Mayor Rahm Emanuel Leads Chicago’s 42nd Annual Gay Pride Parade

Mayor Rahm Emanuel Leads Chicago’s 42nd Annual Gay Pride Parade

The 42nd Annual Chicago Gay Pride Parade kicked off from the northside Lakeview neighborhood at noon on Sunday, led by Chicago’s new mayor, Rahm Emanuel. It was the first time in a long time that a sitting mayor has appeared in the parade, a salute to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. An animated Rahm Emanuel marched directly behind the parade’s lead banner and platoon of police on horseback. Dressed casually in a light blue shirt, white jeans, tennis shoes and black shades, Emanuel brought the crowd to a roar as he stopped to high-five a little girl and hoisted a young boy over the metal barricade for a peck on the cheek.

Emanuel is a regular at the parade, having appeared at the festivities almost every year while he served in Congress. He has been a relentless advocate of gay causes, including HIV/AIDS funding, civil unions and gay marriage. Joining him in the parade was Governor Pat Quinn, who recently signed the Illinois civil union legislation, as Illinois became the sixth state to allow civil unions or their equivalent, giving same-sex couples the same state-level rights that come with marriage.

The parade usually draws around a half-million celebrants, but coming right on the heels of winning the long-sought right for same-sex couples to enter into civil unions and the historic passage of the New York bill allowing same sex marriage Friday night, this parade swelled to an estimated attendance of 750,000, which was likely a record number of rainbow-clad spectators.

Viewers can read a short history of the gay rights movement in Illinois here.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel Leads The 42nd Annual Chicago Gay Pride Parade

Chicago’s 2010 Gay Pride Parade

The Chicago Gay Pride Parade Celebration

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Give Me Some Hot and Sexy Hollywood Abs!!

Give Me Some Hot and Sexy Hollywood Abs!!

Hollywood Abs is a ridiculously silly short film produced by Terry Richardson, variously acknowledged to be either one of New York City’s very favorite “edgy” fashion photographers, or a totally creepy camera-wielding predator. Luckily, in this short film, Richardson’s only being just plain goofy.

All the guys who really, really want to become fabulously fit absolutely need to watch this film to see how a famous fashion photographer becomes the next promotional customer of a very popular (but completely non-existent) work-out routine that ‘s taking over Hollywood like hot bananas. Hollywood Abs is all you need to get those defined steamy, sexy super-muscular abs versus the merely “so-so” look of New York abs. Actor Matthew Gray Gubler tells you in his very convincing and happy tone of voice how you too can get to this point. Just watch this bit to see pure ridiculousness.

Give Me Some Hot and Sexy Hollywood Abs!!

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Be Proud: The 2010 Chicago Gay Pride Parade

Be Proud: The 2010 Chicago Gay Pride Parade

An eclectic mix of stars, The Stanley Cup with Blackhawks defenseman Brent Sopel, the Chicago Cubs’ Ernie Banks, country singer Chely Wright and Illinois Governor Pat Quinn basked in the celebration of an estimated 500,000 people who attended the 41st Annual Pride Parade in Chicago’s North-Side Lakeview neighborhood.  Sopel, who stood on the Chicago Gay Hockey Association’s colorful float, said that he was participating in the parade to honor the memory of his former general manager’s gay son.

Spectators and the half-million parade participants alike provided a deafening roar of welcome to the Stanley Cup and ex-Blackhawks defenseman Brent Sopel as the Chicago Gay Pride Parade kicked off promptly at noon on Sunday.  Led by Grand Marshal country music sensation Chely Wright, the parade proceeded without any difficulties or delays.

The close to five hundred thousand revelers lined the streets of Halsted and Broadway on the hot, humid June afternoon.  A mixture of sun and clouds was welcome, following the heavy morning thunderstorms that threatened to dampen the event.  Illinois gay Congressman Mike Quigley stated: “When a professional hockey organization like the Blackhawks joins in our celebration of gay pride, that really opens doors.  The barriers are down.”

