By Jorge G. Zavala
CHICAGO - On October 19th, the Tribune Media Group held the 2nd annual Pink Tie Gala, which benefited the Chicagoland affiliate of Susan G, Komen for the Cure. This event, held at the Riverfront Theater in Chicago, proved to be quite a sensation not simply because the 2nd class of Komen Chicago Pink Tie Guys came from such a wide-range of backgrounds and experiences, but because the environment and crowd was fit for a pink soiree.
Guests began to arrive around 6:30pm and were greeted by an energetic DJ mixing contemporary hits and beautiful ladies with gorgeous smiles decked out in their cutest pink attire. Tickets, which were sold at the entrance for $120, were worth purchasing. The crowd of philanthropic men and women and business elites adorned the environment where delectable hors d'oeuvres, savory champagne, and divine treats created a fun and fashionable ambiance.
Chaired for the second consecutive year by Richard M. Daley, Of Counsel to the firm Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, the group of "KoMen" was dedicated to the Susan G. Komen mission of saving lives and ending breast cancer. These men were nominated by the community and selected by the Komen Chicagoland Board of Directors to serve as members of this prestigious group and were honored with both public recognition and a sweet pink tie.
The following are this year's class of Pink Tie Guys:
Former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley - who was not in attendance; Windy City LIVE's Ryan Chiaverini; Dr. Bechara Choucair, Commissioner, City of Chicago Department of Public Health; Alderman Robert Fioretti, Alderman of the 2nd Ward, City of Chicago; Jonny Imerman, Founder and Chief Mission Officer, Imerman Angels; Victor LaGroon, Community Relations & Public Affairs Program Manager, UIC Cancer Center; Jim Legothetis, Senior Client Service Partner, Ernst & Young; Reverend Percy McCray, Director of Pastoral Care, Cancer Treatment Centers of America; Wade Miquelon, Chief Financial Officer and President, International, Walgreens; Dr. Steven T. Rosen, Director of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center, Northwestern University; Stan Bowman, Vice President & General Manager, Chicago Blackhawks.
The Pink Tie Guys were nominated by the community and selected by the Komen Chicagoland Board of Directors. They are leaders in the corporate and philanthropic sector, groundbreaking physicians, elected officials representing communities possessing the greatest need, as well as other individuals with spheres of influence that create change.
Local artists creating a caricature of one of the Pink Tie Guys and his special lady. "She is taking 20 years off of me," he recalled. "I love her!"
The Pink Tie Guys will serve as ambassadors to the Chicagoland Affiliate, attending signature events and leveraging resources to further the mission of Susan G. Komen Chicago.
The 2nd Annual Pink Tie Gala was definitely one of the hottest events of October raising funds for breast cancer research while looking fabulous. Gianna, one of the guests, insisted she couldn't wait for next year's gala. "Handsome guys in pink ties, ladies in pink cocktail dresses, and delicious champagne - all for a good cause. What's not to love?"
By Chuck del Valle
Youth and beauty are qualities women are usually judged on, while men trade on their economic status. Thus, traditionally, heterosexual men and women each know where they stand in the dating game. But in the gay world, youth, beauty, race, and economic status often intermingle, so it becomes difficult for some gay men to not only understand their position in a relationship, but also to refrain from judging, making assumptions or growing defensive when labels such as “Daddy” or "boy-toy" are mentioned.
With regards to sexuality, many men don’t have a problem with the previously mentioned titles. Rob, a 36-year-old businessman from Chicago, mentions, “Sex is both fun yet very political. The kinds of games you play and the language you use, that’s different but one in the same. It's a heated game that brings race, class, age, and notions of masculinity into play that are often made with the intention of excluding. For me there needs to be an equality, a partnership.”
Rob, a gay Latino who is currently dating a mixed-race man, believes that labels within the gay community are meant to segregate versus create an inclusive environment. "The gay community loves to pick on the little guy within the circle: Blacks, Asians, daddies, femmes, immigrants. No one is quite free of the vicious attitude many queer folk have towards one another."
