The L-Blog

events Archives

Bridget McManus brings her lesbian stand-up to Chicago

If you haven't caught Brunch With Bridget on Logo or AfterEllen.com, you have a lot to catch up on before you go see McManusland next month. But even if you aren't familiar with Bridget McManus and her brand of sassy lesbian comedy, you'll definitely dig her live. Check out some clips:



The LA-based comedian will be performing five nights at Stage 33 (3655 N. Kedzie Ave.), hosting an improv-based show, Nov. 11 - Nov. 15. For $30, audience members are part of fun, participating in the games with a chance to win prizes.



Gay women, get ready for Halloween

You know it's coming up, all October long. You him and haw over how to dress, and where you're going to wear a costume to. Now that it's only one week away, planning for Halloween is imperative.

So where will you be going? Well, if you don't know anyone throwing a party, here are some great options for the entire next weekend.

Thursday, Oct. 29

Leslie and Lys at Berlin (954 W. Belmont Ave.) 10 p.m. $10


Friday, Oct. 30

Varietease Burlesque and Stewed Tomatoes at the Lakeshore Theater (3175 N. Broadway Ave.) 10:30 p.m. $15

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See Chicago's gay and lesbian history on film tonight

At 7:30 p.m. this evening, catch a special showing of Queerborn & Perversion at the Music Box Theatre (3733 N. Southport Ave). The documentary is all about the history of Chicago's LGBT community, from 1934 - 1974.

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If you've ever wanted to know about the first lesbian bars in the city, and hear from some of the women who are still around to tell the tales, here's your chance. Watch the preview on the official site and then grab a ticket for just $11.

Drink fine wine with fine women this weekend

Chicago Curve is hosting a wine tasting this Saturday at Broadway Cellars (5900 N. Broadway) that it also going to be a chance to mix and mingle while listening to some great jazz from performer Jeannie Tanner. For $40, you get to taste variety of fine wines, indulge in some hors d'oeuvres and be surrounded by other 150 gay winos, like yourself.

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Drink a beer and hear Sarah Schulman read for Bookslut tonight

If you're a fan of great writing, especially that which happens to be penned by an out lesbian, then you should be familiar with Sarah Schulman. The prolific writer, activist and professor has been involved with covering her community since the 1980s, when she reported on the AIDS crisis in her home of New York City for The Village Voice. Since then, she's also written several books, including novels like Girls, Visions and Everything and Rat Bohemia which feature likable lesbian protagonists.

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Chicago lesbians join the circus

Local circus, El Circo Cheapo, is currently on tour with their brand of all-female performance acts, including lesbian ringmaster Cameron Esposito and clown/acrobat Amanda Crockett, whose wife is also on the tour.

El Circo is wrapping up the west coast leg of their tour, and recently made a stop on AfterEllen.com's Brunch with Bridget, where they talked about their favorite pairs of underwear and when they had their first girl kiss.




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Celebrate Women and Children First's 30th birthday

This weekend, Andersonville's Women and Children First Bookstore is celebrating their 30th anniversary in a big way. On Saturday, lesbian writers Dorothy Allison (Bastard Out of Carolina, Trash) and Alison Bechdel (Dykes to Watch Out For, Fun Home) will be on hand to party in the name of women's lit.

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Bisexuals, today is your day

Every Sept. 23 since 1999 has officially been a holiday for bisexuals. Bisexuality Day is celebrated worldwide, but in Chicago, there are a few things you can do to sing out about your sexual fluidity, loud and proud.

Out bisexual musician Ani Difranco will fittingly perform at The Vic (3145 N. Sheffield Ave.) tonight at 7:30 p.m. You can still get tickets for $40.

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Elizabeth Keener comes to Chicago

One of the best L Word characters to ever shack with Shane was the unforgettable club owner/promoter, Dawn Denbo. Played brilliantly by Elizabeth Keener, who always had "her lover Cindy" on her arm, the SheBar/Planet rivalry was one of the best storylines in season 5.

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All hail Holly Miranda at Subterranean

For only $10 tonight, you can get up close and personal with out singer Holly Miranda at Subterranean (2011 North Ave.). Not only is it a great venue to see an indie rock show, Holly is close to blowing up, as even Kanye West has taken to his blog about her.

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Reeling is ready to go with lesbian films

Every fall, the Reeling Gay and Lesbian Film Festival brings the best queer movies of the year to Chicago. Today, they announced their line-up for November, and with tickets going on sale in October, it's time to start planning which ones you'll want to make sure to see. Here's a run-down of some of the lesbian-directed films will be showing this year:

And Then Came Lola

Lesbian actresses Jill Bennett and Cathy deBuono star in this film based on the indie hit, Run Lola Run.

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Single gay ladies geek out tonight

The Chicago social group Nerds at Heart presents a lesbian singles game night, Dating for Lesbian Nerds, this evening at Joie De Vine (1744 W. Balmoral Ave.) Attendees can hope to meet like-minded women who are interested in trivia, board games and all kinds of geekery.

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Gay women take over Pops for Champagne

Sick of the same old lesbian haunts? Tonight's your chance to engage with some other gay women in an otherwise "straight" atmosphere. Lesbian social crew Sapphic Adventures is staging a Guerilla Girl Bar Take-Over this evening at the downtown live music spot, Pops For Champagne (601 N. State St.)

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Sculpt your ideal woman at the Center on Halsted tonight

Tonight, the Center on Halsted (3656 N. Halsted Ave.) presents the beginning of a three-part class session on how to use polymer clay. This might not sound incredibly interesting to you at first, but just think of what you could create by taking this class with expert Dan Crowley.

For $50, you can create your own finger puppet or complete, full-body sculpture, like Crowley's Bette Davis.

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Where to sing your lesbian heart out

If someone were to conduct a study on the preferred sexuality of karaoke fans, I'm willing to bet lesbian would beat out all others on the list. The proof is in the pudding: There are so many places to belt out your favorite songs on any given night among other gay women, which may be cause for some cat fights over "your Heart song" or who will sing Danny's part in "Summer Nights."

