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Archive for the ‘LGBT’ Category

Shlomi Rabi, NBC5 Street Team
Chicago has been the breeding ground for some of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences‘ biggest names: Jennifer Hudson, Bill Murray, and Frances McDormand to name but a few. Therefore, it only makes sense that some of the hottest and hippest LGBT locales will be honoring the event, unofficially recognized as the Gay Super Bowl.

Click here to read the rest of this post on nbcchicago.com.

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Shlomi Rabi, NBC5 Street Team

The other day I was in a particularly profound and introspective mood, which got me thinking about the truly important things in life: finding one’s true voice, figuring out the meaning of happiness, and trying to imagine what Ellen would look like if she got a red perm, or, perhaps, a short, spritely Jewfro. With each sip of my Chicagotini (vodka, crushed ice, organic snow flakes, giant ice cubes and natural hail), I could feel myself getting smarter. It was not until Andy came home, turned off the strobe lights, opened a window to let out the smoke, and demanded that I “put on some normal clothes”, that I got off cloud nine and realized that one of the most truly important things in life is finding someone who’ll take you just the way you are.

And a great place to find that special someone is Flirting For Disaster at Hydrate, on Thursday, February 5th. The event benefits the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago , which has been hosting a series of the Flirting events throughout the city since 2001. Advance tickets are $20 and will buy you delicious hors d’oeuvres by HB Home Bistro and Halsted’s, performance by the beautiful divas of Kit Kat , a leather fashion show by Shel-Don, and oh yeah–a room full of potentials! All proceeds from the event will go to facilitating response to disasters in the Chicagoland area, which should be enough reason to get anyone to put on their finest, look their cutest, and start getting their flirt on.

feb-5-invite

To learn more about Shlomi’s take on the greatest city in the world click here.

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Shlomi Rabi, NBC5 Street Team

Okay, so let’s face it, you and I have much more in common than we realize. For one thing, we both go to NBCChicago to get our news and learn of the latest happenings around the city of Chicago. Secondly, we both wake up every January morning wondering why we’re not tuning in to NBCMiami instead. We both agree that when people tell each other “go to Hell”, Chicago Winter is what they have in mind. Like me, you are a strong believer that winter is the invention of an ugly angel who did not want people looking cute. And both you and I agree that if we hear one more sadist say “It’s not that bad” the population count in Chicago will have just decreased by one.

Oh, and neither one of us has a ticket for the Obama inauguration. Face it. And don’t lie about it, saying that you could have scored one but had a very important meeting with a client that day. Like me, you have no clients. So there.

Which is fine. Because a great place to catch the inauguration is Wild Pug. The new gay bar in the up-and-coming Uptown is hosting a fiesta to benefit the Illinois Safe School Alliance. The Alliance is dedicated to providing a safe and welcoming environment for LGBT youth around the city. Given the historic nature of the event, it only makes sense that the place to be that night is an event that celebrates difference and acceptance, both of which have propelled Chicago’s very own Barack Obama to presidency. So put on your favorite pair of snow boots, your most cherished parka, your most flattering pair of long underwear, and join in on the fun!

 

obamapride

To learn more about what Shlomi’s ttakes pride in click here.

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Tom Kolovos, NBC5 Street Team

Live long enough–or hear the theme song of “The Facts of Life” often enough– and you eventually learn “you take the the good/you take the bad/and there you have the facts of life.” Yes, more than 70% of the gay vote went to Barack Obama–more than went to Clinton or Kerry–and yes, 70% of our black brothers and sisters in California voted to deny gay men and women the fundamental civil right to marry.

Quite honestly, it’s been a bittersweet week for me.  While I fully share the abundant joy of the historical moment with my black brothers and sisters as we finally bore witness in Grant Park to Martin Luther King’s dream, 70% of the black voters in California embraced the nightmare logic of this country’s miscegenation laws that would have made the marriage of Barack Obama’s mother and father illegal in America and just applied it to gay people.

Thanks. Does Hallmark make a card for that? 

Early in June of 2002, I found out that the Cuban singer Albita was going to play at Ravinia so I called a good friend of mine, who happens to be Nigerian, and told her she simply had to go to the concert with me. I had seen Albita  perform two years earlier at RFK Stadium at the concert for gay rights which coincided with the March on Washington. Though much bigger names played that night–Melissa Etheridge, Chaka Khan, Garth Brooks, George Michael among them–Albita who came on early in the night simply blew me away with an amazing voice and an infectious Afro-Cuban sound. I came back to Chicago and immediately bought her CD “Son.” If it were vinyl, I would have surely worn it out in the first week.

Please, I implored my friend, come with me to hear this woman. “Ok, I’ll make you a deal,” she said. “I’ll go if you come with me to the Miriam Makeba concert later this month.”

Um. Sure. And who is Miriam Makeba? When is the concert? Wait a minute, the tickets I have for June 19 have some woman named Miriam as the opening act? It’s this Makeba person!

