses and at community centers and union halls and have begun to pitch the Harvey Milk week of actions starting May 17, 2010 through the anniversary of his birthday, May 22. Across the country, activists are planning rallies, non-violent civil disobedience, speakouts and more. We must take coordinated action nationally to place our fight back in the nation’s spotlight and push our agenda— essentially demanding that sexual orientation and gender identity and expression be added to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 CFP: What is your greatest fear in regards to the gay rights movement? SW: One of my greatest fears—short of a President Palin leading her minions goosestepping down Main Street—is that activists will develop a sense of inevitability about progress and stop mobilizing
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Photos by CFP 0331.RUN.2.4x5.33.CFP:Layout 1 Staff 3/25/10
Center On Halsted’s Human First kick-off party” • March 25, 2010
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The Sage report on Seniors
Mr. gay president
By Paul Varnell
According to a 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair poll, 50 percent of Americans would support having an openly gay president. Bad news: That seems unlikely. Thanks to the last Presidential election, we’ve all heard of the Bradley effect: voters tell pollsters that they’d vote for the black guy/woman/gay person, but then in the polls they vote for the same white male they always have. They want to give the answer that’s more socially acceptable. This poll isn’t asking the harder question— whether the person being polled would vote for a gay President. It’s just asking if they would support a gay person once they magically made it into office (hear that, Charlie Crist? You can stay closeted, come out later when you’ve won the office, and people will support you. Maybe). Yet 50 percent of the people polled said yes, they would. A gay President is A-OK with them. Good news: If this indicates that the Bradley effect may now apply to us, it is a welcome sea change. The President question is only one question, of course, in a silly (if scientific) poll that also asked whether someone would rather visit Bourbon Street, Graceland or Nashville. And admittedly, the question also primed the person being polled to feel positively toward us. It said: “The military’s ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy—prohibiting openly gay soldiers from serving in uniform—may soon be changed. Would YOU SUPPORT OR OPPOSE having an openly gay person serve in any of the following roles?” As we know, an overwhelming majority of Americans now support gays and lesbians serving openly in the military. So they probably were feeling kindly toward us patriotic gay people before the full question was asked. And then the poll gets stranger. After asking about whether Americans would support a gay President (50 percent support), it lists Supreme Court Justice (55 percent), Secretary of State (56 percent), Commissioner of Baseball (61 percent!) and Super Bowl quar-
By Jennifer Vanasco OPiNiON COLUMNiSt
For the last couple of years I have been arguing that the issues and concerns of our senior gays and lesbians is one of the great underaddressed problems in our community. Now, at last, SAGE (Services and Advocacy for GLBT Seniors) and something called the Movement Advancement Project have issued a report urging the importance of the issue. There is no doubt that seniors are a sizable and growing segment of our population. Not only are men and women continuing to come out through the life cycle (the magician known as the Amazing Randi just came out at age 81), but people are taking better care of themselves in earlier life, living longer, and new miracle drugs and diagnostic tests are helping doctors identify and treat ever more diseases, keeping people alive until very old age. The SAGE report lists three major areas of concern: many gay elders face financial difficulties because they cannot access a partner’s health and social security benefits; gays face health care barriers because their needs as gay people are not recognized; and gay seniors face social barriers because they are not integrated into either the mainstream or general gay community. These are not newly discovered problems, but it is good to see them addressed in the new report. To these I might add a fourth. Gay men, at least, may start off with disparate medical concerns, primarily HIV/AIDS which may place certain limits and demands on their bodies and condition their tolerance for physical therapy and response to medical treatment. In Chicago, gratifyingly, the major gay health care facility and the gay community center began to address these issues over two years ago. I cannot do much about the financial and health care barriers, but I have a few thoughts on the social isolation and health disparities. We need teams of well-trained advocates
to conduct “in service” educational programs for hospitals, nursing homes, and elder care facilities. These should be prepared for with Public Service Announcements on radio and television emphasizing the importance of proper care for gays and lesbians. We also need teams of amateur but welltrained visitors to gays and lesbians in their homes and in hospital, nursing home and senior living facilities. There is much that such teams could do. They can let the senior know that he/she is not being forgotten, thus fighting depression. They can see if the senior needs or wants anything—a trip to a grocery store, a visit to a coffee shop, or a simple walk (good exercise to keep muscles from atrophying). Visitors can read to a senior from book of his/her own choosing. I know that when I spent three months in a nursing home, I was grateful for visitors, so long as they kept their visits short (I tire easily.) At institutions, visitors can function as patient advocates, checking to make sure the treatment is up to standards, if the patient is getting his/her medicine in a timely fashion, if the he/she needs anything. (One of my needs was warm socks; another was my beard trimmer.) Taking a small spray of flowers (if permitted by the facility) can cheer up a room and be a constant reminder to the patient that people are thinking of him or her. Advocates can even keep a record of good and poor facilities for future patient reference.
We need teams of well-trained advocates to conduct “in service” educational programs for hospitals, nursing homes, and elder care facilities.
Comments to PVarnell(at)aol.com
terback (62 percent!!!!) Honestly, the only thing that seems less likely to be than Americans currently supporting a gay President is Americans supporting a gay Super Bowl quarterback. Still, the point holds: Americans are becoming more sensitive to the idea that it is not OK to discriminate against gay people. So what the question was really asking was: Do you feel like it’s OK to be homophobic in public, to a stranger? And the answer to that, it seems, is starting to be “No.” Finally. This is just one step in a long series of steps toward equality, but it is an important one. Americans who are afraid of being labeled homophobic by a stranger in public (even by someone as innocuous as an anonymous over-the-phone pollster) are less likely to actually discriminate against gay people. They’re less likely to call us names; less likely to allow their kids to bully us in school; less likely to fire us when they find out we have a same-sex partner; less likely to legislate against us. This is very different from 25 or 30 or 40 years ago, when it seemed like the “natural” thing to do was to find gays and lesbians unnatural. And it is very, very different from the days when straight Americans could not even imagine gay people openly holding any kind of public office, let alone the most highly respected one. It is steadily becoming more true that being anti-gay is not OK. Being unwilling to be seen as homophobic in public is a long way from helping us gain full equality, of course. And it is unlikely to translate into actual votes. But it is an important step.
Being unwilling to be seen as homophobic in public is a long way from helping us gain full equality, of course.
Jennifer Vanasco is an awardwinning, syndicated columnist. Email her at Jennifer.Vanasco@gmail.com; Follow her at Twitter.com/JenniferVanasco.
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Arts, Entertainment & Lifestyle
the soft packs a punch An interview with Brian Hill of The Soft Pack By gregg Shapiro MUSiC, tV & fiLM eDitOr
r 40 ural” unrom ould ding most be-
ith influences spanning some 50 years, the self-titled Kemado debut by The Soft Pack (formerly known as The Muslims) is both timely and timeless. Garage, surf and punk are just a few of the styles embraced by this quartet. Standouts include “Pull Out” (about California seceding), “Answer To Yourself” (about personal responsibility), “Down On Loving” (an anti-love song), the scorching “Flammable” and the balmy “Mexico.” Keeping the beat is openly gay drummer Brian Hill who was good enough to take time out of his busy tour schedule to answer a few questions. (The Soft Pack performs on Apr. 9 at the Empty Bottle, 1045 N. Western. Call (773) 276-3600.) Chicago Free Press: Without rehashing the band’s name change from The Muslims to The Soft Pack, can you please say something about how the name The Soft Pack was selected? Brian Hill: It was something that I had found on a website that sells adult novelties and things like that. It’s for transgender… CFP: …oh, pack as in package.
BH: Yes, like soft packing. That’s where it came from. I saw it before I was in the band and it just stuck in my head that it would be kind of a cool band name because I like the idea behind it anyway. It was the last possible suggestion that I threw out. We had a deadline where we were either going to change our name or we’re not. And we had all these names that were kicking around. A lot of them were really silly and we didn’t like them that much. CFP: What were some of the silly names under consideration? BH: I wasn’t too keen on Spray, although the other guys liked it a lot. We were throwing weird words together like Light Zoo and Hair Zoo. It didn’t make sense. It was something that we had to do and we couldn’t take it all that seriously. CFP: I think you ended up with a good name after all. The tunes on the disc are credited to all four band members. What is your role in the songwriting process?