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While Chicago mainstays like Hidden Cove (5336 N. Lincoln Ave.) are always open for business, you might prefer these nights at lesbian establishments, where the crowd is sure to love your pronoun changing in songs about no-good men or dedications of love to your lady in the audience.

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Savoir-Faire shows off Chicago's queer talent this weekend

This Friday and Saturday is a one-time special event called Savoir-Faire, a festival of queer art, performance, music film and fashion organized by local lesbians Chelcie S Porter and Emilia Soroczynska. Several LGBTQ artists from Chicago are participating, including photographer Torie McMillan of the "Lesbians in their bedrooms" series, punk trio 8 Inch Betsy and MC Jo Collura.

Here's a preview video of what you can expect:


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Celebrate being Sapphic on Saturday

Every month, feminist bookstore Women & Children First (5233 N. Clark St.) hosts an event that's specifically for gay women. I know, you're saying isn't every event there for gay women? Well, we're invited, yes, but Sappho's Salon is just for us.

This Saturday's event will feature slam poet cin salach (pictured below), erotic poet DeDe of the Deviant Dyke blog and music from Dj SpinNikki. It kicks off at 7:30 p.m. and the store asks for a donation of $7-$10. (They're still trying to stay open, you know.)

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Chi-Celesbian Questionnaire: Melissa "Jumpy" Marquez

For a new regular feature on The L-Blog, I'm going to be giving the same questionnaire to different Chicago lesbians who you will know from their businesses, parties, events, organizations or involvement in the community. If you have any suggestions for someone who you'd like to hear from, let me know!

Today: Melissa "Jumpy" Marquez of Bird Talk

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Where the gay girls are

Whether your newly out or just looking for a change of scenery, there are several ways to get out and meet other gay women in Chicago, especially if club-hopping isn't your scene. In the past, I've told you about where you could find some like-minded sporty gals, but here are some more general groups that might pique your interest.

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Chi-Celesbian Questionnaire: Leah Neaderthal

For a new regular feature on The L-Blog, I'm going to be giving the same questionnaire to different Chicago lesbians who you will know from their businesses, parties, events, organizations or involvement in the community. If you have any suggestions for someone who you'd like to hear from, let me know!

Today: Leah Neaderthal, creator of The Chainlink

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The Chicago Sky are moving on out

Tonight's Chicago Sky game is one of the last chances you will have to see the WNBA team play inside city limits. The women's professional basketball team has played at the UIC Pavillion (525 S. Racine St.) since its inception a few years ago, and announced today they will be moving to the All State Arena next season.

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Prepare for girl play this weekend

Into leather, fetish attire or exotic piercing? You aren't alone. This weekend, you can join other women at the all-girl play party, Vespertine at Memphisto's Layer (6410 N. Clark St.)

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"Family" follows professional black lesbians on the down-low

Tonight at the Gene Siskel Film Center (164 N. State St.), director Faith Trimel will be on hand to talk about her new film, Family, which follows the lives of six black lesbians who decide to come out to their loved ones. Judging from the trailer, it looks very dramatic, in true lesbian fashion.


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Chi-Celesbian Questionnaire: Jenae Williams

For a new regular feature on The L-Blog, I'm going to be giving the same questionnaire to different Chicago lesbians who you will know from their businesses, parties, events, organizations or involvement in the community. If you have any suggestions for someone who you'd like to hear from, let me know!

Today: Jenae Williams of Chicago Dirty Girls

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Lesbian metal heads can get down with OTEP tonight

The metal band OTEP is fronted by lesbian Otep Shamaya, who is not only completely out in her profession, but an advocate for civil rights and causes, including LGBT equality and women's issues.

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OTEP recently signed to Chicago-based label Victory Records, and will release their new album, Smash the Control Machine, next Tuesday. If you've got a way out to the southwest suburb of Mokena this evening, they're playing at the Pearl Room (19081 Old LaGrange Rd) at 6 p.m..

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Tracy Chapman and other available lesbian musicians

You still have a chance to get tickets for the Tracy Chapman show at Park West (322 W. Armitage St.) tomorrow night. Granted, $45 can be tough to swing in these tough economic times, but the iconic lesbian musician's newest album, Our Bright Future, can only get better live on stage.

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As sad I was that there was little (read: no) lesbian representation at Lollapalooza last weekend, I'm psyched on all of the queer artists coming to Chicago in the next two months. Here's what you should be getting your tickets to now:

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Get into business with other lesbians tomorrow

Looking to make some connections? The Chicago Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce is hosting a B2B networking event tomorrow morning at Ann Sather in Lakeview (909 W. Belmont Ave.)

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Chi-Celesbian Questionnaire: Meghan Galbraith

For a new regular feature on The L-Blog, I'm going to be giving the same questionnaire to different Chicago lesbians who you will know from their businesses, parties, events, organizations or involvement in the community. If you have any suggestions for someone who you'd like to hear from, let me know!

Today: Meghan Galbraith of 8 Inch Betsy

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SWING with HRC and lesbian golfers tomorrow

If you have tomorrow afternoon free and aren't opposed to traveling outside the city limits, $25 will get you into a BBQ with lesbian golfers. That's right, a sporty dyke lover's dream.

The HRC's annual SWING Women's Golf Outing takes places in Highland Park tomorrow at the Sunset Valley Golf Course (1390 Sunset Rd.) from 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. Indulge in some hot dogs with the women in visors and shorts who know how to handle their clubs. Or, if you're just late to the game and want to sign up to play, you can still register today.

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Sneak a peak at "Hannah Free" tonight

Queer as Folk fans know her as Michael's sassy PFLAG mom Debbie, and, before that, she was part of the famous police-duo Cagney and Lacey,  but lesbian icon Sharon Gless will now be remembered as Hannah Free.

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The gays behind Chances Dances present Queeroake tonight

You're probably used to heading down to Subtearranean (2011 North Ave.) for good queer fun by now, so add the first Monday of every month to your list. Mel Racho and Latham Zeafoss of Chances Dances present Queeroake, which is exactly what you think it is, and tonight its the event's debut.

