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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Snyde and Sneak
by Tracy Baim
2000-03-08

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Top woman

If ever anyone deserved to be called an honorary lesbian, it´s actress Chloë Sevigny. Chloë is not only up for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress as Brandon Teena´s girlfriend in Boys Don´t Cry, she decided to turn 180 degrees to the butch side for her role as a 1970s dyke in HBO´s If These Walls Could Talk 2. Living proof that acting is what´s it´s all about, and she is not afraid of being stereotyped.

Syndicated columnist Liz Smith reports: "For those fascinated by Hilary Swank´s trans—gender performance in Boys Don´t Cry, you´ll be interested in the March issue of French Vogue, which offers Swank as both boy and girl. Herb Ritts shoots her in lustrous black and white for the photos that emphasize the actresses´ androgynous quality. In color, Herb presents the Oscar nominee as a fashion plate, glam and unmistakably female."

The lesbigay TV show In the Life has received its first Emmy Award nomination for "Outstanding Educational Programming" by the New York Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Strange bedfellows

The March 1 Chicago Tribune had an editorial backing the state gay—rights bill: "The Illinois Human Rights Act is nothing if not inclusive: It bans discrimination on the basis of race, gender, ethnicity, religion, disability, parental or military status. The notable exception is sexual orientation ... . House Bill 474, expected to come up for a vote as early as Thursday, would begin the process of correcting this omission. It ought to be approved."

During the ABC Sunday show This Week, Sen. John McCain defended his vote against the Employment Non—Discrimination Act. During the interview with Cokie Roberts, McCain said: "I don´t believe that [ gays and lesbians ] belong in a special category. ... I think that enforcement of existing law could work rather than passing special laws for special categories of people."

At an awards ceremony Feb. 27, the Independent Voters of Illinois—Independent Precinct Organization awarded state Rep. Larry McKeon with its Best Legislative Voting Record Award. The criteria was based on several crucial pieces of legislation brought before the Illinois House of Representatives last session. McKeon was a sponsor of the majority of bills included in IVI—IPO´s legislative agenda. McKeon has been endorsed by IVI—IPO for re—election to a third term. IVI—IPO has also endorsed Jim Snyder for 46th Ward Dem. Committeeman.

Chicago gay and lesbian political activists are gearing up for the elections March 21. The Outlines special election guide will be available March 15. Local activists are sponsoring a benefit for openly lesbian Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin, D—Wisc., Sunday, March 26, 3— 5 p.m. at Tomboy. Call Jonathan, ( 847 ) 604— 0324.

A survey by Seventeen magazine finds increasing numbers of teens have no problem with gay people. In 1991, responding to the same question, 17 percent said they were fine with homosexuality. In 1999, 54 percent of teens said they were comfortable with it. In 1991, 27 percent felt that gays had something wrong with them; in 1999, 19 percent said they believed that.

Write it down ...

Bailiwick Repertory has created a Lesbian Theater Initiative to increase the visibility of lesbians on—stage in Chicago theaters. Saturday, April 1, LTI will kick—off with an event that introduces this new addition to Bailiwick´s Pride Series, The 1st Annual All—Girl review: An Evening of Theater, Comedy, Song, and Celebration. Entertainment includes: Cabaret singer Roxanne Saylor, comic Jessica Halem, A Real Read´s acclaimed C.C. Carter, and actress Bev Spangler performing the works of lesbian playwright Linda Eisenstein. Also featured will be excerpts from Bailiwick´s upcoming LTI performances which are a part of Pride 2000. These include: Brave Smiles, by the 5 Lesbian Brothers, directed by L. M. Attea; Trish Cole´s comedy L.B.D. ( Lesbian Bed Death ) ; Paula Kimper and Wende Parson´s lesbian opera Patience and Sarah directed by Shifra Werch; and excerpts from Dan Martin and Michael Biello´s LGBT musical review Q. Call ( 773 ) 883— 1090; BRLavender@Aol.com .

The huge annual International Women´s Day Dance is this Saturday, to benefit local women´s groups.

Baton Show Lounge celebrates its 31st anniversary with a special anniversary show March 16— 19. Call ( 312 ) 644— 5269.

Chicago Professional Networking Assoc. celebrates its 13th anniversary Wed., March 15, 6:30 p.m., Ann Sather´s, 929 Belmont, ( 773 ) 296—CPNA ( 2762 ) , or see www.CPNA.org .