Pacey, a 24-year-old from Kalamazoo, Michigan, agrees. “As a transgender Asian American, I don't feel accepted within the gay community. I get harassed not just by heterosexual men, but also by homosexuals and transgender people. On the one end, I'm not 'masculine-enough' to be accepted into the standard norms of gay desire, but also not 'trans-enough' because I'm pre-op.”
Age also tends to be a strong factor in queer relationships. For heterosexual men the role of "daddy" is taken for granted: It is often socially-acceptable for a man to date a women half his age, but if a gay couple’s ages varies by 10 years or more, many come to conclusions about the couple. This is particularly true when race and ethnicity are thrown into the picture. Kyle, a 22-year-old Vietnamese-American living in the Lincoln Square neighborhood of Chicago, enjoys dating older white men. "Most older white guys, gay or straight, have an Asian fetish; the infamous 'yellow fever'. I don't mind older guys because they take care of me, particularly economically. My apartment, student loans, and living expenses are taken care of. All I have to do is have sex with him whenever he needs me."
Recent studies show that one third of gay and lesbian relationships are inter-generational. According to a 2011 study by the Pew Research Center's Social and Demographic Trends, 76% of gay men believe that disparity in the LGBTQ community is primarily concerned with competition and economic-stability. The study mentions that men of similar ages often compete over finances and success, and the negative feelings and emotions that go along with those issues only exacerbate the tension.
In inter-generational couplings this kind of competitiveness doesn’t happen as often because there are more vivid differences right from the relationship’s start. “The older man is going to have more money, a much more established career, better connections,” Pacey mentions. “And the younger one is going to bring vivacity, culture, fun, and all kinds of things to the relationship to keep the older one invigorated. In my personal experience, as a younger Asian guy I also bring a set of kinky sexuality that my daddy likes.” That being said, Boy-toy and Daddy relationships are only successfully when the older man wants to take on that financial and emotional responsibility.
There are men who proudly consider themselves Daddies but who don’t take on anyone’s monetary needs. Rob, for example, is in his late thirties and embraces the sexual benefits that come with fitting into a certain preferred physical type, though he never purposely sought out younger men. On the contrary, they pursued him.
“All these guys, mostly Asians and African Americans, in their early twenties were coming on to me,” he says. “I was both shocked and very content; however, I really didn’t know what to do. I didn’t find those guys attractive initially.” However, Rob did eventually begin to associate with these younger men and learned many things about himself. “I realized that it’s the generation gap that turns me on, and it doesn’t really matter if the person is of a particular race, as long as there is a nice big distance between us in age,” he says. “I never had that understanding until then.”
Tony, a 23-year-old African-American man from the Edgewater neighborhood in Chicago, states that the Daddy and Boy-toy dynamics aren't made equal. "Growing up in Chicago, I experienced the young boy and 'daddy' culture with a strange sense of hesitancy. These older, mostly white, guys would cat-call me while I walked to work and offer me money for sex. They had what I would call a thug-life fantasy and loved dressing me up in dew rags and baggy-pants."
A current college student at a prestigious university in Chicago, Tony embarrassingly mentioned he underwent humiliation for the money. "The daddy-figure often comes with a set of pre-conceived notions, particularly if their younger guy is a person of color. The money I got for sex was OK, but I suffered in the process. For many black guys, the 'daddy' comes off as an older master of sort comfortably reclaiming black bodies and sexuality."
Tony isn't alone in his experience. Chase, a current grad student at the University of Illinois at Chicago, believes the Daddy figure shouldn't be something to glorify. "I admit that when I was in my late teens and early twenties, I flocked towards older gay men because they offered me economic stability. However, I was often forced into believing that I had some sort of commitment to them because of the nice things they were buying me. Even when I didn't want to do certain things, he reminded me of how much money I was getting." Chase, now 27, understands the perks of having a Boy-Daddy relationship. "It's very lucrative, similar to an addiction. But like anything, too much of an older man in the gay community leaves you feeling used, and often abused."