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Market Days: What's in it for the lesbians?

It's that time of year again. Pride has flown past us, and this weekend will be our second celebration as the LGBTQ community in Chicago: North Halsted Market Days.

Should I be more excited?

I plan on going, as I always do, to meander the streets of Boystown and the booths they've lined up. I donate my five bucks and several more toward overpriced drinks, all in the name of having pride for a neighborhood I live directly north of. I'm totally in the gay pride spirit year-round, so things like this give me more of an opportunity to express it in public with a bunch of pals.

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But Market Days, I need to know, what have you done for me lately?

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Get Lit at the Printers' Ball tonight

Lesbians, we're a smart crew. We like to read, we like to talk about reading, and we like free. Tonight's Printers' Ball is a definite must for literary ladies. If you've never been, it's essentially a celebration of Chicago's print publications, like Another Chicago MagazineALARM, Stop Smiling, Playboy, Venus and so many more.

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Books by and about lesbians, and other queer items

There are definitely a lot of going out options coming up this weekend (it is Market Days, after all), but if you're feeling a little more low key, I suggest checking out the Gerber/Hart Library's (1127 W. Granville Ave.) Summer Spectacular Book Sale. Beginning this Friday at noon, you can check out donated the gay and lesbian library's books, DVDs, videos, CDs, vinyl and art that have been graciously donated by members and other people in the community.

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In fact, if you're looking to lighten your own book load before then, they are still accepting donations. Maybe you don't really need three copies of Rubyfruit Jungle.

The best part about the GH sale is that so many books they end up selling for cheap are now out of print and can be hard to find. I always find it more fun to purchase books in the stumble-upon sort of way.

If you can't make it to the opening day, don't fret -- the sale continues until August 2. And while you're there, check out their collection of Chicago gay history memoribilia. It's pretty amazing how far we've come.

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Salon deVine offers something extra to the lesbian winos

One of my absolute favorite places for cocktails in the city just also happens to be lesbian-owned. Joie De Vine (1744 W. Balmoral St.) isn't just for winos (I'm more of a champagne lover myself), it's for anyone who is into an intimate and slightly glam setting for drinks and conversation.

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And while I always have a good time at Joie De Vine, Sunday nights through the summer might be an even better bet for burlesque lovers. From 7 until 10 p.m., there will be free performances from Girlie-Q as part of Salon deVine.

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Whether you sit on the patio or inside, you'll be able to enjoy the view of performers like Ms. Bea Haven, Salome Slaughter, Cruel Valentine, Jezzie Belle and Honey La Fleur. Check them out every Sunday through August 30. It's certain to be a class act every time.

 

Tonight, get gay with The Homo Show

In June, I alerted you to the auditions of a very queer variety show put on by About Face Theatre. Tonight at Wicker Park's Subterranean (2011 North Ave.), you can see the fruits of their labor as part of the Leslie Hall-hosted The Homo Show (8 p.m., $15 in advance, $20 at the door). Ms. Hall will also be performing which is a very magical experience, as you can see in this video.



The show is full of women, including the comedian trio The Flannel Pantsuits, drag king clowns Jessica Hudson and K. Bradford, and Brooklyn musical duo Mkng Frndz.

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If you're buying tickets ahead of time online, make sure to use the code JANE to get the $5 discount. And make sure to stick around for the after-show dance party from DJs Reagaonmix (FKA) and Stinky Pinky (Think Pink Radio).


BlogHer? I barely know her!

This Friday and Saturday, Chicago is once again host to the annual BlogHer conference, a meeting of female bloggers (and even some vaginally challenged ones like Tim Gunn and Carson Kressley). Besides those two very queer men, it's also a very queer lady affair, with several bloggers, panels and parties in effect.

You can read the entire schedule for Friday and Saturday at BlogHer's site, but here is a rundown of the lesbian happenings:

Friday

10:30 - 11:45 A.M.
Break-Out Session #1: Identity/Passions: The Transformational Power of Blogging
Daniela Capistrano discusses her work documenting the post-queer movement.

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10:30 - 11:45
Room of Your Own 2: Blogqueers - LGBTQ Bloggers
Lesbian bloggers Kathryn Martini, Stacy Jill Jacobs and Liza Barry-Kessler talk about having a queer presence in the blogosphere.


10:45 A.M. - 12:00 P.M.
Kathrin P. Ivanovic, an Afro German, lesbian, social justice activist, is the founder and principal blogger at The Diversity Projekt. She'll discuss blogging affecting social change in real life on this panel.

10:45 A.M. -12:00 P.M.
Business of You: Blog to Book, the Threequel
Deb Rox is the co-founder and CEO of 3 Smart Girlz LLC, where she creates and supporting start-ups and facilitiating business and marketing outreach to the powerful GLBTQ demographic, including Queerosphere. On this panel, she'll be part of a discussion on utilizing analytics and spreading your content.


10:30 - 11:45 A.M.
Business of You: Bloggers are Pioneers in a Post-"Employee" World
Paula Gregorowicz (The Paula G Company) is a life and business coach that writes about personal finance for BlogHer and Queercents. The panel is on how to market yourself, how to attach appropriate value to what you do, and how to profit from your blog.
 
1:15-2:30 PM
Identity/Passions: LifeBlogging Outside the Lines: When you're not a Geek, a Political Wonk or a MommyBlogger
I'll be speaking on a panel with frugal-living blogger Shameeka Ayers, Jane Gassner, founder of midlifebloggers.com, and Amber Rhea, a feminism and sex blogger, to discuss writing for smaller niches on the web and how to show we are just as valuable as the bigger groups of bloggers such as the Mommies and the Techies.

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8:30 P.M.
Sweet and OUT Loud Party at Crimson Lounge, Hotel Sax
RSVP ahead of time to mix and mingle with queer bloggers and social media types at this spot close to the conference.

Saturday

9:30-10:30 AM
Keynote: Traditional Media Chops meet a New Media Calling
Ilene Chaiken, creator of "The L Word" and OurChart.com, will be part of a conversation on becoming successful online with social media and networking.

