By- DeoVonte “Deo” Means
After the legendary Opening Ceremony Rooftop Party held on Thursday evening, United Black Pride had the momentum to do some amazing things on Sunday if they were strategic and thorough. As you can see by the pics below, the kids were ready and came out to support what we thought would be a new era of Chicago Black Pride. We assumed, FINALLY egos were set aside and competing entities were laying down the hatchet to unify and come together to produce a Black Pride celebration worthy of Chicago’s reputation. We gagged immediately. Instead of reading, I’m going to pose some questions that might be beneficial in your next organizational meeting for next year. 1st, If the host hotel is in the heart of the loop, why would you host your crowning event in the heart of the hood which forces your visitors to travel 12 miles, on public transportation, into territory that they don’t feel comfortable in? In a years’ time, you have the time and resources to gain a permit at some location much safer and closer than 79th and South Shore. No matter where we come from or may reside, it’s about time we evolve and escalate ourselves out of the hood. The game was never played to stay in the hood. I’m not sure if you’ve paid attention to the memo, but Chicago’s “hood” is not safe for ANYONE rather gay or straight. A nice 39th or 35th location would have been cute. 2nd, Chicago is the 3rd largest city in America and home of our current U.S. President. We have the pull to bring in real talent and entertainment. Whomever thought it was acceptable to book our evening with 47th street, missionary society, usher board, church basement tea talent should be fired IMMEDIATELY. This is our Pride and people are spending major money to come here and be entertained and this is what you give? 3rd, I’m not sure if you need to contract a few hawks or a couple of lions, but the way them damn Cranes (bird rats) attacked us, chased us out and shitted on us as they took over the ENTIRE field was deplorable! Them damn birds let us HAVE IT and chased our asses right on up out of there. 4th, considering the reputation of the Southside, you still had no security or police force…ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS!!!!! The safety of your patrons should always be PARAMOUNT and considering you didn’t even think enough of me to hire a security force to ensure my face wouldn’t be bashed in by savages is a bit offensive. 5th, integrity….You had vendors out there that was NOT prepared!!! Many of us, PAYING CUSTOMERS, stood in line to taste what we thought would be great catfish, and these folks literally told us that they had no more onsite and had to travel to some distant location to retrieve the supplies (fish) which never materialized and left many patrons frustrated. Perhaps you can contract with Harold or something, but every vendor to your event should be well supplied with materials to deliver.
In conclusion, I am not being fierce. I am in your corner, but imma need yall to pull it together. Feel free to contact me if you would like me to sit in a few meetings and give input, but this right here was a fool and I was utterly embarrassed. Black Pride is rumored to be a faux holiday that basically lines the pockets of black promoters. I can tell you one thing, if you don’t pull it together soon, you will be gagging and you should be embarrassed of yourselves regarding the quality of the event you hosted. If you not gonna do it right then don’t do it all!! And that’s no shade. Scroll below to see some of the pics from of the grown and sexy in attendance…Deo
Thoughts of unsubscribing to your blog/post are becoming overwhelming. Normally I don’t comment on your post, but there is a 1st time for everything. Your post which included some of the best male on male love in the African American community, I thought was the best compiled photos i’ve seen. That post led me to subscribing. Your post of the posh parties which seem to have the same, select homosexuals in attendance. Can you say promote outside your own circle. I’m so over looking at pictures of you and John. Again, can you say…it’ll be refreshing to see a more diverse African American attendance at your parties. Homothugs included. Your post n this article was definitely a read and ununiqiely typical. Come on down out your Edge Water or Ravenswood neighborhood and mingle with the rest of down to earth, homosexuals. This segragated shit in “Our” community needs to stop and a nice place to start is with you. Furthermore, I lived on the “North Side” from the age of 19 to 28 or 29, and from my vast experiences, it aint all that. For more reasons than one. I couldn’ t wait to move back south, where most of us are born, raised and have come to appreciate what it has to offer. We even got “Twinks”, for those who are into that. And the “North Side” has plenty of unsafe neighborhoods, over used government assistance programs and unwarranted “Black, Grand, Dutchess, Divas!
Mr. Brannon, while I do understand your opinion, lets be clear. From day one, The Flyy-Life has vocalized that we are a boutique entity that caters to a certain type of man that we call an urban gentleman. You asking me to feature a “homo-thug” is like asking Anna Wntour to put Chief Keef on the cover of Vogue…it aint happening…In fact, this “homo-thug” mentality is why we as a community can not have an event without someone deciding to bash and savagely beat each other. I do not know of one grown man that wishes to be identified with being a thug…you should research the meaning of the word….Secondly, this issue has nothing to do with where someone resides. This issue is concerning the quality and safety of the events thrown. No matter how you argue, 79th is NOT safe and many people decided not come based on the location alone. For those of us that DID venture out, trust and believe our expectations of the event proved correct. It was a fool..
Well written, I’m not born and raised in the city, but I did attend school here some years back, and am here working for a few months. I missed my home towns pride, and thought it would be better here. I was mistaken. Chicago really should be ashamed of themselves. In all honesty, you can hate me for what I’m about to say, BUT blacks collectively can’t do shit right… we are always finding ways to cut corners, get a deal, and save a dollar. If you’re going to do it, do it right, or not at all!
