Boystown /boystown RedEye 'Hoods Sun, 19 Feb 2012 19:32:20 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.2 Springfield, IL reinstates civil union partner benefits after public outcry /boystown/chatter/2012/01/11/springfield-il-reinstates-civil-union-partner-benefits-after-public-outcry/ /boystown/chatter/2012/01/11/springfield-il-reinstates-civil-union-partner-benefits-after-public-outcry/#comments Wed, 11 Jan 2012 15:21:52 +0000 Waymon Hudson /boystown/?p=2964531 After raising a firestorm of anger and disbelief, the Springfield, Illinois Joint Labor/Management Insurance Committee voted to unanimously reinstate health benefits for the civil union partners of city employees. This was a complete reversal from the December decision that shocked and angered LGBT activists and civil rights organizations. The committee had voted to keep its current eligibility standards for insurance for the next fiscal year and not extend benefits to same-sex spouses, despite the new civil union law which extended the same legal rights as marriage to same-sex partners. The move left partners of city employees in civil unions out in the cold for benefits.

The committee said their decision was purely fiscal, initially claiming costs for the benefits would be nearly $750,000. Committee co-chair Melina Tomaras-Collins, who is also the city’s director of human resources, called the move strictly a “cost saving measure” and went on to explain equality vs fiscal concerns:

“It’s not an issue of what’s right or wrong. It becomes a matter of what you can do with resources you have.”

Yet a revised estimate for the six affected couples was only $66,000. More importantly than that, saying that civil rights can be trampled on and disregarded to save a few bucks is a ridiculous and dangerous argument to make in the first place.

Beyond the weak and horrendously offensive fiscal argument, the decision itself was contrary to the state’s civil union law, which plainly stated that civil unions be treated equally as marriages in the state:

“This Act shall be liberally construed and applied to promote its underlying purposes, which are to provide adequate procedures for the certification and registration of a civil union and provide persons entering into a civil union with the obligations, responsibilities, protections, and benefits afforded or recognized by the law of Illinois to spouses.”

The committee used the confusion of the different relationship status of same-sex couples and married heterosexual couples to carve out the exemption to civil unions spouses. They cited the benefits for same-sex couples being too costly, which is an argument that would never be accepted when applied to a more universally understood institution like full marriage.

It is good that public outrage eventually made them change their decision and cover all couples equally. It shows the power of a community and its allies coming together in a spirit of equality, activism, and determination. Yet that this was a battle to be fought at all continues to show the very separate and unequal status that civil unions give to same-sex couples.

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Another City Council Remap Submitted; Field Hearings To Begin /boystown/news-report/2012/01/09/another-city-council-remap-submitted-field-hearings-to-begin/ /boystown/news-report/2012/01/09/another-city-council-remap-submitted-field-hearings-to-begin/#comments Mon, 09 Jan 2012 21:09:44 +0000 jessicacantarelli /boystown/uncategorized/2012/01/09/another-city-council-remap-submitted-field-hearings-to-begin/ The Roscoe View Journal reports:

<blockquote>A new proposed map for Chicago City Council wards was submitted to City Council by the Mexican American Legal Defense Fund (MALDEF) yesterday, as the debate over how to readjust ward lines to 2010 Census data heats up.</blockquote>

Read more <a href=”http://www.roscoeviewjournal.com/news/another-city-council-remap-submitted-field-hearings-to-begin” target=”_”>at Roscoe View Journal</a>

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All Hail the Queens: Phi Phi O’Hara competes for the title of America’s Next Drag Superstar /boystown/news-report/2012/01/03/all-hail-the-queens-phi-phi-ohara-competes-for-the-title-of-americas-next-drag-superstar/ /boystown/news-report/2012/01/03/all-hail-the-queens-phi-phi-ohara-competes-for-the-title-of-americas-next-drag-superstar/#comments Tue, 03 Jan 2012 15:29:57 +0000 Tony Peregrin /boystown/?p=2962922 When Season 4 of RuPaul’s Drag Race airs later this month, the world will learn what Phi Phi O’Hara and her legion of loyal “phan-atics” already know: Boystown’s hottest female drag star is truly phierce. And, depending on her mood, she’s also phabulous, phreaky, and phine. (Adding a “ph” to various descriptives is a trademark Phi Phi O’Hara move, particularly on Facebook, er, Phacebook.)

