ChicagoPride.com Blogs
Tuesday 11 May 2010

White rapper Lady Sov gives first gay interview

After years of rumors, white rapper Lady Sovereign finally gave her first gay interview.

The tiny rapper dished everything--from when she first realized she was a lesbian to why she kept quiet for so long--to UK's DIVA magazine, which is out on stands now.

"You can't hide away forever," Lady Sovereign explained.

I'm excited that Lady Sovereign finally agreed to discuss her sexuality. For the past few years, her avoidance of GLBT media and questions about her personal life were, well, embarrassing. Like Ricky Martin, it wasn't exactly a secret, if you know what I mean.

While part of me understands why she kept quiet for the last five years (being a female, white rapper is probably difficult enough as it is), I really wished she had the courage to come out when she first made a big splash.

It would be fantastic for young queers if more artists around their age didn't hesitate to come out. I'm so sick of celebrities coming out years after their expiration date. Luckily, Lady Sov is young, so we'll likely get the chance to see another lesbian enjoy the spotlight for years to come.
 
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Wednesday 7 Apr 2010

Lesbian icon: "I have breast cancer"

This morning, I was bummed out to hear the news that tennis legend Martina Navratilova has breast cancer.

This morning, during an appearance on "Good Morning America," the lesbian icon revealed that she was diagnosed with breast cancer in February.

The good news is that the 53-year-old athlete said that she has a great chance of recovery because she has a non-invasive form of breast cancer.

"I'll make a full recovery," she added.

Navratilova called the devastating news her "personal 9/11." She said that at first, she wanted to keep the news private, but later decided to open up, especially because she is the spokesperson for AARP.

Navratilova said she decided to speak out to encourage women to get routine exams. Navratilova herself said she went four years between mammograms. She hopes that women can learn from her experience.

I'm very thankful that Navratilova decided to share her experience. This morning, she reminded me how important it is to get those routine exams, regardless of any barriers I currently face. In the past, I've let those yearly visits slide for a number of reasons, mostly due to financial concerns or a lack of coverage. But after a friend was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2008, I researched ways to obtain the care I needed.

Cancer is a major health concern among lesbians, who face unequal access to health care and other barriers. Some of us don't want to go because of prior negative experiences. Many of us don't have health insurance.

Chicago lesbian and bisexual women are lucky in that they have access to great GLBT-friendly resources, such as the Lesbian Community Care Project and the Chicago Women's Health Center. Check them out to learn more about ways to get free or affordable screenings.

Thursday 4 Mar 2010

You Spin me right 'round...

The call by dozens of local lesbians to boycott GLBT nightclub Spin is generating a lot of buzz. So far, nearly 500 people have joined a "Boycott Spin!!!" Facebook page.

For years, Spin has supported lesbian sports teams and held events geared toward the women's community. So, what happened?

Following a Feb. 20 Kid Sister event, several female Spin employees resigned, accusing the bar's management of being sexist, racist and allegedly ripping off the two female party promoters who threw the event together. Spin owner David Gassman says that his team is anything but sexist and racist and has a long history of supporting all aspects of the GLBT community, particularly lesbians. Gassman also says that the real issue is a contract dispute between Spin management and A&C Productions, adding that he believes the female party promoters are making false claims in order to get back at the bar.

Read more of my coverage at http://www.gaychimag.com/news/chicago.shtml.

I hope to provide readers an update about the situation later today or tomorrow, after I get in touch with the lawyer representing the two party promoters.

Regardless of what is going on, I think this situation highlights the need for more inclusive and welcoming spaces in Chicago. Many local lesbians claim that there are very few lesbian-friendly spaces in the area, and the recent closing of Star Gaze didn't really help matters.

Now, I've found several bars over the years where I feel very comfortable. Not all of these spaces are considered "lesbian" bars. In fact, I feel coziest in spaces where all walks of life are welcome.

I think inclusive spaces are the answer. We must challenge local business owners to reach out to all members of our colorful community. When we think they are failing to do so, we need to speak up. If they don't listen, we should take our dollars elsewhere. That's why, whether or not these allegations about Spin are true or false, it is important to investigate the matter and not be shy about expressing what our community wants and needs from GLBT businesses.
Wednesday 10 Feb 2010

Valentine's Day? What's that?

Seriously, my girl and I could care less about Valentine’s Day, and we’re real sick and tired of people asking us what we’re doing—or buying—for that “special day.”

This coming Sunday will be just like any other Sunday, and will not include big, heart-shaped boxes of artery clogging confections or cheap, pink teddy bears.

My partner and I have been together nearly eight years. That’s a helluva long time, even for lesbians! However, the secret to our longevity isn’t giving each other expensive gadgets, fancy jewelry, perfume or candies, but love and appreciation.

It sounds so simple to me, but a lot of folks just don’t get it. It makes me sad when I see friends focus so much on material items. If your girlfriend is fantastic in every way, who cares if she didn’t quite get the hint that you wanted some bling?

I think our secret is not giving a crap about Hallmark holidays like Valentine’s and Sweetest Days, and instead, vocalizing or showing our appreciation as often as we can.

Don’t focus all your attention on one or two days a year. Treat your lover like you appreciate him or her every day, not just on Feb. 14, and don’t rely on pricey gifts to show your love. If you neglect your boo, any amount of shitty chocolates won’t make things better.
Thursday 4 Feb 2010

Where will the next Dyke March be?

Hey ladies, don't forget to stop by Chicago Dyke March's community meeting tonight at Affinity Community Services, 5650 S. Woodlawn, from 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Help decide where the 2010 and 2011 Dyke March will be! Organizers want the next Dyke March to be held on the South Side, but need help deciding which neighborhood!

For years, Dyke March was held in A-ville and Edgewater. But two years back, organizers decided to mix things up and take Dyke March to a different neighborhood every two years. In 2008 and 2009, Pilsen was the home to the annual Dyke March, which is held the Saturday before the annual Pride Parade.

The 2009 march was the biggest and most successful Dyke March to date.

Personally, I think that Dyke March organizers made a great decision and I wish more organizations could be as progressive and brave as these young activists. We need to make our community events more inclusive, and one of easiest ways to do that is to not hold every single LGBT celebration and event in Boystown or Andersonville. We live everywhere, from the South Shore and Hyde Park to Pilsen and Humboldt Park.

Additionally, holding events in various neighborhoods across the city increases our exposure. When we make the kind of deep, personal connections that Dyke March organizers made the past two years in Pilsen, we open up people's hearts and minds and gain more allies.

For questions, email dykemarchchicago@gmail.com or find them on Facebook.
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