The world's hottest leathermen will come together to compete for the title of International Mr. Leather 2013, as IML celebrates its 35rd Anniversary, Friday, May 24 through Monday, May 27, 2013 (Memorial Day Weekend) in Chicago.

About 400 gay leathermen gathered in Chicago in 1979 for the first International Mr. Leather contest. Today, the event has grown to be an annual tradition for thousands in the leather community - drawing contestants and attendees from around the globe. Once an event for "hardcore" leathermen, IML has expanded in recent years to include a more diverse crowd - from the experienced to the curious.

For more information visit

Chicago, Ill. (April 9, 2013) – On Sunday April 7, Howard Brown Health Center (HBHC) hosted its Mad Hatter’s Brunch, an inaugural fundraiser to benefit programs and services for the Broadway Youth Center (BYC).  The event was held at the upscale restaurant ZED451 in the River North neighborhood.

The festive afternoon brought together more than 200 Chicagoans who sported their zany and outrageous hats and enjoyed delectable specialty dishes from a rich buffet. The featured entertainment,THE KINSEY SICKSAmerica’s Favorite Dragapella® Beautyshop Quartet, dazzled the audience with their lyrical satire about pop culture and politics. 

Sponsors included: Kirkland & Ellis, Walgreens, McDermott, Will and Emery, MillerCoors, Orbitz, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, and Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center.  Media sponsors, BOI Magazine, Windy City Times, Grab Magazine and Pink Magazine.

above: photos by ©David Cohen

by David Cohen
Publisher of PINK & PINK PAGES and an Artist

As always, PINK support many AIDS/HIV organizations events, all in effort to find a cure for AIDS/HIV. As a media sponsor of Absolut Wrapture, PINK joined the festivities at the Willis Tower on Thursday, January 24, 2013. This time I have decided to donate two pieces of  art. I have created two pieces of digital art specifically for this event. I have incorporated the elements of the theme into the art I created. The Absolut Tune bottle, the Willis Tower, and the AIDS symbol were part of elements I used including the Chicago House's logo and what it represents. The inspiration for the first piece came from  the The Wizard of Oz, and the second from a panoramic photo of Willis tower, I took many years ago. Both pieces turn out well, are they here for you to enjoy. The Absolut Wrapture event raised $45,000 in support of Chicago House's programs, 

On January 28, 2013, I have recieved  a thank you letter from Jeremy Hilborn, Director of Individual Giving & Special Events for Chicago House, and  I would like to share part of it with you. 

I wanted to take this opportunity to send my most heartfelt thanks to each of you for so generously contributing to last week’s “Absolut Wrapture” art auction & cocktail party.  
With over 350 guests in attendance, our donors enjoyed clear views from the highest point in downtown Chicago, while sipping on delicious Absolut cocktails.   With the best collection of art we’ve seen in years, this crucial fundraising event raised $45,000 in support of Chicago House’s programming to men, women, and children affected by HIV and AIDS.

The Chicago House programs reach over 1,500 individuals each year, and they have expanded beyond the permanent housing to include; case management, HIV prevention and testing, employment training and placement, legal aid, medical linkage, and the Midwest’s FIRST safe housing program specific to transgender individuals."   

below: photos by © ingrid bonne photography — at Skydeck Chicago. 
On the cusp of finally winning equal marriage rights for same-sex couples in Illinois, the Gay Liberation Network (GLN), Rainbow-Sash Movement and others, will highlight the bigotry of Cardinal Francis George's rear-guard actions against equality with a Protest to take place at 10:30 AM, on Sunday, February 10, 2013,  in front of the Holy Name Cathedral, at 735 N. State Street, in Chicago.

A key reason why Illinois has never passed an anti-gay referendum, let alone seen one put on the ballot, is that LGBT activists here have bucked a national trend of avoiding criticism of anti-gay religious figures, and instead made highlighting the bigotry of these figures a central plank of their campaign for equality. 

In much more socially-progressive California, for example, it was only after the passage of Proposition 8 that many activists woke up to the fact that they should have made an issue of the Mormon Church and the Catholic bishops.  In contrast, one of the hallmarks of GLN over the years has been its forthrightness in confronting Cardinal George and other bigoted religious leaders when most other pro-gay organizations shied away from controversy.  

GLN's repeated demonstrations against the Illinois Family Institute's Peter LaBarbera, highlighting LaBarbera's bigotry in pushing for a failed antigay marriage referendum and his championing of anti-immigrant and anti-gay — and losing — candidate Jim Oberweis, poisoned his reputation.  Despite his ties to many leaders of the Illinois Republican Party, several archdioceses around the state declined to actively participate in his attempts to get an anti-gay referendum on the Illinois ballot. These failures undoubtedly played a role in LaBarbera's 2006 ouster from the IFI.  