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CONTINUED FROM PAGE 9 BH: Typically, for me personally, it involves coming up with most of the drum beats. On the song “Pull Out” I came up with all the guitar parts for that. We decided to start switching instruments just to get out of the rut where we were having writer’s block. I used to play guitar and everybody I knew who was playing guitar at the same time got way better than me way quicker, so I switched to drums. As far as the lyrics are concerned, that’s all Matt (Lamkin) at this point. But maybe in the future we’ll contribute a bit to that. But everybody has a big hand in arranging and writing songs. CFP: The song “Down On Loving” lives up to its name. How closely do you relate to the message of the song? BH: I can totally relate (laughs) to the sentiment there. When you’ve been single for a long time—at least that’s how I can relate to it, although I don’t think it’s necessarily what Matt was going for—and you’re like “screw it,” you don’t care. And then you see it all around you, and you’re like, “whatever.” I can definitely relate to that. CFP: Are you currently single now? BH: Yes, I am. CFP: When you were in a relationship, did being in a band and being a touring a musician have an effect on it in anyway? BH: Absolutely, yes. I met somebody and we started going out. Maybe two months after I met him, we were on tour all the time. It was really hard to stay in contact. We did a stint last year where it was a month overseas and then we came back and did a month in the U.S. That just killed it. The momentum was gone. We were together for about six months. It’s hard to maintain a relationship, especially after you just meet someone and you’re already pretty busy doing something erratic and hectic. CFP: Being the gay member of a band seems to be becoming a more common occurrence, as in the cases of Rostam Batmanglij from Vampire Weekend, Ed Droste from Grizzly Bear, Jonsi from Sigur Ros, to name a few. BH: It’s great that there are more out musicians in bands not specifically geared toward any one audience. Vampire Weekend is a huge band. I think they’re playing three nights at Radio City Music Hall on their upcoming tour. And our friends, the band Abe Vigoda from Los Angeles, are opening for them. They (Abe Vigoda) also have a gay member. It’s still kind of exciting to me. I’ve been playing in bands for a while. I started playing mostly in hardcore punk bands and it was a lot harder to come across people that were openly gay. I remember an all-gay band from Chicago called Limp Wrist and I thought that was really cool. That was kind of an important band for me personally when I started coming out. You realized that you didn’t have to fit in any one mold if
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you were going to be in a band that plays the kind of music that you like. CFP: You mentioned the song “Pull Out,” which is about California seceding, and it made me think about Prop. 8. What do you think about that whole situation? BH: It’s kind of disgusting. I remember thinking that it was really cool and great that gay marriage was legal there. Then the people voted to take that away. It just seemed like that shouldn’t have been on the table at that time. Giving this right to people and then taking it away a matter of months later. It was pretty disturbing. And then you started to find out about church groups from other states pouring a lot of money into campaigning for Prop. 8. It’s pathetic to me that California doesn’t have legal gay marriage right now. That old saying, “As California goes, the nation goes,” is totally obsolete right now. I can never see California being on the forefront of anything politically progressive. CFP: As a drummer, do you have drummer idols? Stylistically, drummers that I modeled my own playing after, one of them would be Dave Grohl, when he was in Nirvana. He was pretty important to me. I really love Ringo Starr because he’s so subtle and a smart drummer. He doesn’t overplay. I’ve been guilty of overplaying in some of my old bands, but I like the idea of restraint and playing exactly what’s needed for the song. I try to focus on drummers that are thinking a lot while they are playing. CFP: Do you have any gay rocker idols? BH: I love Joan Jett! CFP: Have you seen The Runaways movie yet? BH: No. I so want to see it, but we have been on tour since late January. One of these days when I have a day off…Our guitar player Matty and I are really big Runaways fans. Joan Jett is a huge idol. And Rob Halford (from Judas Priest), for sheer intensity. He’s the metal god and it’s awesome that the metal god is so gay. I’ve always been a big Morrissey fan, but he hasn’t officially said anything. But it’s Morrissey! CFP: Finally, I understand that you have a purple kitten tattoo. How did that come about? BH: I was on tour and I met somebody at the show who did tattoos and they offered to do free tattoos for my band members. I’m not really good at impulse things. So I thought I’d get something spur of the moment. I love cats, so I got this cat tattoo and he (the artist) decided to color it in kind of purple. I’ve decided that the point of it now is that I can’t take myself too seriously when I see that thing on my arm. I have to have a sense of humor about things and it reminds me of that.
Cruising the options By Kerrie Kennedy Staff writer
With GLBT travel on the rise, so is GLBT cruising. In fact, experts say the biggest boom in the lucrative gay travel market has been within the gay cruise industry. Once the domain of only a handful of companies (RSVP, Atlantis and Olivia) offering only a handful of cruises, today there are an amazing array of gay cruises to choose from. Besides Olivia’s womencentered cruises and RSVP and Atlantis’ festive party-themed cruises, there are now cruises for gay couples; gay naturists, gay men and lesbians of color and gay families. Even the destinations have become more diverse. GLBTs who have grown tired of the Caribbean party cruise can opt for an adventure cruise to the Galapagos or a highend, six-star cruise to Russia. Whether your cruise dream is an all-women journey to Tahiti; an intimate, small-ship couples adventure along the Nile; a party at sea with a group of sexy swimsuit-clad men; or a spring break cruise to Mexico for the whole family, the many variables involved in planning a cruise vacation can often be overwhelming. Travel experts recommend the following tips: Choosing a Stateroom: While inside staterooms are less expensive than the outside staterooms, they can sometimes feel claustrophobic. If you have anxieties about feeling “closed in,” get an outside stateroom instead. For a 180-degree view, choose a stateroom with a private balcony on the stern of the cruise ship. Another advantage is the protection offered from the wind created by the speed of the ship: most of the newer large ships have propulsion systems that create very little vibration at the stern of the ship and the motion is much less than toward the bow. Beware of potentially noisy rooms, including those adjacent to jogging tracks or high traffic areas and rear lower deck cabins. If you’re paying for a room with a view, make sure that view isn’t a lifeboat. Ask for a stateroom that’s convenient to the ship’s activities, especially if you’re on a large ship. Packing Pack an empty duffel bag in your luggage for the dirty clothes. Not only will it give you extra room for the stuff you buy on your cruise, it will make it much easier to find your clean clothes. Pack toiletries and incidentals in a large hanging organizer with clear zippered pockets. Once on the ship, hang it on the robe hook in the bath to keeps things organized and off the limited bath counter space. Bring a soft-sided cooler and lots of
A se baggies (large and small) for excursion days. Ru Helpful extras include an extension cord, a flashlight, a nightlight, an alarm clock and Purex 3-in1 laundry sheets. Find a way to distinguish your luggage, because once on board, you’ll have to find it among a large pile of suitcases. Bring a supply of $1 bills for tipping.
