As the Chicago winter settles in, everyone spends more time indoors. I rarely enter my apartment without a feeling of gratitude for the warmth and escape from biting winds. I can’t really imagine what it would be like to brave a Chicago winter without a home, let alone as a teenager without a home. Queer homeless youth endure this struggle every day, and local activist and comedian Adam Guerino took it upon himself to support a different outcome.
We Are Halsted is a response to queer youth homelessness in the Chicago area and thereby partners with multiple organizations such as The Center on Halsted and The Lakeview Safety and Inclusion Coalition to support groups like The Night Ministry, which give relief to community members without shelter. This past year The Crib opened in Lakeview providing new beds for youth on the North Side, joining other Chicago organizations like Teen Living and Casa Norte in providing necessary services for our city’s homeless youth.
We Are Halsted provides fundraising support specifically through diverse performance art including but not limited to: spoken word, stand-up comedy, drag, live music, and impersonation. Recently, We Are Halsted created a spectacular variety show of gender-bending originality at Berlin nightclub, showcasing the talents of the fearless and formidable alike. Featuring Trandroid, Viva La Muerte, Jeffrey Pressley, and others it mirrored this year’s first We Are Halsted event hosted by The Center on Halsted in its engaging and queer inclusive performances. It varied from the original in that it highlighted the talents of a completely unique array of artists. Watch for the next We Are Halsted event by visiting the producer’s Facebook page, and website.
In addition to producing events and performing stand up nationally, Adam Guerino is something of a local queer treasure. Time Out Chicago’s “joke of the week” recipient, creator and host of Chicago’s “OutLoud Chicago,” (production initiatives devoted to bringing queer entertainment to mainstream audiences), Mr. Guerino is an extremely busy fellow. As a regular contributor to the site In Our Words with his weekly dating column “Serial Dater” Adam produces and hosts the web show My Funny Town for gaychicagotv.com which airs every Wednesday. Supporting grass roots efforts to provide creative solutions to LGBTIQ youth bullying in local schools, Adam is involved in multiple literary and visual arts projects that place students at the forefront of activism as creative expression. In this sense, Guerino works to not only create physical homes for the members of the queer community but emotional and spiritual havens as well.