ChicagoPride.com Blogs
Tuesday 22 Feb 2011

Drew's a cut above the rest

Everyone loves the story of the good guy winning in the end. Well this is such a story! My pal and hair stylist Drew Freund has won over the critics; most notably BRAVO’s Tabatha Coffey of Tabatha’s Salon Takeover. Don’t let the boy-next-door cute looks fool ya! Drew is one smart dedicated chap. As you can see from the video below, he’s taken the critique and challenge that was given in the previous season, and made it work for him.




I can’t begin to say how proud of Drew I am! He’s been my hair stylist for a long time and has always worked hard. I’ve not met many his age so dedicated to growing, learning, and working hard. That and he’s debt free with investments too boot! Truly an impressive person!

Before you all rush to Zea Salon to make an appointment; keep in mind that he’s always got an hour for me first. Smiles

Happy 2222’s Day!
Bill Pritchard

MaD|ChicagoPride.com|PrideLA.com|PrideDC.com|Facebook|Twitter|Email Bill
 
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Tuesday 15 Feb 2011

Medal of Freedom

President Obama honored fifteen recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom today at a ceremony at the White House. As the President said, “These outstanding honorees come from a broad range of backgrounds and they’ve excelled in a broad range of fields, but all of them have lived extraordinary lives that have inspired us, enriched our culture, and made our country and our world a better place.

The highest civilian honor in the United States, the 2010 Medal of Freedom is presented to individuals who have made “especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors”; according to the White House.

The following individuals received the Presidential Medal of Freedom at today's ceremony: President George H. W. Bush George Herbert Walker Bush was the 41st President of the United States. Chancellor Angela Merkel Angela Merkel is the Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany. Congressman John Lewis John Lewis is an American hero and a giant of the Civil Rights Movement. John H. Adams John H. Adams co-founded the Natural Resources Defense Council in 1970. Maya Angelou Dr. Maya Angelou is a prominent and celebrated author, poet, educator, producer, actress, filmmaker, and civil rights activist, who is currently the Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University. Warren Buffett Warren Buffett is an American investor, industrialist, and philanthropist. He is one of the most successful investors in the world. Jasper Johns American artist Jasper Johns has produced a distinguished body of work dealing with themes of perception and identity since the mid-1950s. Gerda Weissmann Klein Gerda Weissmann Klein is a Jewish Holocaust survivor who has written several books about her experiences. Dr. Tom Little (Posthumous) Dr. Tom Little was an optometrist who was brutally murdered on August 6, 2010, by the Taliban in the Kuran Wa Munjan district of Badakhshan, Afghanistan, along with nine other members of a team returning from a humanitarian mission to provide vision care in the remote Parun valley of Nuristan. Yo-Yo Ma Yo-Yo Ma is considered the world’s greatest living cellist, recognized as a prodigy since the age of five whose celebrity transcends the world of classical music. Sylvia Mendez Sylvia Mendez is a civil rights activist of Mexican and Puerto Rican descent. Stan Musial Stan “The Man” Musial is a baseball legend and Hall of Fame first baseman for the St. Louis Cardinals. Musial played 22 seasons for the Cardinals from 1941 to 1963. Bill Russell Bill Russell is the former Boston Celtics’ Captain who almost single-handedly redefined the game of basketball. Jean Kennedy Smith In 1974, Jean Kennedy Smith founded VSA, a non-profit organization affiliated with the John F. Kennedy Center that promotes the artistic talents of children, youth and adults with disabilities. John J. Sweeney John J. Sweeney is the current President Emeritus of the AFL-CIO, and served as President of the AFL-CIO from 1995 to 2009.



Yesterday I had the great privilege to visit with Congressman John Lewis while I was in Atlanta. He is truly an American hero and an icon of the Civil Rights Movement. He served as chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), helped to organize the first lunch-counter sit-in in 1959 at the age of 19, and was the youngest speaker at the 1963 March on Washington. In May 1961, he participated in the initial Freedom Ride, during which he endured violent attacks in Rock Hill, South Carolina, and Montgomery, Alabama. In 1964, he helped to coordinate the Mississippi Freedom Project, and, in 1965, he led the Selma-to-Montgomery march to petition for voting rights where marchers were brutally confronted in an incident that became known as “Bloody Sunday.” Eight days later, President Johnson addressed a joint session of Congress, condemned the violence in Selma, and called for passage of the Voting Rights Act, which was enacted within months. Since 1987, John Lewis has served as the U.S. Representative for Georgia’s 5th District, which encompasses all of Atlanta.

During our time together he spoke of not giving up and working as hard as possible to bring justice to those that don’t have it. I can’t think of anyone better deserved for this high award. Well, perhaps my Sainted Father; who last year won the National LGBT Bar Association's 2010 Allies for Justice Award. A true hero to our community and to me!

