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Families of Chicago banquet Dec. 10
2017-12-06

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Families of Chicago ( FOC ) will host its second annual FOC Banquet Sunday, Dec. 10, an invitation-only affair at Ida Noyes Hall at the University of Chicago.

FOC is an organization whose mission statement is "to provide support, guidance and development for members of FOC as they navigate and persevere through the obstacles of life that come along with being a member of the young LGBTQ community of Chicago."

Like gay houses, gay/queer families comprise primarily Black LGBTQ young adults from across the city. Each family consists of individuals with diverse identities including: gay men, trans men, trans women, femme and butch. Most families have an Overall Mother or Overall Father, responsible for providing a range of supports ( e.g., emotional, instrumental, informational ) for their families.

More than 100 guests are expected to fill the Cloister Club in Ida Noyes from 5-9 p.m. for a night meant to celebrate the city's young Black LGBTQ community. This year's theme, "Dance Fusion," will feature a dance competition between 10 of Chicago's Black queer families. Also, the event will feature a red carpet, and an array of special performances and appearances by well-known performers within the Chicago LGBTQ scene, including Bionca Black ( Carter Family ), with additional performances and surprise special guests still to be announced. Halle Kardashian ( founder of the Kardashian family ) will be interviewing guests and performers on the red carpet.

This year's banquet has been planned and organized by the FOC Banquet Planning Committee. The committee includes Overall Mothers and Fathers, a handful of University of Chicago staff and students, and an FOC intern, who has played a critical role in helping to coordinate and organize the event. As a growing organization affiliated with the University of Chicago, FOC has been able to provide a one-year internship through the University of Chicago Medicine for one individual involved in the family scene.

Last year's inaugural "Save Our Scene" FOC banquet, a semi-formal affair, emphasized a return to its original values—that being to provide a safe space of community, support, and fellowship for diverse young LGBTQ people in Chicago, especially young Black queer people. In continuing to emphasize these goals, this year's event will again be informed by the same values, but will primarily serve as a venue for showcasing the continued contributions that young Black LGBTQ and queer folks make to the city of Chicago's rich legacy of ballroom culture, queer families and queer performance—reinforcing the importance of developing kinship, community, and family, for young Black queer folks throughout the city.


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