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Since the conference is all sold out, you can keep up with my blog and Twitter for queer updates. Also, any of the ladies linked above would be great follows as well. If you are there, come up and say hello!

Lesbian Weekend Run-Down: July 17 - 19

Tonight from 6:30 - 9 p.m., rub elbows with the suburbans of Chicago Area Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce at their Mix and Mingle at the Skokie Theater (7924 N. Lincoln Ave.) There will be tons of networking opportunities, cabaret performances and pizza. Call ahead (773-303-0167) to register and find out more information.

If you're looking to network inside the city limits, GLAAD is hosting "Thank GLAAD It's Friday" at the Ultra Lounge & Cafe (3341 N. Halsted St.) from 7 - 9 p.m. With free ABSOLUT cocktails and the chance to win a membership and other prizes, it sounds like a pretty stellar way to meet other LGBTQ professionals in the area. ($35, includes open bar)

Saturday is full of Sapphic options, including Sapphos Salon at Women and Children First, from 7:30 - 9:30 p.m. This week's music is from local out songstress Emily White and artwork from Riva Lehrer. ($7-$12 donation suggested)

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If you're in the mood for a movie, check out a screening of Cheryl Dunye's classic lesbian film, The Watermelon Woman, at the Center on Halsted (3656 N. Halsted St.) at 6:30 p.m. (free)

Feel more like watching some girls getting derby? The very-dykey Chicago Outfit play the Detroit Motor City Assembly Line at the Windy City Field House (2367 W. Logan Blvd.) Doors are at 7 p.m., and the bout starts at 8. ($12 in advance, $15 at the door)


And from 3 - 10 p.m. on Saturday is the CHICKago Social Event in the parking lot across from T's (5025 N. Clark St.) in Andersonville. A lot party with lesbian singer/songwriters like Edie Carey and Melissa Ferrick, the party is described as an event for "chicks who dig chicks." Know any of those? ($10 in advance, $15 at the door)

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But if you are feeling like something a little more quiet and intimate, try the 20s and 30s mixer from Sapphic Adventures at Sura Thai Bistro (3124 N. Broadway Ave.) Start mixing at 7 p.m. and maybe you'll meet someone to mosey over to Aville with after.


"Fish out of Water" get out of Chicago and into Outfest

While our own gay and lesbian film festival might not hit until the leaves begin to fall, Los Angeles is hosting its own Outfest this week, which is where the documentary Fish Out of Water will be making its debut on Saturday. The film about homosexuality and the bible is from Chicago-based director Ky Dickens and her production team, who are in L.A. promoting its premiere.

Here's the trailer:



While Saturday's premiere is sold out, you can still follow the crew of the film as they pimp their cause and throw the after-party in L.A. If you're interested in hearing and seeing what the FOOW team is up to, follow @fishwaterfilm, @kristenkaza, @kydickens, @thefawz and @katyhaggis.

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The "Fish Out of Water" team with No H8 photographer Adam Bouska


One reason you'll want to pay attention: There are several celesbians rumored to be in attendance of the premiere and after-party at O Bar in West Hollywood. Let's hope these ladies utilize their Twitpic then.

Lesbians can work out in Chicago

If you don't belong to a gay gym (or any gym at all), there are several great ways to get a work out in amongst other lesbians, most days of the week:

Mondays: Queer Spirit Chicago Drop-In Guided Meditation at Center on Halsted (3656 N. Halsted Ave.), 11 - 11:45 a.m.

Tuesdays: Ballroom for Beginners at Center on Halsted, 10 - 11 a.m.
Pilates at Center on Halsted, 2 - 3 p.m.
Queer Spirit Chicago Drop-In Guided Meditation at Center on Halsted, 6 - 7:15 p.m.
FrontRunners/FrontWalkers run and walk at Lincoln Park Totem Pole 6:30 p.m.

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Chi-Town Squares Square Dancing at Ebenezer Lutheran Church Community Center (1650 W. Foster Ave.)   New classes start Sept. 15, 7:30 p.m.
  
Fridays: Pilates at Center on Halsted, 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.

Saturdays: Rooftop Hip-Hop at Center on Halsted, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.
FrontRunners/FrontWalkers run and walk at Lincoln Park Totem Pole 9:00 a.m.


All classes at the Center are $10, $5 for students. The Chi-Town Squares offer their classes $7 per session, but you can join as a member for $40.

If you're looking for organized sports, try the Chicago Metropolitan Sports Association, which offers team sports for the LGBTQ community like badminton, bowling, softball, volleyball and flag football.

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Cyclists can join in on the Dykes Peddaling Bikes for the next few first Saturday of the next couple of months. The next one is August 1, and they always meet at the Lake Shore Drive Totem Pole.

Football fan that wants to take the field? Sign up for news on trying out for the all-female Chicago Force semi-pro team.

Lastly, a group of gay ladies and friends (including myself) play kickball on Tuesday nights in Winnemac Park at 7 p.m. Want to join? Tweet me and we'll add you to the mailing list! 

Unleash your animal instincts tonight at Swimming Pool

If you're looking for something a little different to do tonight, I have just the event for you. The lesbian-owned gallery/art project space Swimming Pool (2858 W. Montrose St.) is hosting DOGCAT: FBI (The Feline Behavioral Institute) vs. Canine Fashion, an exhibit and interactive show featuring live dog models and cat art on the walls.

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DOGCAT is an exhibit all about "playfully instigating an intermingling of dog and cat, where anything can happen." Anyone whose had to integrate pets with their girlfriends should know how well that can turn out.

I have to admit, I'm a little biased about how wonderful the canine models are, as my two pugs will be gracing the, uh, catwalk at the opening, which is from 8 p.m. - 11 p.m. tonight (runway show is at 9 p.m.).

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Artists and designers showing at Swimming Pool include the space's owner, Liz Neilsen, Edra Soto, E.C. Brown, Catie Olson, Jon Bollo, Brian Getnick, Young Joon Kwak, Carolyna Wheat, Susan Smolinski, André van de Putte, Erin LaRocque and Angela Yonke, Sam Bryer, Holly Mathews, Katie Fitzgerald, Casey Ann Wasniewski, Carl Warnick and Dawn Reed.

