Catholic Priest Thwarted From Burning A Rainbow Flag As Sacrilege By Chicago's Archdioceses

A Chicago priest was stopped from burning a rainbow flag in front of his church members.

According to the Windy City Times, Resurrection Catholic Church Pastor Fr. Paul Kalchik posted earlier this month that he would be burning a rainbow flag.

Kalchick shared this message in the post-script of his Homily message on September 2. The message then spread to news sources like the Windy City Times, the Conservative Christian-based Church Militant, and more.

In the message, Kalchick said that he had found a Rainbow flag inside the Resurrection Church, which is in Chicago’s Avondale neighborhood. He planned to burn the flag, and parishoners’ pledge cards mixed with incense, in front of the church as sacrilege during a prayer service later this month.

In addition to that announcement, Kalchick shared the message that the teachings of the Orthodox Roman Catholic Church needed to be restored.

"We cannot let the current troubles keep us from our mission to go make more disciples for the Lord, nor should modern day distractions like global warming, LGBT 'rights' or even immigration issues ever take precedence over that mission,” he wrote.

Thankfully, the Archdiocese of Chicago stepped in and told Kalchik that he couldn’t go through with the burning. Kalchik, regretfully, agreed not to do it.

According to the Windy City Times, DignityUSA President Chris Pett shared his thanks to the Chicago Archdiocese for stopping Kalchik.

"It appears that this pastor was hijacking the parish to promote an extreme, ultra-conservative agenda promoted by the Church Militant group which is not officially recognized by the Church and is rejected by most Catholics. National polling over the past number of years consistently shows that a majority of Catholics support LBGTQ people and our issues. While we continue to challenge the institutional Church to reject its harmful and incorrect teachings about homosexuality, we are glad to see this decisive action on behalf of all LGBTQ Catholics."

h/t: Windy City Times

Market Days 2018 Roundup!

Market Days 2018 Roundup!

The Summer Ends In Chicago But Delivers The Heat!

#MOAN! Alright, so summer time 2018 is coming to an end. It’s terrifying to think in just a few short months, we’ll be shivering as Fall approaches. But, at least we get a consolation prize of risqué Halloween costumes so we have something to look forward too.

If you aren’t familiar: Chicago’s gay neighborhood, Boystown, hosts the incredible LGBTQ event, Market Days, in August each year. I’m originally from the Windy City and Market Days has been my favorite LGBTQ event since the beginning of my gay-life. I tend to call it a gay block party, because that’s really what it is. The clubs come outside, the food vendors are endless, and the streets are filled with nothing but gorgeous men and women who…underdress for attention. I’m here to give it to them! Check out the best of Market Days 2018 – according to Instagram – below!



















#instagay #gaggle #scruff #boystown #marketdays #chicago #kansascity

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Take a pick for your #MCM  — #MarketDays was a success with the crew  #SundayFunday

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For Market Days madness and sexy pictures, head here!

Gay Boxer Orlando Cruz To Be Honored In Chicago

Legendary Boxer Orlando “El Fenonmeno” Cruz is famous for being a fantastic boxer and also being an openly gay one.

Cruz came out as gay in 2011 to the acceptance of friends, family, and fans. Having that weight off his chest helped him become the third ranked boxer in the division of featherweight for the World Boxing Organization Latino.

Now, he’s being honored by the city of Chicago in two upcoming events.

Orlando Cruz will be honored during Chicago’s Puerto Rican People’s Parade in Humboldt Park and then later honored at Chicago’s Pride parade.

Ricardo Jimenez, a director at the Puerto Rican Cultural Center in Humboldt Park, said they chose Cruz for the honor because they want to spotlight the life and career of a successful gay man.

“I thought it was very important, today, when we talk about LGBT rights, Latinos start to accept the reality that (LGBT Latinos) are part of society and are to be respected,” Jimenez told the ChicagoTribune.

Cruz, who normally lives in Miami, will be heading up to Chicago to participate in both of these events. He’ll be crowned the first “Cacique King” of the Puerto Rican parade in honor of Puerto Rico’s Taino roots.

