The L-Blog

lesbian Archives

Ky Dickens takes over Chicago's gay media

Local lesbian filmmaker Ky Dickens is hardcore pimping her film, Fish Out of Water, which is the documentary centerpiece of the Reeling Film Festival this Sunday at the Music Box Theatre. Check her out on the cover of this week's Windy City Times and on the Feast of Fun Podcast.


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You can still get a ticket to Sunday night's show or entrance into the after party at In Fine Spirits (5418 N. Clark St.) The screening is at 5 p.m. for $10 and the party is right after for an additional $10.

Funny gay ladies at the Center on Halsted

Former Chicagoan Jessica Halem will be coming back to the Midwest from her new home in New Orleans to perform at the Center on Halsted (3656 N. Halsted) next week on Nov. 5 at 8 p.m. Performing alongside her at laughOUTloud is hometown gal Cameron Esposito, and for $20, you can VIP seats and a drink ticket.

Check out this interview she did with Feast of Fun last time she was in town:


Jessica Halem Returns to Chicago - Watch more Funny Videos

The Center is advising that interested parties get their tickets fast, as Jessica's show last spring sold out.

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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One Lesbian Reason... to go see "The Stepfather"

While I really didn't think the new thriller starring Gossip Girl's Dan Humphrey would be an ideal pick for lesbians this Halloween season (I mean, really, there are so many other films available on DVD with lesbian killers and vampires and the like), there is one big lesbian reason to go see The Stepfather: Paige Turco.

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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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Turn it up at Decibelle this week

Starting this Thursday, Chicago is going to get even gayer than it already is. The annual feminist music and arts festival, Decibelle, is going on all weekend, and tons of queer women are involved in the festivities. Here are some of my picks:


Friday, Oct. 16

Me'Shell Ndegeocello at Old Town School of Folk Music (4544 N Lincoln Ave.) Two shows, 7 and 10 p.m.

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Get "Precious" at the Chicago International Film Festival

This week marks the start of the Chicago International Film Fest, and one of the most exciting entries this year is a heartbreaking story about an overweight young black lesbian called Precious: Based on the Novel "Push."

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The movie is showing twice next week, but the first showing on the 14th will have director Lee Daniels and lead actress Gabourey "Gabby" Sidibe there to answer questions after the screening. Of course, those tickets are pricier ($50 - $100), but the 16th showing is $9 - $12. Considering it's a huge film in which both Mariah Carey and Mo'Nique are supposed to give stellar performances, and boasts Oprah Winfrey as a producer, you might want to get your tickets ahead of time.



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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Lesbian in local indie band gets injured in car crash

I have some good news, and I have some bad news. I'll start with the good.

Local indie band The Scotland Yard Gospel Choir have played with the likes of the Arcade Fire and Violent Femmes, and are signed to the alternative country/folk/punk label, Bloodshot Records. They just released their new album, And On The Horse You Rode in On, on Sept. 15. Among the band is lesbian member, Mary Ralph. She's pretty adorable, right?

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"Hannah Free" is home in Chicago

This weekend, the Gene Siskel Film Center (164 N. State St.) will play host to screenings of Chicago's new lesbian film, Hannah Free. Starting tomorrow night, you can see Sharon Gless (Cagney and Lacey, Queer as Folk) as the star of the film, a working class gay woman and her lover over 60 years.

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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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CellStories goes gay

If you ever find yourself having finished your book, forgetting your Red Eye or just plain bored on the trip home from work, there is now the perfect antidote available to you, as long as you have a cell phone and the ability to connect to the internet. Cellstories.net is a Chicago-run website from former Punk Planet publisher Dan Sinker that is updated with a new short story to read every day.

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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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Lesbians with shear talent

Sometimes you need to go to a lesbian to get something done right, and that includes getting an amazing gay haircut. If you're constantly in search of a stylist who can understand what you're looking for (post-break-up new 'do, a butcher cut to show off your masculine side, or, perhaps, a chic style for a new season), there are definitely a few queer women in the city who are a cut above the rest.

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Why lesbians should care about Oprah

Gay women, I bet you're wondering why you should care about all of the Oprah hysteria. While your straight female counterparts that work in the cubicle next to you downtown might be straining for a sighting today on Michigan Ave., you probably roll your eyes and think "What has she done for me lately?"