If you can't make it tonight, the exhibit will be up through August 9 (by appointment only), however my pugs will not be sticking around.

Librarians invade Chicago

Today kicks off the annual American Library Association's conference and it's being held at the Hyatt Regency - McCormick Place (2233 South Martin L. King Dr.). Even if you're not a member, the good news is that you can still get a pass for $25 and attend the book signings and all of the exhibits.

However, only members can get into the workshops like the GLBT Round Table Program, which includes topics like books for older members of the community and "What Makes 'Tango' so Scary? Serving Your Whole Library Population, Intellectual Freedom, and Censorship of LGBT Children's Books."

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One author I definitely reccommend checking out is Malinda Lo, a former co-worker of mine at AfterEllen.com that has written a young adult novel called Ash that has a lesbian slant on the classic Cinderella story. She'll be signing twice next Monday, from 11:30 - 12:30 at the Little Brown Booth and again at the BWI booth from 1:30 - 2:30. Plus, you can get her book (and others) for free!

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Free books, sexy librarians and great writers? $25 is a steal.









Your Totally Queer Concert Calendar for July

Here's the rundown on what gay lady shows you can look forward to in July.

This Friday (July 10), there are several gay women making music around town. Down at Crimson Lounge (333 N. Dearborn Ave.), Samantha Ronson will be in Chicago, spinning her monthly residency at the Hotel Sax. There's no cover between 9 and 10 p.m., but after that, it's $20.

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JD Samson's new band MEN will be performing at Berlin (954 W. Belmont Ave.) that same night, and local lesbian trio 8 Inch Betsy play at Quencher's (2401 N. Western Ave.) in Logan Square.

Portland's queer quartet Forever will be at Ronny's (2101 N. California Ave.) on July 14.

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The Pitchfork Music Festival happens July 17-18 in Union Park, and lesbian-fronted Baltimore noise-punk band Ponytail will be playing on Saturday the 17. Tickets are still available for that day, so get them while you still can.



Tuesdays get Tricky, starting tonight

Remember when Deja Vu used to be the spot on Lincoln to hit up Tuesday nights? Now your destination of choice will be Trickster Tuesdays at Rock House (2624 N. Lincoln Ave.), hosted by the Rockstar Mafia (promoters Rock$tar Nina, Sylvia and Jessica). The first ever TT kicks off tonight, from 9 p.m. - 4 a.m. with drink specials, free pool and music from lesbian DJs All the Way Kay, KT and Alena spinning all night.

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The atmosphere at Rock House will definitely be something you want to check out, with murals of tattoos and ink lining the walls and the rest of the decor in an all out punk and rock 'n' roll theme. Make a point to hit up the venue this summer, and why not on a free admission  lesbian night?



Wet, mildly-hot lesbian summer holiday weekend

Want to be on TV? Well, you have a chance to hear your laugh if you're attending tonight's taping of live comedy show, Queer Queens of Qomedy at the Lakeshore Theater (3175 N Broadway St.). Lesbian stand-up comics Poppy Champlin, Michele Balan and Roxanna Ward will each get their turn on the stage twice this evening, as the show is at 7:30 p.m., but at 10, there is a live taping of The Gaylywed Game. Come for the comics, stay for the illegal lesbian wedding jokes. Tickets are $25.

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Also tonight is Femistry Fridays, a lesbian party every first Friday of the month at Brandos (343 S. Dearborn St.)  downtown. There's speed dating at 9 p.m., so if you'd rather show up for the party, show up after 10. If you RSVP, you can get in for only $5 until 11 p.m. Otherwise, it's $10.

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If you're a late nighter, the free afterparty (2 a.m. on) is at Pink Monkey (750 S. Clinton Ave.) I've never been, but they claim to be "Chicago's Only Venue With Sophisticated Adult Entertainment."

Also tonight at Sidetrack (3349 N. Halsted St.) is the Equlity Illinois First Friday. But since it's at the Boystown bar where it tends to be mostly male, I'm not quite sure of the female quotient. From 6 p.m. - 8 p.m., a $10 donation will get you two drink tickets and entrance into the door prize drawing. It's worth a shot, and a great time to start Happy Hour.

After tomorrow's barbecues, parties or beach days, Chances Dances is hosting (what else?) a dance party at the Hideout (1354 W. Wabansia Ave.) from 11:30 - 2 a.m. It's $5, and all the proceeds benefit the collective's Critical Fierceness Grant, which they are awarding to applicants for "artistic purposes and who identify themselves or their work as queer." Drink and dance for a good cause. And why not? It's a national holiday.

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It's also Windy City Black Pride all weekend and into the beginning of next week, so several events going on tonight, tomorrow and Sunday, including tomorow's 2nd annual Black Pride Authors Reception at Circuit (3641 N. Halsted St.) where they will also be a poetry slam. You can read about all of the events at www.windycityblackpride.org.

Happy fourth!

Thirsty Thursdays: Where's your ladies' night?

Tonight at Berlin (954 W. Belmont Ave.), Stardust will be getting a few surprise guests in the mix. With Young Josh of Flosstradamus and Dirty Girls DJ All The Way Kay behind the decks, I'll give you this: The guests are keeping it all in the family, and celebrating a special event -- being born.

Although I have to say, one of them probably has her nails a little too long for a lesbian's liking, if you know what I'm sayin'. The other is one of my favorite Tweeters to follow, because she's always got something sassy and smart ass in her 140 character limit.

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Want to get out before midnight? All queer-inclusive dance party FKA is at Big Chicks (5024 N. Sheridan Rd.) tonight, starting at 9 p.m. This month's theme is "Communist Party," so break out a red T-shirt and fit right in with the masses. It might be a great night to squeeze into the place since it's 10 degrees lower than it should be for July. Sweat less, dance more!

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Also, it's now officially Windy City Black Pride this week, and The Cosmopolitan Collective are hosting Pride By Design tonight at the Victor Hotel (311 N. Sangamon St.). For $10, you can join the party which touts itself as "the only Pride social featuring gallery showings, live poetry, a designer showcase and dance party." So much going on in one night, but it looks like those who attended their party at the Victor last week had a good time.