That said, this announcement comes during an important time in Cruz’s career. He says he’s planning to retire after about two more matches.

Afterwards, he wants to focus on youth empowerment and possibly opening up his own gym to train the next generation of boxers.

On top of that, Cruz wants to help LGBTQ youth who are struggling with their sexuality or gender identity. He says he doesn’t want youth to have to struggle like he did when he was younger.

 “To the young people that are going through what I went through — be yourself,” Cruz said in Spanish. “Don’t be scared about what you feel, don’t be scared to say your feelings, to look for professional help. And don’t for anything try to take your life.”

If you want to see Cruz for yourself, and you’re in the Chicago area, you can see him at both the People’s Puerto Rican Parade and the Chicago Pride Parade.

The People’s Puerto Rican Parade starts at 2 p.m. Saturday at the intersection of Division Street and Western Avenue. Then, the Chicago Pride Parade starts at noon June 24 at Montrose Avenue and North Broadway.

New Survey Shows How Many Chicagoans Identity As LGBTQ! 

According to Chicago Pride, the results from a first-of-its-kind study were released by the Chicago Department of Public Health. Among the numbers, the study shares that 7.5% - or 146,000 citizens – identify as LGBTQ! Hell yeah! The report was done to gather information to help the progress of the LGBTQ community in Chicago and to inform the city we're here to stay – well, some of us – and our needs must be on politician's priority list. Out of the mass number released, over ten thousand identify as Transgender. 

I am proudly from the Southside of Chicago, Illinois, which is more or less sometimes known as the slums. I've been gifted into having blood in my veins that has been passed down for several generations of Chicagoans.

Throughout my childhood, I longed for the days where I would eventually meet someone like me, you know, gay.

Although I had been a ruthless child, chatting with gay men online when I was literally in third grade, it wasn't until I reached the age of 14 and decided to make a Myspace profile when I eventually befriended others who were of like age and openly gay. Being a gay teenager in the mid 2000s was definitely not what it is now. 

Even though I decided to be a black sheep of my family and move away from the Windy City, I represent every which way I can. But while I was in Chicago, I dreamed of expanding my friendships and meeting people just like me. Fortunately, it wasn't long into my teenage years when I began to discover a plethora of gays far and wide, all hailing from the same city but different skin colors, voices, and levels of flamboyancy. After attending what was then known as Fag Frat parties (hosted by a slew of older men who targeted youth to celebrate their sexual orientation) I transcended into the beautiful abyss which we all know as Boystown: Chicago's primarily LGBTQ neighborhood. Those colorful streets have essentially raised me into the man I am today - chaos potentially included. I have always stated Chicago gays are the most welcoming, and most real in the nation. I mean, I did literally write a parodied version of Boystown into a self-published novel, Paused. But, I didn't realize how many of us LGBTQ citizens there truly are in Chicago! 

The estimates found that 138,000 adults identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual while 10,500 identify as transgender. Some adults fell into both groups.

In addition to the number of rainbows peeps inhabiting the city, the report also shares that Lesbian women are more likely to be smokers, LGBTQ youth are not getting wellness check-ups (which I completely agree), and male and female youth who identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual are more likely to report being physically forced to have sex.

Does Gallup need to redo its poll?

h/t: chicago.gopride.com

Police Share More Info On Two Deaths At A Chicago Bathhouse

Steamworks is a popular gay bathhouse in the Boystown area of the city. While the bathhouse is still well-known by local gay men (and even visiting gay men), it occasionally gets a bad rep. Certainly, two deaths in the establishment don’t help.

As GayPopBuzz reports, the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office has released info concerning two deaths that happened in the bathhouse last year.

First, the death of a 36-year-old man back in January 23, 2017 was shocking enough. But then there were suspicions and rumors of foul play being involved.

The man was found unresponsive in the bathhouse’s jacuzzi. He was then pronounced dead by 11:58 pm at the Illinois Masonic Hospital.

