Last night I was asked to join four advisors and 16 students from the University of Minnesota at Ann Sather's on Belmont for nice evening of dinner and conversation. They are on a May Term LGBT Studies course/trip that looks at leadership and community organizing within the LGBT/queer community. Their three week trip, which started right here in Chicago will take them from Minneapolis to Chicago, New York City, Philadelphia and finally on to Washington, DC.
The dinner was designed to get the students interacting with folks who are involved in LGBT media & publishing. Part of an initiative offering an integrated, year-long learning experience for undergraduate students at the University of Minnesota, this group of students represented intensive study and dialogue regarding LGBT issues with national leaders of LGBTA rights.
Also in the discussion was none other than Jorjet Harper and Emmanuel Garcia from Windy City Media Group. Jorjet was part of the team that developed the book Out and Proud in Chicago. She gave some refreshing historical perspective to the discussion. I am a big fan! Emmanuel shared about being a young activist and journalist at Windy City Times.
Joining the conversation with me from ChicagoPride.com was Executive Vice President and Content Chief, Steve Long. Clearly this is one damn smart man in media. I’ve often said how lucky we feel at ChicagoPride.com to have Steve at the helm. He is kind, compassionate, wise, and difference minded!
I really had a blast with these students. It’s damn refreshing to see tomorrow’s youth taking charge of their education and opportunity!
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QUEER is Here!:
Randall Jenson has been documenting the lives of well known and respected gay men New York, Washington, DC, and in our own Chicago community; including Cyon Flare, Jade, (RuPaul's Drag Race Season One) Choreographer Darrell Jones, Activist Roger Goodman, and Fausto Fernós and Marc Felion from the Feast of Fun show.
"50 Faggots" is the new web series that uses longitudinal, auto-ethnographic documentary filming and educates audiences with the unprecedented access to the lives and experiences of effeminate male activists, artists, professionals and educators perspectives rarely discussed within most cultures.
The series addresses the dearth of self-acceptance among effeminate men, young and old, with humorous anecdotes, important wisdom, and inspiring models of resilience. By offering individual alternatives to dominant constructions of American masculinity and heteronormative gay lifestyles, this film illuminates the on-going issues relevant to queer communities.
The first season, dedicates two years to documenting the stories of ten effeminate gay men. These men discuss their professional and personal lives, often in contradiction to communities that demand a rigid and binary definition of gender, particularly valuing patriarchy and an appropriate presentation of straight-acting masculinity.
This documentary series celebrates the differences among urban and rural environments, along racial, religious, and intergenerational lines. While the series allows each man to discuss the ways their personal effeminate expressions are negotiated in career, relationships, and communities, this documentary project creates national dialogue around the diversity of ways to truly "be" a man.
May 13th Randall Jensen, Cyon Flare, and Acid Betty are hosting the "50 Faggots Launch Party" at Hydrate Nightclub, featuring the full cast and many Chicago nightlife celebrities.
May 14th is the Chicago Premier at the Center on Halsted, featuring Chicago locals Cyon Flare, Jade, Darrell Jones, Roger Goodman, Marc Felion & Fausto Fernós. Afterwards there will be a Q&A session moderated by Dr. Melissa Bradshaw with the cast, Director Randall Jenson, and Editor Meredith Zielke. $7 in advance/ $10 at door. Doors open at 6:30pm, premiere at 7:00pm, reception at 8:45pm. For more information, visit www.50faggots.com or call The Center on Halsted at 773-472-6469 to make advance ticket purchases
Without a doubt, Chicago House did it once again with their annual Spring Brunch & Fashion Show held at the Winter Garden room of the Harold Washington Library. (God, I love this room!)
With great speeches, fabulous fashions, and made-up models, there was enough excitement in the room for a life time. It really has to be said how impressive the work of Chicago House is in our community! They provide permanent, community-based housing, supportive services, and prevention outreach to individuals and families struggling with HIV/AIDS. Chicago House Chief Executive Officer Rev. Stan J. Sloan; Special Events Manager Jeremy Hilborn (See Photo Above) and countless volunteers seriously outdid themselves! Because of issues with the sound, Jeremy gave me a copy of Reverend Sloan's remarks. He also let me know that Sunday’s brunch featured 400+ attendees and raised over $100,000! BRAVO Chicago!
Joining me in the revelry was none other than my Besti and Modern Luxury Fashion Assistant, Isaiah Freeman-Schub. He is THE best to go to events with and makes it even more fun! Also on the scene was none other than DJ Phil DaBeatz spinning the sounds; the lovely Cyon Flare; and the talented Chicago Cabaret Project. Seated at our table was none other than DJ Matthew Harvat! I was especially enamored with the “wild life” at the event. My Gal-Pal Jake Conrad and uber-cutie Sam were complete animals!
Plan now to attend the 13th Annual Birdhouse Art Auction & Reception June 24th.
Enough can not be said about my Mom! She’s done SO much for me. I’ve never questioned her steadfast love and continue to rely on her daily for support. Along with my Father, she goes above and beyond the call of duty to see me succeed. I simply wouldn’t be who I am today without them both.
Happy Mother’s Day Weekend!
I sit here today a very proud son. In an article titled Award Honors Work with Jailed Immigrants Barbara Huston tells readers of the King County Bar Association Bar Bulletin about a man who has made the difference in countless lives around the world. That man is my Father, Llewelyn Pritchard.
Sharing how my Father discovered that the former Immigration and Naturalization Service jailed more people annually than do all the federal courts in the country; and how he helped raise millions of dollars to reform treatment of immigrants, Huston exposed my Father for the difference maker he really is.
Winning the American Bar Association’s (ABA) 2010 Drinan Award earlier this year was truly a well deserved honor for my Father. Not only was it major accomplishment to receive one of the ABA’s highest honors, but it was made extra special because of the friendship that he and Bob Drinan shared.
In her article Huston mentions the gala in honor of my Mother and Father at St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral in Seattle. As a family, we were honored to have life long friend, Bill Gates, Sr. give the keynote address. He said something I’ve grown to know about my sainted Parents; they are a “. . Institution of Public Service”. No truer words could be said about them both. If you ever wondered where I get the drive and possession to want to make a difference in this world; just watch them.
So blessed to have great parents,
The Feast is on!:
I can’t tell you how happy I am to report that Chicago’s own Fausto Fernós and Marc Felion, hosts of the Feast of Fun daily podcast have done it yet again!
They have won the 2009 People's Choice Podcast Award for Best GLBT Podcast. This is their fourth in what amounts to a great following of their daily show The Feast of Fun.
Fausto and Marc said via their Twitter page, “. . .We are still thrilled and excited to get this and we simply couldn't have done it without your votes.”. They join the ranks of other winners like People’s Choice ESPN: Fantasy Focus Football; Best Business NPR Planet Money; General This American Life; and Mature The Adam Carolla Podcast.
In this writer’s opinion, it could not have happened to two better guys. They make Chicago and the LGBT community look great!