Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-02-22



Charlie Rice-Minoso: Building his own legacy locally
by Ross Forman, Windy City Times

This article shared 10666 times since Sat Jul 19, 2014
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Charlie Rice-Minoso is an award-winning LGBT activist with a public relations past, yet it's his name that quickly catches many people's attention in Chicago.

Sure, it's hyphenated, but it's the Minoso portion that has an amazing legacy, particularly here and also in Latin American countries.

Rice-Minoso is the son of baseball legend Minnie Minoso, who played in the major leagues from 1949-1980—and his lore continued through 2003, when he drew a walk in a Northern League game, thus becoming the only player to appear professionally in seven different decades. Minoso was a nine-time All-Star whose uniform number ( 9 ) has been retired by the White Sox. Now 88, he still serves as a goodwill/community relations ambassador for the team.

Being the son of a local icon "certainly was a factor that made my childhood unique, and my brother and sisters would all agree that it was both a blessing and a curse," Rice-Minoso said. "Although our father found so much success in his career and ensured that we were all very comfortable, there were many sacrifices that we all had to make because of his career. It was much harder for my siblings in the sense that our father was away from them playing baseball during most of their childhoods.

"By the time I was born, my father had retired and transitioned into more of an ambassador type role with the White Sox. Even though I never got to see him play, he has always been active professionally. My mother did an amazing job instilling balance in our household and if it weren't for her doing so, she and I would not have seen my dad as much as we did when I was younger. My dad traveled all over for business when I was younger, and my mom and I were able to join him. By the time I was 13, we had been to the majority of the countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. Most of our family vacations were his work trips that we extended."

Born in Cuba, Minoso played in the Negro Leagues before breaking into the majors in 1949 with the Cleveland Indians. He also briefly played for the St. Louis Cardinals and Washington Senators, but it was with the White Sox where Minoso shined brightest and longest.

"We've been able to go to some amazing places and meet some fantastic people through my dad's work," Rice-Minoso said. "I frequently forget about his personage, but am quickly reminded when I hear stories about his encounters and friendships with accomplished individuals, like former presidents and elected officials."

Last summer, for instance, Minoso and other Negro League pioneers were honored by President Obama for their contributions to civil rights and American culture. "As incredible as that is, to me he will always be my dad," said Rice-Minoso, 25, who lives in East Lakeview—the neighborhood he was born and raised in. He came out at age 16.

Rice-Minoso admitted that it was "difficult at first" being the gay son of a local legend "in the sense that there has always been a cultural and generational barrier between us.

"He's much older than my mother, and therefore a great deal older than [me]. When I came out, he knew I was the same person I had always been, but he simply just didn't understand at first. We all question the unfamiliar, so it's only human for him to have done so in this regard. He grew up in Cuba during the Great Depression and has always lived his life in a very machismo culture within a hyper-masculine industry. Between my mother, my sisters and I, we were able to educate him further on the [LGBT] community and where I fit into it.

"I'm also fortunate in the sense that my dad has always been so supportive of all of his children and our different endeavors. Nobody's perfect; and despite him not being a traditional father, he does the best he can and is still a great dad."

Rice-Minoso said his mom has become an even stronger ally every year, and she marched in her first Chicago Pride Parade with her son this past June. ( The Rice part of his last name is his mom's maiden name. )

Rice-Minoso said he has countless childhood memories involving his dad and the White Sox—and that bond "has been such a huge influence in our life in the sense that those we've befriended in the organization have always been like family," he said. "From the organization's owners, to the front-office [staff], to the many players that have worn a Sox uniform. Dad has been with the team for over six decades; it's been amazing to see how that relationship has evolved and grown stronger over the years. And to see the high regard that he is still held in by the organization, the city of Chicago, and by the general public makes me so happy for him."

The White Sox erected a life-sized bronze statue of Minoso at U.S. Cellular Field in 2004. He was surrounded by his entire family and his closest friends for that once-in-a-lifetime moment.

Rice-Minoso was named to the Windy City Times' 15th annual 30 Under 30 in late June, which he tagged as "a huge honor."

"It's so humbling that a dork like myself would be recognized like this," he said, laughing. "All of my fellow honorees have been through so much and are making real, lasting change within our community and in their respective industries. So, for me to be considered one of their peers is truly humbling and such a positive validation.

"After graduating school, I never would have expected that my career would have taken me where it has, and there is nothing wrong with that. Just because something might be unexpected doesn't mean that it can't be great."

Rice-Minoso worked at several global public relations agencies supporting large consumer brands, primarily working with food commodities and packed goods. He has left the PR world, at least for the time being.

He interned at Equality Illinois in 2010 for the "Vote Naked Illinois" get out the vote campaign and have been involved ever since. After his internship, he was recruited to join the Gala Planning Committee.

In 2013, a field outreach position opened, and he accepted it.

"Aside from [promoting same-sex] marriage, I also oversaw a financial literacy program. We partnered with the Chicago City Treasurer's Office and Chase Bank to hold workshops on banking basics for at-risk members of the community," he said. "I also used my family's relationship with the White Sox to spearhead the "Out at the Sox" event, which is an LGBT Pride night at U.S. Cellular Field, benefiting Equality Illinois. We had over 100 pro-equality fans last year, and I'm sure this year's event on August 16 will be just as popular."

Through the Illinois Unites for Marriage Coalition, Rice-Minoso developed and implemented community outreach strategies that placed supportive voters who favored the marriage equality legislation in touch with their elected officials and urged their representatives to vote for SB10. Tactics included phone banks, petition drives, in-district meetings with representatives and their constituents, protests and rallies, as well as mass lobby days in Springfield.