Now, the medical examiner says there was no sign of foul play such as drugs, alcohol, or the forced drowning by another person. Ultimately, it looks like the guy might have dozed off and sadly drowned to death.

As for the second death, it happened to a 31-year-old man. He was found unresponsive in a room that he’d ordered three hours before. This time, drugs were involved.

The Medical Examiner says that the man was influenced by crystal meth and was found unresponsive on Jully 11, 2017. Its suspected that he died of drug intoxication, which means his death also counts as an accident.

While both of these deaths were accidental, some locals are hesitant to return to Steamworks.

h/t: GayPopBuzz

Travel Thursday: Gay Guide To Summer (Yes!) In Chicago


Ah, Chicago. It's no surprise that a place known for stuffing as much as possible between two buns is also one of the best gay cities in America. Liberal attitudes, hot boys, famously friendly people, world-renowned restaurants, spectacular urban beach, and all the amenities that a city with 2.7 million residents has to offer await you in this veritable Midwest man fest. And no place - in the opinion of this biased but Midwesternly humbled Chicagoan - shines in the summertime quite like Chicago.

While for some of us summer might seem worlds away, now is actually a perfect time to start thinking about your summer Chicago trip (not to mention to unthaw with some warm weather mental escapism) and you can find everything you need to about planning your trip to the Windy City right here.



The Boystown is Mine

Chicag-oh no she betta don't! Boystown is the gay hub of Chicago and the first official gay district in America. Things have only gotten gayer over time, and any RuPaul's Drag Race fan knows that some of the greats (Kim Chi, Naomi Smalls, and Shea Coulee) - and not so greats (Laila McQueen) (Seriously JK! Nothing but love) call Chicago home. 

The huge, multi-room bar Sidetracks is all but the official watering hole of Midwestern homosexuals, and is THE meetup spot to down cheap vodka waters before heading to your club of choice. 

Berlin is my personal favorite dance spot in Chicago / the universe and features an eclectic roster of performers ranging from drag queens to cosplayers - all of whom generally bask in the limelight until at least twelve o'clock. After that it's up to you to create your own spectacle on the dance floor with the help of highly danceable house music blaring until 4 A.M. Berlin is conveniently a cash-only bar, so come prepared. Check out www.berlinchicago.com for the performance schedule.

You can also stop by the noisy, crowded, and always-fun shoebox-sized hot (literally) spot Scarlet Bar, and just a couple doors down you'll find top 40 fare on the crowded Roscoe's Tavern dance floor. The people here pile up on the earlier side, so it's a great spot to get in some early bird twerking if your overworked self wants to be in bed at a reasonable hour. Fair warning: This is the bar where you are most likely to see Midwestern bachelorettes. But at least they're very glamorous.

If you're feeling more on the chill side, you can relax with drinks and dudes at Kit Kat Lounge and Supper Club. Sip creative martinis and view occasional drag performances in the adorable dining room.  


Beach Please   

The Lake Michigan beaches dotting Chicago's shoreline are truly the gems of the city in the summertime. Thanks to the foresight of one of Chicago's biggest advocates, Daniel Burnham, the entire lakefront running the length of the city must remain accessible to the public until the end of time. Or until Trump turns it into a golf course / sex club. But for now it stays, and traversing the bustling 18-mile long bike trail winding its way along the lake is an excellent way to explore the beaches that feature white sand and sparkling blue water. Like ocean beaches. But without the salt. And the underwater animals that eat people.

Kathy Osterman Beach

Also known as Hollywood Beach, this is Chicago's gay beach - a designation made perfectly and proudly clear by the rainbow flag-plastered break wall. Gaggles of gays show off their hard work at the gym in barely-there Speedos, providing enough eye candy to give you a cavity. Although alcohol is not permitted on Chicago beaches - and you very may well get a ticket for flashing a beer bottle - I've never had the authorities question my "water bottle" aka the "source of my alcoholism."  