Phi Phi O’Hara—host of the Dollhouse Drag Revue at Spin nightclub every Thursday—is one of three Chicago drag superstars vying for a $100,000 cash prize and the coveted title of “American’s Next Drag Superstar” on Logo’s smash-hit reality show RuPaul’s Drag Race, premiering January 30.

Ms. O’Hara (Jaremi Carey) is also a licensed optician—a fitting profession for a competition where contestants must possess keen powers of observation and the ability to maintain an unwavering eye on the prize—no matter what criticisms the panel of judges sling their way.

The Redeye caught up with the 26-year-old Texas transplant to drag out the juicy details of the upcoming new season.

You’re originally from San Antonio. What drew you to the Windy City, Phi Phi?

I’ve been in Chicago for about three years. Chicago is a mini New York City, but it’s a lot cleaner and a lot nicer. The thing about Chicago, compared to San Antonio, is that it’s really open-minded and accepting of all types of art and culture, and there’s more opportunity to grow in the entertainment field. I had to hide who I was walking down the street in San Antonio. I would get ready at the club and stuff. I couldn’t be openly gay in Texas, but here I can be.

Do you get recognized on the street in Boystown?

In the past, I was not recognized out of drag, but now everyone knows who I am!  In the promos, they show me as a boy, so it’s gotten out. (Laughs.) People on Facebook have been tagging my boy page too, so it’s definitely out there. When people see me on the street, they usually say something like, “Oh my god, you are on the show—I am so excited for you!” Everyone wants teasers, and I always say, “Girl, just watch the show!” Everyone is very supportive.

As this Q&A is for the Redeye’s Boystown neighborhood page, I’ve got to ask you: What are some of your favorite haunts in Boystown to meet boys, eat, shop, hang out?

I have a boyfriend, so the “meeting boys” part is done. (Laughs.) As for dining out, I love Nookies. I love to shop at Beatnix, and I love Spin, Roscoe’s, Scarlet, and Minibar.

There are a total of three girls from Chicago on this season of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Did you know each other before the show? 

Princess is not originally from Chicago, and she performs outside of the city a lot, so we didn’t hang out too much before the show, but now we are real close. DiDa [Ritz] actually lived with me for a while, prior to both of us being cast on the show. It’s funny—I guess [the producers] didn’t know that before we started filming!  The whole process is stressful, so to have DiDa there, someone who I could vent to, was a big help.

Word on the street is that you only auditioned once before you were cast on this season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, which is rare, as many of these girls audition multiple times for a coveted spot on the show.

It actually was my first time auditioning for the show. Before that, I didn’t feel like it was my time yet. Drag is a whole process of learning, and I am still learning.

What do you think set you apart from others who auditioned for the show?

Honestly? I felt I could school these girls. I wanted to shine out. (Pause). A lot of girls have only one look, and I like to do complete transformations. I have multiple Phi Phi looks.  I really like it when people say “I didn’t even know that was you” and I think I showed that in my audition video. I am a tiny person, but I am cutthroat and in it to win. I don’t have to take crap from anyone—I have had that happen my entire life. So, if I have to be brutal, well, it’s a game, and you have to play the game to win.

What was the inspiration for your stage name?

My original drag name was Phoenix O’Hara. My friends in Texas helped me pick that name because they said I brought fire to the stage! (Laughs.) Once I moved to Chicago, people started calling me “Phonics,” but I didn’t really like that. Then, people started calling me “Phi Phi” and I didn’t know any other Phi Phi’s so it stuck. I think it sounds feminine and fierce!

Who are some previous contestants on RuPaul’s Drag Race that have inspired you? And who have you looked at and said to yourself I do not want to act like her on TV?

You know who inspires me—the Puerto Rican queens. Their style and art form is so special and different from anyone else’s—people like Nina Flowers, Yara Sofia, and Jessica Wild. I didn’t want to be fake. I didn’t want to be the one to say “I love you” and then turn around and talk about you behind your back.

