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Chicago House holds Day of the Dead event
by Vern Hester
2019-11-05

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On Oct. 31, Chicago House, in concert with other community service organizations, held the Second Annual Fiesta! Day of the Dead at the National Museum of Mexican Art. The event not only acknowledged the traditional Latin-American holiday, but it also celebrated the lives of those who have fallen to HIV/AIDS and related illnesses.

The event featured a line up of musical and drag performances, a full buffet dinner, free HIV screening, a photo booth, several craft vendors, face painting, and several LGBTQ and Latinx service organizations.

The event also included a queer Ofrenda, which is a collection of objects placed on a ritual display during a Dia de Muertos celebration—with the one at this event aiming to celebrate the entire Latinx queer community. It featured, among others, Pedro Zamora—a member of the 1994 cast of the reality show The Real World; in the process, he became the first openly gay man with AIDS to be portrayed in the popular media. The altar also acknowledged trans individuals who had died in the last year.

Among the performers at Fiesta! Day of the Dead were drag artists Luna La Catrina, Chamilla Foxx, Decima, Naysha Lopez, Valentine Addams and Margaret Y Ya. Tatiana Hazel and the group Madera Once provided live musical performances.

Among the organizations/companies participating in the event were LULAC, Calor, FLUX, Esparanza Health Centers, Corazon Community Services and Revolution Brewing. Los Comales provided the buffet, with TrQiteca responsible for the music.


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