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Wherever you go, don't complain that there's not anything going on for lesbians in this town! Decisions, decisions.  


Find your G-Spot at Mary's Attic tonight

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Lesbian owned sexy toy shop Tulip and the Center on Halsted are hosting their weekly Women on Wednesday party at Mary's Attic (5400 N. Clark St.) tonight in Andersonville, with the theme "Sex 101 & the G-Spot."

For $10, you can join in two hours of sex education, and I don't mean fifth grade style. Tulip's site says you'll learn about "the more demure to the more adventurous" and detail dildos, vibrators, harnesses, lube, books, porn and the almighty G-spot.

And since Tulip has a location right across the street (and has great late hours, open until 10 p.m.) you can continue your education by visiting the store and making a purchase to fully understand what you've learned later tonight.
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One Lesbian Reason... to go to Tuesdays at Buddha

A few years ago, Tuesday nights at Funky Buddha Lounge (728 W Grand Ave.) were one of the hippest places to hang with young, trendy gays, lesbians and in betweens. What started as Tittilatting Tuesdays, a night just for women, turned into a co-ed venture when Jillian Valentino and Scott Cramer came together to book DJs and performers under the name OUTDanced!

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Eventually, OUTDanced! became a little more straight, and both Scott and Jillian left for other projects. (Scott now works with Jenae Williams of Dirty Girls on Stardust Thursdays at Berlin; Jillian just returned from a temporary relocation to NYC.)

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Out lesbian Jillian is back at the Buddha for Tuesdays, and while it's no longer called OUTDanced!, your One Lesbian Reason to attend is for the queer women that will definitely be in attendance for nostalgia's sake. It's a $2 cover and there are $2 PBRs, so if you're still hip to the west side of town, see if the party has gained back the gays that it had since lost to Chances Dances


Guys and Dolls reversed

Tonight, the Boystown hang Minibar (3339 N. Halsted St.) turns into a speakeasy with Genderqueer Chicago's Drag Me Back to 1920. The "ball" will feature drag performances and live jazz beginning at 10 p.m., with DJs Appel and Joe spinning music later in the night.

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1920s Chicago was the era of prohibition and infamous events such as the St. Valetine's Day Massacre, involving Al Capone and his gang, The Chicago Outfit (not to be confused with our very dykey roller derby team of the same name).

The fun part (besides, you know, the whole performance and jazz part) is attendees are encouraged to dress in their flapper-era best, and must use the password "gender silly" to get in. Surely one of these looks will work for you:

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Center in on Christa Lohman's view of Prop. 8

Photographer Christa Lohman is exhibiting her photo essay Love=Love: Protesting Proposition 8 at the Center on Halsted (3656 North Halsted St.) through July 5.

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Of the Love=Love street pics, Christa says she "hopes to inspire its viewers to take action within their communities to secure equal rights for all citizens." So if you're still feeling prideful and want to get inspired some more, this might be a great exhibit to get you moving.

You can see Christa's documenting of the November day in Daley Center and the protest downtown for a suggested $5 donation at the COH. And if you can't make it before the exhibit closes, check out her photos from the Chicago protest on Flickr.

Planning for Pride: Sunday

Did you think I'd leave you hanging for Sunday? Here are your options post-parade:

Backlot Bash at Cheetah Gym ($10-$15) 2 p.m.

If you're in Andersonville, check out live performances from singer/songwriter The Betty Fords, Sean Wiggins and Dot Dot Dot until 10 p.m.

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Girl Blast at Ann Sather ($12) 1 p.m.

DJs will spin Top 40 and dance hits in the parking lot off Belmont Ave. You can't bring outside drinks in, so make sure you're prepared to pony up for whatever beer they've got for $5.

Post-Parade Matinee Show at Berlin 4:30 p.m.

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("Groove is in the Heart," anyone?) headlines this party being thrown collectively by Chances Dances, The Reader, Decibelle and Outdanced. It's where all the hipster gays are, and those that don't want to pay $12 to stand in a parking lot.

La Celebracion Continua! at Wicker Well ($5) 4 p.m.

If you head west to Wicker Park, the $5 cover will you a drink in celebration of Latina queer women with this party hosted by Amigas Latinas. There will also be food and dancing, so it might be worth the bike or bus down after the parade.

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Have fun, have Pride and be safe!

Planning for Pride: Friday, Part Two

OK, so the other things going on tonight just aren't enough? That's cool, I've got you covered. Here are a couple of other events worth your while:

Girl in a Coma at the National Museum of Mexican Art ($5) 8 p.m.

The San Antonio-based trio (with out bassist Jenn Alva) come to town for an all-ages show, celebrating their heritage at the Pilsen museum. Their sound is rockabilly-meets-punk-meets-goth, which is why they've fit so well on tours with Morrissey and Tegan and Sara.

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Cameron Esposito and Karen Williams at Town Hall Pub
($5) 9:30 p.m.

Catch this lesbian comedy double-header at the only straight bar on Halsted in Boystown. (OK, there are others, I'm sure, but really, this place is the best dive on the block.) Williams has been featured on LOGO (find out more on her on Cameron's Chilarious blog), and Cameron will also be performing again later tonight at Berlin for The Sarcastic Squad's Pre-After Party Pride Show (10 p.m., $5).  

Carol Guess and Hanna Andrews at Women and Children First (free) 7:30 p.m.

Get lit tonight with the lesbian poets who will read from their latest works. For Guess, it's Tinderbox Lawn, her collection of prose poetry based on Seattle. Andrews will take from her new chapbook, a / long / division.


Planning for Pride: Saturday

Before I get into the happenings for the weekend days of Pride, I just want to acknowledge, as Anna of Sex and the Windy City did earlier this week, that I know there are those of you who aren't into Pride, who see it as a commercialization of our community, or who just don't really care for floats and flags. That's fine by me (more sidewalk room!)

