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Sidetrack's OUTspoken! Series: December's featured storytellers
2016-11-30

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The December edition of OUTspoken! LGBTQ storyteller series takes place Tuesday, Dec. 6, at Sidetrack, 3349 N. Halsted St. Doors open at 6 pm, stories begin at 7.

See www.outspokenchicago.com for more info.

Bea Cordelia

Bea Cordelia is an award-winning, Chicago-bred writer, solo performer and teaching artist, specializing in issues of gender, sex and sexuality, queerness and the body. Six of her plays have been produced to date and many of her poems and essays published, including the self-published chapbook of poetry, 28.06 // Dear Sylvia. Her autobiographical solo show, Chasing Blue, recently featured in The Brick's inaugural Trans Theatre Festival in Brooklyn. She has been featured at the Goodman Theatre, Victory Gardens Theater, the Green Mill Cocktail Lounge, Links Hall, Salonathon, The Fly Honeys Show, the Chicago Home Theater Festival and many more events and venues throughout Chicagoland.

After winning the Agnes Nixon Playwriting Award for the second consecutive year at Northwestern in 2014, she had the pleasure of meeting Agnes Nixon herself and working as a guest writer on All My Children. Last year, she also wrote an award-winning academic thesis on the intersection of body image and law in the German transgender community, based on original research she conducted in Berlin.

She just finished developing her first-ever multimedia installation in a Chicago Performance Lab residency at The University of Chicago, and was recently made a 2016 Creative Writing Fellow with Luminarts Cultural Foundation.

David Ferrell

David Ferrell is a native of southwest Michigan. Since coming out to his family and friends in the summer of 2012, David has been approached by others asking for advice on the subject. Over the course of this past year, David has been doing just that.

As an LGBTQ author, blogger and advocate, David has been lending his voice across the Midwest at the Kalamazoo Pride Fest; the Southwestern Michigan College LGBTQ and Allies Club; and has volunteered in community service projects with Howard Brown Health and The Center on Halsted. Recently, David has added first-time author to his list of accomplishments with his newly published book, The Open Closet, based on his popular WordPress blog. He currently lives in Chicago with his partner of four years.

Ashlee Robison

Ashlee Robison is a PhD student in Chemistry at Northwestern University, investigating the ways one can use DNA to control the assembly of nanoscale biomaterials, and in the evenings she moonlights as a queer feminist writer. She has received undergraduate degrees in creative writing, environmental policy and chemistry.

Raised in Montana, she has also lived in Alaska, Idaho, Wyoming, North Carolina and Colorado, before settling in Chicago in 2015. She enjoys reading Stuart Dybek and Cormac McCarthy, listening to Lady Gaga, and drinking mezcal when she's not in the lab.

Imani Rupert-Gordon

For 15 years Imani has worked to advance social justice efforts in higher education in local communities.

Currently, Imani serves as the Executive Director of Affinity Community Services. She also serves on the governing board of United Way of Metropolitan Chicago's United Pride Executive committee and the Illinois State Treasurer's LGBTQ Advisory Council.

Jace Smith

Jace Smith wears many hats. He is a fundraiser by day and manages a college access program for at-risk youth. By night, he is an entrepreneur; he has owned Embrace your fitâ personal training company for 15 years. Jace is also a nutrition coach who loves seeing the internal transformation that comes from people taking their health and well-being to the next level. Jace co-hosts The Life Lab, Mega Minds Building Mega Bodies radio show. His show airs bi-weekly and focuses on empowering listeners to experiment with their own power and find their individual path to achieving greatness.

In his free time he is a complete gym rat and is a guitarist/vocalist that composes music that can fit into many genres. Jace loves to cook, bust a move on the dance floor and he prides himself as a connector and resource for many communities. He has served in various capacities for some of Chicago's largest LGBTQ organizations. Jace believes that by being of service to others, he can increase his reach and impact the lives of members of the most vulnerable communities.

Kirk Williamson

Kirk Williamson is the art director for Windy City Times and served as editor of Nightspots Magazine, starting in 2004. During his editorship, he strived hard to achieve the most comprehensive coverage in town of Chicago's LGBTQ nightlife scene, always with twisted humor and a real focus on the individuals who make this community so great. He is well-known in the bar scene for his photography and his column, "That Guy," which was a shortened version of "Hey, You're That Guy From the Magazine," a phrase he heard all too often.

While you won't find Kirk out at the bars that often anymore, you may see him hosting local trivia nights as KWizmaster Kirk Williamson, pursuing his passion for vintage resale as owner of his brand-new venture, When Vintage, hiking the many trails of Illinois' state parks or doggedly conducting genealogical research and forming bonds with distant family all over the globe.

Kirk graduated from Beloit College with a Bachelor's in Russian language, which, at this point, amounts to fun anecdote at parties for which he will be repaying student loans well into his 50s.


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