This was well written. I’m not from the city, although I attended school here some years back, and I’m here now working for a few months. I had a great expectation for Pride in Chicago. I missed my hometowns pride, and thought nothing of it because pride here would be much better. The disappointment I have… I’ll probably be hated for this one but, blacks collectively are lazy as shit. We are always trying to cut corners, find a deal on the low, and save a dollar. If you’re going to do something you have to do it right. Don’t go in half ass. I will have to agree with Brannon with one point only, and it isn’t even entirely valid on his part. In the pictures posted I could identify with any of them. Every picture taken was of a muscular, fit or slim guy. Although I am working towards that goal I am not. Understanding that this blog caters to a certain type of man. I am a well dressed, legally financially secure, and professional gay male, and I believe that defines the “Flyy Life” No you won’t find an over weight model on the cover of Vogue, but you ain’t selling clothes, you’re highlighting and elite lifestyle where those that qualify are all shapes and sizes. I love your work, none the less. You have a subscription in me. Would love to discuss more if you’d like!
The issue doesn’t just lie with the organization that plans the event, but with our overall community. Our community seems to think that all events, including the clubs “nights” they frequent happen by osmosis. Somehow our community believes that people have the means to cater to their every need and whim without them bothering to lift a finger. We do not have many actual black nightclubs, but club “nights.” Haven’t you ever wondered why? Well the reason is our community is fickle and unstable in supporting just a few nights a week…so why would a promoter…invest in buying or even renting their own building, paying the fees and insurance, plus cost of a liquor license which are not as easy to come by as you may think. Not to mention the threat of loss of everything if someone gets hurt or killed in a bar brawl in or around said establishment. I really need for our people to start critically thinking around and into a deeper understanding of why our situations are what they are. We are not working in the collective perspective. We mostly live on the plain of self preservation and the “I gots to get mine…you gots to get yours” mentality.
I want to explain how the event planning situation really works. Sometimes an individual or a small group of people decide, “I want to do something to better my community…give back to my people.” But then a singular person or small group of people don’t have all the resources alone or collectively to cater to and do for possibly 25,000 or more Black gay men and women. Now the people doing this for you are not rich. They are just like you. They work everyday. They go to school. They live a single or partnered existence. Just like you. They could be stingy with their coins and not bother, but they wake up each day, volunteering of their time and even their own cash to plan events for their community.
This is real and we do not exist in the world of reality TV on a show such as “Design on a Dime” or “Clean House.” There is no camera crew to capture the behind the scenes trials, tribulations and “Real Event Planners of Chicago” moments that lead to arguments, the tears and outrage, overdrawn bank accounts and even the ends of long time friendships. These things happen in a vacuum because you don’t know and don’t care to know that they happen and they happen on your behalf.
Now we all see what happens in Boystown every last Sunday in June. Floats abound and on those floats are logos and people and each of those logos or people are on those floats to promote something. They represent companies and those companies represent money, dollars, dinero…COINS! Those coins fund a week long event that we know nothing of because most of “us” (Black people) only attend the parade. Do you realize what you become at that point? A number. A percentage point. You represent a consumer that will buy the product of that logo of that company that is floating pass your face.
You will be that percentage point for an area and a place that is not that welcoming to you on an everyday basis, but REFUSE to be that percentage for your own benefit. When our own community organizations seek help or participation…you shun them and the throw shade when the event they have “tried” to create it is not up to your standard.
Next time you attend a black event that is NOT a club “night” and if they have a poster or program, check for the sponsor logos…if it has a handful..then it is because our community does not represent a high enough percentage point of consumerism to warrant them giving their dollars when if you don’t participate on any level whether it be in development of or attendance at the event.
You. are. invisible. Do you hear me? Every time you don’t attend or participate in events involving the Black Gay Community…the sponsors who do support at first notice and do not return and if they do the give less money based on the previous year’s turn out.
Each time this happens you render your existence invisible or invalid. Prove your existence. Donate a few dollars…volunteer. Just do something to bring visibility and dollars to our community. We deserve to be a gem of summer destinations for Black gay people from all over the country and the world.
We have a huge amount of Black gay people in the City of Chicago and the State of Illinois with strong support from that community if you do nothing more than attend and be willing to drop a few dollars in the suggested donations bucket or box…the sponsors who do support see this…and they all have friends in other companies and they tell two friends and they tell two friends and so on and son and so on…those friends develop into sponsors who develop into yearly revenue that sustains Black Gay Events. Get with the program. As the saying goes…”This could be us, but…” Sink or Swim. Stop whining and swim.
I enjoyed the day in the park until all hell broke lose.
OK. I am a Chicago native and feel the article gave a decent weigh-in on just what was and what could be. That is appreciated. Yes I did attend the “picnic” and after only 11 minutes decided it was not where I wanted to spend my pride-filled Sunday. I respect what the event organizers are attempting to do but realize that it is past time to improve on their game and move this culminating event to a more suitable location (of which our Chicago Park District has many) NORTH of 55th street but not beyond Fullerton Avenue. 2016, if such a PICNIC event is on the PRIDE platform and it is still at RAINBO—-I will definitely SKIP it altogether and take my pride cash along with the six out of state guest to a more enjoyable activity/event. Looking forward, never backward. Willing to even put in heavy lifting to ensure a better event in 2016.