Sidetrack OUTspoken featured storytellers for Feb. 1

Tue. February 1, 2022 1:09 PM by News Staff

outspoken at sidetrack

photo credit // sidetrack

February storytellers are Joe Mellen, Sallie Castillo, Steve Glickman, Andres Yanes, John Bateman, and Todd Michael Kiech

Chicago's monthly evening of LGBTQ storytelling – known as OUTspoken - returns Tuesday, Feb. 1 with an exciting line-up of featured storytellers.

"The key is, we all have full, rich lives," curator David Fink told "Talking about significant moments connects us. Although we may outwardly have little in common, as humans we all have a lot in common. Personal, true stories help remind us of these commonalities.”

Six storytellers will take their turn with the microphone as Sidetrack transforms its Main and Cherry Bars into a story-telling hall with chairs for seating.

OUTspoken takes place the first Tuesday of every month at Sidetrack, 3349 N. Halsted, and is hosted by Kim Hunt and Sidetrack owner Art Johnston.

There is no charge to attend, but audience members must be 21 with ID. Proof of vaccination and masks are also required.

Doors open at 6 p.m., stories begin at 7 p.m.

Meet the February storytellers:

Joe Mellen is new to storytelling. After signing up for Out Chicago in November, he was asked to tell his story of Diversity and Inclusion to an all company zoom meeting. He told his story of finding acceptance and chosen family in his 20s. That was his 1st story, and this will be his second. Joe is a health guide and a licensed acupuncturist.

Sallie Castillo holds an MBA in Health Care Administration and a degree in Organizational Management. After 30 years in the health care field, she left to pursue a career in writing. Sallie is currently working on her second novel (The Trunk). Her first published novel, "The Pages of Adeena," was chosen as a finalist in the Online Book Sellers  "Best Reads" in the LGBTQ category in 2020.

Steve Glickman's stories have been featured on The Moth Radio Hour and podcast.  He's performed at the Laugh Factory, City Winery, and many other Chicago venues.  By day he's a software engineer.  He grew up in the north suburbs and now lives in Uptown with his partner Mark and their imaginary dog Ruffles. 

Andres Yanes was born and raised in Miami. He's a proud Cuban American who loves his family, especially his 11 nieces and nephews. In 2008, Chicago became his home, though many believe Sidetrack is a subset of that home. Andy has a love for movies, theater, and college football, however, what he enjoys the most is spending time with his friends. Whether it's a nice dinner, a vicious game of Canasta, or just chatting about everything and anything, in the end, he says he values the fact his friends keep him sane. Lastly, Andy is looking forward to traveling again with his love Randy of 7 years. First stop, Spain this May

John Bateman used to live in a unicorn lumberjack shack in the Deep South, but moved to Chicago to pursue an MFA at the School of The Art Institute of Chicago. Contrary to his southern roots, he does NOT like sweet tea and has a secret addiction to glitter. His first novel, Who Killed Buster Sparkle?, published by Unsolicited Press, debuted in 2019. 

Todd Michael Kiech is a performer, producer, and artist. During the Covid Quarantine he started ‘Really Gay Collage’, creating hand-cut, one of a kind collage artwork that celebrate the ridiculous, whimsical and erotic elements of gay culture. He is currently working on a web series called ‘Mature Adults’, which is a comedic look at aging in this community.