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Boystown bars welcome crowds on Black Wednesday

Nov. 26, 2014 - , The night before Thanksgiving is unofficially considered the busiest night of the year for bars and taverns, so much so that the night is often referred to as Black Wednesday.

Boystown neighborhood bar owners and managers agree that Black Wednesday often rivals New Year's Eve and St. Patrick's Day as popular party nights.

"It's really the last big party before New Year's Eve," Hydrate Nightclub general manager Sean Kowta told ChicagoPride.com. "Many take the opportunity to go out and party with their friends and catch-up."

The extended four-day weekend coupled with the influx of out-of-town friends and college students returning home makes the pre-holiday revelry especially popular with twenty-somethings.

"All the college kids are back in town," said Roscoe's promotion and marketing manager Shawn Hazen. "All the patrons and locals who have moved to other cities are back for the holiday. Black Wednesday is always a fun night out in Boystown."

The popular North Side neighborhood is not the only Black Wednesday destination for Chicago's LGBT population, Northwest suburban PhoenixBar is also expecting a capacity crowd at its Turnt Up Thanksgiving Eve party on Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Calendar: Black Wednesday events in and out of Boystown

Tom Goss, Dennis Hensley short: Gay love on Black Friday
Nov. 26, 2014 - , In a new short film starring Tom Goss and Dennis Hensley, two men find romance while standing in line waiting for Black Friday deals.

In Black Friday, Chad (played by Hensley) and Claudio (Goss) meet while waiting in line to snag doorbuster deals. A love affair quickly blossoms and soon Claudio is introducing Chad to his mother. But the pair find out that love on a Black Friday can be as elusive as the deals. 

Goss told Gay Star News that the idea for Black Friday came about over coffee and pie.

Goss is the 33-year-old singer-songwriter whose lyrics and music videos often speak to LGBT issues. For example, his powerful 2012 single You Know That I Love You documents his wedding to husband Mike and he celebrates the gay subculture of large men in last year's music video Bears. He released his latest studio album, Wait, in May.

Hensley is the creator and host of the MisMatch Game, a comedy benefit for the Los Angeles LGBT Center (LAGLC) and a regular contributor to OutTraveler.com.

Shonda Rhimes to be honored by gay rights group HRC
Nov. 18, 2014 - , The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest LGBT rights advocate, will honor Shonda Rhimes at its upcoming Los Angeles Gala Dinner.

Over 1,000 guests are expected to attend the event, which will be held on Saturday, March 14 at the JW Marriott LA Live in downtown Los Angeles.

Rhimes will receive HRC's Ally for Equality Award.

"We are thrilled to honor such a fierce and longtime advocate for LGBT equality at this year's HRC Los Angeles Gala Dinner," HRC President Chad Griffin said in a blog post. "Shonda Rhimes is not only politically outspoken on issues of equality, but has also created some of the most groundbreaking portrayals of LGBT people ever seen on television, helping to change hearts and minds around the world."

Named as one of TIME magazine's 100 most influential people in the world, Rhimes is the creative force behind three of ABC's most successful dramas: Grey's Anatomy, Scandal and How To Get Away With Murder. 

Nov. 21, 2014
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