Arrival Day If a flight is required to get to the cruise embarkation point, experts agree it is a must to fly in at least one day prior to the cruise. If time permits, particularly in spectacular international locations, consider spending several days on the ground before the cruise departure day. Look for a hotel that offers shuttle service from the airport and to the ship. Use the extra day to stop at the store and pick up essentials you’ve forgotten or couldn’t bring on the airplane (such as alcohol). Try to board early if you want to book Res spa appointments, specialty restaurants or was shore excursions. Many of them fill up after sod did the first hour. June-Nov. is hurricane season in the ope Caribbean. While it’s usually quite safe to W cruise, you’ll be able to get the best deals Pan “At during this time. Select a three or four-day cruise in the Gre ing middle of the week for the lowest rates. Call your cell phone carrier before leaving wom to see if they offer any international calling/ ope the texting/emailing plans. Before you use the fitness center, ask if be a there’s a fee. Many people don’t find out that that proa there is one until they see it on the bill. Buy a “soda card” for non-alcoholic It beverages (about $30-$50 for a one-week first cruise). Not only will you save money on kind all those diet cokes, you’ll also save gratuity ing hoo charges. Bring your own alcohol. You won’t seco necessarily be limited to drinking in your gig, tiny stateroom. Many cruise lines will allow thin you to bring your own bottle of wine to goin cha dinner. On excursion days, order room service in I l dora the morning and pack a lunch to go. Book excursions through independent help othe agents, not the cruise line. Organize a group cruise, and you’ll either mom son cruise free or at a big discount. If you’re a returning customer, ask for a titio discount: most cruise lines offer significant ning bec savings. If you plan to cruise again, consider four booking your next cruise while onboard so You you can take advantage of reduced deposit Pa and shipboard credit offers. Then let your on “ travel agent manage your booking for lower style price offers and added benefits prior to your dres and final payment. “Yea
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tV & Film Who’s your drag Momma? An intergenerational challenge sends another queen home on RuPaul’s Drag Race
By Bebe Zahara Benet COUrteSY Of LOGO
Respect your elders and your history! That was one of the themes of this week’s episode of “RuPaul’s Drag Race”, and no one did that better than the very funny, very open Miss Pandora Boxx. When I sat down to interview her, I asked Pandora where she got her wonderful name. “At the time I started drag I was really into Greek mythology,” she told me, explaining the myth of Pandora. “She was the first woman ever created.” The original Pandora opened up a forbidden box that let out all the world’s evils. Ms. Boxx thought it would be a good name because it plays up the idea that you don’t know what to expect. An approach I think is amazing! It turns out Pandora auditioned for the first season, but was turned down. “I was kind of devastated,” she admitted, noting she wanted to hate the show but got hooked. As soon as she heard there was a second season she reapplied and got the gig, which was a huge moment. “If something didn’t change in my drag career, I was going to quit,” she revealed to me. “Well, it changed in a big way.” I love how funny and approachable Pandora was on the show, a trait that definitely helped her stand apart from many of the other girls. One of my favorite Pandora moments was her Carol Channing impersonation during the “Snatch Game” competition. I was shocked to find out Ms. Channing was not her first choice—she almost became Jan Brady instead! “It was only the fourth time I’d done Carol,” she revealed. You fooled me, honey! Pandora did admit her biggest frustration on “Race” was the judges’ reaction to her style, particularly her green leopard print dress. “It’s like telling a joke that flopped… and flopped and flopped,” she explained. “Yeah, I know the dress didn’t work, can we
Joshua H. Ehrlich, DMD, PC
Friday, March 19, 2010 1:43:39 PM
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drop it and move on?” When it came to the drag mother competition, Pandora enjoyed working with her unconventional partner, even with his American flag bikini. Pandora was surprised by the judges’ comments that her mom outshined her on the stage. That was her strategy. “I planned everything,” Pandora explained, telling me the upstaging showbiz mom was the whole idea of the gag. “If it was funny and you liked it, I should be getting credit for it.” One of the wonderful things Pandora takes away from “Race” is sharing her own struggle with depression and suicide. She wasn’t sure about saying something on TV, but since “Race” ended she has gotten thank you letters from people struggling with the same challenges. “I’m starting to tear up now,” she marveled. “That’s an amazing thing for a reality show that’s supposed to be about a drag queen competition.” What a funny queen! And what an inspiration! Catch “RuPaul’s Drag Race” at 9 p.m. (ET/PT) every Monday night on Logo at and go to LOGOonline.com to find out about viewing parties in your area. Until next week, kisses and laughter!
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theater “right as rain” Written by: April Smallwood Showing: North Lakeside Cu tural Center, 6219 N. Sheridan Rd., thru Apr. 24. Tickets: $15 Contact: 312-513-1415 www.innatevolution.org
“Street Scene” Written by: Elmer Rice Showing: National Pastime Theatre, 4139 N. Broadway, thru Apr. 25 Tickets: $25 Contact: (773)327-7077 or www.npt2.com
reviewed by Web Behrens
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A muddled cautionary tale masquerading as a coming-out story, “Right as Rain” might be a world premiere, but it’s really a relic from a generation or two ago. The first two acts, in which semi-worldly high-school junior Chance seduces his new best friend Luke, the conservative preacher’s son, feel like an afterschool special. (After his initial reticence, Luke naturally proves more than willing to suck cock and commence a furtive relationship.) There’s nothing remarkable about this story, which we’ve seen many times before. But gay audiences have endured far worse for the chance to ogle sexy half-naked men onstage, and with two good-looking leads, Innatevolution Theater delivers. Happily, it turns out that Pavel Tabutov (Chance) and especially Ethan Itzkow (in the more dramatic role of Luke) can actually act. Their jokes, their romance, their angst all register with the audience, although director Toma Tavares Langston should encourage them to take a little more time with some of their scenes, especially when they try to process the roller-coaster emotions of potentially being exposed at school. In the end, any good will this achingly naïve script earns gets shattered in act three, when the plot veers into an obvious yet completely unearned pulp-fiction-worthy finale. While young playwrights can’t be expected to deliver scripts on a park with seasoned dramatists, April Smallwood doesn’t just fall short of higher artistic standards here. With that last act, Smallwood opts for some of the worst formulaic tropes in the potboiler playbook. Any presumably high-minded artistic intent to present multiple perspectives in this drama fall flat. The abrupt, morally ambiguous ending is something that could be embraced by the likes of Fred Phelps as evidence that all fags are sinners and predators.
reviewed by Lawrence Bommer Twenty-three actors work hard here to suggest the vibrant street life in Elmer Rice’s seminal pre-Depression drama of grinding poverty, implacable hope, and the calm before the last stock market crash (what Rice calls “the shadow of the hawk”). Not so nostalgic in 2010, his epic depicts evictions, xenophobia, toxic gossip, hunger, and incipient class warfare. There’s no privacy when you’re poor either and no a.c.’s to hide behind in 1929. Everything flawed or fine about humans is on constant display outside this New York tenement—infidelity, young love, peddling, begging, stealing, cruising—a fivering circus where everything and nothing changes by the minute. The whole here is much greater than its parts: The miseries and epiphanies depicted are easily big and true enough to be believed. That’s why this revival’s attempt to restore the grotesque, expressionist choreography of the original production, with its strange noises and moody lighting shifts, doesn’t always work. What might have seemed progressive 91 years ago now, ironically enough, seems old-fashioned and melodramatic, a case of thespian overkill. “Street Scene” doesn’t need to be larger than life when it’s exactly life sized. As (traffic) directed by Laurence Bryan and Keely Haddad-Null, the huge cast is a force of nature, the cumulative conscience of one busy street in a melting pot that boils more than refines. It’s the quieter moments that resonate when the more victimized characters wistfully plead for a kinder world. Rice proposes no proletarian revolution in this less polemical work than his famous “Adding Machine.” He just wants a chance for decency to persist, for good deeds to go unpunished. That, more than the tumultuous violence, is what you’ll take away from this near-three hour blast from the past.
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“a True history of the Johnstown Flood” Written by: Rebecca Gilman Showing: Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn, through April 18 Tickets: $25-$70 Phone: (312) 443-3800 or GoodmanTheatre.org
one Flew over the Cuckoo’s nest Written by: Dale Wasserman Showing: The Gift Theatre, 4802 N. Milwaukee, thru May 9. Tickets: $20-25 Contact: 773-283-7071 or thegifttheatre.org
reviewed by Lawrence Bommer
t H e at e r e D i t O r
A modern melodrama (with all the excess that implies), Rebecca Gilman’s 150-minute epic purports to depict the title1889 deluge: That a man-made catastrophe was triggered by the fishing and hunting club of Pennsylvania patricians, a literally upper class resort whose artificial mountain lake breaks through a poorly maintained dam and, rampaging through the Conemaugh Valley, destroys steel town, killing 2,200 people with 20 million tons of water. From the start, Gilman is drowning in the shallows as she tries to domesticate the calamity by contrasting a family-run company of actors, stuck in a repertory of histrionic potboilers, with the real-life naturalism of this immense inundation. By play’s end the troupe’s radical playwright confesses what Gilman proved from the start: no drama—certainly not this mess—will ever convey the cruelty of this class-ridden catastrophe. It’s simply a bad match trying to pair a real-life piece of natural terrorism (better suited to non-fiction or a documentary on the History Channel) with an overwrought and clumsily fictionalized drama. But how hard Robert Falls’ elaborate staging, with its cascading scenery, blowing smoke to suggest tempests and torrents, and deafening noise, works to create a sound and fury signifying nothing! There’s no purpose to this play. “History” is never sure what it wants to be—an American “Enemy of the People,” a “Showboat”-like tribute to plucky thespians, or, worst, an empty extravaganza. The performances are equally wasted: These seven overtaxed players know they’d be better off in a movie. At least then the overkill might matter. Here it’s just all wet.
reviewed by Web Behrens Old enough now to be a classic, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” gets dusted off by The Gift Theatre in a fine revival that reminds us of this story’s potency. Of course, the stage adaptation of Ken Kesey’s novel is 12 years older than the legendary 1975 film. Small differences crop up between screen and stage, though its guts remain the same. Indeed, those differences illuminate: By elevating the role of Chief Bromden and including the nursery-rhyme source of the title, the play comes closer to the fable that Kesey likely intended. Dramatizing the long battle between a free-spirited rebel (the criminal McMurphy) and an authoritarian monster (the nurse Ratched) is the late Dale Wasserman, best known for “Man of La Mancha.” (Clearly, Wasserman’s themes and protagonists share a lineage.) But there’s more to “Cuckoo” than freedom versus control. The story carries a solid vein of misogyny that the play subtly softens. Ratched remains as dreadful and emasculating as ever, as do the unseen women in two patients’ lives (Harding’s wife and Billy’s mother), but Wasserman gives us a sympathetic character in Nurse Nakamura (Jillian Jocson, giving a good turn in a small role). Under John Kelly Connolly’s direction, the large ensemble uniformly delivers. Paul D’Addario’s high-voltage lead performance would normally be too big for the intimate Gift venue, except here he’s nailing McMurtry’s “natural exuberance.” Fellow Gift veteran Alexandra Main makes a wicked foil as Nurse Ratched, while Jay Worthington (Billy) and Guy Massey (Harding) also stand out. Finally, the Gift continues to impress in transforming their small storefront space, this time with a marvelous institutional set by Ian Zywica.
