Friday 9 Sep 2011

Community Unity

Last night a number of people came together for the GRAB Magazine Benefit Show for victims of the Lakeview fire! Truly it was a heartfelt room as many in the LGBT&A community gave of their time and treasure for the folks in need.

The list of performers read more like a who’s who of Chicago’s queer night life; with Precious Jewel, Cee Cee Larouge, Zander Mander Reina Nation, Donovan P., Kelly Lauren, Sorraya Dash, Frida Lay, Champagne Capone, Keisha Foxx, Alexadra Duvall, Tori Sass, DiDa Ritz, Max Damen, Milani Ninja, Alyssa Gunn, Gia Gunn, and the lovely Jade all lending their names to the cause.

Host Cyon Flare brought forth one heck of a presence on the stage; wearing the biggest, brightest, Cyon Flare red dress and hat. Clearly Cy is the consummate host!

Some of my favorite acts included Teri Yaki’s I'm burning up for your love; a great song title for the occasion, whilst spewing fire from her mouth. Teri is ALWAYS in rare form. Her flame atop her head stole the show in Chicago’s Fashion Night.

The iconic Honey West can do no wrong in my book! She is the quintessential class act; singing live and working the room.

Tajma Hall’s performance of a Whitney Huston medley raised the energy level quite a bit. Taj always delivers the goods when it comes to performance. I could look at her eyes all night!

The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, Chicago Abby, were on hand once again giving their beautiful presence and services throughout the show. Saucey Firewater’s performance of “Baby I'm burnin” by Dolly Parton was over the top, as she fired her cap-gun in the air. Photojournalist, Anthony Meade was there to document the show. You can see the photos soon. It was also a blast to fellowship with my pal David Hackett. He is such a marvelous member of our community!

What I saw last night was as Cyon put it, “Unity in the community”. What a refreshing scene. GRAB Magazine co-publisher, Stacy Bridges, who himself was displaced in the fire, thanked the crowd and encouraged folks to give. He also announced that he would not accept any of the money for himself, but would rather it go to the others in the building.

As a reminder, you can also donate money online through the Center on Halsted by clicking here. Be sure to write 'fire victims' in the additional information section and 100% of your donation will go directly to those in need.

I’d like to say a personal thank you to Paul Cannella and all the really cute (Hi Michael) gang at Taverna 750 for treating Stacy, Matt, Howard, and me to dinner and drinks before the benefit. Paul’s generosity never ceases to amaze me. Equally as generous are the delicious eats at Taverna 750! Every time I dine there, I’m blown away by the food, and service; not to mention the cello’s. Their Limoncello is the best I’ve ever had!

Here’s to a great weekend!
Bill Pritchard

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Tuesday 30 Aug 2011

Welcome to Chicago!

The Windy City is definitely all a buzz with the arrival of hundreds of softball players vying for the big win of the 2011 Gay Softball World Series

The Opening Ceremonies were hosted on Monday night by Rugby World Cup Champion, Ben Cohen and actor/director, Leslie Jordan. (Will & Grace)

The entertainment line up included Pandora Boxx; and Chicago favorites singer Amy Armstrong; ( and DJ/Producer Matthew Harvat (

I’m pretty sure that I’m in love with Ben Cohen. He was so sweet. Equally as sweet and uber-funny, was Leslie Jordan! I had to work hard not to call him Beverly Leslie. Photojournalist, Anthony Meade and I had a blast getting to know them both.

It was great to run into my friend and Seattle’s PURR Cocktail Lounge owner, Barbie Humphrey and her really cute friend Luke Preston. I’d recognize her hair a mile away! Equally as enjoyable were the countless attractive hottie’s from around the nation. For some reason I’m especially attracted to the fellas from Seattle (He was that cute, Barbie!) and Minnesota! You can see the photos here.

For those of you visiting Chicago, we hope you will get out and enjoy our wonderful city. From Lincoln Park, to Boystown, to Andersonville, and Bucktown/Wicker Park; there’s lots to see and enjoy! is your one-stop-shop to LGBT Chicago. Check back regularly and see photos from this weekend and beyond. We even have sites in LA, Miami, and Washington, DC. Check us out!

As you Tweet while you’re out and about this week, be sure to include @GoPride and the hashtag #GSWS

Bill Pritchard

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Interview with Emmy Award-winning actor Leslie Jordan
Wednesday 24 Aug 2011


I just realized, it’s been forever since I’ve blogged. What’s up with that? I guess the summer has been keeping me busy. It’s hard to believe we are already at the end of August.

Pride came and went, followed by Market Days. Whew, I’m beat just thinking of those two. In between them was a trip to Toronto, Amy Armstrong’s 40th Birthday party at the Mayne Stage and a sojourn to Cary, IL.