In addition to the Stanley Cup, the Chicago Cubs also had a float in the parade with All-Star Ernie Banks representing the Cubs.  Laura Ricketts, one of the new owners of the Cubs, is a lesbian.  “The unique thing about this parade is that finally, the Chicago Cubs are here, the Blackhawks are here.  Not that we really need recognition of that kind, but the fact of having major league sports teams joining our parade is a great thing,” Chicago’s openly gay Alderman Tom Tunney said.  “That’s probably the unique difference about today.”

State Representative Greg Harris (D-IL) echoed the comment about the Cubs and Blackhawks, saying  “This time next year I hope to be celebrating marriage equality in Illinois.”  Politicians by the dozens walked and rode in the parade.  Over 300 floats and marching groups made up the three hours long trail, which started at Halsted and Belmont and ended at Diversey and Broadway.

Chicago’s 2010  Gay Pride Parade

[vimeo w=700&h=400]

The Chicago Gay Pride Parade Celebration

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Photos of the Day: The Ripped Muscle Guys of City Summer Roundball

Photos of the Day: The Ripped Muscle Guys of City Summer Roundball

Photography by:  Joseph O. Holmes, NYC

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Herb Ritt: The Elegant Photography of Masculine Glamour

Herb Ritt: The Elegant Photography of Masculine Glamour

Herb Ritt began his photographic career in the late 1970s, quickly gaining a reputation as a master of art and commercial photography. Ritt was in fact self-taught. He came from a suburb of Los Angeles, near Hollywood’s stomping grounds for the fashionable set that he would later immortalize. While growing up, his next-door neighbor was to become the Hollywood “tough guy” Steve McQueen.

After studying economics at Bard College in New York, Ritt moved back to the West Coast and went to work as a sales representative for his family’s business. Along the way, he picked up a camera and began shooting photographs as a hobby. Ritt’s friendship with Richard Gere in the 1970s, as the story goes, led to a drive in the desert, a flat tire and an impromptu photo session with Gere at a service station that launched his photography career in Hollywood.

In addition to producing portraits and editorial fashion shoots for Vogue, Vanity Fair, Interview and Rolling Stone magazines, Ritt also created a large number of successful advertising campaigns. After 1988 he directed numerous influential, award winning music videos and commercials. His fine art photography has been the subject of exhibitions worldwide, and many significant public and private collections hold his works.

Portraiture of the nude physique is the main theme of Herb Ritt’s imagery: models, muscular men, athletes, bodies that express force, sensuality and beauty. Perhaps more than any other photographer of his generation, Ritt, who died in 2002 at the age of 50, redefined masculine glamour with his notoriously on-the-edge images of modern-day Adonises, whose highly muscular physiques he adoringly mythologized in his photographic studies.

Herb Ritt Montage Reel (The Herb Ritt Foundation)

Music Audio: Chris Isaak/Wicked

Herb Ritt: Elegant Photography of Masculine Glamour

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City of the Brave: A FDNY Calendar of Sexy, Strapping Hunks

City of the Brave: The 2009 FDNY Calendar of Sexy, Strapping Hunks

The sexy new 2009 FDNY calendar, City of the Brave, is full of strapping New York City firefighters, and it’s just about to hit New York City’s store shelves.  But this year, there’s something different about the calendar: the hot FDNY hunks will be appearing in the new calendar anonymously, their faces shadowed or concealed by the wide brims of their hats.  Last year, FDNY Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta banned future editions of the annual calendar after nude photographs had surfaced of 2008’s cover model.

In the 2009 calendar, the firefighters are photographed engaged in scenes that depict their actual roles in active duty: sawing through locks, rappelling off buildings and saving victims. But you still get a great look at their hot, rock-hard six-pack abs, lats, pecs, biceps and triceps!!

Proceeds from sales of the 2009 FDNY calendar, City of the Brave, raises money for the Thomas R. Elsasser Fund.

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Photos of the Day: Masculine

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