Well, I am going to let you in on a little secret. No, Oprah is not a secret lesbian with Gayle (at least not that she's confirmed). But Oprah is a huge fan of the 'bos. A few months back, she dedicated not only an episode of her show to the topic of women who leave men for other women, but also a feature article in O Magazine.

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"The Color Purple" closes this weekend

You only have today, tomorrow and Sunday to catch a performance of The Color Purple at the Arie Crown Theater (McCormick Place, 2301 S. Lake Shore Dr.) If you've never read Alice Waters' famous novel, or seen the film version starring Oprah and Whoopi Goldberg, then let me break it down for you: A poor black woman named Celie gets together with a woman named Shug, despite being married to a man.

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Chi-Celesbian Questionnaire: Jo Collura

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: Jo Collura, MC and model

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"The Real L Word: Chicago" could be in our future

Late last night, news broke that The L Word creator Ilene Chaiken would be bringing a lesbian reality TV show to Showtime later this year. Though it'll initially be The Real L Word: Los Angeles, Ilene told Variety that she hopes it will have "franchise" potential, similar to shows like The Real Housewives which take place in several different cities every season.

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Of course, this leaves Chicago open to the possibility of our own lesbian reality show if the initial one really takes off.

Based on the character prototypes of The L Word, here are my suggestions should casting directors head to the Midwest:


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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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Kris Dresen draws comics for the lesbian crowd

Local lesbian artist Kris Dresen draws intricate comics with dark themes. Her latest, She's in the Trees, is a graphic short story about the secrets of nature.

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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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A lesbian-owned restaurant closes up shop

Not long after I hailed Lakeview's Urban Cafe as a great lesbian-owned eatery to try for brunch sometime comes some sad news: The spot is closing its doors.

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One Lesbian Reason... to support the Cubs

I admit, I've never been big into baseball or riding the red line on game day, but now I have good reason to support one of the city's home teams: A lesbian is part owner.

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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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Having Hope for the future of queer zines

Before blogs, there were zines, which are still alive and well, especially in Chicago's literary landscape. One local lesbian zinester to check out is Kisha Hope, whose newest work, A Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad, LIFE was just released last month, which is about "growing up fat, awkward, and poor, with a healthy twist of humor."

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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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Star Gaze to turn into a sports bar?

Just a few weeks ago, I made a list of the lesbian bars you can visit any night of the week and be among other gay women. One of those bars, perhaps the best known, might not be around for much longer.

Star Gaze (5419 N. Clark St.) has been a part of Andersonville since 1998, when owners Mamie Lake and Dustin Fermin opened the bar and became a supporter of the LGBT community by hosting fundraisers and other events in their space. In 2006, the two were inducted into the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame.

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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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Chi-Celesbian Questionnaire: Searah Deysach

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: Searah Deysach, owner of Early 2 Bed

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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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So much more than girls in tight dresses who drag with mustaches

Today is the official launch of ChicagoNow, which means we're out of Beta and into the realness! So, here's a little welcome to all you new readers.

Welcome to The L-Blog

And please check out this post from when The L-Blog launched, so you know a little more about me and what I hope will happen with this little piece of lesbianism on the internet.

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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One Lesbian Reason... to go see "Humpday"

The new indie film Humpday from director Lynn Shelton centers on two male best friends who decide to have sex with one another for an amateur porn contest. Before you think I'm crazy for advising you to see what could end up being disastrously homophobic, here's the trailer:

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Chi-Celesbian Questionnaire: Christin Baker

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!

First up: Christin Baker of Tello Films

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Lesbians in their bedrooms

Chicago photographer Torie McMillan is working on a project that most of us can appreciate: She's doing a series called "In Bed," picturing lesbians by themselves or with partners and pets in their own personal sleep spaces.

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Pidge J. Pagonis and Rose Swartz

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Kara Wabbel and Sierra Berquist

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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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Lesbians talk about smut and DIY at Printers' Ball

Did you miss the Printers' Ball? Chicago Subtext blogger Amy Guth was interviewing all kinds of writers, publishers and literary-types of all kinds. Check out these video interviews with lesbian attendees.