But all kidding aside, plenty of things going on this weekend are not necessarily Pride-related, just going on the same weekend, so don't be scared to come join the festivities just because they're queer and right here.

So now that you've got tomorrow night planned out, let's talk Saturday. So much to discuss! Let's just get right down to it:

Saturday, June 27


28th Annual "Proud To Run" 5K, 10K and 2 mile walk at Montrose Harbor ($25-$30) 8:04 a.m.

Early athletic birds who like to exercise along the lakefront will have the opportunity to raise money for LGBT-related health and service organizations. PTR is in conjunction with Frontrunners/Frontwalkers Chicago, the city's LGBT running and walking club. So if you can't bring yourself out of bed Saturday morning, you can always find out more about the FR/FW and join up next year.

Dyke March at 1401 W. 18th Street (free) 1 p.m.

It's a different kind of walking, but it's inevitable you'll still get a work-out if you join the marchers in Pilsen on Saturday afternoon. If you live on the Northside and want to ride down with some other dykes, there's a bike contingent leaving from Trumball Elementary at Foster & Ashland in Andersonville at 11 a.m. Create your activist-slated rhyming chant now, and others will catch on the day of.

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Below the Belt: Fighting for Women's Pelvic Health at Deming Place ($75) 5:30 p.m.

Depending on the amount of money in which you're willing to part with in the name of pelvic health, you can see the Indigo Girls perform an acoustic set, bid on silent auction items and watch Jessica Halem return to Chicago with her brand of sassy comedy. There's also cocktails, food and possibly lots of Cougar sightings, though I can't make any promises.

Back Lot Bash at Cheetah Gym ($10-$15) 3 p.m. - 10 p.m.

Saturday's BLB will host singer/songwriters Christine Kent, Halycon and the hip-hop cover group Too White Crew. The day will be hosted by hometown actress Niki Lindgren. If you don't mind the cover charge and then paying for drinks on top of it, then you might be hanging out in the parking lot instead of enjoying double pints at T's down the street.

Premiere the Queer at 
barbara&barbara gallery (free) 5 p.m. - 10 p.m.

The opening reception for the arts show at the Ukrainian Village lesbian-owned gallery will feature performances by Natalie Grace, Kate Sosin and Amie Clark among painting, photography and other works of art by queers like you!

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Gay Pride Comedy Parade at Chicago Center of Performing Arts ($12) 10:30 p.m.

Lesbian comedians Tamale Sepp and Cameron Esposito (yeah, she gets around) join a gaggle of gay men in performing stand-up at the River North venue. They may be outnumbered but my bet is that they're the funniest on the bill.

JD Samson at Abbey Pub ($10 in advance, $12 at the door) 10 p.m.

Ex-Le Tigre member, current MEN founder, Sia's lover, rad DJ -- however you know her, JD Samson is spinning dance jams at the Abbey all Saturday night. Bonus for you under 21s: It's 18+.

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Queer Prom at Subterranean ($10) 10:30 p.m.

Another option for you youngins': Girlie-Q is putting on the Queer Prom with the theme "Under the Sea" at the Wicker Park spot. You can put your name in for prom queen or king, as long as you are 17 or older. There will be several burlesque performances and part of the door proceeds benefit Beyondmedia Education.
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Cruising, comedy or jello shots: tough choices for the lesbian crowd

I'm one of those kinds of people who likes to include Thursday nights as part of the weekend. It's like Fridays are just one long day to get through until the fun can truly commence, but Thursday nights have me so ready to go that I'm a huge fan of doing things on nights like tonight.

Lucky for you and me, there's always something going down on Thursdays -- like Stardust at Berlin (954 W Belmont Ave.). Tonight is a special DJ set from all-girl trio Au Revoir Simone, who will be hitting the decks straight from their gig at Logan Square Auditorium. Stardust is $5, but if you get in good with party promoter Jenae Williams, you might get hooked-up in the future.

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If 4 a.m. bars on Belmont are something in your past, perhaps you'd like to join the cruise for Ladies on the Lake tonight at Navy Pier, which benefits LAMBDA Legal. For $50, you can join a boat full of women on a three and a half hour ride around Lake Michigan  -- the prettiest lady of them all.

I also strongly recommend you check out Qweirdo at the iO Del Cose Theater (3541 N Clark St.) if you like gay comedy. Tonight's line-up includes lesbian stand-up expert (and the blogger behind Chilarious) Cameron Esposito, who is extremely hilarious, and extremely gay  -- and I'm not just saying that because she's my friend! She really is super gay. The show begins at 9 p.m. and tickets are $8.

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Or if you're an Andersonville dweller who doesn't feel like leaving the hood for the night, Mary's Attic (5400 N. Clark St.) hosts Lipstick Club on Thursdays from 9:30 p.m. - 1:30 a.m. There's no cover, and drink specials include $1 jello shots. It's Thursday, you can get a little crazy (just not too crazy -- it's Pride weekend, after all. Save up your energy.)


Planning for Pride: Friday

You guys have yet to know this about me, but I'm big into planning things ahead of time. It annoys everyone (my girlfriend, mostly) because things inevitably change. Something always happens that's unexpected, and I totally get that. That still doesn't stop me from trying to make an itinerary days in advance.

With so much going on this weekend for Pride Fest, I'd like to think you're also planning ahead and that's a good idea with the many choices you have ahead of you. Let's narrow it down to one day first. Check back tomorrow and Friday for the rest of this weekend's goings-on.

Friday, June 26

Brandi Carlile and Indigo Girls at Ravinia ($45 seats, $22 lawn, $25 day of show) 8 p.m.

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This could possibly be a case of convenient timing, but I'd love to think this tour stop was chosen very specifically for Chicago lesbians to have a nice relaxing musical show on a grassy knoll before a weekend of debauchery and sweating. Probably the most romantic of the events, it's also the most expensive.

Dot Dot Dot at Pride Fest ($7 suggested donation) 8 p.m.

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Co-ed pop rock from Chicago, DDD is the most exciting group playing the streets of Halsted and Waveland Friday night. Former members of the all-girl cover band Cat Fight join some dudes that have similar punky haircuts in singing songs about girls. You could definitely be subjected to worse if you're wandering around Boystown.