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By Gregg Shapiro MUSiC, tV aND fiLM eDitOr
N. Apr. 1, Thurs. Outdanced’s Stardust @ Berlin, 954 W. Belmont presents Raven from “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” Stinky Pinky and Lady Miss Navy Pier, at 10 p.m. Call (773) 525-2460. Lincoln Hall, 2424 N. Lincoln, has the hot double bill of Little Dragon and V.V. Brown, at 9 p.m. Call (773) 525-2508.
FlewRoots band Donna the Buffalo performs at f by8:30 p.m. at FitzGerald’s, 6615 W. Roosevelt t re-in Berwyn. Call (708) 788-2118. urse, el isSpoon, Deerhunter and Micachu & The film.Shapes are at the Aragon Ballroom, 1106 W. reenLawrence, at 6 p.m. Call (773) 561-9500. ame. ele-Apr. 2, Fri. lud-Jackhammer, 6406 N. Clark, presents The , theJoans, Bobby Conn + Burglars and Brilliant eseyPebbles at 9 p.m. Call (773) 743-5772.
en aRed Hot Chili Peppers tribute band The phy)Funky Monks heat up Abbey Pub, 3420 W. urseGrace, at 9 p.m. Call (773) 478-4408. best arly,Apr. 3, Sat. hare koo”Robert Rodi & Friends perform at 8 p.m. at car-Lizard’s Liquid Lounge, 3058 W. Irving Park. playCall (773) 463-7599. dful Beckie Menzie & Tom Michael celebrate seen their 10th anniversary as a musical duo with wife “That 60’s Show,” featuring songs by The s us Beatles, The Supremes, The Everly Brothers, mura Elvis Presley, Petula Clark and many more, mall at 8 p.m. at Davenport’s, 1383 N. Milwaukee. Call (773) 278-1830. tion, PaulJune Carter and Johnny Cash tribute June anceLoves Cash performs at Abbey Pub, 3420 W. mateGrace, at 9 p.m. For more information call Mc-(773) 478-4408. Gift foilLounge, 1375 W. Lake, with support from LA gtonRiots and local reps Stunna and Alfonz De tandLa Mota, at 9 p.m. For more informations ss incall (312) 666-6775. ace, l setGrammy Award-winning DJ David Guetta comes to Congress Theater, 2135 N. Milwaukee, at 8p.m. Call (312) 458-9668. Judy Garland’s great grand niece Audra Mae (yes, you read that right) is at Martyrs’, 3855 N. Lincoln, along with Mucca Pazza and Roommate at 10 p.m. Call (773) 404-9494. Alejandro Escovedo and 23 year-old singersongwriter and guitarist Megan McCormick play two shows, at 7 & 10 p.m., in The Old Town School of Folk Music - Gary and Laura Maurer Concert Hall, 4544 N. Lincoln. Call (773) 728-6000.
Girls in Trouble, Stereo Sinai and Naomi Less perform at 3 p.m. at the BooCoo Cultural Center, 1823 W. Church in Evanston. Call (847) 864 4330.
Magazine editor Adam W Hart and musician Aerin Tedesco at 7:30 p.m. at Big Chicks/ Tweet, 5024 N. Sheridan. Call (773) 7285511.
Apr. 5, Mon.
Stephen Leonard hosts Unpugged: An Acoustic Concert Series at 9 p.m. at The Wild Pug, 4810 N. Broadway. Call (773) 784-4811.
Lakeshore Theater, 3175 N Broadway, presents Justin Nozuka at 7:30 p.m. Call (773) 472-3492.
Apr. 6, Tues.
Dashboard Confessional pulls into House of Blues Chicago, 329 N. Dearborn, at 6 p.m. Call (312) 923-2000.
Homolatte: Queer Words & Music, hosted by Scott Free, presents poet and Apparatus
Apr. 7, Wed.
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Double Door, 1572 N. Milwaukee, presents Har Mar Superstart at 9 p.m. Call (773) 4893160. House of Blues Chicago, 329 N. Dearborn, has Motion City Soundtrack with fun, A Rocket To The Moon, and Sing It Loud at 5:30 p.m. Call (312) 923-2000. Metropolis Performing Arts Centre, 111 W. Campbell in Arlington Heights, hosts Scoreby-Score: An Evening of Andrew Lloyd Webber featuring Heather Moran and other cabaret artists at 7: 30 p.m. Call (847) 577-2121.
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HIV Positive Support Groups. Call 773.472.6469 X 478
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Apr. 4, Sun.
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At 9:30 p.m., The Homoticons play Empty Bottle, 1045 N. Western. Call (773) 276-3600.
3656 N Halsted, Chicago, IL | www.centeronhalsted.org | 773.472.6469
14 CAL en DA r
Calendar ARPIL 2 8 PM
Four Women @ Circuit Circuit, 3641 N. Halsted St |www.fourwomenonly.com Jess Godwin, Jane & the Steadfast Acrobats, Driving the Daisies and Jeannie Tanner Quartet take the stage for this fundraiser for the Lesbian Community Cancer Project. Cost is $12 and $8 goes straight to LCCP (www.lccp.org)
APRIL 3 9 PM
CAKE Chicago Red Line Tap, 7000 North Glenwood Ave., 773-274-5463; www.myspace com/cakechicago Cake Chicago, named “Best Gay Variety Show 2009,” in the Readers’ Choice Awards in The Chicago Reader, features live music by Ripley Caine, Diva Kai and The Ragged Blade Band and spoken word by LeVan D. Hawkins. For More Info/ Listen to Mp3’s – www. myspace.com/cakechicago
APRIL 4 11 AM
aChurch4Me? MCC Worship Celebration Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted, 773-472-6469; www centeronhalsted.org; www.achurch4me.com All are welcome to grow spiritually and ﬁnd meaning in hope and love among this diverse community of worshippers.
APRIL 6 7 PM
Bisexual Social Discussion Night Center on Halsted,
ABSOLUTE “MUST SEE, MUST DO” EVENTS
3656 N. Halsted, 773-472-6469; www centeronhalsted.org; www.bisocialnews.com An event for bisexuals, bi-curious, and bi-allies to form community, share ideas and connect with peers through game nights, potlucks, networking, social activism, peerlead discussion and more.
of Chicago ’s most inﬂuential young philanthropists and beneﬁts Steppenwolf for Young Adults. The evening includes cocktails, food, music, dancing a silent auction and rafﬂe prizes. Ticket prices are $125 for individual tickets, $250 for VIP tickets (includes exclusive reception, enhanced gift bags and more).
APRIL 7 7:30 PM
Opening Reception for Youth Program Artist “The Black Poltergeist” Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted St. www.centeronhalsted.org A reception kicks off “The Long Road,” an exhibition by Youth Program Artist “The Black Poltergeist.” The exhibit runs through April 30th, 2010.
The Frequent Flyer Tour The Vic 3145 N. Shefﬁeld 773-472-0449; www.victheatre.com “RuPaul’s Drag Race” judge Henry Rollins brings his spoken word “The Frequent Flyer Tour” to the Vic.
APRIL 8 7 PM Women’s Speed Dating Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted, 773-661-0763; email: women@ centeronhalsted.org; www.centeronhalsted.org No special spark across the Internet? Long, wasted evenings with those just-not-happening blind dates? Make time for some real-time, fun-time speed dating at Center on Halsted April’s event will be for the spring chickens: women 35 and under and the women who love them! ARRIVE between 6:30 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. First speed dating round begins at 7 p.m. Rounds continue until everyone has had a chance to meet, or until 8:45 p.m., whichever comes ﬁrst. BRING YOUR AGENDA BOOK: “I’m interested” cards will be matched after the last round ends. Tickets are $12 @ door; $10.00 advance purchase online. A cash bar will open at 6:45 p.m.
