Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


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



Chicago Red Dress Party readdresses HIV/AIDS awareness
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Melissa Wasserman

This article shared 3 times since Tue Apr 21, 2015
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

      More Photos

It wasn't about who wore the dress best, as guests were all wrapped in red at the Chicago Red Dress Party on April 18 at Moonlight Studios.

The Chicago Red Dress Party is a fundraiser dedicated to creating and maintaining HIV/AIDS awareness and visibility while building a strong, unified LGBT and allied community. With Equality Project Inc. presenting, men and women alike wear red attire in solidarity for the cause.

According to the Chicago Red Dress Party website, the tradition originated in the early '90s as two men were dating when they both contracted HIV/AIDS. To show their love and dedication, they vowed when one of them passed away, the other would attend the funeral wearing a red dress. From this promise, the concept for the 21-and-over national fundraiser was set. It is now held in select cities across the United States.

After the 2011 and 2012 parties, the celebration went on hiatus. Under the direction of Chicago Red Dress President/Founder Chris Davin, the event was revived this year and next year's party is already in the planning stages.

"A lot of people don't do drag performance," said Davin in regard to the event's dress code. "Going out, they don't wear a dress or heels, but you step away for a moment let loose and put the dress on and high heels, have fun and help out the cause and show your support. People go all out on their outfit. It gives them an opportunity to be creative and have fun."

Davin helped with the Las Vegas Red Dress Party in years past and as a Chicago native he saw an opportunity to bring it to his hometown. In his planning, he said he wanted to give attendees a bang for their buck with a night filled with entertainment and as many raffle prizes as possible. A VIP party preceded general admission and a silent auction featuring over a three dozen items ran throughout the evening.

"We want HIV gone," said Miss Foozie, the party's emcee. "To keep the energy going you just have to be strong and say it's going to get better and it will get better and it is getting better and just have a good, positive energy. I see tonight was a perfect night. All the love, all the support, we had a great turn out and everybody's wearing their red dresses and red shirts and red shoes and that's what it's about. We're all getting together to have fun and we're raising money for a great cause."

Along with hosting, personality Miss Foozie gave a comical, energetic performance. The drag performance lineup also included Sissy Spastik, Tippi Peppermint, Alexis Hex and Khloe, while Coco Peru made a special appearance as the VIP performer. DJ Pete Augusta and DJ Chrissy Gunnz played the music for the night.

"I like to entertain, but I also like to have a point of view," Peru said. "I tell autobiographical stories. The thing that drag taught me is we get to create our life. As I created Coco, I had this realization of 'This is what I should do with my life.' I get to have a say about my life and how I create it, so drag really taught me a great deal, just beyond trying to be funny and act like a clown. It really shifted my whole perspective of how I see myself and how I see the world, so it was great."

Proceeds from the Chicago Red Dress Party went toward Howard Brown Health Center and The Windy City Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.

"[Ultimately, the mission is] to try to help raise awareness on how detrimental this disease is in the community and that it can't be overlooked because the number of people getting infected is growing," said Davin on his personal belief in leading this event and making a positive impact. "Bringing awareness to people that it is a serious matter in that they need to know that education is out there with these organizations. To bring awareness to those who are in fact infected that there are organizations they can go to to help them if they don't know where to start; where to get help, how to get through this and how to educate themselves to be able to live a healthier life and not worry about 'is HIV going to be a death sentence.'"

For more information, visit or visit on Facebook and Twitter.

This article shared 3 times since Tue Apr 21, 2015
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Gay News

Affinity renews Burning Bowl tradition
On the afternoon of March 19, Affinity Community Services held Burning Bowl 2023 Renewal: And Still We Rise at the Pavilion at the Dan Ryan Woods. ...

Gay News

Mayoral candidate forum centers BIPOC LGBTQ+ issues, Vallas declines to participate
Chicago mayoral candidate Brandon Johnson participated in a March 22 virtual LGBTQ+-focused forum co-hosted by Affinity Community Services (Affinity), Association of Latinos/as/xs Motivating Action (ALMA) Chicago ...

