CHICAGO — Mr. Chicago Leather 2017, Gerald “Daddy G” Cernak, was sent off to IML on Saturday, May 20, with a party at Chicago’s Touche. The send-off party was a fundraiser for both the MCL travel fund and Rainbow Railroad, an organization that helps LGBTQ people escape from hostile countries like Chechnya. More than $500 was raised both during performances and a raffle. Chicago drag queen Muffy Fishbasket did a performance starting out with Kellyanne Conway’s notorious inauguration outfit then switching to Harley Quinn toward the end, getting a huge approval from the crowd. The Windy City Sisters of Perpetual indulgence were also on hand to wish Daddy G good luck and, after having him walk on water (water sprinkled on the floor), parting the red C and curing the blind (putting MIR 17 Jeffery Basile’s glasses back on), declared him Saint VPL, patron saint of boys in gray sweat shorts.
CHICAGO — Not just another Mystery Science Theater inspired Riff-show! “Assault on the Grindhouse: An Interactive Improv Horror Comedy Experience” is a total reconstruction of the best (worst) and brightest (bloodiest) films from days gone by. “Assault on the Grindhouse: An Interactive Improv Horror Comedy Experience” performs Thursdays at 9:30pm, through June 29, 2017, at Gorilla Tango Theatre (1919 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago IL 60647). Please visit www.gorillatango.com or call 773-598-4549 for tickets and more information. “Assault on the Grindhouse…” is an interactive horror comedy improv experience like you’ve never seen before.
CHICAGO — While there is no Bear Pride this year, the bear community does have options along with International Mr. Leather. The first Chicago Bearfest starts on Thursday, May 25. People can start off the furry weekend at the Launch Party, held at Touche in Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood. There will be a DJ and IML attendees can make their way up with the Northside Leather Express bus running between the Congress Hotel and the leather corner at Clark and Devon. Bearfest events will be going on the rest of the weekend, including the Mr. Chicago Bear and Cub contest on Saturday night.
CHICAGO — A new play inspired by the real life biker club, The Sirens of NYC (the biker gang that leads the Pride Parade in NYC each year), “The Valkyries: Badasses on Bikes” is a touching story concerning queer and trans characters forming their own biker club. “The Valkyries: Badasses on Bikes” performs Wednesdays at 8pm, through June 28, 2017, at Gorilla Tango Theatre (1919 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago IL 60647). Please visit www.gorillatango.com or call 773-598-4549 for tickets and information. Smith has written a story about the family we choose, the family we don’t, and the development of an unlikely philanthropy for this motorcycle club that is able to unite them all together. We are thrilled to be producing The Valkyries: Badasses on Bikes as part of Gorilla Tango’s “Gorilla Tango Originals” Series.
CHICAGO – Center on Halsted in Chicago is proud to announce that legendary performer and Grammy Award winner Dionne Warwick is scheduled to perform live at the event on Saturday, May 20, 2017. TEN XUBERANT YEARS marks the 10th Anniversary of Center on Halsted and Dionne will perform an artistic statement of her support in the advancement of Chicago’s LGBTQ community. Dionne will be joined with the Human First Award recipient Fred Eychaner and other noteworthy attendees and elected officials. Attendees include Co-Chairs Michael and Cari Sacks, Laura Ricketts and Brooke Skinner Ricketts, Illinois State Senator Heather Steans and Chicago Alderman Tom Tunney. Is there a possibility of Dionne Warwick performing a special rendition of her iconic LGBTQ anthem song “That’s What Friends Are For”, a song that brought diverse communities together during the AIDS epidemic?
CHICAGO — Jackhammer and leather store Leather 64TEN held an IML send-off for their contestants at Jackhammer on Saturday, May 13. Slade Travis, Mr. Fetish Jackhammer 2017, and TJ Howard, Mr. Leather 64TEN 2017, will be two of three contestants representing Chicago at International Mr. Leather over Memorial Day weekend. Saturday was also TJ’s birthday and chances to give him spanking were offered for $5 for two swats with a paddle. The send-off was hosted by the Emperor and Empress of the Imperial Court of the Windy City. A silent auction was held to help raise money for both Slade’s and TJ’s efforts at IML.
CHICAGO — The Illinois Gay Rodeo Association (ILGRA) named Shawn Bennett as their Mr. ILGRA 2017 on Saturday, May 13. Shawn will represent ILGRA and help promote the rodeo over the next year with Ashley Morgan, Miss ILGRA 2017. Ashley is also the owner of The Call, a bar at the northern edge of Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood. They’ll be attending the International Gay Rodeo Association finals in Albuquerque, N.M. in October. The event was held at Charlie’s Chicago, a gay country music bar in Boystown.
CHICAGO — Late-Night at the Pride Arts Center announces “26” Friday nights at 11pm, May 26th through July 14th at The Buena Theater inside the Pride Arts Center, located at 4147 N Broadway Ave. “26” features sketches written by the Chicago theater, sketch and improv community including: Sean Graney, David Cerda, Susan Messing, Rachael Mason, Lindsay Bartlett, Derek Van Barham, Becca Brown, Robert Bouwman, Tim Skau, Brittany Vogel, as well as the performing cast. “26” is the debut show as part of Pride Arts Center’s new late-night programming. The cast includes Savannah Cannistraro, Donovan Mullings, Edward Fraim, Amanda Forman, Alyssa Ratkovich, Matthew Lunt, Kallie Rolison and Ross Christian. It is directed by Brian Gore and assistant directed by Allison Heinz.
CHICAGO — A live drawing for each prize will be performed on July 9, 2017 at the Ride for AIDS Chicago closing ceremony. Drawn winning tickets will not be used for additional drawings. To have a chance of winning multiple prizes, multiple raffle tickets must be purchased. Visit http://bit.ly/rideraffle for more details and a listing of prizes. Need not be present to win.