Lesbian erotic writer, Dee Dee, of DeviantDyke

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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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The best bars to find lesbians on any given night

How many times have you heard "Why aren't there any lesbian bars in Chicago?" Listen, ladies, it's not just a Chicago-thing, believe me. Even in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles, gay bars still stray toward the male side of things. Another L.A. lady bar just bit the dust this week.

And while we do have a lot of lesbian nights at both gay and straight clubs in the city, there are definitely a handful of places that you are likely to feel at home amongst at least a few other queer women on any given night of the week.

Perhaps the most obvious is T's (5025 N. Clark St.). An Andersonville neighborhood sports bar with a lot of fried food options, the $7 pints, Kelly Clarkson songs on the speakers and pool table are always friendly for gay females.

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Another widely known lesbian hang is Stargaze (5419 N. Clark St.) which is a dive not too far north of T's. It has somewhat of a limited beer selection, but plenty of room for sitting, pool playing and a great beer garden. Going in the summer definitely has that advantage. Gather all your friends and have your own personal garden party while drinking PBR.

One of the longest-running lesbian bars in the city, Lost and Found, shut its doors last year, but it was replaced by Lizard's Liquid Lounge (3058 W. Irving Park Rd.), where many regulars still hang out to talk about days gone by. Get a history lesson and a beverage at this off-the-beaten path and spruced up spot with more live music, a dart league and other events.

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Lincoln Square lesbians know that Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays is the best day to get tipsy and grab the microphone at Spyner's Pub for karaoke. The bar is also sponsor to several women's sporting teams, so it's the official hang out for many an athlete. There's also Free Pool Mondays and wine tastings the same day. What a great way to start out the week.

Boystown's The Closet (3325 N. Broadway St.) can be a mixed bag, but if the lesbians who tend the bar are serving up the drinks, you won't be the lonely lass. It's also a great 4 a.m. bar if you're looking for an after-hours joint to hear some Top 40 hits and embarass yourself in front of strangers.

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Like I said the other day, Joie de Vine (1744 W. Balmoral Ave.) is one of my favorite places for a cocktail in the city, and there are always other gay women imbibing alongside me when I visit. Definitely a lesbian hangout.

If you're willing to take the green line out to Oak Park, The Velvet Rope (728 Lake St.) is a destination off-the-beaten-path. The first Monday of every month is a Singles Meet-Up and the first Sunday is Homopalooza with drag queens and kings and cabaret performances. It might be worth the trip.

Some other bars that can be worth a stop for gay women looking to see some others are @mosphere (5355 N. Clark Ave.), though I suggest stearing clear of nights with male strippers; Saturdays are best at Spin (800 W. Belmont Ave.); and mostly Thursdays are good for Berlin (954 W. Belmont Ave.).

Of course, there are one-off nights at other bars every week, which I'll definitely list for you in a separate post. I wouldn't want to overwhelm you! But now you armed with choices for nights when there's just "no lesbian bars in Chicago" to go to.



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).


Chicago's QueerlyWed.com launches for partners-to-be

Now that I'm back from the amazing insanity that was BlogHer Conference at the Sheraton Hotel this past weekend, I'm going to take the opportunity to let you in on an awesome Chicago-based site for anyone planning a wedding, commitment ceremony or all-out love party of any kind. QueerlyWed.com is a new launch from Chicagoan Stacy Jill Jacobs and hopes to be the destination for LGBT couples looking for gay-friendly everything when it comes to planning the big day.

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QW is just beginning to get rolling but Stacy assures me that the site is going to have way more than listings. It will include interviews with couples who have been there, done that and have advice, video content and lots of other ways to connect with other lesbians who are in the same shoes (whether they be heels, flats or boots).

And if you have your own flower shop, photography studio or gay services of any kind, get at Stacy Jill and co. so they're in the know.



One lesbian reason... to see "(500) Days of Summer"

There's actually a couple of Lesbian Reasons to see the new Zooey Deschanel/Joseph Gordon-Levitt film (500) Days of Summer, which opened this weekend at both Landmark Century Cinema (2828 N. Clark St.) and AMC River East (322 E. Illinois St.).

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OK firstly, Zooey is easy on the eyes and also a friend of the gay ladies like Von Iva, the queer trio from San Francisco who were part of her fake band in Yes Man.

