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Sat. January 28, 2006 12:00 AM
by Michelle and Steven

For some reason this column didn't want to see the light of day.... but it's a night that we must share. Steven and I had a splendid time at this year's Equality Illinois gala. We dressed to the nines and headed out to this wonderful event and later paint the town red.

We saw a lot of familiar faces and met some great new people. We sat next to Fausto Fernos of Feast of Fools (www.feastoffools.net) and laughed our way through dinner. He's so funny and if you get a chance... listen to his show! Mmmmmm... that dinner... makes us start drooling all over again. And the dessert was to die for.

We absolutely loved Patty Blagojevich's dress... and we were surprised to see the governor... love him! We almost caught up to Lisa Madigan... she was one of the honorees of the night... but Michelle's shoes were hot... not functional. So, we waved at her.

And now... our peek-churrrrrs....

Look at us! We clean up pretty nice... no? Yeah we both thought the other had the hottest date there.

Here's Steven with Don Lemon, who was the host of the night. We're not saying anything...but we will raise an eyebrow at him.

Here's Michelle with Char Cepak, one of the honorees of the night. Char, along with her Husband, John, have done so much for the community. They are both PFLAGers. John is the national board of PFLAG's vice president and Char chairs the PFLAG Chicago Council. Their Freedom Award was much deserved.

Here we are with Deb Mell. She was the event co-chair. The funny thing is that the only thing Michelle could think to say to her, besides, 'can we take a picture with you?'...was "your Dad (Richard Mell) was my Alderman when I was growing up!" To which she kindly responded with..."Then you grew up Logan Square. I'm glad to hear it." Michelle will no longer be allowed to talk to famous people or celebrities.

Here's Steven with Lynn Sprout, who also received a Freedom Award. We waited to make sure to get a photo and chance to talk to her. Her story moved us and brought us to tears. She is an activist who has 8 children and 15 grandchildren. She recounted her fight to keep a her job as a pediatric nurse after taking so much time off work to be with her dying partner. She has paved the way for domestic partnerships and what their jobs will offer them in the State of Illinois. She is truly an inspiration.

Here's a group pic of Lynn, her partner, her friend and us. It was great to chat with them. Our hats off to Lynn Sprout...thank you for all you've done and continue to do.

At the end of the night we realized how lucky we were to have been a part of the whole event and can only hope to continue to be a part of it. It's overwhelming to see that there are so many people fighting for our community. We applaud their efforts!

...bonus scenes...

John Russel...we love you! Thanks to you and Bobby for a great weekend. Shayna X and Larissa... dang!... what a party! Sal-E, Jay Jay, Jo-Jo... the fairest in all the land. Thanks for loving my boy, too. Chester... the music and tights... can't get them out of our head... and we don't want to... love you.