ChicagoPride.com Blogs
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

MaD|ChicagoPride.com|PrideLA.com|PrideDC.com |PrideMiami.com

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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

MaD|ChicagoPride.com|PrideLA.com|PrideDC.com |PrideMiami.com

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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

MaD|ChicagoPride.com|PrideLA.com|PrideDC.com |PrideMiami.com

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Center on Halsted’s Human First Gala
Thursday 5 May 2011

MOM

Now don’t you forget! This Sunday, May 8th is Mother’s Day! This happens to be one of my favorite holidays as my Mom is pretty incredible!

She’s never been Mother or Ma, just Mom. So loving and caring with an expert hand at teaching; my Mom exercises the perfect amount of grace and mentorship. She’s been THE perfect example and friend.

I get that a lot of you don’t have a great relationships with your moms and I’m genuinely sorry about that! Therefore, I’d like to share mine with you. As sweet and generous as she is, I think she deserves even more praise than I can give her. Smiles

Happy Mother’s Day Mom!
Billy

MaD|ChicagoPride.com|PrideLA.com|PrideDC.com |PrideMiami.com

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Center on Halsted’s Human First Gala
Tuesday 15 Mar 2011

Introducing spring!

Don’t look now, but it would seem that our old pal spring has sprung and is about to show its pretty face to the people of the Midwest!

Moments like these really encourage me to go outside more; albeit with an umbrella.

Happy 2222's Day!
Bill Pritchard

MaD|ChicagoPride.com|PrideLA.com|PrideDC.com |PrideMiami.com

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