APRIL 9 8 PM
Red or White Ball Salvage One, 1840 W. Hubbard St. www.steppenwolf.org The Red or White Ball draws some
Bill Maher The Venue at Horseshoe Casino, 777 Casino Center Dr. in Hammond 866-711-SHOE wwwhorseshoehammond.com Funny man, friend to the GLBT community and politically incorrect Bill Maher appears live at the Horseshoe Casino in Indiana.
APRIL 12 5:30 PM
“T” Talk Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted 773-472-6469 X 495 www.centeronhalsted.org This free event is a casual, peer-lead conversation group for those 18 years and older who either identify as transgendered or are dealing with a gender identity issue, moderated by Christina Kahrl (COH Transgender Program Volunteer Liaison).
APRIL 14-18 2 PM & 7:30 PM American Ballet Theatre Civic Opera House 20 N. Wacker
www.abt.org The American Ballet Theatre comes to the Civic Opera House for seven performances. The company performs its “All American Celebration” one night only (April 14) and its acclaimed “Swan Lake” for the remainder.
APRIL 15 7:30 PM
T- OUT MIC Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted, 773-472-6469 X 495; www.centeronhalsted.org This trans-focused casual weekly open-mic night welcomes all members of the LGBT and ally community and is co-hosted by Jami Bantry of the Center and Lars Von Keitz (OutMusic). Open to musicians, poets, speakers, and artists. Donations are encouraged to support community programs at COH.
Elton John’s “Rocket Man – the Greatest Hits Live” Concert Sears Center Arena, 5333 Prairie Stone Pkwy., Hoffman Estates, (847) 649-2222 www.ticketmaster.com Elton and his band return to the Chicagoland area to perform their ‘Rocket Man – the Greatest Hits Live’ concert at the Sears Center Arena in Hoffman Estates. The concert features Elton’s number one chart hits and classic album tracks from throughout his ﬁve-decade career. Tickets, which range in price from $39.50 to $169.00, can be purchased online through Ticketmaster or via phone at (800) 745-3000 through the Sears Center Arena Box Ofﬁce.
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FREETIME FREETIME cHicaGO’s HOttest alterNatiVe playGrOUNd
baton Thu. Mar. 19th P H o T o S B y S T. S u K i E d E L A C r o i x
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midlife crisis Dinosaurs on Noah’s Ark By St. Sukie de la Croix freetiMe eDitOr
When social welfare programs were cut in the 1980s a lot of mental patients were let loose on the streets, instead of being cared for in hospitals. The result of Ronald Reagan’s conservative policies is the Tea Bag Movement, a shit-load of mentally ill seniors who should be wearing straitjackets and living in cells with rubber walls–where they can happily bounce around without bumping into the rest of us. Looking at the Tea Baggers is like watching a production of “Marat/Sade” staged by the Schaumberg Ladies Knitting Circle Amateur Theatrical Group. (“We usually do a Gilbert and Sullivan,” Marjorie Wentworth told the Schaumberg Gazette, “But this year we thought we’d tackle something we could get our dentures into”). Or a Tim Burton remake of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” The reason Tea Baggers are against health reform is obvious– IN A COUNTRY WITH EXCELLENT HEALTH CARE FOR ALL CITIZENS TEA BAGGERS WOULD BE DIAGNOSED AS INSANE AND LOCKED AWAY IN A MENTAL ASYLUM. One such basket case is 59-year-old Stephen Johnson who was recently suspended from his job as a Dallas jail guard for making anti-gay remarks; he got the boot for interjecting his religious beliefs into private conversations between jail staff. He voiced the opinion that gays should be put to death. This wasn’t his only theory on life. An internal report disclosed that Johnson also supported slavery and in a sworn statement said: “I believe that all dinosaurs were born of Satanic angel who has sex with woman and the animal kingdom that created ungodly reptilian creatures none of these were on the Ark.”
Whereas I disagree with Johnson’s homophobia and slave nonsense, I think he might be on to something with his theory about why dinosaurs are extinct i.e. they drowned in the Great Flood. While Noah was loading the animals onto the Ark–polar bears, stick insects, pigeons, camels, bats, dung beetles etc.–he saw the dinosaurs and said: “You are the cross-pollination of Satan’s angel, a woman and assorted mammals, so get off my boat.” Which is why I think Teabaggers are really dinosaurs that slipped past Noah’s watchful eye and boarded the Ark. Another group of dinosaur stowaways were the Cheney family: Dick, Lynne, and the two spawn of Satan, Dykeosaurus Mary and the homely Liz. I have several theories about how the Cheney’s got on board–they hid in a hippos rectum, disguised themselves as toilets, or dressed as wolves in sheep’s clothing. After the flood the Cheney’s hungered for political power and set about tearing the flesh from the Constitution with their razor-sharp carnivorous teeth. Before the flood they roamed the Earth as bone-headed spineless vertebrates in the late Triassic period. But the Teabaggers and Cheney’s weren’t the only spawn of the Satan’s angel-womanbeast-fuck-fest that boarded Noah’s Ark and went on to terrorize the planet. A Great Satanic Prehistoric Beast so fearsome and dangerous I’m scared to even mention them, but I will … the FOLKSINGER; possibly the scariest of all the prehistoric monsters. Folksingers are herbivores that once lumbered through prehistoric swamps eating twigs and grass, but now play acoustic guitar in coffee shops while eating twigs and grass. The question is what can we do to stop these vicious Teabaggers, Cheney’s and folksingers, this triumvirate of prehistoric dinosaurs who slipped through Noah’s net? The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind. The answer is blowing in the wind … Contact St. Sukie de la Croix at stcroix@ chicagowhispers.com or you can ﬁnd him on facebook.
Wild pug Thu. Mar. 25th P H o T o S B y S T. S u K i E d E L A C r o i x
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Back in the Day Apr1-Apr7 By St. Sukie de la Croix FREETIME EDITOR
This week in … 1974
Theatre, 2433 N. Lincoln.
The House of Landers, 936 W. Diversey, holds its 1974 Catty Awards. Some of the winners include Wanda Lust (Tearoom Queen of the Year), Ebony (Wildest Worn Wardrobe), Terry Page (Miss Vapors) and Tilly (Queer of the Year Actor).
... The Gay Academy Awards is celebrated at the Baton, 436 N. Clark St. The first award presented is inscribed: “Group Pushed for Better Rights and Life in the Gay Community” and it goes to the Gay Crusader newspaper. Michael Bergeron, the editor, accepts the award.
1986 Events in the bars this week include a Strike Against AIDS raffle party at the Closet, 3325 N. Broadway; it’s the last chance to party with Pate at the Swan Club, 3720 N. Clark St.; TJ’s on Oak, 46 E. Oak St., is raffling off a bicycle; The Trianon, 3150 N. Halsted St., celebrates the birthday of fan dancer Sally Rand; the Mineshaft, 8437 Ogden Ave (Lyons) hold a “Strike Against AIDS raffle; and Boobs Draw Two, 5834 W. Grand Ave., is a new lesbian neighborhood bar with bartenders Sue, Boobs and Ray.
1976 There’s a “Rags to Riches Party” at the 100% gay-owned and operated bar Den One Chicago, 1355 N. Wells St. Later this became the location for Carol’s Speakeasy.
1980 The Windy City Gay Chorus rehearses 7.30 p.m. every Tuesday at the Wellington Avenue Congregational Church, 615 W. Wellington, and the Gay Pride Band rehearses every Wednesday at 939 W. School St.
... You can hear punk rock at gay bar Oz, 1770 W. Greenleaf. Previously the bar had been called the Greenleaf.
1983 Top 5 Dance tunes courtesy of DJ Tom Parks at BJ’s, 3231 N. Clark St. 1) “That’s Good” by Devo; 2) “You Can’t Hide Your Love” by David Joseph; 3) “Der Kommisar” by A.T.F./Falco/Suzy Andrews; 4) “Plastic Doll” by Dharma; and 5) “Thriller (All Cuts) by Michael Jackson.
... The 3rd Annual Lesbian and Gay Film Festival opens with the American premiere of the controversial film “Abuse” directed by Arthur J. Bressan Jr. shown at the Biograph
The Chicago Gay Men’s Chorus host “Voice Capades,” an ice skating party and fundraiser at McFetridge Sports Arena, 3845 N. California.
... “The Master & Mistress of Disguise,” Charles Pierce begins a two week stint at cabaret bar George’s, 230 W. Kinzie.