Guest judges this season include Rose McGowan, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Kelly Osbourne, Loretta Devine, and Jesse Tyler Ferguson. Who was the one guest judge that had all the dolls starstruck?

Kelly Osbourne. She was so down to earth! She wanted to get to know each one of us and she was friendly and funny. She was just…one of the drag queens! Loretta is exactly how you think she would be—she is very sweet and kind and you could tell she didn’t want to hurt people’s feelings. She was very motherly.

Talk about the first time you interacted with RuPaul. What was going through your phierce phi phi mind?

When I first talked to her it was actually on set. I didn’t meet her prior to that. You are kind of stunned at first because it is RuPaul! She was very friendly. We were talking about how I work for an eye doctor and she loved that! She is very motherly, but Ru is also crazy! She will just bust out into song and dance! (Laughs.) She had some insane moments, but she really helped break up the tension on set.

If you were to teach a class for drag queens competing in future seasons of RuPauls’s Drag Race, what would that class entail?

I would say…how not to not take crap from people. My class would be called “Don’t Take Shit 101.” Don’t let them, meaning your competition or the judges, take over your mind.

Where are you planning to watch the premier of RuPaul’s Drag Race?

I will be at Spin nightclub for the big premiere! It will be cool watch it with fans and to hear their commentary. I’m excited, because they will be shocked at some of things I say, although my true phans, probably won’t be all that shocked at what comes out of my mouth!

RuPaul’s Drag Race premieres January 30th on Logo, 8pm Central. 

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Nancy Drew and the door to door deception /boystown/chatter/2012/01/02/nancy-drew/ /boystown/chatter/2012/01/02/nancy-drew/#comments Tue, 03 Jan 2012 01:44:58 +0000 Gary Hotze /boystown/?p=2950194 I would never  rejoice in the  shuttering of a business in our fine neighborhood UNLESS of course it was Mr. Taco or the new Walmart Express, in both cases I would relieve myself upon the ashes. Lately though the turnover clip has picked up some serious amphetamine-like speed. Paradise Empanadas and Sura didn’t even make it through the summer. Both “gay’ clothing stores, Universal Gear and His Stuff, have both bitten the dust. But perhaps what is most bizarre is the “faux” closures on the fair blocks of Boystown.  Like faux fur the circumstances that surround it all remain a mystery to me.

Mystery #1, FÜL

Admittedly, I liked FÜL when it opened this summer.  My fondness for it and this season of Glee has waned though in the late fall.  The service never really picked up its pace. The hulking “straight” waiters never propositioned/ravaged me.  The fare beyond the smoothies wasn’t really all that healthy.  Ironically, FÜL wasn’t all that filling either.  You see, I like love to eat! I still saw this place succeeding, however, considering its prime position on Broadway so I was still a little surprised a couple of weeks ago to see the lights off and the above note hastily taped to the door.  In “hibernation” for the winter months, can we REALLY expect to see FÜL come spring?  We need FÜL disclosure.

Mystery #2, Cocktail

Cocktail is (was?) my least favorite bar on the Halsted strip.  I’m sure the sidewalk patio cafe abortion they served up this summer, still born, did not help matters (financially) either. Who wouldn’t like to scarf down some quesadillas with a side of strippers?   Apparently no one, I think I saw a total of 20 people eating in “the gardens” all summer. Ironically, one of the strippers had the phrase “never give up” tattooed on his back. Seemingly, though, they have at least for the time being.  Previously, a hurriedly posted note also appeared on its door.  It claimed that Cocktail was closed for a private event and would reopen in the new year.  The new year has come and this note has since been removed.  Is “never give up” already dancing for dimes and popcorn at the Shoe or is he going to stage a last-call comeback? The plot thickens…

Do we need to hire the gang from Scooby-Doo to get to the bottom of these gay boy mysteries?  Beyond Shaggy, we all know Fred, with that scarf, was a closeted friend of Dorothy too and perhaps, a guy in a mask really is behind it all. Paging Nancy Drew.

What do you miss that has closed recently in Boystown?