In a recent column in the newspaper of the Chicago Archdiocese, George himself noted the difficulties that the "bigot" label has produced for him in his campaign against legal equality: "The Church will be portrayed as 'anti-gay,' which is a difficult position to be in," and "those who know the difference between marriage and same-sex arrangements will be regarded as bigots."

All that is left for him to do is play the victim card, whining about how winning legal equality for LGBT people somehow limits his "religious liberty."  After the passage of the civil unions bill in Illinois, George pompously predicted, "I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square."

But it is he who, as head of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, spent tens of thousands backing the anti-gay referendums Proposition 8 in California and Question 1 in Maine.  It is he who is on record comparing lesbians and gays to the KKK, and repeatedly defending that comparison before finally issuing what many considered an inadequate apology.  

However much we, and the majority of lay Catholics, disagree with the church hierarchy's discrimination against women and LGBTs in the Church, it is the Church's right to be a discriminatory institution.  We can vociferously disagree with that, but it is up to Catholics themselves to correct that situation. However, it is when church leaders attempt to shore up that discrimination in civil law, imposing their backward beliefs and strictures on Catholics and non-Catholics alike, that they especially become a target of protest and ridicule.

For more information about the February 10th protest, please call GLN at 773.209.1187 or email  

by David Cohen

Do not miss out on this annual SOLD OUT event!

Co-Chairs Sean Kotwa, Sean Ward, Christopher Hubbard, David Kaufman, Tom Segal and Dennis Remer invite you to a fresh new fusion of art, entertainment and stunning Windy City views!  

Absolut Wrapture, the 11th annual winter art auction & cocktail event for the Chicago House will take place on Thursday, January 24th,  2013, at 6p.m., on the 99th Floor SkyDeck at the Willis Tower.  The event will be presented by Absolut Tune, a sparkling new bubbly fusion, alongside delectable hors d'oeuvres from J&L Catering

30 local Chicago artists will donate their original art, an artistic theme that will represent the mission of Chicago's House  and will incorporate the bottle of Absolut Tune. All art will be auctioned off in support of Chicago House’s urgent programming to men, women, and children affected by HIV/AIDS.

One hundred percent of the net proceeds raised from Absolut Wrapture will go directly towards the operating expenses of Chicago House.  Now in our 27th year, the five housing programs and the broadly based community case management, prevention, and employment programs reach over 1,400 men, women and children affected by HIV and AIDS, with life-sustaining support.  

Almost one third of the annual operating budget comes from the revenue generated by the signature special events, and we Chicago House is proud to have Absolut Wrapture as their most unique fundraiser to date. "We rely on the compassion and creativity of the Chicago artist, design and architecture communities to partner with us in this important and truly unique fundraising experience" said Jeremy M. Hilborn, Manager of Special Events Program.                                             

Willis Tower, 99th Floor SkyDeck  • 233 S Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL • Doors open at 6 p.m.

Advanced Tickets: $99
Includes hors d'oeuvres and complimentary Absolut cocktails.

VIP Tickets: $150
Includes exclusive early access at 5:30 p.m. to enjoy hors d'oeuvres, complimentary Absolut cocktails, photo-op on the SkyDeck Ledge and a VIP gift package of items including Garrett Popcorn and Kiehl's!

To purchase tickets visit
For more information call Beth at (773) 248-5200 x303.  

photos: from left to right. Mark, Edwin, Kenny.

Online “Strip-a-thon” raises almost $26,000; Winner is Mark from Jackhammer

Chicago, Illinois, December 10, 2012—Contestants representing a dozen Chicago bars and restaurants competed for the title of “Chicago’s Sexiest,” in Test Positive Aware Network’s (TPAN) fifth Bar-lesque fundraising event and online strip-a-thon which took place during the month of November. Bars competing in the contest included Avenue Tavern, Downtown Bar and Lounge, DS Tequila, Co., Halsted’s Bar and Grill, Hydrate, Jackhammer, The Lucky Horseshoe Lounge, Minibar, The North End, Sidetrack, Taverna 750, and Touché. In total, the bars and contestants raised $25,841 to support TPAN’s HIV programs and services.

The online competition ended promptly at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, November 30. The winner was named shortly after midnight on Saturday, December 1st at the Closing/Victory Party held at The North End. Contestant Mark, representing Jackhammer, was named “Chicago’s Sexiest,” for raising $8,297, the most ever raised by a single contestant in the contest’s five-year history. The runner-up was Edwin, representing Avenue Tavern, who raised $4,558, and third place went to Kenny, representing Downtown Bar and Lounge, who raised $3,130. For more information about the 12 contestants and to see their photos, visit Donations are still accepted online, but will not affect the contest winners.