"Did you say to me that you was funny?...Black folks don't have that [LGBT].  That's a white people disease..."

Projects

 

 

IN THE WORKS

Cleaning Closets:  The Stage Play

Cleaning Closets:  The Web Series

Cleaning Closets:  The Photo Documentary

Cleaning Closets:  The Film Documentary

 

PAST WORKS  

National Coming Out Day 2015 Month-Long Celebration

August 31-September 6, 2015

How does your Generation impact the coming out process?

Panel Date:  9/6/15 @ 3:00PM Central Time

Watch the Recording of the Live Panel on Google+ or YouTube!

with Reed Essex, Samuel Perkins, Freddie Ramos
Special thanks to Br. Michael Oboza (ret)

Guest Bloggers:  Eric Yoak

Special Events:  Release of Cleaning Closets: Morehead State University on the YouTube Channel

Freddie Ramos is a Chicago-based playwright, improviser, and educator. Current projects include a behind-the-scenes drama centering on a gay porn studio and an epic about the (re)discovery of a T-Rex egg. Freddie improvises with Chicago Unscripted Theatre Company as well as with Horchata, a Spanish-language improv ensemble. Freddie holds a BA in English from Yale. More about Freddie can be found at his website: www.wilfredoramosjr.com.

One of Chicago's countless Bisexual radicals, Br. Michael C. Oboza (ret) was the first Bisexual liaison at Center on Halsted, Founder of Bisexual Queer Alliance Chicago 2010, recipient of the Michael Page award, an award in honor of the creator of the Bisexual flag from The Marin Foundation 2011,  and one of the acknowledged Legacy Project Chicago volunteers in 2012.  (*unfortunately Br. Oboza's internet connection was not working so he was unable to join us on the panel)

September 7-September 13, 2015
How does Race impact the coming out process?
Panel Date:   9/13/15 @ 3:00PM Central Time
with Freddie Ramos, Russell Love
Watch the recording on Google+ or YouTube!
Guest Bloggers:  Amrit Trewn
#LGBTQandRace

Freddie Ramos
Freddie Ramos is a Chicago-based playwright, improviser, and educator. Current projects include a behind-the-scenes drama centering on a gay porn studio and an epic about the (re)discovery of a T-Rex egg. Freddie improvises with Chicago Unscripted Theatre Company as well as with Horchata, a Spanish-language improv ensemble. Freddie holds a BA in English from Yale. More about Freddie can be found at his website: www.wilfredoramosjr.com.

Russell Love
Russell Love, a native Evanstonian, is currently part of the performance based education cadre, For Youth Inquiry, at Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health. He is also a Social Recreation Instructor for the Boys and Girls Club of Chicago, running the Summer Youth Job Readiness Program. In 2009, after attending school at Maharishi University of Management, in Fairfield, Iowa, Russell moved back to the Chicago area to pursue a career in theatre, but soon found himself drawn to the youth serving space. In 2011, Russell completed the year-long Public Allies program, working at Center on Halsted as the Youth Leadership Development Specialist, engaging with low income LGBT youth. In 2012, Russell designed and implemented Lakeview Action Coalition’s - now called ONE Northside - Youth Get Out The Vote initiative, where he facilitated voter education groups and did street outreach voter registration. In 2014, Russell spent the year designing and co-hosting parties, called Rice & Beans, that cultivated conversations around racial and reproductive justice. These parties eventually cumulated in a performance piece (in partnership with For Youth Inquiry), called Forecast, which premiered at the Chicago Home Theatre Festival. Russell is passionate about storytelling as a catalyst to starting revolutionary conversations and ushering in a generation of change.

 

September 14-September 20, 2015
The Other Side of the Closet Door:  A Mayo Family Special!
Panel Date:  9/20/15
Check out the Panel @ 3:00PM Central Time
with Derek Mayo and Frances Mayo
Watch the recording on Google+ or YouTube!
Special:  Dear Daddy story release
#ThisSideoftheCloset

Derek Mayo
Derek is creator Jonathan Mayo's father.  He is a truly inspirational man who has grown with Jonathan.  And he also took time out on his birthday to join the panel! 

