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Affinity, Amigas Latinas hold Burning Bowl
by Jamie Anne Royce
2012-01-11

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Affinity Community Services—a social-justice organization that works with and on behalf of Black LGBTQ communities, queer youth and allies—celebrated the new year with Burning Bowl, an annual affirmation ceremony. The event took place at Hyde Park Union Church Jan. 7.

This year, the organization welcomed members of Amigas Latinas—a support, education and advocacy organization for lesbian, bisexual and questioning women of Latina heritage—to showcase their partnership on an upcoming community center.

Attendees purged the previous year's challenges and negativity by writing them down and burning them. They then wrote down affirmations, goals and positive thoughts for 2012; organizers will mail those to them midyear.

"It's a time when the community can come together and feel comfortable in a safe space," said Alexia Rice-Henry, development and communications associate for Affinity Community Services. "It's an inspiring, uplifting way to start the new year."

Organizers provided a light meal of bread and several varieties of "soup for the soul." Cake was also served to after the burning ceremony to celebrate the cleansing and healing ritual.

Leaders from both organizations addressed attendees, highlighting the previous year's accomplishments and goals for 2012. The event also featured performances from Queer Choir, Drum Divas and Korean American Resource and Cultural Center Drummers. Many more photos are online at www.WindyCityMediaGroup.com .

'Out at CHM' to cover

leather subculture,

activist Bayard Rustin

Out at CHM is begins its ninth year with three programs that delve into the contributions LGBT communities have made to Chicago and the nation.

On Thursday, Jan. 19, the Chicago History Museum ( in collaboration with the Leather Archives Museum ) will host an expert panel moderated by Dr. Jennifer Tyburczy, Ph.D., postdoctoral fellow at Rice University's Center for the Study of Women, Gender and Sexuality, on Chicago's leather subculture. "Chicago in Leather" will highlight how gender, sexual orientation, collaboration and separatism have co-existed throughout the past five decades.

On Thursday, Feb. 9, filmmaker Bennett Singer—co-director of the documentary Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin—and Rustin's surviving life partner, Walter Naegle, will host a conversation about Rustin's life and legacy. The evening will explore how Rustin is being rediscovered by a new generation of Americans committed to social and economic justice. During the conversation, film clips from Brother Outsider will be shown.

Lastly, on Thursday, March 8, curators Jill Austin and Jennifer Brier share the thrills and chills of mounting an exhibition on Chicago's LGBT history, and confess to their own trials and tribulations.

Each Out at CHM program starts with cocktails at 5:30 p.m. and programming at 6:30 p.m. Admission is $12 for the public and $10 for members and students. The Out in Chicago exhibition will be open for guests to view during the cocktail hour prior to each program.Call 312-642-4600 or visit www.chicagohistory.org


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