Posted inArts & Culture

Building an opera in the waiting room

Editor’s note: Coco Picard spoke to Chicago artist and School of the Art Institute of Chicago assistant professor Anna Martine Whitehead in early June. The comic above captures moments of their conversation. Text from the comic is transcribed here to ease readability. Performance maker Anna Martine Whitehead has been writing and developing FORCE! An Opera […]

Posted inStaff notes

This cover is for you

In this issue, you’ll find stories about trans creatives, LGBTQ+ community spaces, and drag performers; but you’ll also find an investigation and interview about electronic monitoring in policing. (Remember, the first Pride marches celebrated the Stonewall riots, a response to a violent police raid.) I want the colors on the cover of this Pride Issue to inspire people as they move through this month of June and promote true liberation.

Posted inCity Life

Where the bars (actually) are

Celebrate how far we’ve come and brace yourself for the work to be done by enjoying libations and liberation at some of these Chicago gems: Berlin 954 W. Belmont Welcoming everyone since 1983, Berlin is an inclusive venue for dancing, drinking, and drag. Big Chicks 5024 N. Sheridan Visit Big Chicks for Sunday […]

Posted inCity Life

Where the bars are

Are rainbow-festooned events full of glitter, sequins, and boas signs of progress? Strides made by LGBTQ+ people are increasingly under fire in the forms of violence, rhetoric, and quasi-legal attacks on the rights of the community. Has the LGBTQ+ community unwittingly played a role in this by seeking assimilation? Some might say that the idea […]

Posted inCity Life

Out of the box

The long-awaited School of the Art Institute of Chicago fashion show was back in May after a two-year hiatus brought on by COVID-19. In the previous pandemic years students presented their work in beautiful highly-produced videos, but nothing substitutes the experience of seeing their garments IRL—especially so up close and personal. And this year’s show […]

Posted inCity Life

Penguins, Pride events, and Pivot Arts

So many outdoor events to share with you this week, so make sure you wear sunscreen (everyone needs a little at least, even you) and stay hydrated (you’ll feel better, seriously). And treat others with compassion especially when it’s hot and sticky out. We’re all feeling it, and your fresh attitude will make everyone around you melt like a Rainbow Cone in the hands of a slow-eating toddler. (And note—if you see one of us Reader people in the wild, it’s always appropriate to offer us free ice cream.) 

Posted inArts & Culture

Asian drag performers slay the way forward

Despite its experimental environment, Chicago’s drag world entered the pandemic with a lack of labor protections. COVID-19 exacerbated economic hardships, especially for queer performers of color who have dealt with the discriminatory practices of club culture. With Asian drag performers often left out of conversations about representation, forming a labor union may improve the city’s […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Bringing the Pride party to the people

For LGBTQ+ audiences and their allies who may not want to spend all of their Pride weekend on the north side, the arts collective TRQPITECA offers an alternative. TRQPITECA, formed in 2015, consists of Chicago DJs and producers Natalie Murillo, aka La Spacer, and Jacquelyn Carmen Guerrero, aka CQQCHIFRUIT. Murillo and Guerrero curate nightlife and […]

Posted inArts & Culture

All in the Gayme

This June, queer youth are challenging audiences on what it means to be active in environmental justice and to participate in mutual aid activism. About Face Youth Theatre, founded in 1999, offers annual workshop sessions where LGBTQ+ youth and their allies ages 13 to 24 can participate in activist theater that supports learning in safe […]

Posted inArts & Culture

A bigger and more colorful world

There’s an expectation for most contestants on the drag reality competition show RuPaul’s Drag Race that the gigs will come a’callin’—and for those who have been lucky enough to appear in the big money, Emmy-nominated seasons, this can mean constant and sometimes worldwide travel for a while after their TV appearance. Denali is one such […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Musical makeover

If you spend any time breathing, you may have noticed polarities everywhere these days, most emanating from a belief gulf that is exponentially widening between conservatives and liberals with every Twitter post. One polarity being heightened not just in social media, but also in government chambers and around dinner tables, is the divide between LGBTQ+ […]

Posted inOn Culture

Out at the Center

They were there. No fuss, no ballyhoo, but queer artists have been a significant part of Bronzeville’s South Side Community Art Center since its founding in 1940. You might or might not see it in the art. That’s the main takeaway from “EMERGENCE: Intersections at the Center,” on exhibit at SSCAC through July 2. “EMERGENCE: […]