Robinson sworn in as first out gay African-American state rep

CHICAGO — Lamont Robinson was sworn in as the first out gay African-American state representative in Illinois this past week. He is in the seat formerly held by Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton. From WBBM Radio:

“It matters because we need someone to be able to ring the alarm on the issues that are facing the LGBT community, particularly the African American community, as we’re talking about making sure we have quality health care in that community; that we have quality education; that we have quality housing; that if you are trans, you can get a job.  That you can make sure you can get an apartment and don’t have to be criminalized,” Robinson said. Robinson was sworn in by Illinois Supreme Court Justice P. Scott Neville, who is the second African American Supreme Court justice in the state’s history. The swearing-in was at Matthew House, a center for the homeless in the 3700 block of South Indiana.

Lambda Legal Midwest’s Bon Foster Civil Rights Celebration in April


CHICAGO — Lambda Legal’s Midwest office will have their annual Bon Foster Civil Rights Celebration in April. From the Facebook event:
As we continue to resist the unprecedented attacks on our rights, we draw inspiration from those who fought before us. Robert “Bon” Foster was a powerful voice in Chicago in the early days of the HIV epidemic, opposing injustice and resisting discrimination. Our annual event honors his selfless act to bequeath his estate to found Lambda Legal’s Chicago office in 1993. Lambda Legal has taken its powerful place in the resistance, a role familiar to Bon Foster.

Cast announced for remount of Promethean’s 2016 production of Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde

CHICAGO — Promethean’s critically-acclaimed production of Moisés Kaufman’s historical drama GROSS INDECENCY: THE THREE TRIALS OF OSCAR WILDE, which enjoyed a two-week run in December 2016, will be remounted from February 15 through March 24, 2019 at Strawdog Theatre, 1809 W. Berenice. GROSS INDECENCY, which Promethean Artistic Director Brian Pastor will again direct, will be performed with cross-gender casting in some roles, as it was in the company’s earlier production. Promethean Ensemble Member Jamie Bragg will reprise her leading role as Oscar Wilde. Pastor announced the full cast today. Also returning from the 2016 cast are Promethean Ensemble Members Cameron Feagin (Edward Carson and Narrator 5), Heather Kae Smith (Lord Alfred Douglas), and Kevin Sheehan (Sir Edward Clark and others); as well as guest artists Jennifer Mickelson (Narrator 2, Atkins, Wright & Others), and Kat Evans (Narrator 3, Parker, Harris & Others).

Lakeside Pride’s “Pay It No Mind” with ResonaTe

CHICAGO — ResonaTe, a community chorus for transgender people in Chicago, will join with the Lakeside Pride Chamber Ensemble in a concert on Saturday, Jan. 26. From the Facebook event:
2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. The Lakeside Pride Chamber Ensembles present an afternoon of music in honor of Marsha P. “Pay It No Mind” Johnson. Marsha was the trans woman who threw the first brick at the riots in 1969.

Cast announced for Chicago premiere of “Southern Comfort” musical

CHICAGO — Full casting has been announced for Pride Films and Plays’ production of “Southern Comfort”. The musical will open to the press on March 4, 2019 in the Broadway theater of the Pride Arts Center and play through March 31. In “Southern Comfort”, Robert, a transgender man living in rural Georgia among his chosen family of mostly transgender friends, has one final wish after receiving life-altering news. He wishes to make it to the annual Southern Comfort Transgender Conference he has attended with his friends for years, so he can dance at the ball with his newly-discovered love, Lola. While Robert attempts to live his life as fully as possible surrounded by those he loves, his friends struggle to process what will inevitably come.

