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Cover Story, GLBTQ, February 5, 2009

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GLBTQ

Advocate Loyola University's student group for GLBTQ offers activities and resources for students, faculty, administrators, and staff. a 6525 N. Sheridan, luc.edu/orgs/advocate. —Kathie Bergquist

Cake Chicago Ripley Caine hosts this queer variety show the third Saturday of each month, offering a mix of comedy, spoken word, DJ sets, and more. If the show's venue, the Red Line Tap, makes for some interesting juxtapositions as the neighborhood clientele mixes with Cake's arty GLBTQ scene, so much the better as far as Caine is concerned—she's a firm advocate of desegregating queer culture. aThis month's showcase: Sat 2/21, 9 PM, with Mara Levi, Caine, and Samantha Cathcart, Red Line Tap, 7006 N. Glenwood, 773-274-5463, myspace.com/cakechicago, $5. —KB

4 Women Only Lesbian-about-town Kat Fitzgerald hosts this weekly acoustic night featuring four women performers, with a lineup that changes monthly; for February it's Cindy Brandle, Diana Lawrence, Lauren Frost, and Elizabeth Bagby. aWed 9 PM, Uncommon Ground, 401 W. Devon, 773-465-9801, labryschicago.com/4_women_only.htm, $10 suggested donation. —KB

The Glenwood GLBTQs looking for a low-key night out or a grown-up drink with friends need look no further than this newish spot on the Glenwood Arts District strip. In fact, the Glenwood is so unassuming that many a heterosexual has wandered in for a cold one and been surprised to find same-sex couples canoodling in the corners. Co-owned by Colm Tracy of T's, the Glenwood shares her Andersonville sister's inclusive vibe—it was our pick for best Chicago bar for mixed company in Best of Chicago 2008. aMon-Fri 3 PM-2 AM, Sat 3 PM-3 AM, Sun noon-2 AM, 6962 N. Glenwood, 773-764-7363, theglenwoodbar.com. —KB

Insight Arts The progressive arts center hosts GLBTQ groups, events, and activities, including the open mike series "Women Out Loud" and "Queering the Night"; the latter's next date is Fri 2/13, 7-9 PM. a 1545 W. Morse, 773-973-1521, insideartsliberation.org. —KB

Jackhammer In 2007 Jackhammer underwent a major overhaul, resulting in the creation of a three-story complex that includes a basement leather bar, the Hole; a sports bar; and the Ashland Arms, a fetish-themed bed and breakfast. On any given night the clientele includes as diverse an array of homo and queer folks as you can imagine—dykes, preppies, drag queens, leather men, and bears spanning all ages and ethnicities and all out for a rowdy good time. On Fridays and Saturdays a $5 cover gets you a drink token of the same value; budget partiers will appreciate $1 domestic Thursdays. Once a month the Jackhammer hosts the Flesh Hungry Dog Show (see Music). aMon-Fri 4 PM-4AM, Sat 2 PM-5 AM, Sun 2 PM-4 AM, 6406 N. Clark, 773-743-5772, jackhammer-chicago.com. —KB

Leather Archives and Museum LA&M, dedicated to alternative sex culture, is the world's only fetish museum. Housed in a 10,000-square-foot former synagogue, it was founded by photographer and entrepreneur Chuck Renslow and Tony DeBlase in 1991 after Renslow's lover, painter Etienne, died of AIDS and no museum would take his body of gay erotic art. Quickly outgrowing its original Clark Street storefront location, LA&M moved to this building in 2000. Many of the muscle-and-leather murals Etienne had painted for the walls of Renslow's Gold Coast bar hang in the former sanctuary, now an auditorium used for lectures, films, and performances. The Teri Rose Library, a nonlending public research collection of 5,000 books and 11,000 magazines, many available nowhere else, is tucked into a comfortable reading room behind the auditorium. The main exhibit area, down a flight of stairs, features a leather history time line with artifacts like slavery-era whips and chains in glass cases. Only about 1 percent of the museum's holdings are on display at any given time, but they include a dungeon with a spanking bench, an oral history listening post, a painting titled Last Supper in a Gay Leather Bar with Judas Giving Christ the Finger, and collections of banners, uniforms, club pins, and dolls. There's a guest artist gallery, currently featuring ink-and-watercolor depictions of leather women by Kate Tastrophe, and a gift shop with T-shirts and other memorabilia. LA&M is a nonprofit supported by members, donors, and events like the International Mr. Leather competition. a Thu-Fri 11 AM-7 PM, Sat-Sun 11 AM-5 PM, 6418 N. Greenview, 773-761-9200, leatherarchives.org, $5, 18+. —Deanna Isaacs

Mephisto Leathers Sandwiched between Touché and the Jackhammer, this store offers not just leather but a wide range of items including colored jockstraps, chain mail, and jewelry for piercings. Custom-made leather wear is also available. a Tue-Wed noon-8 PM, Thu noon-10 PM, Fri-Sat noon-4 AM, 6410 N. Clark, 773-508-0900. —KB

Saint James Presbyterian Church Gay-friendly Saint James is a "more light" church, the denomination's expression for congregations that welcome people "without regard to race, gender, political party, sexual orientation, or any other worldly condition." a Services Sun 10 AM, 6554 N. Rockwell, 773-465-6254, stjameschicago.org. —KB

Touché For more than 30 years Touché bar has been the northern outpost of Chicago's gay leather scene, and in the spirit of Rogers Park diversity, it's one of the few Chicago leather bars where nonadherents can feel welcome. The bar is known as much for its friendly staff as for its ongoing theme nights, including regularly scheduled events like the wildly popular bear night (the first Saturday of every month) and special parties such as "Leather Eye for the Preppy Guy" or "Cowboy Eye for the Leather Guy." The Club Room is renowned for its raunchy cruising scene. aMon-Fri 5 PM-4 AM, Sat 3 PM-5 AM, Sun noon-4 AM, 6412 N. Clark, 773-465-7400, touchechicago.com. —KB

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