Happy Tuesday!
Bill Pritchard

MaD|ChicagoPride.com|PrideLA.com|PrideDC.com|Facebook|Twitter|Email Bill


Friday 4 Feb 2011

Chilly Winter HOT Men

Snow schmo! This Mo needs to warm up a little and what better way to do so then with the help of famed Chicago photographer John Gress

Many in the Midwest will recall last years 2010 Cool Down Calendar featuring many hometown hotties; including my pal Alex.

If you’re as tired of the snow and all the talk about it, may I encourage you to step on over to John’s store site where you can buy some of these lovely photos to warm the cockles of your chilly hearts.

Happy Weekend!
Bill Pritchard


MaD|ChicagoPride.com|PrideLA.com|PrideDC.com|Facebook|Twitter|Email Bill


Tuesday 1 Feb 2011

I’m gonna do it with Ronnie Kroell

With Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signing the Illinois Religious Freedom and Protection and Civil Union Act into law; same sex couples will have the same legal protections as anyone else. Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said, "No longer will same sex couples be denied the nearly 650 rights, benefits and protections of Illinois law."

Now THAT is superb news! I know that it’s not 100% equality, but it’s damn close and that takes the equality message to a higher stage in our country. Think back to just ten years ago when there weren’t any states offering such things. We’ve come a long way and have more brave steps to take. Although many deserve thanks for this great victory, IL State Rep. Greg Harris is to be praised for his un-ending work in seeing things through! [See photos from the signing.]

Often I’ve said that our nations paradigm shift towards the LGBT Community was due in part to shows like Will & Grace and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy; and people like Ronnie Kroell. Seeing the gay-boy-next-door opened peoples hearts to the possibility that he could as easily have been our brother, son, or neighbor.

Now, I’ve known Ronnie for a long time and I’m pretty sure that we didn’t know this would be the outcome in his being on television. What I do know about my pal Ronnie is that he has always been one to make the most impact in every setting!

Why all this Ronnie talk? Well, today is his birthday. With him in NYC it’s got me missing him more than most days. He’s been a very good friend to me and to my work at GoPride.com. We’ve experienced so many life changing moments together; all the while our friendship has been so honest and loving. Like everyone else, if I could If I could marry a guy like Ronnie I would in a heartbeat! (You’re a damn lucky man Taylor!)

Many of you know Ronnie from the media and only get a glimpse of who he is. Knowing him as I do, I can say that he is one amazing son to his folks; loving partner to Taylor; and dear friend to me.

Happy Birthday Ron and congratulations to all of us in Illinois!

More steps to come!
Bill Pritchard

PS: Many thanks to Kirk Williamson From Nightspots for including me in his Grindr-esq cover this week!

MaD|ChicagoPride.com|PrideLA.com|PrideDC.com|Facebook|Twitter|Email Bill


Monday 31 Jan 2011

My Grandma is 107

Whether you live in LA, Chicago, or DC, I hope you all had a nice weekend! Mine started off by attending Champagne Wrapture Snowball 2011: Clicquot In The Snow hosted by Chicago House. Co-Chairs Scott Silverman, David Kaufman, Tom Segal, Matthew Harvat, and Christopher Hubbard did an amazing job turning Chicago’s AON Tower 80th floor into a winter wonderland!

Many of my best memories are surrounded by Veuve Clicquot! Their generosity was truly appreciated. I’m pretty sure I consumed a bottle or two over the evening. And, as good as Veuve is, I didn’t feel a thing the next day. Be sure to check out the Photos from the event, by GoPride’s own Anthony Meade.

In my Family, we celebrate life, even after death. Knowing my Grandparents, it’s easy to see why! They were life/world changers and each had their mark on our lives.

One such person was my Father’s Mother, Anne Pritchard Strauss. Grandma was quite a character. She made everyone laugh and always had something to say about everything. She loved her grandkids; giving each one a nickname. (Epiphany: perhaps that is where I get that from.) She named me Peaches & Cream. Apparently my complexion was that grand in her mind. To this day, every time I exfoliate, lotion, or wash my face, I think of her.

She was a woman who loved God. Not nearly a moment would go by where she didn't thank God for “His many blessings”. She’s famous in my family for saying “God will know” when one of us kids was less than honest about something. Somehow, I think that God wasn’t the only one who knew.

Before Grandma came to live with us in Seattle, she kept a home in NYC and in Florida. In the days before internet and email, she would always write us and send care packages. Christmas had nothing on her when it came to the arrival of a package from Grandma. Of course, she went above and beyond at Christmas; dressing up at Santa Clause for all.

I could give chapter and verse about Grandma, but there isn’t enough space on my computer for such a blog. Suffice it to say, I miss her terribly and will celebrate her today by enjoying a bit of happy hour!

Cheers!
Bill Pritchard

MaD|ChicagoPride.com|PrideLA.com|PrideDC.com|Facebook|Twitter|Email Bill


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