Homolatte is a gay community event created to give opportunities for queer writers and musicians to gain exposure and showcase their talents. Bringing performers of all genres and genders to the stage for a decade, Homolatte is the longest running queer performance series in the country." />

Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Sunday, June 23

Gapers Block

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr

« Get 20% Off Tickets to Governors State's Holiday Hop Concert Mr. Peabody Liquidation Sale This Weekend »

Feature Tue Dec 01 2009

Queers to Hear: Homolatte Highlights LGBTI Performance

[This week's feature was submitted by reader Jane Haldiman.]

Scott Free is an artist putting the P — performance — in Chicago's LGBTI community, and putting the LGBTI in the area's music scene. His Homolatte is a gay community event created to give opportunities for queer writers and musicians to gain exposure and showcase their talents. Bringing performers of all genres and genders to the stage for a decade, Homolatte is the longest running queer performance series in the country.

A bi-monthly, all-ages, queer music and spoken word series, Homolatte happens on the first and third Tuesday of every month at 7:30pm. After ten years and a variety of venues, the series is currently housed at Big Chicks/Tweet a popular staple in the queer community. Although primarily a gay men's bar, Big Chicks, like Homolatte, welcomes people of any gender or orientation. As Free states, "Performers are from the LGBTI community, but the event is open to everyone!"

Nestled among the varied storefronts of Uptown at 5024 N. Sheridan Road, the narrow Tweet section of the bar/restaurant space provides a cozy, colorful room for hearing the combination of new and established artists Free gathers every two weeks. Shows are free of charge; a hat is passed (actually a stylish Ikea trash can) for donations that are split by the evening's acts. Neither Free nor the bar take any of the cash, per Homolatte's goal of supporting queer performers.

Free is equally committed to music and community; this bi-monthly series is just one of the avenues he has created to promote queer musicians, writers, and poets. He also hosts the annual Queer Is Folk and AltQ Festivals at the Old Town School of Folk Music as well as creating his own music. The latest of Free's four CDs is The Pink Album (A Pop Opera), and his most recent performance was a staged reading of his musical Witches Among Us, created with Rick Karlin, at the Center on Halsted on November 15.

Sometimes humorous, sometimes angry (often both simultaneously), Free's always touching songs about queer life have gained him acclaim in both gay and straight media. He has won numerous awards and the video for his single "Free" spent seven weeks on LOGO's The Click List.

Homolatte's usual format features one spoken word artist and one musical act per show, with curator Free singing in between sets. Free is certainly not one to be bound by the usual, however; the latest show on November 17 included an extra guest artist, poet Kay Ulanday Barrett, visiting her old home Chicago from New York.

Kay Barrett.JPG

Kay Ulanday Barrett. (Photo by Kate Denley)

With the lineup jam-packed, Free handed to stage to Barrett right off the bat. She belted out poems on race, gender, and being butch and Filipina/Pinay-American. In one she insisted that "butches should write more poems" - and if she is the example, I agree.

Musician Ellen Rosner played next, accompanied by band mate John Hasbrouck on resonator mandolin ("That means it's loud," he explained to this stringed-instrument-underinformed author). Rosner bantered with the audience about aging, with her birthday being the next day, and asking if they preferred fast or slow songs ("Fast!"). She played a mix of both speeds, and of old favorites and new pieces.

Her topics were just as eclectic, spanning a "good girl/bad girl" dichotomy of a woman who's both a homeowner and a "perfect malcontent." Her set include signature song "Ready, Steady, GO" which is nominated for a 2009 OUTMusic Award. Still riffing on her age, however, she noted that "OMA" is German for "grandma."

Author Goldie Goldbloom rounded out the evening with a soft-spoken but intense reading of her forthcoming novel. Winner of the 2008 Association of Writers & Writing Programs Novel Award, Toads' Museum of Freaks and Wonders is due to be published in early 2010 by New Issues Press.

Scott Free.JPG

Homolatte host and curator Scott Free. (Photo by Kate Denley)

December opens on a Tuesday, so the next chance to see Free and friends is, tonight, December 1. The show will feature performance activist and "vigilante" poet Sarwat Rumi and musician Bird Megan Sieberg. Two weeks later singer/songwriter Nicole Reynolds and self described "jazz, angst, and folk" trio Shoes for Mabel, made up of Carrie Lydon, Kate Rickenbacker, and Jen Baker, will take the stage next on December 15. 2010 rings in with writer Graeme Schellenberger and videographer Kyle Greer on January 5. Sign up for Free's email newsletter or visit the website to get more information on upcoming Homolatte acts and other LGBTI artists and performances coming up in 2010.

About the Author:

Jane Haldiman is a writer, poet, nonprofit fundraiser, and nerd-about-town. She likes astronomy, kittens, and crafting; she and her evil twin can often be spotted at area craft fairs in non-matching orange coats.

GB store
GB store

Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »


  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
The Deli Chicago
Jim DeRogatis
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
The Hood Internet
Jaded in Chicago
Largehearted Boy
Little White Earbuds
Live Fix Blog
Live Music Blog
Loud Loop Press
Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
Pop Matters
Resident Advisor
Sound Opinions
Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
Tribune Music
UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
Windy City Rock


Abbey Pub
Andy's Jazz Club
Aragon Ballroom
Auditorium Theatre
Beat Kitchen
Bottom Lounge
Buddy Guy's Legends
The Burlington
California Clipper
Concord Music Hall
Congress Theater
Cubby Bear
Double Door
Elbo Room
Empty Bottle
Green Mill
The Hideout
Honky Tonk BBQ
House of Blues
Kingston Mines
Lincoln Hall
Logan Square Auditorium
Mayne Stage
The Mutiny
Old Town School of Folk Music
Park West
The Promontory
Red Line Tap
Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
The Riviera
Thalia Hall
The Shrine
Symphony Center
Tonic Room
Uncommon Ground
The Vic
The Whistler

  Labels, Promoters
  & Shops:

Alligator Records
Beverly Records
Bloodshot Records
Dave's Records
Delmark Records
Drag City
Dusty Groove
Flameshovel Records
Groove Distribution
He Who Corrupts
Jam Productions
Jazz Record Mart
Kranky Records
Laurie's Planet of Sound
Minty Fresh
Numero Group
mP Shows
Permanent Records
Reckless Records
Smog Veil Records
Southport & Northport Records
Thick Records
Thrill Jockey Records Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records
Victory Records

GB store


Featured Series


Transmission on Flickr

Join the Transmission Flickr Pool.

About Transmission

Transmission is the music section of Gapers Block. It aims to highlight Chicago music in its many varied forms, as well as cover touring acts performing in the city. More...
Please see our submission guidelines.

Editor: Sarah Brooks, sarah@gapersblock.com
Transmission staff inbox: transmission@gapersblock.com



Transmission Flickr Pool
 Subscribe in a reader.

GB store

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15