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Chicago Pride organizers agree to move parade time /boystown/news-report/2011/12/22/chicago-pride-organizers-agree-to-move-parade-time-chicagotribune-com/ /boystown/news-report/2011/12/22/chicago-pride-organizers-agree-to-move-parade-time-chicagotribune-com/#comments Thu, 22 Dec 2011 16:20:32 +0000 Dana Kavan /boystown/?p=2950878 Alderman Thomas Tunney (44th) and the chairman of the Chicago Pride Parade said an agreement was reached with Mount Carmel church to push back the parade’s start time. The Catholic church had complained that the parade’s new route would interfere with Sunday Masses.

Read more at chicagotribune.com.

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Telling Our Stories: Why I Became an Activist /boystown/chatter/2011/12/21/telling-our-stories-why-i-became-an-activist/ /boystown/chatter/2011/12/21/telling-our-stories-why-i-became-an-activist/#comments Wed, 21 Dec 2011 14:00:07 +0000 Waymon Hudson /boystown/?p=2947150 In the next part of the Telling Our Stories series (which reminds us all of the power that we can have to change hearts and minds by highlighting online messages of equality), I was asked to share my own personal story about how I got involved in LGBT activism.

You can catch a video interview I did about it with Gay Chicago TV or read on…

It was an eye-opening experience for both me and my husband that helped push us to get more involved and become much more vocal in our fight for LGBT rights. My experience also showed me the value of speaking out, as well as the power of social media to get a message out.

Early on the morning of May 1, 2007, around 1 am, my husband and I were returning home to Fort Lauderdale from vacation in Chicago. Our flight was delayed, so we were the last group of passengers (around 20 or so) at Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport. While waiting for our luggage in the baggage claim area, we heard these words come over the PA system loud and clear,

“A man that lies with a man as with a woman should be put to death.”

A few minutes later, the same recording played over the loud speaker again. We were understandably shocked and frightened. We looked around for a security guard, airport employee, or TSA agent, but we were unable to find anyone because it was so late and everything was closed. We quickly gathered our bags and went to our car, nervous to be alone in a dark parking garage after hearing what we assumed was a death threat against us.

The next morning, we called the airport to report the incident. The airport manager seemed disinterested in the threat and simply said “sorry for the inconvenience.” After the tepid response from the manager, we contacted our county commissioner, as well as a local news station. We also contacted various web sites and blogs about our experience, including Pam’s House Blend and Towleroad (who were amazing in their support!) to try and get some help.

The next day, we received phone calls from airport officials telling us that they were doing an investigation, a very different reaction now that the media had picked up the story. Soon, every local media outlet and newspaper carried the story. The online world also started buzzing, and our experience was soon being picked up both nationally and internationally.

A few nights later, we received a call from the police saying that they were able to locate the person who made the announcement and that he confessed. The man was Jethro Monestine, a skycap for Superior Aircraft Services, who worked in the baggage claim area. After seeing the intense media coverage, a co-worker turned him in, fearing they too would be in trouble. Monestine said that he downloaded the recording onto his cell phone and played it over the intercom as a “prank”. He also claimed not be directing it at us, saying he was “bored between flights and just wanted to have some fun”. He was eventually fired, but no charges were filed against him for what can only be seen as making a death threat over the PA at a major US airport.

The intense media coverage, as well as the religious aspect of the recording, led to a large amount of negative feedback and hate-mail being directed towards us. Adding to this backlash was some skewed and sensationalistic reporting of our story, which included headlines that focused on the “bible verse” aspect of this incident, not the threat (one such example: “Prankster fired for playing bible verse that offended gays”). This opened us up for attack from a number of conservative groups, blogs, and radio shows. Websites and open forums began to fill with personal attacks directed at us. Every anti-gay slur, threat of damnation and condemnation of us that you could imagine appeared. Our motives, names, and even our appearance were viciously attacked.

