ChicagoPride.com Blogs
Thursday 26 May 2011

Lust and Libations

This Saturday is the 20th Annual Grabby Awards at the Park West Theater. The Grabby’s celebrate the adult industry’s contribution to the community. And contribute they have; partnering with the Test Positive Aware Network (TPAN) to raise money for HIV testing and education. In fact many of the Grabby Weekend events have had raffles that benefit TPAN.

As my friend Steve could tell you, the Grabby’s are always a silly time for me. Let’s face it, not all of us are into the whole adult film thing. What I can say I really enjoy is the dedication by Grabby producers Stacy Bridges and Mark Nagel of Grab Magazine to the Chicago LGBT community. Those boys have raised tons of dough and awareness for the things that matter. Of that we can all be proud of!

Hosted by the hilarious Chi Chi LaRue and Chicago’s own Honey West; the event is always full of innuendo and indecent exposure.

I always enjoy running into a number of pals in the industry; including former Illinoisan Jayden Grey and my hometown pal, Brent Corrigan. Be on the lookout next for an interview that he and I just did. That boy is uber-busy these days with a lot of mainstream work. I’m so proud of him and all his success!

Make all of your Memorial Day weekend plans by checking out CalendarQ from ChicagoPride.com, Windy City Times and Nightspots.

Grab This!
Bill Pritchard

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The importance of Memorial Day
 
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Wednesday 25 May 2011

Trash to Treasure

Last night I attended Chicago Lost and Found’s cocktail reception at Life Book (1200 W. Lake St)

Hosted by my pal and Founder, Mitch Pennell, the room was filled with many the Chicago notable; like cabaret Diva, Amy Armstrong, (AmyFreddy.com) Chicago’s Commission on Human Relations’ Advisory Council’s Bill Greaves, everyone’s favorite DJ/Host/Producer, Matthew Harvat, and NBC Chicago’s Wayne Johnson

Chicago Lost and Found’s is a not-for-profit organization committed to art education and inspiring creativity throughout the city. The organization re-purposes materials with no value or which would otherwise become landfill and transforms it into unusual art and functional furnishings. Sales from the creations assist in generating funds to provide hands-on art education anywhere there is a need in Chicago.

Something must be said about the space at Life Book ! Talk about a Shangri-La! It was the perfect setting for such an event. I met their Managing Director, Karla Ortiz who taught me all about the mission of Life Book; to maximize human potential and accelerate human achievement.

While funding for the arts and education is on a constant decline, it is paramount community organizations like Chicago Lost and Found step in to fill the void. Chicago Lost and Found offers a unique way to help while providing additional benefits for the city and environment. Be sure to check them out at chicagolostandfound.com

Happy HUMP Day!
Bill Pritchard

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Saturday May 28 :: The Grabby’s
Thursday 12 May 2011

So Long Mr. Mayor!

I remember the first time I ever saw him. I was having dinner with my Brother David at Chicago’s famed RL and looked across the room. It was 2001 and I was brand new to Chicago. I started to get up and my brother asked, “What are you doing?!” I explained to him that I thought I should introduce myself to him; being that I was so new to the city. With a firm shake of the cheeks, as if to evoke my Sainted Father’s presence, he let me know that would not be acceptable. My brother is not a walking mouth like me, so I understood.

The first time I spoke with Mayor Daley was the second time I saw him; a few months later and still again at RL. This time it was a very snowy Saturday and I stepped in to quench my homesick blues with a tasty bowl of soup (They have some of THE best in town!) and a well-made libation. I chose to dine in front of the fireplace; making the experience more cozy. Finished with my soup, I sat back and enjoyed my first winter and strong drink, when out of nowhere the Mayor came out of the dining room.

An aid fetched his hat and coat while the Mayor looked out the window on to Chicago Street. A passerby nearly bit it on the snowy pavement as she recognized the Mayor through the window. Waving, she went on her way. Mayor Daley turned right around and said to me, “She must know you!” We both had a good laugh and I was able to finally meet my Mayor.

