Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-09-01



Indivisible Aurora, Nicole Maines honored at HRC Chicago gala
by Liz Baudler

This article shared 14 times since Sun Oct 28, 2018
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

      More Photos

Amidst the usual fundraising and celebration were on the table, Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ) Chicago's Oct. 27 gala at the Marriott Downtown perhaps had a more somber tone than usual. Speakers often referenced the day's earlier news of the mass shooting incident at the Tree of Life synagogue in their remarks as a reminder of why activism like theirs was important to support.

The hundreds of well-dressed guests adorned their faces with masquerade masks, in keeping with the pre-Halloween theme of "Equality Unmasked." After a pre-dinner reception and perusal of the many silent-auction items donated by Chicago-area businesses, organizations and artists, the crowd filed into the ballroom for the main program.

Gala co-chairs Penelope Garcia and Tory Mitchell opened the evening by highlighting HRC's work throughout the year, including video headlines of some of the Trump administration's actions against LGBTQ equality.

Deena Fidas, director of workplace equality for the national HRC, talked about the organization's grassroots campaign to turn out voters for the Nov. 6 midterm election, which she called the largest in the organization's history.

"These are the most critical votes America will cast in decades," she said, and referred to the record number of LGBTQ candidates as "not just a blue wave, but a rainbow wave."

According to Fidas, 30,000 voters have been registered by HRC volunteers, but she still encouraged the room to "bring out the vote and take people with you."

She also mentioned that a history-making 609 businesses received a score of 100 percent on the Corporate Equality Index, which is in its 16th year.

Federal Club Xavier Esters shared his personal story about his and his trans aunt's coming out as an example of the kind of people HRC's work helps protect. After dinner, lesbian comedienne Dana Goldberg ran a spirited live auction peppered with political humor. And American Idol finalist Kimberly Locke closed the evening with a selection of her songs, crediting the LGBTQ community with making her a success.

Indivisible Aurora, who brought the state's second-largest city its first-ever Pride Parade, received a Community Leadership Award. The organization's LGBTQ director, Gwyn Ciesla, recalled her surprise when she learned the city where she'd lived for 11 years hosted no formal Pride events. "I assumed, as an introvert, I missed it," Ciesla joked.

Despite some initial opposition, Ciesla called the inaugural parade a success. With 3,000 marchers, she said the group had to turn people away. The group is planning a two-day event with speakers and a 5k run for next year. In addition, Ciesla highlighted the need of suburban Pride events for those who can't make it to Chicago.

"It's important to see events like this in your hometown," she said, and left the stage to a standing ovation.

Currently starring as TV's first trans superhero, Dreamer, on the CW show Supergirl, actress Nicole Maines was once part of the first lawsuit to ensure proper trans bathroom usage in schools. Maines, who received an HRC Visibility Award at the gala, called being the first trans superhero on TV "very scary," as she's terrified of letting down young fans who might see themselves in her character.

Yet she was moved by the outpouring of love and support fans showed her as she assumed the role. Admitting to rage and despair when she read the recent New York Times article about the Trump administration's attempts to redefine her identity, she thanked her mother and her family for helping keep her grounded throughout the years. While she called the progress her community has made "fragile," Maines also sounded notes of defiance and hope.

"We cannot be erased by policy," she said to cheers. "We cannot be torn down by rhetoric. When faced with adversity, a person goes into fight or flight mode. The Trump administration assumed we would choose flight, and they were wrong. The LGBTQ community is one of fighters ... and we will be here long after he's gone."

More than $30,000 were raised for the organization's super PAC ( political action committee ).

This article shared 14 times since Sun Oct 28, 2018
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

Naper Pride hosts inaugural Pride fest
Naper Pride held its inaugural pride fest event, "Coming Together, One Community—One Naperville," on Sept. 11-12 in Naperville. Incidentally, "Coming Together, One Community—One Naperville" was also Naper Pride's organizational philosoph ...

