2 year anniversary Anniversary

March Editor's Note & The Equality Issue

Monday, March 17, 2014 HALFSTACK MAGAZINE


As I write this note today, I have a lot on my mind. Our spring issue has truly proven to be one of the more inspiring issues we have released in the 2 years Halfstack has been around. It’s crazy to me how far we have come as a publication in 2 years and on this day, our anniversary, I am so proud to release our “Equality Issue”. While this issue was in the very early development stages, Illinois had passed the Marriage Equality Act.

As an Illinois resident, I was beyond proud of my community for this monumental decision. As a woman minority, I am all too familiar with fighting for basic rights. As a US citizen I have been educated on civil rights history, feminism and freedom in religious beliefs. As much as we hate to admit it, inequality for minorities, women, and people of different beliefs is still an issue. Yet, to see change occur and be a part of history in the making, is an amazing feeling.  

Check out the behind the scenes video HERE - Shot and edited by: Thomas Fornarelli, Sam Meinders & Danielle Brust

The Spring release of Halfstack hopes to solidify the direction our community, our nations and our people are moving in. We hope to showcase the ideal that love is a basic right we are all entitled to, no matter our sexual preference, religious background, skin color or culture. We hope to showcase that those things shouldn’t be the only ideas that determine who we are as people. We hope to show you the beauty of love and the amazing men and women who are the future of our nation and their generosity and open mindness when it comes to issues such as LGBT rights, marriage equality and interracial relationships.

The heart that was put into this issue is beyond what words could ever explain. The people that we are showcasing in each of the stories can teach all of us as humans to grow beyond what is comfortable and beyond what is expected of us. These people have pushed the limitations and have overcome obstacles and challenges that many of us could never explain, but we surely can learn from and appreciate.

Read the Spring 2014 Issue HERE


The goal for this issue is more than just to entertain, we hope that each of you readers become inspired by the people and more knowledgeable on the subject matter discussed throughout these pages. While we do discuss some heavy themes in this issue, we still make it point to enjoy ourselves. You can find pieces highlighting some of Chicago’s hottest brands for men and women along side items like “How to survive a Zombie Apocalypse”. You will learn more about Chicago in the very beginning in the “World’s Faire” article and get some suggestions on albums and concerts to check out this season.

We are also showcasing some amazing small local businesses and entrepreneurs who are making grand moves. Jtoor is Chicago’s very own bespoke men’s clothier who is bringing custom fashion to the fashion conscious Chicago man. Dwight Bejec , recounts to us the inspiring story of Kieran Folliard and his determination to bring  his latest brand of Irish whiskey: 2 Gingers to the masses while still making a difference in his community.

Our spring editorial is our most prized possession in this issue. Writer & Director of Digital Content – Sophia Sanchez, does a beautiful  job of recounting the stories of the couples and photographer Laura Lopez captured beautiful moments on location at one of Chicago’s most prominent gay bars: SidetrackChicago. Beauty Editor – Danielle Hazekamp showcases how beauty brand MAC is bringing the equality issue to their customers. Writer – Stella Quimby educates us on the Monsanto issues and I (Editor-in-chief – Jen Lezan) bring to you the story of one blind man’s survival during the 9/11 attacks and his life’s mission to bring equality to disabled people worldwide. Cheyenne Hendricks reveals the man behind Chyna Cravens, a queen who overcame her fear of judgment to pursue her performance dreams and continues to succeed today.

I am also so honored to be able to showcase local Democratic Congressional Candidate for the 4th district of Illinois: JorgeZavala. If elected, Zavala will be the youngest congressman serving. His story, his compassion and his goals are to be admired. His is a great story to inspire the youth, minorities and more to become involved and get active in politics. We truly must be the change we seek and that begins with knowledge.

Readers, I hope that each of you is inspired by the words on these pages and that this issue sparks the energy you need to go out and shake things up this spring. Thank you for your continued support and cheers to the warm weather that is soon to find Chicago. 

Check out our behind the scenes video below if you don't feel like clicking through to youtube! Shot and edited by: Sam Meinders, Thomas Fornarelli and Danielle Brust!


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