"I also traveled the state to key districts to inform the community on campaign progress and opportunities to get involved," he said. "We worked with companies, colleges, high schools, associations, and faith communities on a variety of volunteer initiatives. By utilizing my skills in public relations, I also worked with the campaign's communications team and made suggestions on our messaging that supported our field outreach efforts by emphasizing to our members that it was time for them to volunteer."

Rice-Minoso also is active with After School Matters and Firsthand Aid to Cuba, though both are new affiliations for him. Still, he said, "I love the work that each organization accomplishes."

After School Matters provide life-changing opportunities to Chicago's most at-risk teens, giving them productive outlets that develop their individual strengths and interests, which direct them out of harm's way and into a much brighter future. He is part of ASM's Gala Arrangements Committee, which selects the fundraiser's menu, theme, aesthetics, entertainment, and helps with ticket sales.

First Hand Aid to Cuba provides direct relief to the most impoverished citizens of Havana. FHA places medicines and medical supplies directly into the hands of hospitals and their patients, as well as meals for seniors.

This article shared 10666 times since Sat Jul 19, 2014
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Gay News

World Athletics Council: Trans women banned from track-and-field competition 2023-03-24
- The World Athletics Council has barred transgender women from competing in elite female competitions if they have gone through male puberty, ESPN reported. Organization president Sebastian Coe said at a press conference that the decision was ...

Gay News

Blackhawks not wearing Pride jerseys out of concern for Russian players 2023-03-23
- The Blackhawks will not wear rainbow-colored Pride jerseys during warmups against the Canucks on Sunday, March 26— the team's scheduled Pride Night—because of safety concerns for Russian players, The Chicago ...

Gay News

Navratilova says she is cancer-free 2023-03-21
- Legendary tennis figure Martina Navratilova said she is now cancer-free—four months after announcing she had been diagnosed with throat and breast cancer, ESPN reported. "As far as they know I'm cancer-free," Navratilova told Piers Morgan for ...

Gay News

Chicago Red Stars release roster ahead of 2023 NWSL season 2023-03-21
--From a press release - CHICAGO (March 20, 2023) — The Chicago Red Stars released their roster ahead of the 2023 National Women's Soccer League's (NWSL) season. The Red Stars kick off the 2023 season Saturday, March 25, against San Diego ...

Gay News

Chicago Red Stars sign all three draft picks from 2023 NWSL Draft 2023-03-20
--From a press release - CHICAGO, Ill. (March 20, 2023) — The Chicago Red Stars announced the signing of all three of the team's draft picks from the 2023 National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) Draft. Penelope Hocking (Penn State, 7th overall) ...

Gay News

Mexican Women's National Team to kick off inaugural MexTour W this April in Chicago and Houston 2023-03-08
--From a press release - NEW YORK CITY & MEXICO CITY (Wed., March 8, 2023) — In celebration of International Women's Day, the Federación Mexicana de FÀtbol (FMF) and Soccer United Marketing (SUM) announced the ...

Gay News

National Gay Basketball Association founder steps down after more than three decades at helm 2023-03-05
- Mark Chambers—the founder of the National Gay Basketball Association (NGBA)—has stepped down after more than 30 years in the business, Outsports reported. The player and organizer has been on the LGBTQ+ basketball scene since 1990, when ...

Gay News

Gay race-car driver Zach Herrin on industry, historic partnership with Lambda Legal 2023-02-26
- NASCAR driver Zach Herrin has announced a partnership with Lambda Legal, a national organization aimed at achieving full recognition of the civil rights of LGBTQ+ people and everyone living with HIV through litigation and public advocacy. ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Bob's Burgers,' P!nk, sports items, Billy Porter, Ben Platt 2023-02-24
- Animated sitcom Bob's Burgers marked another major milestone with its 250th episode. Gay actor/comedian/musician John Roberts (who voices Linda Belcher) talked with Queerty and said that one of the most important lessons he's learned from ...

Gay News

First bobblehead of gay figure skater unveiled 2023-02-24
- On Feb. 24, Milwaukee's National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum unveiled the first bobblehead of U.S. Olympic figure skater Jason Brown, who had a personal-best showing at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, according to ...

Gay News

Ex-Colts player accused of attacking son and his boyfriend 2023-02-24
- Former Indianapolis Colts lineman and radio personality Joseph "Joe" Andrew Staysniak was arrested on Feb. 21 after a domestic incident in which he was accused of assaulting his son and choking his son's boyfriend in the ...

Gay News

White Sox prospect Anderson Comos publicly comes out 2023-02-20
- Chicago White Sox Minor Leaguer Anderson Comos revealed via Instagram on Feb. 19 that he is gay. Comos said that he came out so as to be an inspiration to others. "This may be my most personal thing I ever share ...

Gay News

Chicago Cubs release promotion plans: bobbleheads, cap collection, ballpark celebrations, ticket offers 2023-02-16
--From a press release - CHICAGO — The Chicago Cubs today released the promotional calendar for the 2023 regular season featuring over 50 promotional items including a new Wrigley Field statue bobblehead series and exclusive ...

Gay News

NBA: Nets guard fined for anti-gay language after win over Bulls 2023-02-12
- Brooklyn Nets guard Cam Thomas was fined $40,000 for using "derogatory and disparaging language" after the team's Feb. 9 win over the Chicago Bulls, ESPN reported. Two days earlier, new Nets player Spencer Dinwiddie had joked ...

Gay News

Chicago Red Stars announce 2023 schedule 2023-02-08
--From a press release - CHICAGO, Ill. (February 8, 2022) — The Chicago Red Stars and the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) announced today the schedule for the 2023 NWSL season. In addition to releasing regular-season dates, the NWSL revealed the ...


Copyright © 2023 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.






About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.