IF YOU CAN judge a city’s culture by the amount of publications it supports—not to mention its disregard for trees—then Chicago is a culturally rich, tree-loathing city indeed. Whereas one gay monthly is enough for many entire states, we have four competing weeklies, in addition to biweekly, monthly, and quarterly magazines, as well as podcasts and radio programs. The publications can be picked up at many shops in the gayborhoods of Boys Town and Andersonville, and at homo-friendly coffee shops and bookstores all over town.
The weekly papers, Windy City Times and the Chicago Free Press, are sort of the homo versions of the Sun-Times and the Chicago Tribune, respectively, the first being the more lefty of the two, the second more palatable to the suit set. They both cover essentially the same news—choosing between them is a simple matter of how you like it presented, and many people read both. Other weeklies are the small glossy nightlife magazine Nightspots and the newsprint Gay Chicago Magazine, read by older gay men. Boi Magazine is a biweekly glossy nightlife mag for the twink and circuit-boy set. Identity is a monthly geared to queer-of-color communities published by the Windy City Media Group (which also publishes WCT and Nightspots). Finally, Pink magazine is a quarterly that includes a directory of local GLBT-targeted services.
On the Web, chicagopride.com is a local gay news and entertainment site that updates some content daily. Two other Web resources are especially of interest to lesbians and queer girls: the newish monthly Chill (chillmag.com), whose name is an acronym for “Chicago’s hip independent lesbian lifestyle” magazine, leaving not so many questions about who their target demographic is, and Dyke Diva (dykediva.com), which, like Chill, has articles and columns but is especially notable for its calendar of events and event photos. Chill hosts frequent club nights out, and Dyke Diva sponsors events such as speed dating and monthly cycling outings.
The Feast of Fools, a podcast produced and hosted by homo lovers Fausto Fernos and Marc Felion, is the most downloaded GLBT podcast in the U.S. The irreverent show was recently awarded the People’s Choice best podcast award in the new GLBT category. The newest podcaster on the scene is the Windy City Queercast (www.windycityqueercast.com, another product of the Windy City Media Group), hosted by veteran lesbo radio personality Amy Matheny and Spin Nightclub house DJ Peter Mavrik, which posts new shows twice a week.
On the radio, Think Pink on WLUW (88.7 FM) features music by and for the queers on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8, followed immediately by the Women on Women music show, a two-hour party of music by women. WRTE (90.5 FM) hosts Homofrecuencia, Spanish-language programming for GLBT youth on Monday nights from 8 to 10. And of course (cough, cough), no discussion of Chicago gay media would be complete without mentioning (cough, cough) the new book A Field Guide to Gay and Lesbian Chicago, published by Lake Claremont Press and authored by Robert McDonald and (cough) yours truly.