Stuart O’Nan, author of “Speed Queen” signs his book at Unabridged Books, 3251 N. Broadway.
... Columnist Jon-Henri Damski reads from his works at the Vagabond Café Reading Series at Powell’s Bookstore, 2850 N. Lincoln.
... It’s the Grand Opening of Scot’s, 1829 W. Montrose.
Join your hosts
Teri Yaki & dusTy for laughs, gasps & a chance to win a terrific grand prize every wednesday starting at 10p
$6 Effen Cocktails $12 Miller Lite Pitchers PLUS win rounds of Dekuyper Shots!
$3 Miller Lite Pints $4 Wild Turkey American Shots $9 Vodka Lemonade & Vodka Cranberry Pitchers
1999 Betty DeGeneres reads from her book “Love, Ellen: A Mother/Daughter Journey” at Women and Children First, 5233 N. Clark St. Thanks to the Gerber/Hart Library at 1127 W. Granville for the use of their collection and archives.
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Bar & Club Guide Thu. 18 th
Fri. 19 th
Sat. 20 th
Sun. 21 st
Stardust Thursdays with performances and special DJs, brought to you by Outdanced
Cosmix : DJ Greg Haus, electro, progressive, and alternative, $5 after 11pm
Twisted w/ DJ’s Chester & Larissa, $5 after 11pm / $7 after 1am
MODifyd. DJ Chester mixes alternative and pop. $2 Lites, $3.25 Heinekens.
$1 off domestic & draft beer & $1 shots of Pucker, all flavors.
$10 pitchers of Miller Lite & Michelob Ultra $14 pitchers of Svedka bloody mary’s.
$10 pitchers of Miller Lite & Michelob Ultra $14 pitchers of Svedka bloody mary’s.
Absolut Thursday $4 Absolut Cocktails $7 Absolut Martinis/Cosmos Video hits from disco to today 9pm
Shake It Up Fridays $4 Bacardi Cocktails and Bombs DJ Oskar spins dance music 9pm - 2am
Saturday Video Dance Party $5 Absolut Cocktails $5 Jameson Shots Video dance hits from disco to today 9pm
$3 U-Call-It Bottles to Top Shelf - After Hours w/ DJ Mixmaster F @ 1am
9:30-1:30: 2-Stepping & Line dancing with resident DJ Michael B - 1:30-4am after hours dance party
Open 4pm; “Get The Weekend Started” with Video hits from Disco to Today @ 8:30pm.
Hamburger Mary’s / Mary’s Attic
954 W. Belmont (773) 348-4975 berlinchicago.com
3729 N. Halsted (773) 525-1200 bobbyloves.com
1547 West Bryn Mawr Ave. (773) 334-2525 cattlecallchicago.com
3726 N. Broadway (773) 871-8887 charlieschicago.com
3359 N. Halsted (773) 477-1420
4808 N.Broadway (773) 784 Crew worldsgreatestbar.com
5400 N Clark St 773-784-6969 hamburger maryschicago.com
Tue. 23 rd
Wed. 24 th
Cheap Trix, hosted by Jay jay, with DJ Chester, $1 well and PBR
“Just Let Go...” DJ Larissa, hosted by Shayna X, $3.25 Coronas, Disco Obsession last Wed. of month with DJ Pervy
$1 off Domestic & Draft Beer - $1 off well drinks.
$2 Tuesdays - $2 for domestic/ draft beer & well drinks.
$3 shots of Jagermiester All Svedka martini’s only $5
Sunday Funday $3 Sauza Margaritas $3 Millers and $4 Imports/ MicroBrews Video hits from disco to today 9pm
Cheap Drink Mondays $2.50 well cocktails $3 Millers, $4 Imports & Micro Brews Video hits from 60’s to today 9pm
Tortilla Tuesdays Chips, Salsa and Fun $4 Beam and SoCo Cocktails Two-Step Lessons 8pm Video Mix Up 11pm
Curtains Up Wednesday Andersonvile’s Showtunes Night $3 off call martinis/cosmos Showtunes videos 9pm
9:30-2:30: 2-Stepping & Line dancing with resident DJ Michael B - 2:30-4am after hours dance party
$10 Long Isle Pitchers Karaoke w/ Dirty Laundry @ 9pm - After hours with DJ Lulu @ 1am
$10 Stoli Pitchers - $2 Well $3 Bacardi - Line Dance Lessons @ 7pm - It’s just Bingo Bitch w/ Lauren & Friday @ 11pm - After hours with DJ Duance @ 1am
$10 Absolut Pitchers - $2 Bud Light - $4 Jager & Bombs Karaoke w/ Dirty Laundry @ 8pm - After hours with DJ Lulu @ 1am
$3 Absolut Drinks, all flavors! - $2.50 Corona $2 Miller Lite - Line Dance Lessons @ 7pm - After hours w/ DJ Mixmaster F @ 1am
$12 Long Island Ice Tea Pitchers / $5 Jagerbomb Shots - DJ Freddie Bain – Hostess: Cher (first & last Friday of the month) & Sexy Go-Go Boys! – 10pm
Diva Deejays - Rotating the delicious deep house sounds of: DJ Dhanna, Miss Micheala, Tracy Tobey & Carla Starla
Super Saver Sundays with $1 well-drinks - Park your pup with Pate! 2-8pm - DJ’s Dealer, Pete Augusta & Chris Eterno Plus Sexy Go-Go Boys starting at 8pm
Boystown Bailout! Monday Madness with ½ off all drinks. Your daytime bartenders Kenny & reX. - 4-9pm DJ Andrew with your bartender Jodi – 9pm
$9 Vodka Cranberry & Vodka Lemonade Pitchers DJ Timmy Loop - Hostess: Miss Foozie & Sexy Go-Go Boys! – 10pm
$6 martinis / $4 Svedka Vodka Cocktails / $5 Jagerbomb Shots / $9 Miller Lite Pitchers Jazz & Cocktail Music with your bartender Robert – 4-9pm
Daily Lunch Specials 11:30am - 3:00pm - Happy Hour 1/2 priced appetizers 4 -6 pm Miller Lite pints $3.00 Chang bottles $3.00 (Thailand’s #1 Beer!)
Daily Lunch Specials 11:30am - 3:00pm - Happy Hour 1/2 priced appetizers 4 -6 pm Goose Island Seasonal pints $3.50 PBR cans $2.00
Shiner Bock pints $3.50 Bud Select bottles $2.75 Double Bloody Mary $6.00 Mimosa pitchers $12.00
Miller Lite pitchers $9.00 Double Bloody Mary $6.00 Beergarita, Mimosa or Monsoon pitchers $12.00
Daily Lunch Specials 11:30am - 3:00pm - Half Price Chicken Wings Dine-in only Six $3.00 / Twelve $4.50 Happy Hour 1/2 priced appetizers 4 -6 pm Stella Artois pints $3.75
Daily Lunch Specials 11:30am - 3:00pm - Happy Hour 1/2 priced appetizers 4 -6 pm Bud Light pints $2.75 Bud Light Lime bottles $3.00
Daily Lunch Specials 11:30am - 3:00pm - Happy Hour 1/2 priced appetizers 4 -6 pm Blue Moon pints $3.50 Rolling Rock bottles $2.75
MARY’S & REC ROOM: $3.50 Home-Brew Pints!
MARY’S & REC ROOM: $5 “Mary’s Punch” pints and $4 Shock Top pints.
MARY’S & REC ROOM: Mimosa Brunch served till 3 pm. First mimosa free, then just $2! $4 Leinie bottles.
MARY’S & REC ROOM: Mimosa Brunch served till 3 pm. First mimosa free, then just $2!
MARY’S: Charity HamBINGO with Velicity Metropolis at 8pm. $5 Sauza Margaritas & frozen slushies.
MARY’S: Tini-Tuesday with $3 off all Mary’s specialty martinis.
MARY’S & REC ROOM: $2 off all Mary’s “SpecialTease” cocktail pints.