The media coverage made us public enemy #1 for the extreme religious movement. A few days after they identified Monestine, a woman stopped me in our neighborhood grocery store and said, “Didn’t I see you on the news?” I said yes, and she looked me in the eye and replied, “You faggots deserve exactly what that man said.” The next day, my car windshield had “FAG!” scrawled across it. I was so concerned that I ended up driving around our neighborhood so no one could follow me home. My partner received hate mail at his work. We even had dubious–looking people lurking around our house and looking in our windows. It reached the point where a woman again came up to me in the grocery store, but this time she spit in my face and called me “sinful faggot.” The backlash reached a level where it became dangerous and made us fear for our safety. We ended up having the police pass by our home every few hours for days because the threats grew so violent.

This whole event really woke us up to the amount of hate that people are still capable of directing towards the GLBT community. We received numerous stories from people around the country telling us their own horror stories of discrimination and not being taken seriously. As with our own story, a lot of smaller incidents of discrimination and hate seemed to fall through the cracks, leaving many people to fend for themselves. Having gone through such an eye-opening experience, and finding that there were really very few resources available to LGBT individuals who needed immediate help in situations like ours, we decided to fight back. This inspired us to form a national non-profit organization called Fight OUT Loud (www.fightOUTloud.org).

The mission of Fight OUT Loud is to provide immediate resources, support, education, and assistance for LGBT individuals who are faced with discrimination and hate. We work to get satisfactory resolutions by guiding individuals through the maze of obstacles that can come from speaking out publicly on LGBT issues. It is a resource for the entire community that seeks to raise awareness and educate the public about the still present discrimination and hatred focused on the LGBT community. We also provide training to the LGBT community and its allies on how to become leaders and advocates in their own communities.

While the experience of the airport and the ensuing backlash may have been difficult, it was probably one of the best things that could have ever happened to me. It changed my life, got me involved, and started an amazing organization that is helping people across the country. It also launched my passion for and career in writing about LGBT issues & politics.

There’s a quote that inspires me every day from Harvey Milk:

“I finally reached the point where I knew I had to become involved or shut up.”

That’s why telling our stories is so important to me. I’ve lived it.

The Telling Our Stories series highlights people that have used new media, like youtube videos or blogs, to tell stories that have moved virally through the social sphere of influence to make an impact. Share these stories, use them as discussion points with those in your life, and suggest other videos that have moved you in the comments section. Be sure to check out some of our other posts in the Telling Our Stories series:

- “It’s Time” for Marriage Equality
-“Two Lesbians Raised A Baby & This Is What They Got”
-“NOISE” An Anthem for Equality
-Second City’s Rick Perry Spoof: “Weak, man.”
-Cleveland Browns linebacker Scott Fujita’s Marriage Equality PSA
-My Story: Why I Became an Activist

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Telling Our Stories: Cleveland Browns linebacker Scott Fujita’s Marriage Equality PSA /boystown/chatter/2011/12/20/telling-our-stories-cleveland-browns-linebacker-scott-fujitas-marriage-equality-psa/ /boystown/chatter/2011/12/20/telling-our-stories-cleveland-browns-linebacker-scott-fujitas-marriage-equality-psa/#comments Tue, 20 Dec 2011 14:00:04 +0000 Waymon Hudson /boystown/?p=2947137 In the next part of the Telling Our Stories series (which reminds us all of the power that we can have to change hearts and minds by highlighting online messages of equality), we look at the power of straight allies coming out in brave and unexpected ways to support our cause in Cleveland Browns linebacker Scott Fujita’s Marriage Equality PSA.

The Human Rights Campaign launched the Americans for Marriage Equality campaign featuring prominent Americans who support committed gay and lesbian couples getting married. The campaign draws from a cadre of supportive professional athletes, film and music celebrities, political and civil rights leaders. Superbowl Champion and Cleveland Browns’ Lineback Scott Fujita joined the ranks of people like civil rights icon Julian Bond, NJ mayor Cory Booker, Mo’Nique, Anna Wintour, and Lucy Liu in standing for full marriage equality:

Click here to view the embedded video.

“I’ve been married for twelve years and I know that it is unfair to keep other loving and committed couples from getting married and protecting their families.”

Having straight allies, especially ones that are stars in traditionally conservative parts of our society like sports, come out and explain in clear, simple terms why they support equal rights is a vitally important. Not only does it reach an audience that often needs to hear messages of acceptance and equality, but it also lets young LGBT know that there are allies in all walks of life… And that is a powerful thing.