Unfortunately, certain gay men are more often the target of Daddy-like figures. "People of color, femme boys, and the economically-disadvantaged are most likely to seek a fatherly-figure in their lives for the financial support," states Osvaldo Pratt, a Kalamazoo-based psychologist who works closely with LGBTQ advocacy groups. "Time and time again, it's the Black and Asian American men who are targeted for their race. The attitudes older, predominantly white, men have towards Black men as 'thugs' and Asian guys as submissive, hyper-sexual beings is disturbing because this can lead to materializing people. When you materialize a group of people, it's easier to accept racism as a 'preference' and allow the commodifying of their bodies."
While the realities of different experiences within the LGBTQ community vary, there is a common understanding that race, class, and economic-stability are intertwined. In urban hubs like New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Miami, vivid gay spots exists specifically catering to Boy-toy and Daddy needs. Within the gay community, however, the highest Boy-Daddy relationships tend to be between a younger Asian boy and an older white man.
“A friend of mine once told me that Asian folks have two choices: you date Asian or you date old,” says Brian Min, an advocate of social-justice based in Tampa, Florida. "As a Korean-American, I think that it's a sad reality we as a community encounter, particularly within the gay community. While I don't find Asian men attractive, I believe that I shouldn't have to limit my options to older white guys just because of what I look like." Brian comments that whenever he logs-on to his online profile on one of the many gay dating websites, he receives numerous messages by older men. "I get comments about how small my eyes are and if I know how to 'love a man long time': it's disgusting."
Many agree that it's this attitude about young gay men of color that fuels the racial and economic disparities that exist within the LGBTQ community. Stereotypes attached to black, brown, and yellow bodies along with older men have created a sub-culture of economic dependency similar to those of prostitution. “I may be the older one in the relationship, but my partner knows that we are equals,” Rob says. “I've never attempted to buy my boyfriend off with gifts or money, and he knows that. It's the 99% of older guys out there buying younger boyfriends that give the rest of us a bad rep.”
By Jerry Arroyo
Los Angeles Correspondent
For many, dads are among the first people to teach children about living an active lifestyle: they coach soccer games, encourage others to get moving on the weekends, and even pack healthy snacks (some do).
This is why society is often surprised to see the deluge of unhealthy dad stereotypes clogging up card stores this time of year. Take a look! The local store will inevitably showcase the so-called heartfelt messages about dad's flatulence, couch potato tendencies and bad eating habits (beer and pizza mostly).
Le Prestige's readers rounded up some of the interesting cards around town (and online) and sent them our way.
Happy Father's Day! ¡Feliz día del padre!
with Benjamin Pond and Annie Lakes
A sex, love, and relationships column for the open-minded and shamelessly unabashed.
Disclaimer: our experts don't have documented degrees in the subject, just some notches on the bedposts and over-used little black books filled with enough stories to confidently put the subject on blast.
I have trouble pinpointing the time in my life that I decided to be sexually open and liberal, but I do remember when I found out that this was seen as “slutty” or “whoreish” by some of my closest friends. The moment was unsettling. I called a friend who lived in another state for our monthly catch-up session. We went through the same niceties as always; our jobs, families, and planning the next get together. Finally, we moved to our latest male drama. Hers hadn’t changed in over a year, much to her dismay. She was stuck in a loveless relationship that she anxiously avoided and openly admitted to not being able to leave in fear of being alone. Not to mention, it gets worse: he hadn’t given her an orgasm in quite some time. We continued with the same back and forth as always: about how being alone for a hot minute is not a bad thing and how she’s independent in everything else in her life, why not this?
This situation might sound familiar to perhaps one of your relationships, or even the relationship that characters Marnie and Charlie have on HBO’s “Girls.” The one exception is that I unfortunately believe my friend will continue to stick out this unsatisfying relationship.
We gingerly moved on to talk about the new aspects of my life. I had a new guy I was dating, I had a lot of fun with him and the sex was good and things were peachy. My friend’s response was glaringly frustrated, even over the phone: “God, you say that every time you start dating someone. You always say how much fun they are and every time I call it’s someone new.”