ATTIC: $2 Jello Shots & $3 Miller Lite draft. No cover
ATTIC: Feel Good Fridays with Rogue DJ at 9pm. $3 Bama-Slamma Shots, $5 Mary’s Punch pints. No Cover
ATTIC: Dance Party with DJ Oskar & John Murges at 9pm. $2 Jello Shots & $5 Frozen Slushies. No Cover
Mon. 22 nd
ATTIC: Cabaret Show at 7:30 (cover varies). Gong Show MaryOke with Velicity Metropolis 9pm. $3 well cocktails and domestic bottles
REC ROOM: “Pop Quiz” trivia night. $3 off all Marytinis and $2 PBR cans ATTIC: Closed
ATTIC: MaryOke with DJ Matador at 9pm. $3 well cocktails and domestic bottles
“Bittersweet”: The Strawberry Girl spins bittersweet music and video. $4 Kir Royale Champagne cocktails. Open pm-4am
“FICTION”: Dark pop, electropop, dance rarities and post-contemporary visuals with DJs Gene Avenir, Wesley Groves, Adam Killing and Rolan Vega. Open 9pm – 4am
“Planet Earth”: DJ Dave Roberts spins new wave club classics: Chicago’s favorite new wave night since 1994. Open 9 P.M. – 5 A.M.
“Wolf Calls With the Warlock”: vintage rock n’ roll and video oddities. $4 margaritas, $2 PBR bottles, $3 Jameson shots. Open 9pm – 4am
Mix-Tape Meltdown”: a rotating cast of DJs, playing everything from mod & soul to glam & goth. Sponsored by Laurie’s Planet of Sound. $4 flavored Stoli drinks, $2 PBR bottles. Open 9pm – 4am
Busch Lit. Cons, Old Style Bottles, $2.25
$6 Pitchers of MGD & Miller Lite
Open until 5am
Open until 4am
Domestic Bottles, Well Drinks $2.25
MGD Draft, Miller Lite Draft $2
Premium Beer $3.50
TPAN Pulse Party 6pm with Billy! $8.75 Miller Pitchers!
$4.75 Miller Lite Drafts
College Football - don’t miss your favorite teams & games all day long!
Open at 11am with George - $3.75 mimosas all day - build your own bloody mary with all the fixins NFL Sunday Ticket
$1.75 Miller Lite mugs all day
Gotcha Dart Tourney 8pm Free entry dart tourney with $50 cash prize
Karaoke Wednesday 10pm with Mistress Melissa
Original Frat House Party hosted by Kevin, Jared and William with DJ Katy R. $5 40oz Miller Light, $5 40oz King Cobra, $5 26oz Corona, $5 Mini-Pitcher of Long Island Iced Tea, $5 Stoli-Flavored Throttle Bombs
Scarlet presents The First Ward Ball - Our weekly themed party. $4 Well Drinks, $4 Bud Light, $5 Stoli-Flavored Throttle Bombs
Psycho Saturday hosted by DJ Psycho Bitch. $95 Classic Stoli Bottle Service, $5 StoliFlavored Throttle Bombs
Scarlet gets a little dirty and presents The Brothel. $12 Champaign Bottle, $4 Mimosas, $4 Bloody Mary’s, $3 Miller Lite, $5 Stoli-Flavored Throttle Bombs
Art Haus, hosted by Adam Guerino A weekly rotation of comedy, local artists, independent films and live music. Followed by DJ Greg Haus. $3 Tall Boy PBR, $5 Well Cosmos, $5 Stoli-flavored Throttle Bombs
The Hangout, hosted by Miss Omicah House, Jennings Wynn and Kevin Neal. $6 Mini Pitchers of Vodka-Lemonade, $3 Miller Lite, $5 Stoli-Flavored Throttle Bombs
Downtown Wednesdays - Scarlet brings top name downtown dj’s and flair without the downtown prices. $95 Classic Stoli Bottle Service, 5 Martinis @ $5/ea, $4 Amstel or Heineken, $5 Stoli-Flavored Throttle Bombs
Open at 3pm Comedy Night 8pm-2am
Open at 3pm Early Show tunes 5-9pm High Energy 9pm-2am
Open 3pm Classic Sidetrack Mix til 9pm High Energy Mix 9pm-3am
Open 3pm Show tunes 3pm-9pm Retro 9pm-2am
Open 3pm Show tunes 3pm-9pm
Open at 3pm U*Video U Request Tuesday 8pm-2am
Open at 3pm Best of Sidetrack 8pm-2am
Cosmo’s (9 ounces of pleasure) $6
Sapporo pints $3
GEAR NIGHT Free Buzz Cuts Dress Code in Club Room Foot Friends 6pm
BEER BUST 50¢ DRAFTS BUD/BUD LIGHT Pool Tourney @ 8 pm Movie Night @ 10 pm Trucker Daddy Night
Domestic pints $2 9pm Free Pizza while it lasts
Shock Top pints $2.75
Fullers London Pride pints $3
3534 W. Belmont Ave. (773) 267-LATE latebarchicago.com
3501 N. Halsted (773) 871-6116 littlejimschicago.com
3733 N. Halsted (773) 477-7999 northendchicago.com
3320 N. Halsted (773) 348-105 scarletbarchicago.com
3349 N. Halsted (773) 477-9189 sidetrackchicago.com
4810 N. Broadway (773) 784-4811
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Enterta i nment
SUNDAYS LIQUID BRUNCH 1PM-6PM
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Music: DJ Nick Phoenix Attire: PJs, robes or whatever YOU are walking home in Specials: $12 bottles of champagne, $4 screwdriver, $4 bloody MARY, COMP Juice mixing bar
BECAUSE BRUNCH WAS NEVER REALLY ABOUT THE FOOD For your pleasure: Cartoons and complimentary cereal
SUNDAYS LIQUID BRUNCH 1PM-6PM
Music: DJ Nick Phoenix Attire: PJs, robes or whatever YOU are walking home in Specials: $12 bottles of champagne, $4 screwdriver, $4 bloody MARY, COMP Juice mixing bar For your pleasure: Cartoons and complimentary cereal
berlin Thu. Mar. 19th P H o T o S B y S T. S u K i E d E L A C r o i x
3320 N. HALSTED, CHICAGO, IL 60657
3320 N. HALSTED, CHICAGO, IL 60657
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Cocktail Thu. Mar. 27 th P H o T o S B y S T. S u K i E d E L A C r o i x
Kenmore Ave Kenmore Ave
Sheridan Rd Sheridan Rd
Winthrop Ave Winthrop Ave
Broadway St Broadway St
Magnolia Ave Magnolia Ave
Broadway St Broadway St
Lakewood Ave Lakewood Ave
Glenwood Ave Glenwood Ave
Bryn Mawr Ave
25 Clark St
Farragut Ave Summerdale Ave
Ashland Ave Ashland Ave
Berwyn Ave Balmoral Ave
Gregory St Balmoral Ave
Bryn Mawr Ave
GregoryGranville St Ave
Ravenswood Ravenswood Ave Ave
Wolcott Ave Wolcott Ave
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Irving Park Rd
Winona St Farragut Ave
2 Berlin 954 W. Belmont (773) 348-4975 3 Bobby Love's 3729 N. Halsted (773) 525-1200 4 Bucks Saloon 3439 N. Halsted (773) 525-1125 5 Cell Block 3702 N. Halsted (773) 665-8064 6 Charlie's 3726 N. Broadway (773) 871-8887 7 Circuit Night Club 3641 N. Halsted (773) 325-2233 8 The Closet Bar 3325 N. Broadway (773) 477-8533
20 Steamworks 3246 N. Halsted (773) 929-6080
28 Scot’s 1829 W. Montrose (773) 528-3253
12 Little Jim's 3501 N. Halsted (773) 871-6116
29 Sofo 4923 N. Clark (773) 784-7636
3341 N. Halsted (773) 871-6227
15 North End 3733 N. Halsted (773) 477-7999 16 Roscoe's Tavern 3356 N. Halsted (773) 281-3355 17 Scarlet Chicago 3320 N. Halsted (773) 348-1053
23 The Call 1547 West Bryn Mawr Ave. (773) 334-2525 24 Crew 4804 N. Broadway (773) 784-2739 25 Hamburger Mary's
- Mary's Attic
5400 N. Clark (773) 784-6969
Sheridan Rd Sheridan Rd
Magnolia Ave Magnolia Ave
Clark St Clark St
30 T’s 5025 N. Clark (773) 784-6000 31 Wild Pug 4810 N. Broadway (773) 784-4811
33 Jackhammer 6406 N. Clark (773) 743-5772 34 Touche 6412 N. Clark (773) 465-7400
Outside map area Baton Show Lounge Downtown 436 N. Clark (312) 644-5269 Bijou Theatre Downtown 1349 N. Wells (312) 943-5397 Davenport's Wicker Park 1383 N. Milwaukee (773) 278-1830 Forest View Lounge Berwyn, IL 4519 S. Harlem (708) 484-9778
32 Granville Anvil 1137 W. Granville (773) 973-0006
B St ay B
Magnolia Ave Magnolia Ave
Montrose Ave The Glenwood Rogers Park 6962 N. Glenwood (773) 764-7363 Montrose Ave Hunter's Nightclub Elk Grove Village, IL 1932 E. Higgins Rd. (847) 439-8840
InnExile Southwest Side 5758 W. 65th St. (773) 582-3510 Jeffery Pub South Side 7041 S. Jeffery Blvd. (773) 363-8555 Maneuvers Joliet, IL 118 E Jefferson St. (815) 727-7069 Moda Franklin Park, IL 2409 N. Manheim Rd. Second Story Bar Downtown 157 E Ohio, Second Floor (312) 923-9536 Velvet Rope Oak Park, IL 728 Lake St. (708) 358-8840
Sheridan Rd Sheridan Rd
11 Hydrate Chicago 3458 N. Halsted (773) 975-9244
22 Big Chicks 5024 N. Sheridan (773) 728-5511
Ashland Ave Ashland Ave
26 Man's Country 5017 N. Clark (773) 878-2069 27 Marty's 1511 W. Balmoral (773) 561-6425
14 Minibar Ultra Lounge and Café
19 Spin Nightclub Belmont @ Halsted (773) 327-7711
21 @mosphere 5355 N. Clark (773) 784-1100
10 Halsted's Bar & Grill 3441 N. Halsted (773) 348-9696
13 Lucky Horseshoe 3169 N. Halsted (773) 404-3169
Hermitage Ave Hermitage Ave
Ravenswood Ravenswood Ave Ave
Wilson Ave Leland Ave
18 Sidetrack 3349 N. Halsted (773) 477-9189
9 Cocktail Chicago 3359 N. Halsted (773) 477-1420
3160 1 3160 N. Clark (773) 327-5969
Bar & club map