The Telling Our Stories series highlights people that have used new media, like youtube videos or blogs, to tell stories that have moved virally through the social sphere of influence to make an impact. Share these stories, use them as discussion points with those in your life, and suggest other videos that have moved you in the comments section. Be sure to check out some of our other posts in the Telling Our Stories series:

- “It’s Time” for Marriage Equality
-“Two Lesbians Raised A Baby & This Is What They Got”
-“NOISE” An Anthem for Equality
-Second City’s Rick Perry Spoof: “Weak, man.”
-Cleveland Browns linebacker Scott Fujita’s Marriage Equality PSA

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Telling Our Stories: “Two Lesbians Raised A Baby & This Is What They Got” /boystown/chatter/2011/12/15/telling-our-stories-two-lesbians-raised-a-baby-this-is-what-they-got/ /boystown/chatter/2011/12/15/telling-our-stories-two-lesbians-raised-a-baby-this-is-what-they-got/#comments Thu, 15 Dec 2011 14:00:51 +0000 Waymon Hudson /boystown/?p=2946664 In the next part of our Telling Our Stories series (which reminds us all of the power that we can have to change hearts and minds by highlighting online messages of equality), we look at the moving and personal speech by 19-year-old Zach Wahls, who speaks eloquently about his two lesbian mothers and the strength of his family: Two Lesbians Raised A Baby & This Is What They Got.

Zach Wahls, a teenage University of Iowa student, spoke about the dignity and worth of his family during a public forum on House Joint Resolution 6 in the Iowa House of Representatives. Wahls has two mothers and came to oppose House Joint Resolution 6:

Click here to view the embedded video.

Wahls took head-on the question of whether or not a gay couple can successfully raise a child and what it means to be a family:

“I was raised by a gay couple, and I’m doing pretty well,” Wahls said, “If I was your son, Mr. Chairman, I think that I would make you incredibly proud.

Our family really isn’t so different than any other Iowa family.”

While this speech was made back in February, the video has recently begun making the internet rounds again with its timeless message of family, love, commitment, and equality, garnering millions of views in less than a week.

Wahls continues to tell his story in an upcoming book called “My Two Moms: Everything I Needed to Know About Gay Marriage I Learned in Boy Scouts.”

The Telling Our Stories series highlights people that have used new media, like youtube videos or blogs, to tell stories that have moved virally through the social sphere of influence to make an impact. Share these stories, use them as discussion points with those in your life, and suggest other videos that have moved you in the comments section. Be sure to check out some of our other posts in the Telling Our Stories series:

- “It’s Time” for Marriage Equality
-“Two Lesbians Raised A Baby & This Is What They Got”
-“NOISE” An Anthem for Equality
-Second City’s Rick Perry Spoof: “Weak, man.”

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Telling Our Stories: “NOISE” An Anthem for Equality /boystown/chatter/2011/12/14/telling-our-stories-noise-an-anthem-for-equality/ /boystown/chatter/2011/12/14/telling-our-stories-noise-an-anthem-for-equality/#comments Wed, 14 Dec 2011 14:00:09 +0000 Waymon Hudson /boystown/?p=2947128 In the next part of our Telling Our Stories series (which reminds us all of the power that we can have to change hearts and minds by highlighting online messages of equality), we look at Broadway leading man Gavin Creel’s new LGBT activism anthem called “Noise.”

Click here to view the embedded video.

“Gay rights are human rights, and if we want things to change, we all need to take action. We can’t stay frustrated, quiet and complacent. We have to be willing to make some noise. This song aims to get us all fired up: gay, straight, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and anyone in between. I’m ready to welcome in a new age of full legal protection in all matters governed by civil law in all 50 states for ALL citizens, and I believe we will get there. But the men and women who have the power to change the laws so that we are all represented and protected equally need to hear from us, NOW. This song calls out to people who believe in equality, regardless of sexual orientation or identity; people who are ready to take action, use their voices and be heard. Until we have equal rights all across this great country, we will play it as long and as loud as we have to. So, let’s go….

