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Queer Dance Party Kicks Off Second Year With a Pageant and a Cause

By Victoria Johnson | February 1, 2013 7:25am

LOGAN SQUARE — Contestants shimmied, shook and sashayed at Wednesday night's Mx. QSA (pronounced Mix QSA) pageant — and it was all for a good cause.

Subject to Change celebrated a year of dance parties and fundraisers for Chicago organizations with a pageant and fundraiser for their latest cause, Illinois Safe Schools Alliance.

Organizers Lindsey Dietzler and Joe Erbentraut launched the monthly Subject to Change dance parties in December 2011 as a venue to raise awareness and benefit various organizations, particularly those important to the LGBTQ community.

"With a lot of these organizations, every little bit counts, especially in today's economy, so it gives us a good feeling that we can help out a bit," said Erbentraut.

The event raised a little over $200 for the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance, which seeks to promote "safety, support and healthy development for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth, in Illinois schools and communities."

Dietzler said they also wanted to create a fun queer event near their own homes in Logan Square, and do something outside the Boystown-Andersonville LGBTQ scene, both literally and figuratively.

"There is a lot that goes on in Boystown and Andersonville, but for me personally because I'm trans, I don't feel like that's my community," he said. "[The queer community] is pretty different in terms of values and things like that, so for me it was important to have a space outside of those communities for people to come and feel connected and express themselves ... it's not like we're anti-Boystown or whatever, but we want to offer a different experience than Boystown."

As for coming months, Erbentraut said they are planning a "Polar Party" for the Feb. 27 event to benefit an area animal shelter and a "Jock Jams" party in March that will benefit a queer-centric athletic organization.