Gay News

OneWheaton to mark 10th Homecoming Weekend on Oct. 8-9
OneWheaton—a group of LGBTQA alumni and students of Wheaton College—will mark its 10th annual Homecoming Weekend with virtual activities on Oct. 8-9. On Oct. 8, at 6 p.m., there will be an LGBTQIA Storytelling Hour. Attendees ...

Gay News

Howard Brown hosting Midwest LGBTQ Health Symposium on Sept. 29-30
Howard Brown Health will host its 2021 Midwest LGBTQ Health Symposium in a virtual format Sept. 29-30. The conference, presented by the Howard Brown Health Center for Education, Research and ...

Gay News

'Homophile' organization New Gay Liberation Front launches
The New Gay Liberation Front—which described itself in a press release as a "homophile organization"—has launched. "Homophile" is a term that was used by some gay and lesbian groups in the 1950s. According to the University ...

Gay News

MUSIC Lil Nas X wins top award at MTV VMAs
The MTV VMA Awards took place Sept. 12—and an LGBTQ+ artist took home one of the night's top awards. Lil Nas X won Video of the Year for "Montero (Call Me By Your Name)," besting Cardi ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Teachers, GLAAD talks HRC, 9/11 items, Dr. Rachel Levine
In North Carolina, a former teacher won a lawsuit against Charlotte Catholic High School and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte after he lost his job following an announcement on Facebook that he planned to marry ...

Gay News

Chicago neighborhood nonprofits join forces to provide free attorneys
Four Chicago neighborhood nonprofits—LCLC (Lawndale Christian Legal Center), Breakthrough, BUILD (Broader Urban Involvement & Leadership Development) and New Life Centers—have formed a partnership to assign free ...

Gay News

One in ten LGBT workers experienced discrimination at work in the last year
LGBT employees of color were more likely to report being denied jobs and verbal harassment A new study by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law finds an estimated 46% of LGBT workers have experienced ...

Gay News

HRC fires its president, Alphonso David
On Sept. 6, the national LGBTQ+ organization the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) fired its president, Alphonso David, for advising now-former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) during his sexual-harassment scandal ...

Gay News

HRC president refuses to resign, despite co-chairs' reported request
Alphonso David, the president of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), has refused to resign in the midst of controversy—even after the organization's co-chairs reportedly requested that he do so. According to NBC New York, David is ...

Gay News

Naper Pride set to host inaugural Pride fest
Naper Pride will hold its inaugural pride fest event, "Coming Together, One Community—One Naperville," on Sept. 11-12. Incidentally, "Coming Together, One Community—One Naperville" is also Naper Pride's organizational philosophy of ...

Gay News

Illinois Holocaust Museum to show LGBTQ+ exhibit starting Oct. 17
Starting Oct. 17, Skokie's Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center will host the exhibit "Rise Up: Stonewall and the LGBTQ Rights Movement," which explores the June 1969 police raid of the Stonewall Inn as the flashpoint ...

Gay News

Chicago Pride Parade cancelled
--From a press release - The following statement was sent from Pride Chicago on the cancellation of this year's Chicago Pride Parade: We did not want to be sending this letter. Earlier this year, we decided that the parade might have ...

Gay News

Mayor Harold Washington centennial event looks at his LGBTQ+ legacy
--From a press release - CHICAGO—The LGBTQ legacy of late Chicago Mayor Harold Washington (1922-1987) will be discussed as part of a series of events marking his 100th birthday in 2022. This free LGBTQ event will be Wed., Oct. 13, 6-8 ...

Gay News

GLAAD releases '2021 State of HIV Stigma' study
GLAAD recently released its second annual State of HIV Stigma Study, a national survey among U.S. adults with the sample supplied by research firm Cint. The survey, funded by Gilead COMPASS Initiative, measures U.S. attitudes toward ...


Copyright © 2021 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      OUT! Guide     
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      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      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.