Frances Mayo
Frances is creator Jonathan Mayo's sister.  She's talented and smart and Jonathan couldn't live without her.  

September 21-September 27, 2015
What role does Health play in the coming out process?
with Christine Head

Panel Date:  9/27/15 @ 3:00PM Central Time
Watch the recording on Google+ and YouTube!

Christine Head
Christine was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia.  After attending Bryn Mawr College and working in the Office of Intercultural Affairs around issues of race, class, sexual orientation and gender identity, Christine moved to Chicago to start her career in policy advocacy and continue her work as an ally.  After working as an external organizer at SEIU local 73, Christine began her work in juvenile justice advocacy. During her time in policy advocacy, Christine has successfully spearheaded many efforts to improve outcome for LGBTQ youth in the juvenile system that include, but are not limited to: the adoption of a best practice guide for probation officer in Cook County, planning a number of interactive forums on issues related juvenile such as DMC and healthcare access, and speaking at the W. Haywood Burns National 10th anniversary conference on the future of SOGI competence in relation to racial and ethnic disparities. Christine continues to work to push forward policy reform that is conscience of SOGI competence as well as racial and ethnic disparities in contact with the juvenile justice system. For more information, please contact me at christined.head@gmail.com .

 

September 28-October 4, 2015
Coming out as Trans...
Panel Date:  10/4/15
Watch the recording on Google+ and YouTube!
Guest Bloggers:  Gretchen Rachel Hammond
Special:  #myPGP

www.facebook.com/CleaningClosetsChicago
Twitter:  @CleanClosetChgo

Owen DMC
Owen has started his policy and advocacy work in New York and returned to his roots in Chicago where he's continued his work by founding the Transformative Justice Law Project.  Owen has also done work with the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance and many other organizations in the city.  

Gretchen Rachel Hammond
Gretchen is a senior staff writer for the Chicago-based LGBTQ publication the Windy City Times and the 2015 recipient of the prestigious Lisagor Award.  Hammond has also written novels like The Last Circle.  

October 5-October 11, 2015
How does Marriage Equality impact the coming out process?
Panel Date:  10/11/15 (National Coming Out Day)
with guests from the front line of the Kim Davis battle:  Dallas, Danielle, Becca, Keisha, and Eric Yoak!
Watch it LIVE on Google+ and YouTube!
Guest Bloggers:  Pierce Collier

  returning to my alma mater of morehead state university was surreal and invigorating.  The students took Cleaning Closets to a whole new level as we devised a new work out of their own stories.  read about their experiences in their  blog posts .         

returning to my alma mater of morehead state university was surreal and invigorating.  The students took Cleaning Closets to a whole new level as we devised a new work out of their own stories.  read about their experiences in their blog posts.  

 

 

        Cleaning Closets: A Night of Storytelling featured great performers from Chicago's storytelling scene.  Jonathan Mayo shared his story alongside  Jeremy Owens ,  Laura Stempel , and Katie L.        

 

 

Cleaning Closets: A Night of Storytelling featured great performers from Chicago's storytelling scene.  Jonathan Mayo shared his story alongside Jeremy Owens, Laura Stempel, and Katie L. 

 

 


  After making some initial edits to the original script, selected scenes were chosen to perform at  Northwestern University  in Evanston.  The performance and panel discussion was hosted by  Project Shout Out .  Check out the rehearsal video in the  Archives.          

After making some initial edits to the original script, selected scenes were chosen to perform at Northwestern University in Evanston.  The performance and panel discussion was hosted by Project Shout Out.  Check out the rehearsal video in the Archives.  

 

 


  The very first incarnation of  Cleaning Closets  was the staged reading performed at the  African-American Cultural Center  at the University of Illinois Chicago hosted by the  Gender & Sexuality Center .  There was a talk-back where we received great feedback on the script, followed by a reception.  Check out the cast photo in the  Archives        

The very first incarnation of Cleaning Closets was the staged reading performed at the African-American Cultural Center at the University of Illinois Chicago hosted by the Gender & Sexuality Center.  There was a talk-back where we received great feedback on the script, followed by a reception.  Check out the cast photo in the Archives