Paparazzi Chic at Victor Hotel (Discounted admission with flyer) 9 p.m.

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The event, which is also referred to as "The Hollywood Pride Affair," is said to be for "the nation's sexiest female sophisticates" and also advocates that while anyone over 21 is permitted to enter, those over 25 are "preferred." Two DJs, overpriced drinks and a West Loop location. I take back what I said before -- this is probably the most expensive option, but maybe you're into that!

Did I miss anything?

Lesbians touching me, touching you

You look like you are in need of a massage -- am I right? Tonight you can get a free one and get tested for breast and cervical cancer at the Howard Brown Health Center (4025 N. Sheridan Ave.), care of The Lesbian Community Care Project.

From 6 - 7 p.m. tonight, mini-massage chairs await you, while health care professionals will do 20-minute screenings and consult queer women on physical and mental health until 8 p.m.

Speaking of LCCP, director Cat Jefcoat is on the Feast of Fun podcast today, talking about the upcoming LGBTI Health Summit, which will happen in Chicago this August. One panel will be about "What Vaginas Want." This might be something to look into -- I need to know!

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Cat also adds her two lesbian cents in to a conversation about TopHotButches.com and Perez Hilton's riff with Will.I.Am of the Black Eyed Peas.
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Going Solo

Tonight and Wednesday, make your way over to Uptown's Strawdog Theater (3829 N. Broadway) for special performances from the New Town Writer's Group and friends. The event (which is in its seventh year) is called Solo Homo, and out performer Sara Kerastas says it is "dedicated to highlighting and giving the stage to some of Chicago's prominent queer voices." That means stories, poems, plays -- anything goes, as long as it's written and ready to be read by its gay writer.

Sara is one of three lesbians (out of nine total performers) who will be reading from her own work as part of Solo Homo. As the associate artistic director of Serendipity Theatre, she was asked to read one of her stories for the event, which is put together by the city's LGBTQ writer's salon, which meet every other Thursday night at the Gerber/Hart Library.

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Both Serendipity Theater as well as tonight and tomorrow's performances at Solo Homo are about "the performance of written word with an emphasis on storytelling," as Sara says. And, of course, gay writers mean gay themes, so it's going to be at least one third lesbian interest, and the stories definitely sound interesting!

"Mine is a story about my first lady-kiss and how I almost threw up in her mouth," Sara says. 
"They're real life, juicy stories -- the kind that you would tell to your friends over a glass of wine (or five)."

Sound good? Tickets are $12 and performances begin at 7:30 p.m.


"The Homo Show" needs a few good, uh, homos

The About Face Theatre does some amazing gay things, and this summer's The Homo Show is just about one of the coolest things I've heard about in recent memory. The Homo Show is a "queer, vaudevillianish variety show to bring together disparate performance artists, theatre artists, visual artists and musicians who all fall under the category of Homo."

Stop me if you've seen this before. OK, maybe something similar (we're a very performance-based community), but I bet it didn't have an audition call like this one:

We are looking for clowns, baton twirlers, choreographers, dancers, emcees,  musical acts, video artists (who have live performance elements), bands, drag artists, gymnasts, stand-up comics, improv artists, short, short plays, boy-lesque, performance artists, politicians, singers, etc. Bring your favorite past acts, or a proposal for an act to our auditions on the evenings of July 1st and July 2nd (5 p.m.-9 p.m.)

To top it off, the event will be hosted by the ultimate gem sweater-wearing dance machine, Leslie Hall of Leslie and the Lys.

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Sound like something for your resume? You can schedule an appointment time for your five minute or less act by contacting Erica at casting@aboutfacetheatre.com. And if you're like me and prefer to be a spectator, make sure to mark the show date (Monday, July 27 at 8 p.m. at Wicker Park's Subterranean) on your calendar.

Come out of the closet, put someone else in it

As if you don't have enough going on this Sunday, here's something else you might be interested in (you know, maybe during a quick Porta Potty break from the parade). Chicago Apartment Finders and Closet Outfitters are hosting a contest where anyone willing to "come out of the closet" is eligible to enter. It's not completely literal, as the press release says:

"People can enter submitting their name, contact information and confidential admission to a 'secret' on the entry form.  A winning entry will be chosen immediately after the close of the sweepstakes."
It's basically Post Secret but not anonymous and you're being judged. OK, so what can you win?

"One lucky person will win a custom storage solution valued up to $2,000."


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Gotta love the marketing people behind this one. Closets + Gay Pride = great opportunity to make puns like "You don't have to be straight - but your closet does."

So if you've got a great secret and an out of order closet, stop by Chicago Apartment Finders at 906 W. Belmont on Sunday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. to come out about something to some strangers who will hopefully come into your bedroom and straighten you out.

My only question: How do they know if you're telling the truth? It seems like a great opportunity to get creative. 

Stick a Pitchfork in me, I'm done

Next month is the Pitchfork Music Festival, an indie rock lover's weekend of iconic performers and new buzz bands alike. Though the fest doesn't generally book too many gay acts (save for the gay-male led Grizzly Bear), this year they will be hosting the Baltimore-bred noise-punk band Ponytail, which is fronted by out lesbian Molly Siegel.

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I talked with Molly last year for AfterEllen.com, while she was on one of the many tours Ponytail embarked on in support of their album Ice Cream Spiritual. She was one of the most open musicians I've ever spoken to in terms of embracing her sexuality as part of her artistry, saying:

"I think I would consider [Ponytail] queer because I'm in it. But it's also experimental and fun and you can dance to it. It's not Justin Timberlake or whatever, but I think that makes it more queer, just it being weird."

I'm pretty sure that J.T. fans aren't expecting an appearance from him at Pitchfork; but if you are intrigued by the eccentric sounds of Ponytail from their MySpace, or the video of "Celebrate the Body Electric (It Came From An Angel)" below, you can still get tickets for Saturday, July 18. Ponytail play at 4:30 in Union Square on the "Balance" stage.


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