You like me, right now, you like me! Ok…I'm no Sally Field and I'm certainly not winning an Oscar anytime soon, HA, if ever, but I'm still just as elated and honored that I was chosen as one of the 20 semi-finalists for One Man Chicago. I was just about to get my hair cut, long over do might I add, when I received the phone call from the good people over at One Man Chicago that I was selected as one of the 20 semi-finalists. Everything has been such a crazy, fun rollercoaster of experiences since that phone call. I have to thank Akira for bringing me out my shell for my photo shoot to promote my running in One Man Chicago. Also, there will be cocktail parties in support of One Man Chicago and the contestants. The first one will be July 28 at J Bar from 6pm to 8pm. So, please come out and support me! For more information about One Man Chicago or to vote for me, sorry for the shameless plug…oh hell, this entire paragraph has been a shameless plug, why lie, go to OneManChicago.com , so I can be your One Man, Chicago!
Last month I hosted the kick-off event for P.Y.G. or Professional Young Gays at J Bar. I must say that after working so hard and so long with my host committee and prospective organizations on P.Y.G., everything came together in the end. We had a great turnout for our premiere event and everyone had a great time! Jim Bennett, Midwest regional director for Lambda Legal, was the special keynote speaker. Lambda Legal is a national organization that rallies, advocates and puts into place the civil rights of gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender people and those with HIV. Jim was adorably sophisticated, witty, and just darn right funny in his deliverance. I couldn't have asked for a better speaker. I would of course like to thank all the people who came out to support P.Y.G., Center on Halsted for being our sponsored charity, ChicagoPride.com for being the media sponsor, my host committee: Craig Hyland, Kip Rodrigue, Roderick Hawkins, Jessica Harless, Steve Long, Bill Pritchard and Robert Rizzuto. HALO Spa also came out and offered all our guests complimentary manicures. So, thank you Kiran and Bob over at HALO for making the event that much more fun. I also must thank my awesome event photographers: Chris Free and Tunista Fortson, tunisia.smugmug.com. Be sure to check out their websites! Last but certainly not least, I'd like to thank Andy, J Bar's GM! Keep a look out for P.Y.G.'s next event! For updates, please visit www.facebook.com/PYGChicago
Speaking of young, gay professionals, I had a sit down with real estate mogul Jay Michael. As head of Cedar Street Capitals, Michael specializes in buying distressed real estate, debts, and buildings, and inventory to provide affordable housing. It was great to just talk with a fellow young, gay professional who is at the top of his game in his career, but still knows how to have fun. I learned that for fun, Michael loves the outdoors, is learning how to row, and is also a big traveler. So, definitely keep a look out for Michael as he expands to other markets in Uptown and Edgewater!
Now everyone who hangs out with me knows that I like to enjoy a few hundred cocktails. So, when Effen Vodka asked me to be one of the VIP hosts for its art of design event at Vertigo Sky Lounge, I cried tears of happiness. Not really, but I was super excited! Effen Vodka and Lime Green Entertainment know how to throw a party! There was a line around the block! In fact, I almost didn't get into my own event; yikes! The event featured several different mixologists competing to design the ultimate Effen Vodka martini. My friend Benjamin Newby of Rockit Ranch won the title; congrats Ben! Two thumbs up to the amazing team at Lime Green Entertainment: Taryn Williams, Karen DeVault, and Michon Ellis. Also, a high five to the team over at Effen Vodka!
David Dodd of Windy City Gay Black Pride invited me to the welcoming reception for this year's gay, black pride at Sidetracks. I actually met David at my P.Y.G. event and we hit it off! The reception featured a panel discussion on pertinent issues that affect that gay, black community. I am so happy that I attended this event because its discussions just like these that will shed light on an often ignored subject. I truly felt the positive energy and eagerness in the room. So, a congrats to David and the rest of the team for putting together a meaningful event with great people and conversation.
Let's all have an awesome rest of the summer. Please vote for me for One Man Chicago, so I don't feel like the last kid who got picked for kickball, hehe. And remember when in doubt about anything, just laugh it off!