Amazed at the coincidence, I listened as she explained about “Mama Africa,” and why I had better get my skinny white behind to Ravinia even if Albita weren’t on the bill.

So we went to Ravinia together, curious about what we would each discover and just to make matters even more interesting we dragged along a mutual friend who had heard of neither woman.

Needless to say, it was a magical night of music. We went to see a concert but Albita and Miriam put on a celebration of life. Despite the fact that most of the songs were in languages we surely didn’t fully understand,  there was no mistaking the universal language of joy, heartache and exile in their music and in their voices. We all walked away that night not as people of different races, genders and sexual orientations but as celebrants of a common, and yes, a sometimes deeply flawed, humanity. I was deeply saddened to hear that the truly amazing “Mama Africa” died this week. But despite the sadness, I was able to find solace in the hope, fearlessness and tenacity of a life lived by example and against injustice.

Her struggle makes mine a little more bearable today. As Albita sang on that magical night, “Azuca’ pa’ tu amargura,” Tom.

Sugar for your bitterness, Tom. 

tomkolovos.com

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Tom Kolovos, NBC5 Street Team

“Are you sure you’re just a fashion writer?” reads one of the comments on my  recent blog about Michelle Obama’s appearance on “The View.” I’ll take the compliment, thank you very much, but I’ll feign outrage: Just a fashion writer? Just a fashion writer? Just?

Just as Harper’s Bazaar produced it’s worst issue ever, just as Christie Brinkley can’t resist another ugly public divorce, just as I’m waiting for Steven Meisel’s 100 page photoshoot in Italian Vogue which exclusively features black models to arrive on these shores, my copy of the July issue of W has arrived at my door.

This issue is a must read for anyone concerned about the intersection of image, politics and the corporate world, (even if only a handfull of Bruce Weber’s photos in the otherwise cliche 36 page photo shoot are worth your time. Check out the real treat of David Slijper’s photographs instead.)

First up is “Party Time,” pp. 46-50, an exceptionally thoughtful piece on how international political leaders use and understand the power of dressing.  The deputy mayor of Paris, Christophe Girard, makes the point I make all the time. (Smart guy, he. And not just a fashion writer.) “Political life is no longer separated from real life, and political women and men know their image matters like [those of] a model or an actor to attract the public. But it’s a real danger when politicians are more concerned about their image than their ideas.”

Next, there’s “Money Honeys,” starting on page 64, about the hedge fund industry’s use of pretty young women and even models as “marketing executives”  which “has  become all but synonymous with a blonde in Theory trousers.” It’s a fascinating read into what amounts to the semi-prostitutional nature of “corporate work” for women in the financial sector.

And finally, the always fabulous and priceless pseudonym protected Louise J. Esterhazy, p.116, will confess that she “can never be president. Of course, the main stumbling block is that I’m Austrian. But it turns out there’s an even greater impediment: I’m an elitist. And what’s wrong with that?”

I suggest you spend your weekend catching up on your reading, especially since the gay Pride parade this year won’t be worth attending  just because Dick Devine retired (from his position as Cook County State’s Attorney and thus will not be atop anyone’s float. Alas, hope floats–away. Dick, you will be sorely missed!).

TheBestDressedList.com

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Slap Happy


Shlomi Rabi, NBC5 Street Team
(Video)

“So”, Carl said, “when we got there we were already pretty drunk.” He was telling us about his excursion to Saugatuck (aka Homoville, Michigay) with his partner Jeff. “The club wasn’t even that full so the strippers were pretty desperate. This one zebra-thong-wearing stripper, who was obviously straight, told us that ‘For twenty dollars I’ll give both of you the lap dace of your life’, so off we stumbled to the back, and little did we know.” Carl stirred his drink and added more vodka to dilute any remnants of the strong cranberry flavor. “Ohmygod, his dance was the lovechild of Awkward and Slutbag. Apparently his stripping mentor was epileptic. He wouldn’t stop slapping his thighs and his ass. Then he began slapping our thighs. It was agony.” Carl proceeded to take another sip of his bucket-size refresco and added “He then told us ‘For another twenty dollars I’ll take you guys to The Next Level.’ We assumed he was going to upgrade to bitchslaps so we got the fu[dge] out.” Unfortunately for us and future generations of homoettes, we will never know what ‘The Next Level’ was. Sad.

But who cares! Because if there is one thing that we do need to know is that next Saturday, June 2nd, anybody who’s doing everybody in Chicago will be going to the Stoli Promise at the Hilton Towers. The event is sponsored by Stoli Vodka (aka Shlomi’s Headache Medicine) and promises to be the Only place in Chicago worth attending that night. The theme is Prom Night and includes appearances and performances by Gun Julie Brown, Terri Hemmert of 93XRT and comedienne Jessica Halem. The event is open to anyone with style and fun- be it straight, gay, bisexual, bicurious, biquestioning, or bicycles. So go right ahead, look for that white polyester tux and the puffy-sleeved green number with the bow on the butt, and thank your lucky stars that you’re not getting your thighs spanked in Michigan.

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