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'Fahrenheit Chicago' heats South Side
by Vern Hester
2018-08-28

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Equality Illinois held its second Fahrenheit Chicago—the end-of-summer beach party of fun, music and social networking for LGBTQ Illinoisans, their friends, and families—Aug. 26 at Oakwood Beach ( 41st Street and South Lake Shore Drive ). The presenting sponsor was Howard Brown Health.

The beach party was the culmination of Fahrenheit activities that took place Aug. 24-26, with events such as a kickoff party on Aug. 24, the "Fahrenheit Bae Skate" on Aug. 24 and the "Fahrenheit Chicago Day Party," on Aug. 25. At the kickoff party, Lora Branch of Gilead Sciences Inc., Mo Green of the Office of the Cook County State's Attorney and the South Side cultural institution Jeffery Pub were honored for LGBTQ leadership.

Aug. 25 activities included a Sunday-morning worship service that The Lighthouse Church held as well as a beach party. Both events were held at the Oakwood Beach.

Following last summer's successful event. this year aimed to expand and the Aug. 26 beach party was jam-packed with performers. Entertainers included vocalist Marc Wayne, DJ All the Way K, Terisa Griffin, DJ Superman and Ms. Ruff N Stuff and her crew entertained the crowd. Father Kentrele presided over a mini-ball segment that included vogue and "realness" competitions.

In addition, Equality Illinois Director of Civic Engagement Anthony Galloway thanked the audience for supporting the event. He also presented a special award to The Jeffrey Pub and recognized it as one of the oldest LGBTQ safe spaces in the country. Later, Illinois state rep candidate Lamont J. Robinson Jr. spoke about the importance of the November elections, adding that many representatives in Springfield have made it clear that they don't want an African-American gay man like himself in office—but that he has no intention on backing down from supporting the LGBTQ community. Attorney General candidate Kwame Raoul got a surprise when Dr. Maya Green, who heads the Howard Brown Health in Englewood, thanked him personally for signing a grant that enabled her to attend medical school.

Co-sponsors of Fahrenheit 2018 included Howard Brown Healthr, Start Talking. Stop HIV., Project RSP, Women Connection of the AIDS Foundation and Jeffrey Pub.


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