Unfortunately, my red dress was at the cleaners, so I wasn't able to make my best fashion statement for the party, but I made due. None the less, the Chicago Red Dress party went off without a hitch. The evening began by walking the red carpet and posing for the large group of eager photographers. Naturally I vogued it out, even though my face was more red than my shirt! Entering the VIP lounge with the mayor of Boystown, Bill Pritchard, and some new friends, I was completely overwhelmed by the city view and an explosion of red sophistication.
(Pictured: Me on the left with the ChicagoPride.com team, photo courtesy Anthony Meade)
Mingling with some of Chicago's finest, I was excited to hear that Beverly McClellan (pictured) of The Voice would be preforming! With delicious libations provided by Grey Goose, I certainly indulged in a few signature cocktails to help distract me from judging everyone's outfits. Not only was this event about creating awareness and fundraising for HIV/AIDS research, but also the 2nd annual Chicago Red Dress Party successfully integrated live performance art and the message that you can't stop living life just because of your status. Hosted at the Joffrey Ballet Studios, there was certainly no shortage of theatrics throughout the evening.
The most touching moment of the affair was when the event director, Kyler Powell (pictured), shared his story with HIV/AIDS, and made it clear just how many lives are affected by this disease. If nothing else good came of this event, it taught a newbie the importance of getting tested and practicing safe sex. My generation was not raised during the hard times of the AIDS outbreak, and it's events like this that bring consciousness to just how far we've come. Cheers to a successful event, and to making me blush bright red all night (directed at the dancer in hot pants)!
(View more photos from the event)