Keeping the momentum going, I hope all of you in Chicago will make it a point to go out and about Thursday, August 25th and participate in Bar AIDS!

This night takes an evening’s fellowship and turns it into a community’s fundraiser. Bars and clubs donate a percentage of their sales to the amazing work of Edge Alliance, a non-profit organization which decrease homelessness and supports people living with HIV/AIDS, the disabled, and veterans.

Particpating Bars/Clubs (As of 8/24/11)

Sofo Bar
4923 N. Clark

Flounder's Bar & Grill
2201 N. Clybourn Ave. 4pm - 2am

Downtown Bar & Lounge
440 N. State

954 W Belmont 9:30pm-12am

3359 N. Halsted

D.S Tequilia Company
3352 N Halsted 9pm-2am

The Elixir Lounge
3452 N. Halsted

Halsted's Bar & Grill
3441 N. Halsted 5pm - 12am

Hydrate Nightclub
3458 N. Halsted

Roscoe's Tavern
3356 N. Halsted

3220 N Halsted

North Side
6406 N. Clark St.

6412 N. Clark St.

Uptown Big Chicks
5024 N. Sheridan Road

Fat Cat
4840 N. Broadway

Nick's Uptown
4015 N. Sheridan Ave.

Wicker Park
Flat Iron
1565 N. Milwaukee Ave.

Nick's Beer Garden
1516 N. Milwaukee Ave.

Rogers Park
The Glenwood
6962 N. Glenwood

Not a drinker? Not a problem! All of these establishments sell soft drinks, and mixers. Your participation is just as vital!

I hope to see you out! Be sure to Tweet while you’re about and include @EdgeAlliance, @GoPride and the hashtag #baraids

Bill Pritchard

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Interview with Emmy Award-winning actor Leslie Jordan, in Chicago for the Gay Softball World Series
Tuesday 5 Jul 2011

Our Boystown!

I’ve lived in Boystown for almost ten years. It’s not just the country’s first gay village, it’s my home.

Sadly, I’ve seen my home become an unsafe battle ground and I’m a bit pissed.

Now, I live in Chicago. I know what I’ve got myself into. There’s going to be crime and violence living in one of the largest cities in the country. That being said, I don’t think we who live in the neighborhood; or those that enjoy the gayberhood should sit by and let activity like this rule us out.

To that end, I hope all of you who share my concern will attend the Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy (C.A.P.S.) meeting Wednesday night at 7:00PM!

This is your opportunity to hear what’s being done and voice your concern. It’s our community. We need to put bigotry, fear, and judgment aside and tackle this problem together.

I hope to see you there!
Bill Pritchard

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Alderman Tom Tunney responds to community crime
Thursday 23 Jun 2011

My Pride: Art Johnston

Celebrating the true meaning of Pride, I want to publicly thank someone in the LGBT community who has lived and fought for my rights and for many of those who read this. I’m talking about my friend Art Johnston.

Many in Chicago’s LGBT community know Art as co-owner of Sidetrack video bar in Boystown. Long before Sidetrack became the amazing success it has, Art and his Partner of 38 years, Jose Pena, stepped up to the plate and demanded our rights; donating to dozens of LGBT and HIV/AIDS causes.

A few years ago, Art asked me to join him for drinks. Honestly, I was so blown out of the water by the request. He’s been someone that I knew about long before I moved to Chicago in 2001. I quickly agreed and a time was set.

My best friend had to calm me down the day of our meeting. I was so nervous; it’s not every day that you get to meet one of your hero’s. I even took a whole day off from work, just so I wouldn’t be late. Art could not have been more warm and friendly. His reason for wanting to meet was simply to get to know me. An experience I will never forget!

A friendship was born out of that experience and I am truly grateful for it! Hearing Art’s perspective on life, the LGBT community, and the future of equality always causes me to redefine what I think is important in my life and in my work. Just seeing his smile makes any room brighter. His passion for people challenges me to want the same.

I am grateful!

Art’s hard work on our behalf has been over the top! Among his many achievements, Art has served on the board of the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance, Harvey Milk Fund, the Northalsted Area Merchants Association, IMPACT, Equality Illinois and GAA/CMSA. He is also a founder of CAMMP (Coalition Against Media/Marketing Prejudice) and Equality Illinois. He and Jose have given their time and treasure for countless people’s ability to be free to love who they want and share in the equality we deserve.

The community is grateful!

This Pride, as we enjoy the festivity, I hope you will recall Art & Jose and the countless others who’ve given of themselves. Not to be call hero but to change their world for equality.

The true meaning of Pride!

Bill Pritchard

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