Get the tune, turn it up, and let’s make some NOISE! “- Gavin Creel, 2011

Gavin Creel is one of the founders of Broadway Impact, which works closely with Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids. Creel and Broadway Impact have led marches, meetings, rallies, and protests across the country. Broadway’s Hair, for which Creel was nominated for a Tony, shut down for a full day so that the cast could go to march and perform at the National Equality March in Washington. Creel uses music to tell the story of the struggles for equality and brings a message of activism to a whole new audience through his rousing tunes.

Get the song on iTunes here: http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/noise-single/id486622573

100% of proceeds go to help Broadway Impact educate, inspire, and connect communities all across the country with one common goal: EQUALITY NOW!

The Telling Our Stories series highlights people that have used new media, like youtube videos or blogs, to tell stories that have moved virally through the social sphere of influence to make an impact. Share these stories, use them as discussion points with those in your life, and suggest other videos that have moved you in the comments section. Be sure to check out some of our other posts in the Telling Our Stories series:

- “It’s Time” for Marriage Equality
-“Two Lesbians Raised A Baby & This Is What They Got”
-“NOISE” An Anthem for Equality

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Telling Our Stories: Second City’s Rick Perry Spoof /boystown/chatter/2011/12/13/telling-our-stories-second-citys-rick-perry-spoof/ /boystown/chatter/2011/12/13/telling-our-stories-second-citys-rick-perry-spoof/#comments Tue, 13 Dec 2011 14:00:54 +0000 Waymon Hudson /boystown/?p=2947136 In the latest edition of our Telling Our Stories series (which reminds us all of the power that we can have to change hearts and minds by highlighting online messages of equality), we look at the power of satire and humor to make a searing point against homophobia in Second City’s amazing spoof of Rick Perry’s anti-gay “Strong” campaign ad called “Rick Perry: Weak, man.”

A flailing Rick Perry Presidential campaign in the GOP primary released one of the most anti-gay TV ads in recent memory, attacking Obama’s “war on religion”, as well demeaning gay servicemembers and “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal. Here’s his ad:

Click here to view the embedded video.

“I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a Christian, but you don’t need to be in the pew every Sunday to know there’s something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military but our kids can’t openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school. As President, I’ll end Obama’s war on religion. And I’ll fight against liberal attacks on our religious heritage. Faith made America strong. It can make her strong again.” -Rick Perry

Well, Chicago comedy institution The Second City took umbrage at the bigoted ad and went after Perry with their usual sense of irreverent humor. “I’m a Godless heathen and I approve this message…”

Click here to view the embedded video.

Second City had this to say about why they made their response video:

It’s hard to tell exactly what Perry was on about in much of this. Honestly, if kids “observed” Christmas any harder in schools than they already do, they would be elves. And liberals don’t hate religion, we’re too busy drum circling, same sex marrying, and not owning guns to bother.

So what was he talking about? He was talking about trying to break double digits in Iowa. And since he’s sitting on a big pile of money from people who once thought he was going to be president, it’ll be fun to see him thrash about as his campaign gasps for air.

But Rick Perry and all other heathen-haters take note: atheists and agnostics are 20 percent of the population and growing–more than African-Americans or Latinos. Add in gays, lesbians, bi and transgender folks, and you not only have a substantial voting block, you have a fucking awesome party. Lezzdoit.

Lezzdoit, indeed. As a side note, it has also been pointed out that Perry’s jacket in the video is the same one Heath Ledger wore in Brokeback Mountain

Sometimes comedy and satire can shine a light on the ridiculousness of an issue better than anything…

The Telling Our Stories series highlights people that have used new media, like youtube videos or blogs, to tell stories that have moved virally through the social sphere of influence to make an impact. Share these stories, use them as discussion points with those in your life, and suggest other videos that have moved you in the comments section. Be sure to check out some of our other posts in the Telling Our Stories series:

- “It’s Time” for Marriage Equality
-“Two Lesbians Raised A Baby & This Is What They Got”
-“NOISE” An Anthem for Equality
-Second City’s Rick Perry Spoof: “Weak, man.”

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