ChicagoPride.com Blogs
Tuesday 1 Apr 2014

Farewell Frankie

Tremendous sadness has been felt by so many. Legendary DJ and Producer Frankie Knuckles has died.

There are quite a lot of Frankie stories to be shared. I met a protégé of his, David Morales back in 1998, when we brought him to Seattle's Paradise Garage. It was there that I first heard House Music and learned about Frankie. It was also that evening where I met my second boyfriend, Christopher. Both moments I'll not ever forget.

A few years later, upon my arrival to Chicago, I was given a copy of his Whistle Song. That mix became a representation of my personal life changes and relocation. No exaggeration, I’ve probably listened to that mix every week for the last 13 years.

My friends Mark and Rodney invited me to meet Frankie. He was the resident Sunday DJ at their then new nightclub, Hydrate in Boystown. It was all I could do to not scream like a girl. Frankie was humble and very sweet. I’m sure with the amount of adulation he received every day, he was used to such fanaticism. For me, it was a moment to thank him for his music.

Every time I saw Frankie after that, he greeted me as if we were old friends. I’m quite sure he didn’t even know my name, but his kindness was true to form for him.

It’s sad to say goodbye to a friend, who helped to define so many lives through music. His impact on this world will live on forever.

Bill

Make A Difference | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Email Bill
 
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Monday 31 Mar 2014

A Return to Downton Abbey

SO much fun was had last weekend, beginning with the young professionals from the IFH Junior Board on Friday. They hosted InterACT: Cocktailing for a Difference at Rebel Bar & Grill in Chicago’s Wrigleville neighborhood.

What better way to have fun and give back to the community than drinks with new friends and old! There was a great turnout and everyone had a nice time. I was pleased to see a number of folks who’ve never heard about IFH. You can see photos from the event above or here.

Saturday was spent in fellowship with friends. Now Sunday, was spent in the most lackadaisical way. I woke up pretty early, and had the marvelous idea to make breakfast in bed. I enjoy cooking, but there’s something to be said about cooking for oneself as a form of pampering.

As you can see above, I had eggs, bacon, English muffin, coffee, and orange juice.  The only thing that could have made this meal better was if Joe Jonas himself were enjoying it next to me.

I then spent the whole day being with myself; a bit of time outside in the spring weather, a delicious lunch and ending it with a bit of Downton Abbey and a sumptuous dinner. (I’m watching it from the beginning.)

When was the last time you made a day like that for yourself? By the time I went to bed, I was relaxed and ready for the week. I had a perfect night’s sleep and woke just before my alarm.

I’ll have to do this more often!

Have a good week!
Bill Pritchard
Make A Difference | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Email Bill
Tuesday 25 Mar 2014

InterACT

Everyone’s looking for a way to give back these days. Seems like so many are attending events and galas; filling their consciences with the assurance that they are making a difference.

Join the young professionals, of the IFH Junior Board this Friday, March 28th, from 9pm-12am at Rebel Bar & Grill in Chicago’s Wrigleville neighborhood for InterACT: Cocktailing for a Difference

Wristbands are just $25 for three hours of quality cocktails, luscious libations, all in a PRIVATE room big enough for 200+ of our closest friends!

The last event, InterACT Art with a Heart drew in a number of folks looking to do their part to support the life restoring work of Interfaith House; a 64-bed interim housing respite care center, which provides holistic help to Illinois’ ill and injured homeless adults. IFH helps to restore their health, rebuild their lives and regain self-sufficiency.  They provide bold solutions, not band-aids, to the problem of homelessness.

You're going out anyway, might as well make it count right!?!  RSVP here

Cheers!
Bill Pritchard
Make A Difference | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Email Bill
Monday 24 Mar 2014

Community Compassion

I noticed over the weekend that Westboro Baptist Church had its first protest since the passing of Fred Phelps Sr. What was marvelous to see were counter-protesters showing compassion for Phelps with a sizeable “sorry for your loss” sign! Clearly that is the most un-Phelps thing to do!

A positive and compassionate message; although lost on church members has resonated with the media and public.  Members of the notorious hate church protested outside Lorde's concert in Kansas City, Missouri last Friday. This time they were met by counter-protesters who held up the sorrowful sign.

Nate Phelps, the estranged son of Phelps Sr., posted the story and image on his Facebook page (See above) with the comment, "I love the world when I see this.". Nate also posted this official statement.

I honestly wondered when I posted an Op-Ed on Phelps eventual passing a week ago; whether there might be a backlash from it. I think most thought it would. Even the Wall Street Journal interviewed me on what most thought would be an unpopular opinion. 



Wonderfully, I’ve  seen more compassion from people. Judy Shepard, the Mom of Matthew Shepard showed great strength in her stance. Even snarky activist, George Takei showed great restraint in his approach!

In the end, the real legacy I hope we create is the one of compassion to our fellow man. What Mr. Phelps did and said is inexcusable; his hate evil. I for one will not dignify that by responding in kind.

Bill Pritchard
Thursday 20 Mar 2014

Farewell Vernita

The LGBT community lost a friend on March 18th. She lived and fought for countless people around the country.  I’m talking about Vernita Gray

Every time I saw Vernita, she’s greeted me as if I were her best friend. We honestly never spoke about LGBT rights or her work for equality. The year I was born, she came out as a lesbian soon after attending Woodstock. There she learned about the Stonewall Riots. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stonewall_riots  With that she organized a gay and lesbian hotline using her on own phone number. She hosted support groups in her home and was published comprehensively in magazines.

She took charge in leading the Chicago gay liberation movement; serving lesbians and gay men in Chicago's African American community. All this, before a gay kid from Seattle; who would someday move to Chicago, would benefit from her efforts.

I am grateful!

Vernita was active in forming the first Lesbian Caucus of the nascent Gay Liberation organization and the first Chicago lesbian newspaper Lavendar Woman. She pioneered the outreach to the Lesbian community becoming iconic as a role model

Our community is grateful!

Wonderfully, Vernita and her wife, Pat Ewert were the first same-sex couple married legally in Illinois, in November of 2013, after winning a court victory because of Vernita’s health situation. That started the ball rolling on additional court rulings that accelerated marriage in Illinois ahead of the original June 1, 2014 enactment of full marriage equality in the state.

BEYOND Grateful!
Bill Pritchard

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