Gay News

Center on Halsted to Honor Sen. Tammy Baldwin April 15, Human First Gala at The Geraghty
--From a press release - CHICAGO — Center on Halsted is pleased to announce that its inaugural Trailblazer Award will be presented to Senator Tammy Baldwin at its annual Human First Gala being held the evening of Saturday, April 15, in ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Ritchie Torres, N.J. towns, Karine Jean-Pierre, Tennessee items
New York Congressman Ritchie Torres has talked about his own struggle with depression and the importance of mental health in the wake of U.S. Sen. John Fetterman (D-Pa.)'s recent hospitalization for clinical depression, The Washington Blade ...

Gay News

'Spring Fling' at The Baton on Thursday, April 13 to benefit Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame
--From a press release - The Baton Show Lounge (4713 North Broadway, Chicago) has been entertaining folks for 54 years and will host a special "Spring Fling", an all-new show to benefit the Chicago LGBT of Fame on Thursday, April 13 ...

Gay News

Johnson and Vallas to take part in LGBTQ+-focused candidate forum March 22
Affinity Community Services (Affinity), Association of Latinos/as/xs Motivating Action (ALMA) Chicago, Brave Space Alliance, Chicago Black Gay Men's Caucus, Life is Work and Task Force Chicago are co-hosting a virtual ...

Gay News

HRC settles race-based lawsuit with former president
Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and its Black former president, Alphonso David, settled a lawsuit in which David had alleged racial discrimination in his firing, Reuters reported. In September 2021, David was fired after New York state ...

Gay News

Lambda Literary announces award finalists
--From a press release - Lambda Literary has announced the finalists in 25 categories for the 35th Annual Lambda Literary Awards. The finalists were selected by a panel of over 65 literary professionals from more than 1,350 book submissions. These selections ...

Gay News

31ST annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party raises more than $9 million
--From a press release - LOS ANGELES, March 13, 2023 — The 31st annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards® Viewing Party hosted by Sir Elton John and David Furnish, with special guests Eric McCormack and Michaela Jae Rodriguez, raised more ...

Gay News

Valle leaving longtime Center on Halsted CEO role
Longtime Center on Halsted CEO Modesto Tico Valle is leaving his post, according to organization officials. Board Chair Victor Ravago announced Valle's departure in a March 10 statement: "I share with you today that Modesto Tico ...

Gay News

WORLD Zero Discrimination Day, African countries, facility damaged, travel items
On Zero Discrimination Day this year (March 1), under the theme "Save lives: Decriminalize," UNAIDS showed how the decriminalization of key populations and people living with HIV saves lives and helps advance the end of the ...

Gay News

Steppenwolf Theatre Company's 2023 Gala May 13 at The Old Post Office
--From a press release - CHICAGO (March 6, 2023) — The Steppenwolf Ensemble and Board of Trustees are pleased to host Steppenwolf 2023 Gala—an unforgettable evening celebrating 47 years of powerful and thought-provoking storytelling. Emceed ...

Gay News

PFLAG holds 50th anniversary celebration gala, honors Tom Daley with George Takei Advocate Award
--From a press release - NEW YORK (Mar. 4, 2023) — Last night, iconic LGBTQ+ community organization PFLAG celebrated 50 years of leading with love at a spectacular gala event hosted by comedian and actress Amber Ruffin at New York's Marriott ...

Gay News

Home of long-term NCLR Legal Director Shannon Minter devastated by Texas tornado, NCLR comments on outpouring of support
--From a press release - SAN FRANCISCO, CA — Yesterday during violent storms in several southern states, the home of long-time NCLR Legal Director Shannon Minter and his Robin was destroyed by a powerful tornado in rural Texas. The house also ...

Gay News

LGBTQ+ Victory Fund launches new brand; celebrates LGBTQ+ progress, joy and resilience
Video below. From a press release - Washington, DC — Today LGBTQ+ Victory Fund launched its new name, new logo and new visual identity. This new brand honors LGBTQ+ progress since the organization's inception in 1991, celebrates LGBTQ+ people's joy and resilience in ...


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.