As the years progressed and I found myself involved in the community, my experiences with the Mayor grew more often. I’ll never forget the first time he greeted me as the Mayor of Boystown. Yes, it’s a nickname that has blessed and cursed my life, but coming from him was something special.

We were at the Mayor’s yearly Pride Reception. As the presentation of remarks ended, folks were invited to come up, greet the Mayor, and get their photo taken. Clearly some staffer briefed him, as I was the first to come up. “Mister Mayor! How is Boystown today?!”, he said to me. I wanted to die! The first thing to come out of my mouth was “Alive and well because of you Mister Mayor!”. With that we exchanged a brief conversation and snapped a photo.

I still believe that my response is right! We’ve seen unparalleled support for Chicago's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community from the Daley Administration! The expansion of Chicago human rights legislation to include protection from gender identity, instituting domestic partnership benefits for city employees, creating the Office of LGBT Health in the city Department of Health, establishing the Advisory Council on LGBT Issues, support for the North Halsted streetscape project, backing the Center on Halsted, and so much more. It’s no wonder that Mayor Daley was inducted as a "Friend of the Community" into the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame in 2006.

Our next Mayor, former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel has shown to be just as supportive. Although I have yet to meet with him, he has my support as well.

Grateful!
Bill Pritchard

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Tuesday 10 May 2011

Scarlet's Benefit for Ping Pong

This Wednesday, May 11th at 7:00 PM, Scarlet will host a benefit for the staff of Ping Pong restaurant.

The victim of a fire on May 6th, Ping Pong suffered major fire damage causing it to close temporarily.

Proud to have the chance to help someone else impacted by a fire.” said Scarlet owner, Paul D Cannella on his Facebook page. “. . .funds will help the servers, bartenders, kitchen staff and others that woke up to being unemployed.

It was over two years ago that Scarlet itself suffered through a fire and the community came together to help.

There will be 3 ways to give money through purchases:

-$15 Wristbands at the Door for all you can drink well + domestic beers

-Jello Shots and House Shots served by your favorite pingpong staff

-50/50 Raffle for Cash and Prizes from other Lakeview businesses

If you have a gift basket or own a business that can donate a raffle prize, please let me know." You can reach Paul via email at paul.cannella@gmail.com

Cheers to making a difference here at home!
Bill Pritchard

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Center on Halsted’s Human First Gala
Monday 9 May 2011

Vote for Nick Adams

When I was in the Big Apple with my Sainted Father the week before last, we planed ahead and got tickets to the Broadway hit, Priscilla Queen of the Desert at New York’s Palace Theater.

Where to begin!? Perfect! Perfect! Perfect! The music, sets, costumes, and performers were BEYOND amazing! For the first time in my life I can literally say that I laughed, cried; it became a part of me.

With splendid performances by Will Swenson and Tony Sheldon; the standout performance for me was none other than Nick Adams playing the role of Felicia! In all my years of seeing theater in London, Chicago, Seattle, and New York; I’ve never seen someone move like that on a stage! That and the 27 year-old Pennsylvania native is DAMN FINE!

Don’t let his bested-Mario-Lopez-in-getting-the-2(x)ist underwear-contract looks fool ya, Nick is an extremely gifted vocalist, actor, and dancer; earning his BFA in musical theatre with a minor in dance from famed Boston Conservatory of Music. Equally impressive is his difference making commitment to the community, both in New York and on the national stage!

Adding to his many accolades, Nick has been nominated for a number of Broadway.com Audience Choice Awards. (Favorite Diva Performance, Favorite Funny Performance, and Favorite Breakthrough Performance) Priscilla has also been nominated! (Favorite Musical)

If you’ve seen Nick, Tony, and Will perform, you should vote today! Voting ends Thursday the 12th of May. If you haven’t; take my word for it! Going to New York? Get tickets for Priscilla!

You’ve got my vote Nick!
Bill Pritchard

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Center on Halsted’s Human First Gala

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