Lesbian singing icon Cris Williamson, newly solo personally and professionally ( she and Tret Fure broke up ) , will perform Saturday, May 13, 7 p.m. at 2nd Unitarian Church, 656 W. Barry; ( 773 ) 248— 3953.

Lesbian Community Cancer Project is seeking candidates for executive director. For details, see www.lccp.org, or call ( 773 ) 561— 4662. Current director Vicky DiProva is stepping down in the next few weeks.

The Lambda Literary Awards are in Chicago June 1, featuring some of the tops in GLBT publishing. Chicagoans will also host a kick—off event April 28 at Gerber/Hart Library. For details on the June 1 awards, see www.lambdalit.org . The April 28 event is catered by At Your Service, and will feature readings by Lammy—nominated authors. Call ( 773 ) 883— 8030; tix are $10 ( $5 for library members ) .

MMOW News: Cho at rally

The Millennium March on Washington for Equality organizers have announced another April 30 rally speaker, Margaret Cho.

Over 50 events are scheduled to take place during Millennium March weekend, including political demonstrations, religious services, a variety of dances and parties, organizational conferences and fundraisers, as well as lobbying efforts. Melissa Etheridge is among those performing at the Human Rights Campaign´s April 29 concert.

March board co—chair Ann DeGroot also announced the addition of three new board members: Dana Rivers, a transgender activist from California; Michael Williams, a political activist from Pennsylvania; and Nick Metcalf, a Native American activist from Minnesota.

See www.mmow.org or write to MMOW2000@aol.com .

The Board of Directors of Gay and Lesbian Atheists and Humanists, meanwhile, have voted to oppose the March on Washington, urging cancellation of the event and non—participation in MMOW—related activities. The Board condemned the notion that a self—appointed pair of organizations, one of them a narrowly based religious group ( MCC ) , could assert "hegemony over the public life and activities of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community."

Backlash against Dr. Laura´s planned TV show

A San Francisco group´s protest against radio talk—show host Laura Schlessinger for her view of homosexuality as deviant has picked up national steam, reports The San Francisco Chronicle.

Within two days of its inception last week, StopDrLaura.com had surpassed 1 million visits. The site encourages people to flood Paramount, producers of Schlessinger´s planned TV talk show, with complaints about giving her a wider forum.

Schlessinger says homosexuality is a "biological error." Paramount said, "We respect and believe in Dr. Laura´s right to have and express her own point of view, just as we respect the individual opinions of all our talent, employees and producers.´´

Says Dr. Laura on anti—gay—marriage Prop. 22: " [ It ] only reasserts thousands of years of human history. That´s all it does—and the basic law of the land. ... There´s nothing snide or nasty; it doesn´t exclude or do anything bad to anybody. It doesn´t talk about how first cousins can´t marry, how married people can´t marry other people, how parents cannot marry their children. ... But I´m looking at this ad, and I was revulsed. And it´s time to speak very directly about these things and to let you know truths of things that are happening." She then attacks the ads that are attacking Prop. 22. "The list of sexual activity that is forbidden [ in Leviticus ] is very long, and the rest of it refers to heterosexuals. Long list for heterosexuals—one for the gays ( laughs ) . Don´t do that. That´s basically it." She attacks HBO and others for making films about lesbians raising kids, with Sharon Stone and Ellen DeGeneres "going everywhere giving interviews saying diversity is good. All diversity is not good. Simply because it is diversity doesn´t make it good—except for the left—wing liberals."

Meanwhile, the hits keep rolling in to StopDrLaura.com, and the site is even selling t—shirts.

PASSAGES

Alfredo Gonzalez, a writer for En La Vida newspaper, died Feb. 5 after returning home from a lengthy hospital stay. Alfredo was both a poet and a columnist, and he always tried to offer up—beat advice on living life to its fullest. His partner, Arturo Quiroz, said Alfredo left unpublished literary works including two books, and poetry in English and Spanish.

Derrill Edwards, born Feb. 25, 1947 in Seneca, SC, to Harold Edwards and Mary Elizabeth Edwards, died Feb. 27. Edwards, from Evanston, served on the board of Better Existence with HIV ( BEHIV ) and was a tireless crusader in the fight against AIDS. He is survived by his brother Donald, stepmother Helen, nephew Paul, sister—in—law Barbara, nieces Sylvia Rogers and Donna Richey, and the many, many friends whose lives he touched. Donations can be made to BEHIV, P.O. Box 5171, Evanston, IL 60204.


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