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Secondly, Zooey's character, Summer, casually mentions that she dated a girl in college who was "fun" but didn't go anywhere. (LUG? Must be: She tells another character she's not a lesbian earlier on in the film, but does not follow it up with "I'm bisexual.")

Then there's the bit parts played by out lesbian actress Maile Flanagan (3Way) and Nicole Vicius, who played the cougar-loving flirty dyke in Itty Bitty Titty Committee. Both women make very small appearances, but appearances nonetheless.

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Lastly, the movie is about love, coincidence and untouchable women who don't fall for you as hard as you fall for them. It's universal and has a great soundtrack, ranging from The Smiths to Patrick Swayze's "She's Like the Wind."

Check out the trailer and see the film while it's still in Chicago:





"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.

Let's talk about queer, feminist sex

Did you ever think you could be watching a sexy video at the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum (800 S. Halsted Ave.)? Today would have been one of your first opportunities to do so, with the screening of Filming Desire as part of the free film series SEX POSITIVE pro-SEX, pro-QUEER, pro-KINK that's happening every Tuesday through October 13.

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Filming Desire is a documentary about female directors and the way they portray sex and sexual relationships on screen. Some of those interviewed include Sally Potter (Orlando)  and my personal favorite, Catherine Breillat. There are elements of feminism, queerness and all around sex-positive discussions from women who aren't afraid to show what they want on camera — the kind of women whose movies we like to watch. (Seriously, if you haven't seen Breillat's Fat Girl or A Real Young Girl, I'd suggest you do so!)

Since the doc aired at noon today,  I'd like to give you a head's up on July 28's offering: Hot & Bothered: Feminist Pornography. Here's a clip:


The rest of the schedule can be found at the Center on Halsted's website. And if Filming Desire sounds like something you want to check out on your own, it can be found through Women Make Movies.

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! 

Lesbian Weekend Run-Down: July 10 - 12

In case you are looking for some other things to add to your "freakend" calendar, besides hang out with my pugs and me at an art show:

LGBTQ Rights and other topics related to women are on the docket for tonight's Chicago NOW (National Organzation of Women) Open House at EP Theater (1820 S. Halsted St.), A Celebration of Feminist Art. Tonight's free event goes from 7 - 10 p.m. at the Pilsen venue with art from Deva Suckerman, Monica J Brown, Angela Komperda, Soni Sinha and musical performances by Deanna Devore (pictured below), Michelle Morales and The Lost Cartographers. It continues on Saturday from 4 - 7p.m.

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Don't forget tonight's musical acts: Sam Ronson DJs at Crimson Lounge (333 N. Dearborn Ave.), 8 Inch Betsy plays Quencher's (2401 N. Western Ave.) and MEN perform at Berlin (954 W. Belmont Ave.)

Cyclists, bring your favorite ride to Dykes Peddaling Bikes tomorrow at 9 a.m. The lesbian riders meet at the Lake Shore Drive Totem Pole (3600 N. Recreation Dr.) and follow it up with brunch at Tweet between 10:30 and 11 a.m.

Ladies Touch Chicago will have an all-female DJ line-up at The Mix (2843 N. Halsted St.) for tomorrow's 2nd Saturday event. If you get there before 10:30, it's free, $10 after. Another incentive to get there early? Free mix CDs from DJ Gloria. There's also a belly dance at midnight, so get there in time to save your seat.

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On Sunday, Amigas Latinas are hosting the panel, "Coping with Chronic Illnesses" at 1941 N. Natoma from 2 - 4 p.m.

And so we can end this on a positive note, there's also plenty of festivals going on, and my male counterpart Michael at What's a Boy to Do has you covered.

Where can I find that one lesbian magazine?

If you're like me, you are in denial that print will ever die. I'm a huge magazine fan and will spend my $10 on an international issue over a cup of coffee and a movie any day of the week (unless I've read them all for the month. It can happen!)

The problem is that lesbian magazines can feel few-far-between. If you count the ones published outside of the U.S., however, there are actually several you can get your hands on in Chicago. Here's where you can find what you're looking for:

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DIVA: The UK monthly magazine recently underwent a redesign, but it did not lose any of its great editorial content. The editors are really in touch with their readers and are always up-to-date, which is something I always appreciate when it comes to other, uh, less timely magazines.

