by: In Our Words Staff/ Subject To Change
Feature photo by Kiam Junio, iamkiam.com. Poster by Joyce Rice, teenyrobots.net
This week, Subject to Change presents the Mx. Queer (U)SA Pageant,
(that’s right, gender-nuertal beauty, honey) benefiting the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance
. STC invites and wishes to build up Queers, community, with no shame jams and a zine. It is at The Burlington, 3425 W. Fullerton, Wednesday, Jan. 30, 9 p.m. It is 21+, all gender expressions welcomed, $5 suggested donation (no one turned awa
Subject to Change is a monthly Queer Dance Party, entering it’s second year — with a pageant
When organizer and activist Lindsey Dietzler and editor Joe Erbentraut first approached The Burlington, a popular bar in Logan Square, with the idea of hosting a queer-centric dance party there, the pitch was simple and, admittedly, noncommittThough the West Side neighborhood is home to a burgeoning queer presence, nightlife opportunities there, as of the fall of 2011, were still almost non-existent. And what Dietzler and Erbentraut had in mind wasn’t quite like anything else being offered anywhere else in the city.
“We knew a lot of queer people had been or were moving to the neighborhood and we wanted to create a queer space in the neighborhood,” Dietzler, a.k.a. resident DJ Panakin Skywalker, explained. “But we didn’t want to just be another dance party.”The series of conversations that followed eventually resulted in the creation of Subject to Change. Each party would raise both awareness of and funds, via a suggested $5 donation, for a different organization or initiative working on issues that impact the lives of queer Chicagoans. The music would pull from a wider variety of genres — ranging from punk, R&B and even country — than typical of other parties and would emphasize the idea of “no shame” music.Each party would also center on a theme related to the issues each benefit group worked on, explored further through a free zine featuring art and writings submitted from community members and curated by activist and spoken word artist Mar Curran
.”We wanted to create something tangible that people who came out to STC could take home and enjoy after the event, and something that felt very natural to me as a zine maker and storyteller was to create a monthly zine,” Curran said. “It’s developed into a fun way for community members to interact with us as hosts of the event.”In December 2011, the Subject to Change collective hosted A Merry Misfit X-Mess
, their inaugural party. The event raised about $200 for El Rescate, a supportive independent living program targeted toward homeless LGBTQ youth and a project of the Humboldt Park-based Vida/SIDA. The party featured guest hostess D’Juana Cyber as Mrs. Claus, the first of a rotating crew of up-and-coming local artists whose work was showcased at the event.”I think we went into it not really knowing what to expect in terms of turnout, and that first party was definitely not a ‘rager’ by any means,” Erbentraut, a.k.a. DJ Josie Bush, said. “But what was more important to us was the mood and the energy of the room, plus it was huge to be able to make a donation to El Rescate. We really felt like we were onto something.”By September 2012, the parties had grown in popularity and, with the support of the management at The Burlington, the collective began featuring sets from guest DJs and took the party monthly with events being held every final Wednesday. Kiam Marcelo Junio came on board as the party’s resident photographer and artist Janie Stamm joined the zine staff.After celebrating their first anniversary last month
, the Subject to Change crew is now ready to kick off their second year with their biggest event yet as they will crown the inaugural Mx. Queer (U)SA
at their Jan. 30 party in a pageant emceed by Joe Varisco. Among the contestants will be a number of previous Subject to Change hosts. The party benefits the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance and will feature guest sets from DJ Wife Material (Britticisms).
Beginning at 9 p.m. Subject to Change is held on the last Wednesday of every month at the Burlington.
Subject to Change aims to create a space of “no shame” when it comes to the music they enjoy and the people they love and care about — family (both blood and chosen) and our community via the events and publications they produce. They hope to generate positive energy within the community and channel that energy to support the many organizations working to make this city a better place for queer folks. The collective was formed in late 2011.
The mission of the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance (the Alliance) is to promote safety, support and healthy development for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth, in Illinois schools and communities, through advocacy, education, youth organizing and research. The work of the Alliance is driven by a vision of a world in which youth develop to their fullest potential, learning in safe and nurturing schools, living in communities that accept and honor differences, where everyone has the freedom to express their sexual orientation and gender identity.
To learn more about STC’s upcoming events, or to just talk to some badass organizers in the Windy City about events, e-mail. contact
Lindsey Dietzler, Subject to Change co-founder
orJoe Erbentraut, Subject to Change co-founder
Editor’s note: Subject To Change is very near and dear to the hearts of the In Our Words staff. Both Jessica and Patrick attend the event regularly, and happen to be judges for this upcoming Mx. QSA. Their no-shame vision, no-turn-away policy, and overall rockin’ attitude makes this night one of their favorite nights in the city. Please come out to support STC and ISA, we love them both from a deep place in our hearts.