"We Are Here... Again" Jams at Cafe Nine 17

Sun. April 16, 2006 12:00 AM

Images of African-American Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Chicagoans Featured at Fundraiser

Chicago, IL - An exhibit of color photographic images of African-American lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Chicagoans by Richard Lee Gray will be featured at "We Are Here. . . Again," a fundraiser for the "We Are Here" project, which will be held from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, April 22, 2006, at Cafe Nine 17, 917 E. 79th Street, Chicago, announced Clarence N. Wood, Chairman of the Chicago Commission on Human Relations. Admission is free.

"We Are Here. . . Again" will also showcase a live jazz band and a silent auction that will include an original signed photograph by Richard Lee Gray, a private photography sitting with Gray, and dinner for two at Cafe Nine 17.

"The Commission on Human Relations is proud to be a sponsor of the groundbreaking "We Are Here" project," said Wood.

"The idea for "We Are Here" came when I saw the "Just Married" exhibit at Hull House in Chicago, which featured photographs of same-gender loving people being married in San Francisco," said Richard Lee Gray. "A number of Black people commented that they saw few Black gay people in that exhibit and those they saw were with white partners. As a photographer of African-American descent who is same-gender loving, I felt the need to respond. The "We Are Here" project is a result of my commitment to highlight images of African-American same-gender-loving people. It is a naming project meant to put a face on the diversity within the larger Black community.

'We Are Here' is an expanding exhibit," added Gray. "It is a movable feast meant to eventually include a larger collection of images, videos, art, and voices of African-American same-gender-loving and transgender people and their families."

The present co-sponsors of the "We Are Here" project are the Chicago Commission on Human Relations' Advisory Council on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues, Steelelife Gallery, Bronzeville Custom Framing, Stephen Kelly Gallery, Richard Lee Gray, Sherri Jackson, Sandy Dyer, Southside Help Center, Brother to Brother, Inc., Working for Togetherness, Resources Unlimited Foundation, and the Black Gay Men's Caucus of the Chicago Department of Public Health.

Photo: Richard Lee Gray
On the Web: http://www.geocities.com/we_are_here_chicago