Oak Street Beach

This is my absolute jam in the summer, and odds are that on a nice day you'll find me sprawled out with my hub and pug in between dipping into the refreshing water. Oak Street Beach encompasses both a sand beach as well as what I endearingly refer to as the "concrete beach." The latter is obviously a sand-in-your-crannies-free experience and allows you to jump right into the deep water. Both spots include breathtaking views of the Hancock Tower, and in addition to the option of refueling at the Oak Street Grill, downtown and its hundreds of restaurants are directly across Lake Shore Drive from the beach.



North Avenue Beach

Remember how I warned about Midwestern Bachelorette parties? North Avenue Beach is like a bachelorette party mixed with every bachelor party ever mixed with every frat house ever, and while it's not my cup of teabags, if you're Snookie, you will probably feel right at home. The blaring music from a dozen different speakers is a downside, but the hundreds of hot shirtless straight guys might just make North Avenue worthy of a pit stop if the thirst is real for you.


Put It In Your Mouth

Chicago is one of only four cities in America with Michelin Star-rated restaurants, and I highly highly recommend that you take advantage of the buzzing food scene while visiting. The best restaurants can be booked out months in advance on weekend evenings, so make sure to make reservations early so you can sashay past the people waiting with a bitchy look on your face. Like... someone I know does. Me. I do that. 

Many of the most buzz-worthy Chicago restaurants are in the West Loop - more specifically Randolph Street, also called "Restaurant Row." This is where you'll find my new personal favorite spot - Chef Grant Achatz's smash hit restaurant Roister - as well as the ultimate restaurant scene staple The Girl and the Goat and the cocktail lounge to end all cocktail lounges - The Aviary. Here you can expect drinks so Instagram-worthy that your deluge of double taps will more than make up for the hefty bill. 

If you want to impress your friends, make a reservation at Restaurant Row's subterranean sushi spot Booze Box. Securing a seat at one of the limited booths surrounding the crowded bar is as easy as making an online reservation, and yet later on in the evening you'll receive enough jealous looks from pleb standers to make you feel like Beyoncé.  

The gorgeously-renovated neo-gothic treasure the Chicago Athletic Association will take you out of the West Loop, and can be found directly across Michigan Avenue from the famed "The Bean." Ogle the architectural detailing as you head to the back of the second story to dine at the delish Cherry Circle Room. Then take the elevator from the ground floor up to the rooftop bar Cindy's to cap off the evening with truly breathtaking city views.




Northalsted Market Days is a uniquely Chicago tradition, and is the largest gay event in the city and the largest street fair in the Midwest, period. This year's Market Days will take place from August 11th - 12th. Expect to be surrounded by 300,000 of your closest gay shuffling along the bustling thoroughfare while taking in music and performances from five stages. Read more about Market Days on their website

This year's gay pride parade will be on June 24th, while Gay Pride Fest will take place June 16th-17th. While Boystown is always gay, it's like, super duper gay during Pride, and if you have a chance to visit at this time, you will not be disappointed. 

At Art Expo Chicago (September 27th - 30th) you will find much of the same gallery representation as art fair juggernauts like Art Basil Miami. The event will take you out to the tip of Navy Pier, and while you may not be able to afford some of the art, you can definitely afford the wine you can drink while pretending like you can. 


The stunning Frank Gehry-designed Pritzker Pavilion situated in Millennium park offers free concerts throughout the summer, and being slrawled out on the grass, surrounded by Chicago's famed architecture, while listening to music should be on every human's bucket list. The tunes varies widely - from established indie acts to classical music to rock - so make sure to check the schedules (not yet updated for 2018) if you're a picky listener. Find them HERE and HERE. Oh, and you can bring your own booze!


Well boys, If you do any combination of the thing above you will be partaking in what I truly think is the ultimate Chicago summer, but this isn't even to mention our world-class museums, parks, shopping, and more. If you live in or have visited Chicago and have some advice for travelers, please let us know in the comments below, or contact me on Instagram with any and all questions. And most importantly, have a gay ol' time in Chicago! 


If you have travel ideas, places we should visit, or work for a PR company and are looking for writers to visit, please reach out to customerservice@instinctmagazine.com and address your comments to the Managing Editor.