Her exaggeration aside, why was it so wrong to be happy in a new fling? It’s the freaking honeymoon phase and I deserve to be glowing! I found myself regretting that I divulged this information to her for two reasons: I seemed to upset her by the way I treat my relationships and unfortunately I began questioning my own conquests as too many.
Was I too quick to jump into new situations with guys? Have I had sex with too many of them? Am I a whore? Why is it OK for a woman to stay in an unhappy relationship because she isn’t racking up more notches on her bedpost, but I’m promiscuous because I recognize when I am no longer satisfied in a situation and seek out one where I will be? It’s not just close-minded girls either. Some guys talk openly about their number but can’t handle when a girl counters with hers. They don’t want to hear it or think about it. Should we be ashamed of our number? I think it depends on a lot of things like safety, reasons for having the sex, or getting into relationships. If all our sex is safe, we can sleep sounder at night and if we are sleeping with someone because we love them then we’re OK, correct? I’d be hard pressed to find many to disagree with that statement. It’s those who do not use sexual protection and the ones who are sleeping with someone out of revenge or for malicious reasons that should be ashamed. That’s the rule I follow, and granted it’s not the golden rule, but it’s my life, my body and my number. These things are personal and I know I’m not a whore and much like this column, people’s potential judgments of my actions are not the driving force behind them.
Your number does not define you and we should learn to curb the judgment that inherently crosses our faces when we hear someone has had sex with x-amount of people at whatever age. I hope, for her sake, each one of those notches (if there are any) were mind blowing, safe, and never a culprit for questioning her sexual experience.
I could lie and say that a number is just a number with no meaning behind it other than a mathematical way of counting something. But who would I be, as a man, to not lie about my number. As the classic rule explains, every time you hear a man’s number, you add three and that puts you more in the range of his true amount of sexual partners.
Now do I agree with my counterpart, in that your number should not define you as a female? Yes. But to a degree. I’ve been known to say that I would be happy to throw down on some big breasted porn star that my buddies and I are talking about, but should the situation ever arise (pun whole-heartedly intended), I wouldn’t just go diving into that heavily trampled field of roses without thinking about just how many people have passed by.
Knowing a female’s number is, in fact, a double standard. Guys will throw out big numbers and his boys will give him props for it. A girl—if she’s comfortable enough in the first place—will reveal her number and immediate judgment comes from it. This isn’t because of anything more than females being more judgmental than guys.
Guys don’t care what your number is strictly because in most heterosexual cases, they don’t need to care, because they aren’t planning to have sex with their buddy. If it’s not going to affect the guy himself, then it’s not going to really bother him.
But for girls it’s much different. Judging other girls is as natural for females as is breast feeding. You do it and if you say you don’t, then you’re lying, ladies. Once you hear a friend’s number you think, “is my number too low/high?” While a guy will ask, “I wonder if Becca is one of those he’s counting…” (Crossing swords is a “whole ‘nother ball game.”)
I’ve had some friends that put up Hall of Fame numbers when we talk about it and to be honest, it makes me uncomfortable. I don’t want to think about pulling in Wilt Chamberlain figures in the bedroom. It’s more about quality and less about quantity for me. (Notice I said “more” and “less”, not necessarily “all or nothing.”)
When it comes to my partner, sex is not a numbers game, it’s a game of education and passion. If she has been tested, has the right reasons behind it, and doesn’t hold my skills up to the gamut that she may (or may not have) run of her past, than she’s fine by me.
In general, for both sexes, think of it in the realm of golf. You choose different clubs to get you to your final destination: the green. Sometimes you play it safe with an iron instead of a driver to avoid the hazards, while other times you just shoot for that hole-in-one. Whatever your strategy is, your final amount of strokes gets marked down on the score sheet by you. No one else. Maybe you gave yourself a few mulligans to make you feel better or you failed to add that penalty stroke for that one questionable ruling. In the end, it all is fruitless though, because no one strictly confirms or checks your score card… well that is unless you are Tiger Woods.
Moral of the story: Don't stress on how many strokes it takes for you to complete your round, just play the course.