Find it at: Borders - Lakeview (2817 N. Clark St.)

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GIRLS LIKE US: This quarterly out of Amsterdam has truly universal appeal. The photography and Q&As by and with modern queer women icons make every issue a must-keep. Too bad it only comes out four times a year.

Find it at: Quimby's (1854 W. North Ave.)

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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?



Support your local lesbian football players

Chicago's only all-female football team, The Force, has several out lesbians on the squad, so if you're looking to support women on the field, now would be a great time. The team has advanced to the conference championships in Kansas City, but are in dire need of donations to make it there.

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The team is seeking donations of any amount, which you can easily do on their website. The championship kicks off on July 11, and if the women win the conference, they will advance onto nationals in Austin, Texas.

As part of the Independent Women's Football League, everything the team has is built through donations and sponsorships, so any help you can give them in support of female athletes (including those that are out on and off the field) is definitely a good place to put your $5.

If you aren't convinced yet, watch this video from earlier this season, where ESPN magazine writer David Murray tries to keep up with the players of the Chicago Force.

 

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!

E2B TV: Sex tips for the YouTube inclined

The lesbian-owned sex shop Early 2 Bed has just relaunched their website ("for your sexy self" -- I love it!) and while it might not be safe for work, it's definitely worth checking out once you're home. The new site is very user-friendly, with pictures and prices of popular items and the latest news from the blog posted on the right hand side of the page.

It's all about the usability, am I right?

But my favorite part of the store's online home has to be E2BTV, where owner Searah Deysach dishes out sex tips on everything from picking out your first vibrator to maintenance to easy toys to pack for vacation.



And now that you know what to look for, make sure you remember that the website is always open, but the shop itself will be closed for the 4th of July.


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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4 Legs is a female's best friend

My friend Laura just clued me in to a Wriggleyville pet store owned by lesbian couple Dori and Leslie called 4 Legs (3909 N. Clark St.). The boutique specializes in natural and organic pet products from brands like The Honest Kitchen and Nature's Variety. They're also big on animal adoption, and have several events and resources related to giving a loving pup or cat a home (although I am sure they do discriminate against other 4-legged pets).

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Lesbians: We love animals. That's one stereotype I'll never try to shake.

Another cool anecdote about 4 Pets: They have a YouTube channel with videos like this one, where chihuahua, Dottie, shows she knows her way to 4Legs. She seems pretty psyched on it.






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!

Pride aside: Who stole Mary York's ashes?

I'll admit, it's pretty cool to own a piece of history. However, stealing it from the Howard Brown Health Center's garden is not really the way to go about it.

A memorial statue for Chicago lesbian activist Mary York was taken from the Center's Peace Garden and the saddest part is that it contains her ashes.

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Of course, Howard Brown's employees are upset and would like it to be returned, no questions asked. So if you happen to notice your new girlfriend suddenly has a sweet-looking replica of the cover of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, could you please ask her to give up moonlighting as a thief and give York back?



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?

For the birds (and sure, the bees can listen, too)

When I went to see New York's indie-pop trio Vivian Girls at the Empty Bottle last month, I was mostly psyched to catch the opening band, Bird Talk, a local quartet with a lesbian frontwoman named Jumpy.

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The band just released their debut album, No Bird Left Behind, and you can download it for free on their website. (Aren't they sweet?) And it's definitely worth a listen: It's smart and catchy rock with elements of '50s Motown and a keyboard.

My personal favorite track is the sexy "Crown and Coke" in which there is a repeated chant of "Do it, do it." Take a listen:


<a href="http://birdtalk.bandcamp.com/track/crown-and-coke">Crown and Coke by Bird Talk</a>



Bird Talk only has a show scheduled in Rockford in the next month, but have two gigs lined up in August, giving you plenty of time to listen to No Bird Left Behind and memorize the lyrics (you know, hard to remember ones like "Do it, do it") to sing along at the Bottom Lounge on August 15.

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.
Continue reading...

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.

One Lesbian Reason... to see "Year One"

This is my first edition of a regular segment called "One Lesbian Reason," in which I will give you, uh, one lesbian reason (duh) to do something, see something or perhaps go somewhere you might not have thought about in the first place.