Mr. Chicago Leather 2019 coming in January

CHICAGO — Mr. Chicago Leather will be held at Touché in Chicago the weekend of Jan. 25 through 27. The contest will select Chicago’s entry to International Mr. Leather in May. The producers have announced the judges, staff and schedule on their Facebook event:
Master of Ceremonies- International Mister Leather 2003 John Pendal

IML 2018 James Lee
Rodi Coderage – Mr. Midwest Rubber 2018
Mr. Twin Cities Leather 2018 Pup Buster Richard William
Mr Chicago Leather 2018, Stitch Stitch Leatherdandy
Issa Arden

Mr. Chicago Leather 2006 Robin Czar
American Leatherwoman 2018 Sky Cotton

Den Daddy- Mr. Chicago Leather 2014 Miguel Torres

*All events at Touché unless noted

Thursday, January 24, 2019

6-8pm- Full Kit Gear Chicago 4th Year Anniversary @5021 North Clark Street
7pm-Midnight- MCL2019 Registration- Pick up or purchase packages, contestant entry deadline 10pm

Friday, January 25, 2019

5pm-Midnight- MCL2019 Registration- Pick up or purchase packages, sales of MCL2019 merchandise
10pm- Welcome Cocktail Party- Meet judges, contestants and other guests, Intros and number drawing by contestants
Midnight- Roast of MCL2018 Stitch- Mr Chicago Leather 2018, Stitch takes a licking, Hosted by Thib Guicherd-Callin Mr. Santa Clara County Leather 2012

Saturday, January 26, 2019

11am-Noon- Leather Eyeopeners- Complimentary coffee & continental breakfast
Noon-4pm- Fetish Flea Market- Buy- sell – trade leather, rubber, uniforms, boots, gear, equipment- clean out the closet or shop for bargains! no fee to participate
1-4pm- Kink U at Mr. Chicago Leather Weekend presented by Titans of The Midwest- admission free, must be 21 or older.

Equality Illinois PAC endorses LGBTQ Chicago aldermen

CHICAGO — Equality Illinois PAC (EIPAC) on Friday endorsed all five LGBTQ Chicago aldermen in their re-elections for the city council next year. Endorsed are Aldermen Raymond Lopez (15th Ward), Deb Mell (33rd Ward), Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th Ward), Tom Tunney (44th Ward) and James Cappleman (46th Ward). “We are proud to endorse Aldermen Cappleman, Lopez, Mell, Ramirez-Rosa, and Tunney – the five LGBTQ incumbent aldermen of the Chicago City Council’s LGBT Caucus,” said John Litchfield, chair of EIPAC. “These aldermen have been leaders in the effort to ensure Chicago not only stays a welcoming and affirming city for LGBTQ people but also keeps moving forward despite the attacks on LGBTQ equality by the Trump Administration.”

From the EIPAC press release:
The five aldermen have led on ensuring full and equal access for transgender people to places of public accommodations through their sponsorship of the Chicago Equal Access Ordinance in 2016. They have also challenged the Trump Administration’s anti-trans agenda by opposing the President’s ban on military service by brave and courageous transgender people and the recent policy proposal to erase transgender people from federal civil rights protections.

Anti-LGBTQ incident in Barrington has silver lining

BARRINGTON — A lesbian couple in this northwestern suburb of Chicago was the victim of anti-LGBTQ vandalism recently, but found more community than they thought afterwards. WGN-TV reported that Casey Handel and Zadette Rosado had their Pride flag stolen from their backyard flag pole two weeks ago and replaced with the U.S. flag. They were surprised and upset at the theft. But something good happened next. From WGN:
Word got around the neighborhood and it was more than one of their neighbors, Kim Filian, could bear.

Buffalo Grove Pride highlighting LGBTQ couples

BUFFALO GROVE — Buffalo Grove Pride is wanting to highlight couples as they build up to their Pride celebration next year. From their letter to the community:
Will you consider being one of our BG Pride featured couples? When Molly first started talking about this project, her vision was that it could normalize being gay in her community. In her words, she wants the LGBTQ community to be “seen and normalized.” Allowing us to highlight you as a couple on our BG Pride Facebook page so that we can celebrate you would mean the world to Molly. Bob and Carolyn try to share as many same sex love stories with her as they can!