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Sheridan Rd Sheridan Rd
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Crew Thu. Mar. 25th P H o T o S B y S T. S u K i E d E L A C r o i x
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Marketplace The top gay cars of 2010 By Matt Alderton CONtriBUtiNG writer
For lots of gay men, cruising is a hobby, like gardening or badminton. They do it online, they do it at bars and they can’t help but do it at the gym. Some gay men even go cruising on the streets. Often for men, but sometimes for sport—like when they’re behind the wheel of a hot new ride. “Gay men are just normal people who happen to have an attraction for the same gender,” says About.com Gay Life Guide Ramon Johnson. “LGBT people are more than a caricature; gay men are just as diverse as straight men, and inside that diversity are some hardcore car enthusiasts.” Johnson, a former quality engineer for GM, is one of those enthusiasts. In 2006, he therefore decided to play a game at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit: While he was browsing the year’s hottest new cars, he was going to try matching them with different gay personalities. The result was a list of the year’s top gay cars, which he’s published every year since. “It started out as a diversity exercise,” Johnson says. “There isn’t one particular thing that gay men like in a car, be it sheet metal or color or style; it depends on the individual person and the individual car.” Joe Tralongo, editor in chief of gay car review Web site Gaywheels.com, agrees. “There are no gay cars, only gay drivers,” he says. “We all know there are stereotypes out there attached to certain cars, the Volkswagen Cabriolet being the perfect example. But those stereotypes don’t usually hold water. So what we try to do is find the attributes that describe cars and let our LGBT readers figure out their best match.” Although there’s no such thing as a “gay car,” there is what’s known as a “gay sensibility,” according to Tralongo. “The gay sensibility is an appreciation for quality, customer service and intelligent design,” he says. “That’s what so many gay men and women look for in everything from their homes to their education to their cars. It’s about buying products that are worth owning.” Whether you see your car as a political statement, a fashion accessory or nothing more than a way to get around, there’s a car out there for you. To help you find it, CFP recently consulted with Johnson and Tralongo in order to choose its top gay cars of 2010: For the Green Gay Although most of Boystown is working on building six-pack abs for summer, it’s a lot easier these days to reduce your carbon footprint than it is to reduce your waistline—especially with cars like the 2010 Volkswagen Golf TDI, a low-emission diesel-en-
For the Green Gay: Audi A3 TDI
gine compact that gets at least 42 miles per gallon according to Tralongo, who managed to get close to 50 during a recent test drive. For just a little more money—$29,950 versus $17,620—you can get the Audi A3 TDI, Johnson’s pick for the year’s best green car. Either way, forget the awkward-looking Toyota Prius: Hybrid’s out and diesel’s in. For the Gadget Gay Gay men who can’t live without Bluetooth, Wi-Fi or 3G should check out the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid. Not only is it environmentally friendly and fun to drive, but it’s also oozing with high-tech features, according to Tralongo. “People who have iPhones and love apps will love this car,” he says. “It has the coolest instrument cluster I’ve ever seen in a car and it has Ford’s SYNC audio system, which is one of the best multimedia interfaces you’ll ever find.” If you want your car to be as high-tech as you are, Johnson also recommends the 2011 Infiniti M, which has the industry’s first 360-degree view cam, a blind spot intervention system and distance control technology that helps you maintain a safe distance from other cars in traffic. For the Professional Gay White-collar gays who survived the recession with their job and 401(k) in tact should consider celebrating with a new car like the 2010 Acura ZDX, according to Johnson, who calls the ZDX a “sexier, more refined sister of the Crosstour,” Honda’s version of the sport utility vehicle. With a luxury interior that rivals that of any Lexus, plus a 300-horsepower V6 powertrain engine, the ZDX is a new breed of Acura for a new breed of professional. Of course, if you’re still convinced that Acuras are boring, there’s always the boardroom exec’s favorite go-to luxury car: the 2010 Mercedes E Class Coupe. “It’s almost like art,” Tralongo says. “For that reason, certain gay men will definitely gravitate towards it.”
For the Gadget Gay: The 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid
For the Frugal Gay Gay or straight, everyone would love to own a BMW. Unfortunately, not everyone’s a high roller. Even if you’re cash-strapped, however, you can afford a little bit of “cool.” Just look at the 2011 Ford Fiesta. According to Johnson, the new Fiesta—debuting this summer—is nothing like the old one, which was more comedy than car. The new version starts at just $13,000, gets up to 40 miles per gallon, and comes in both sedan and hatchback models. Plus, it comes in every color in the gay rainbow, including “Lime Squeeze,” “Yellow Blaze,” “Blue Flame” and “Red Candy.” Because they offer a lot for a little, the MINI Cooper and Mazda 3 also are good budget buys, according to Tralongo. For the Trendsetting Gay Gay men who want to drive something that’s as posh as their Gucci manbag—but not as pricey—should consider the 2010 Chevy Camaro, which is a new fashion-forward version of the classic American car. Starting at less than $25,000, it’s an affordable way to get a lot of attention, according to Johnson and Tralongo, who also likes the ultraexpensive 2010 Audi R8 and 2011 Mercedes SLS—which start at $114,200 and $270,000, respectively—in case money’s no object. For the Hipster Gay Whether you live in Wicker Park or Lincoln Park, you can look good and be different in the 2010 Subaru Outback, which will take you downtown to dinner just as easily as it will take you downstate for an afternoon of off-roading. “It’s the quintessential lesbian car—everyone says that—but lesbians have really good senses and intuition,” Tralongo says. “This car really is an amazing vehicle. If you’re not worried about impressing your neighbors and you don’t need to attract attention, the Outback is perfect.”
For the Highway Gay Summer is right around the corner, and there’s no better way to spend a hot Chicago day than zipping up and down Lake Shore Drive in a convertible. Like RuPaul in a reallife drag race, you’ll be “looking good and feeling gorgeous” in the 2011 Volvo C70. Johnson’s top convertible pick, the C70 has a retractable hard top for rainy days and a 12-speaker audio system that’s sure to drown out even the windiest Windy City wind noise. If you’re worried about storage when you’re headed to the beach, consider a soft top instead; Tralongo’s favorite is the 2010 Audi A5 Cabriolet because of its stylish interior, good gas mileage and ample trunk space.
Did You Know?
There’s really only one thing that makes a car gay-friendly: How the manufacturer treats its gay employees. According to Joe Tralongo, editor in chief of Gaywheels.com, all but four companies—Hyundai, Kia, Suzuki and Porsche—offer domestic partnership benefits to their employees. To make sure your new ride measures up on gay rights, look at the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index (www.hrc.org) before you make your next purchase.
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For the Frugal Gay: 2011 Ford Fiesta
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For the Hipster Gay: 2010 Subaru Outback
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Published on Apr 11, 2010
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