My first ever OLR is the answer to "Why would I go see the new Jack Black and Michael Cera comedy, Year One?"

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Maybe you already have a reason (like Michael Cera kind of looks like your ex-girlfriend, or you heard Olivia Wilde looks pretty hot in a toga. Hm, maybe this should be called Two Lesbian Reasons), but mine is simple: Eden Riegel (Bianca, of All My Children lesbo fame) plays yet another gay female character.

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Riegel plays Lilith, the gay daughter of Adam and Eve, who will not "lay" with Jack Black's character because she is into the fairer sex. (See, disbelievers? Women have wanted to lay with other women since the beginning of time.) It's a pretty short scene, so don't get too excited about it if you're a huge Riegel fan.

Basically, if you're getting dragged to see this film with some friends or family, there's one Good Lesbian Reason to go without kicking or screaming, like the brief Mariska Hargitay The Love Guru cameo in . (I will never get back the two hours I gave up watching that awful, awful movie. But thank you, Mariska Hargitay.)


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.


Please Feed the lesbians

If you're into Southern cooking or cheap eats, you will not want to pass up a trip to Feed (2803 W. Chicago Ave.) The lesbian-owned West Side joint is easily one of the best places for chicken, both the food and decor.

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Owners Donna Knezek (Leo's Lunchroom) and Liz Sharp take you out of the city and straight into a Dorothy Allison novel with their poultry-adorned walls and tables. Order your chicken (white, dark and sizes of 1/4, 1/2 or the whole shebang) and any of their several sides (mac and cheese, corn pudding, succotash, for example) and then put in a quarter to get a plastic egg for novelty's sake (does it really matter what's inside?).

Although I would not suggest bringing a vegetarian date along, the meals are generally $10 or under, so anyone who likes great food at an amazing price will appreciate the down home qualities of Feed.

Knezek and Sharp also serve breakfast and brunch, with several menu options other than chicken, so check out their website before heading over (it is kind of a trek if you don't live in Humboldt Park). 

As if I needed any other reason to hype this place, I feel the need to share that there's also a free jukebox. Just sayin'. Who doesn't like music?

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Baby, let me please you

How's this for an understatement: the queer community is a diverse one. Lesbians, bisexual and queer women are just one facet of the LGBTQ community at large, but we're still a big part of it. Unfortunately, you wouldn't really know it by looking at the Chicago media.

I'm not knocking anyone -- I realize that to get papers sold or picked up, or shows watched or media consumed, it's all about ad sales and numbers, and the myth is that men are where the money is at. So that's why you've probably seen a lot more half-nude men in your lifetime than you care to, gay lady, and I'm in your company.

A few years ago, I started an online magazine called CHILLmag for Chicago's queer women (in true lesbian fashion, my co-founder was my girlfriend at the time). We pulled together a crew of out female writers for monthly stories of events and people and things we weren't seeing anywhere else. It was hard work that we did for free, out-of-pocket, but it was something I've always been glad to have been a part of (it lasted only a year), because the gay women in Chicago need a home.

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I'm trying to be your home. Rather, The L-Blog is an attempt at being a home, or at least a place that you will come to to find out about what's going on, where, when, how and who, because it's just not that easy to find it anywhere else. (Seriously, if it is, tell me, because it's a great hidden source that I'm not privy to.)

But I need you. I don't just want you to come here and read (although, that's great, and please, please do); I want you to send me things, like events that sound awesome, or new lesbian nights that your friend is throwing, or the gay book club you're a part of that is reading every Michelle Tea memoir while dressed as a '90s-era sex worker. I may be a professional lesbian, but I'm not the expert on everything because it's impossible to be on top of all of the things we have going in this free-flowing community of women who all share one common bond. Plain and simple: We are girls who like girls. And not just in a "sexy" way -- in a way in which we support each other, hang around with each other and yeah, just happen to date one another.

It doesn't matter your age, your class, your amount of sass (I always encourage sass) -- if you're here, you're queer and I'm used to it.

I know I won't be able to get everything right, but I'll do my best, with your help. So please send me your tips, follow me on Twitter and don't be a stranger.
 

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