The Ratchet Life

Mon. January 28, 2013 12:00 AM
by Terrence Chappell

I've been obsessed with living the ratchet life. I can't lie, so why deny it. I tried giving up the ratchet life as my New Year's resolution and failed that same weekend after the New Year. I'm constantly asked how does one live the ratchet life. After extensive experience, living the ratchet life is all about unapologetic fun and excess. From the events I cover for my column to weekend trouble and more, a ratchet lifestyle is a celebration of life, no regrets, and simply just having a kick-ass time.

The Civil Rights Agenda in conjunction with Join The Impact Chicago, Queer Fest America, and Gay Liberation Network held the Chicago Rally for Illinois Marriage Equality in lieu of recent legislative developments towards same-sex marriage. Gay rights advocates, community leaders, allies, and other supporters all gathered outside the Thompson Center to show their support for the marriage bill's passage into law. The rally proved to be such a high-energy, illustrative way of mobilizing supporters and offering a pipeline as well as platform for their voices. Special speakers included Rick Garcia of the Civil Rights Agenda, Andy Thayer of Gay Liberation Network, Anthony Martinez of The Civil Rights Agenda, and 46th Ward Alderman James Cappleman. Cappleman believes that the rally sends the right message to both supporters of the bill and non-supporters.

"The rally serves two purposes. It gets the message out to people who are already supportive of marriage equality and to encourage them to keep in contact with their state legislators to let them know we are still fighting. It also sends a message to those that are just oblivious to it or not yet supportive of the bill. It lets them know that there is a movement. They need to take a pause and enter into the dialogue," said Cappleman.

Kudos to the coalition of organizations and supporters for kicking off their Saturday afternoon weekend on a positive note.

I just love Sunday Funday. If you ever did Saturday nights all types of wrong or just wanted to continue the party into Sunday, then everyone knows that a good Sunday Funday is in order. And that's just what Studio Paris, 59 West Hubbard St., is offering the community with their new monthly T-Parties. Perched on top of Paris Club, Studio Paris is a nighlife mainstay that is now featuring a more downtown, exclusive Sunday Funday for the gay community. I was invited to experience T-Party and without a doubt the new monthly parties is not only beneficial for both the gay and mainstream crowds, but also creates a more nightlife fluidity in the city. With an impressive host committee of tastemakers, a live set by DJ Konsept, and let's be honest more importantly cute guys and girls, T-Party should be a definite calendar staple. I'm excited to join T-Party's host committee next month on welcoming our community to another big old gay Sunday Funday! So, stay tuned for the invite!

I've never been a big sports guy but as a native to Chicago, I grew up with the Bulls'. And just like every other kid of the 90s, I remember the crazy escapades of Scottie Pippen and of course had a poster of Michael Jordan making a slam dunk in his high tops. Therefore, I was excited to attend the official after party for An Evening with the Chicago Bulls' charity gala. NBA legend Scottie Pippen and wife Larsa Pippen were honored at the team's 24th Annual Charity gala as well as noted for their upcoming reality TV show. Guests, which included budding philanthropists, sports enthusiasts, and other supporters enjoyed specialty Ketel One cocktails and a live performance by Bad Boy Bill. All event proceeds went to benefit Chicago Bulls Charities (focused on youth education, health and wellness, and violence prevention) and Bright Pink (dedicated to the prevention and early detection of breast and ovarian cancer in young women while providing support for high-risk individuals). Bright Pink's marketing and communications manager was happy to host such a great crowd for the after party but is also honored to be a part of the Chicago Bulls Charities family.

"There was so much energy in the room at Studio Paris as we celebrated the wonderful work of Scottie, Larsa, and the Chicago Bulls front office staff," said Carli Feinstein, Marketing and Communications Manager for Bright Pink. "The impact the Chicago Bulls Charities has had on the Chicago community is remarkable. We are grateful that Bright Pink is part of the Chicago Bulls Charities family and look forward to working with the Bulls to spread our mission to their fans, thereby empowering the young women of Chicago to be proactive with their breast and ovarian health."

PUSH Excel hosted their 23rd Annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Celebration at UIC Forum. Founded by Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr, Rainbow PUSH works to protect, defend, and gain civil rights for marginalized communities in areas of education and employment. The breakfast not only raised money and paid tribute for students but also offered guests an inside look into the last hours of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. and civil rights leader Dr. Otis Moss provided a first-hand perspective on working with Dr. King during the Civil Rights Movement and discussed a chilling account of the assassination of Dr. King. I was honored to be invited by corporate sponsor Nielsen. Noted for their support for minority businesses and endeavors, Nielsen is a global information and media measurement company with a presence in approximately 100 countries. The event gave me a deeper appreciation for not just black history but American history.

Vertigo Sky Lounge of the Dana Hotel opened up their ice bar for the rooftop lounge's annual Fire and Ice party. I know what you're thinking. Why on earth would I want to order cocktails off an ice bar in the dead of winter? However, Vertigo's patio also featured a comfy, intimate fire pit complete with robes and I swear I saw a few snuggies too! During the media reception, there was a live ice sculpting display to complement the ice bar. Now, in its fourth year, Vertigo's Fire and Ice has proven to be quite the winter tradition for Chicagoans looking to extend their rooftop social calendar well into the winter months.

A big high five to all the lovely ladies that were tapped as the Cheekiest Chicks for 2013 at Public Hotel:

Megan Chappell, the Founder of TruHarmony Yoga
Monika Dixon, the President of Monika Dixon PR
Meg Galus, the Executive Pasty Chef of NoMI Kitchen's
Coco Meers, the Founder of
Laura Modica, the Nightlife Director at PUBLIC Hotel
Shannon O'Brien, a freelance Make-up Artist
Brittney Payton, the Host of "Chicago's Best"
Lindsay Segal, the Co-Founder of Luxury Garage Sale's
Laura Schwartz, a Political Correspondent and Author
Jenna Zielbauer, the Founder of Cotton Candy Couture

Until next update, get a little ratchet in ya!