Posts Tagged ‘Bradley Balof
[ Click above to embiggen: Brad Balof’s official performance biography from his comedy appearances in Chicago; note the detailed resume ]
Today, I’ve been asked to give testimony to a team of Investigators assigned by the Chicago Public School (CPS) system who’ve been tasked with looking into the nocturnal activities of sixth grade teacher Bradley Thomas Balof; they want all photos I’ve found of Balof stripping and dancing on stage, all links to his pornographic or erotic videos, and all mentions I can find of “comedy” shows he’s appeared in where he mocked the intelligence, names, and home lives of his black Chicago public school students at Joseph Stockton Elementary on the North side. Truth be told, the person I spoke to on the phone to set up my testimony didn’t seem all that interested in the stripping or sex shows that Balof puts on…but CPS did appear very concerned that a white public school teacher was ridiculing black students at comedy venues such as Zanies in Old Town or Sidetrack the Video Bar (a Boystown gay bar that hosted “Laugh Track” comedy shows and other big events where Balof served as the MC and performed comedy bits at the microphone).
This is an interesting situation because typically in Chicago gay people can do whatever they like without fear of anyone in the media raising any question of propriety…while, simultaneously, no criticism is ever made of black people in the slightest in this city and no questions are ever raised as to why, exactly, black children do so poorly in the public school system here. The instance at hand of a gay public school teacher taking to the stage and mocking his black students for gay audiences thus pits two protected demographic groups against one another and forces the media to decide how they’ll ultimately cover this story (if at all).
Karen Lewis, the President of the Chicago Teachers’ Union, hasn’t weighed in on all this yet, but if she’s reading this now I’d love to ask her:
* Is it okay for a public school teacher (of any sexuality) to make fun of his students (of any color) after-work as a standup comedian? I’d also love to hear from any parents out there with children in public school to find out how you would feel if your children’s teachers were doing comedy sets based on your children’s intelligence and behavior after the last bell rang for the day.
* Is it appropriate for a public school teacher to moonlight in any facet of the adult entertainment industry, including performing nude or nearly-nude in public? It should be noted that in being featured in this adult entertainment the teacher in question does absolutely nothing to conceal his adult performances from his students and has admitted in interviews that his “children” in the public school system do in fact find photos, videos, and write-ups about him online. And he thinks that’s amusing!
* Is a gay white male teacher allowed to get away with doing whatever he wants when a female teacher has been prohibited in other states from being an adult entertainer while currently employed as a teacher? The ultimate question is: does being gay render someone immune to any and all criticism when employed by the government in any form?
I was in grade school in the 1980s and was mostly taught by either nuns or young moms from the suburbs…so it’s impossible for me to imagine a life where one of my elementary teachers was also a standup comedian and male stripper/erotic entertainer on the side. I went to Catholic School and know that if someone employed in the school was caught doing things like this that the person would probably be fired. At the very least, he or she would have been forced to make a decision between either remaining a teacher or leaving the classroom to pursue erotica full time elsewhere.
Bradley Thomas Balof’s full performance bio (posted above) that appeared in the programs for his comedy shows lists him as a true Renaissance man:
* Comedian = performances at Sidetrack the Video Bar’s “Laugh Track” events, at Zanies Old Town for “Queer Comedy” nights, and doing short sets of comedy at various gay festivals or while MC-ing events at Sidetrack.
* Activist = the MC of events at Sidetrack the Video Bar that raise money for Equality Illinois, which is the political lobbying group funded by Sidetrack’s owners Art Johnston and Jose Pepin “Pepe” “Pep” Pena using the bar as a revenue stream; as an activist, Balof himself uses his time at the microphone to rev the gay crowds in Sidetrack up in hatred against Christians, conservatives, or other perceived enemies of the gay community. He spreads a great deal of hate in his particular brand of “activism”.
* Teacher = sixth grade teacher at Joseph Stockton Elementary School…earning $60k/year plus benefits from the City of Chicago (and guaranteed his full-salary at time of retirement for the rest of his life when he retires).
* Drag Queen = performing dressed up as Liza Minnelli for “Chicago Takes Off” (an annual burlesque festival), for the “Night of 100 Drag Queens” annual event held at Sidetrack, and at other performances throughout the year in Boystown; Balof is not a transvestite, however, and only appears to dress up like Liza for performance (not personal pleasure).
* Leatherman = This advertises that Balof is into the leather/BDSM scene of sexual fetish; “Leather” is most on display in Chicago over Memorial Day Weekend, when the city hosts the annual International Mr. Leather fetish beauty pageant…which Balof MC-ed for many years dressed up in skimpy sexual fetish outfits. Balof is an active participant in the Chicago “leather community” and all its activities, by his own resume admission. Bars such as Touche, Jackhammer, and Cell Block in Chicago cater to the “leather community”.
* Bartender = Balof works at Sidetrack the Video Bar as a bartender/MC for special events. This is actually no different than police or firemen in the city working in bars when they are off duty. A lot of guys do this for extra money and it’s a long standing tradition for people who work for the City (and already make big salaries) to make even more money (often under the table) working in bars on the side. I actually have no problem with Balof being a teacher by day and a bartender or bouncer at night…but he crosses a line with the other stuff he engages in.
* Actor = Balof appeared in the pornographic films Into It and Bowser Makes a Movie; the former was about male prostitutes adventuring with drugs and the latter was about a group of people making their first porno. “Bowser” was so successful it apparently became a whole series of porn.
* Model = nude modeling for local Chicago photographers and through ModelMayhem, a website that connects nude models to photographers; a good number of Sidetrack the Video Bar’s employees regularly pose nude for local photographers or rent out their bodies through ModelMayhem. This is a popular thing to do for guys under 35 working in the bar scene.
* Bottom = this is Balof advertising his preferred position for anal sex on his resume; it’s in fact the only time I’ve ever seen anyone list this on a resume. It is not standard operating procedure for comedians/actors/models/whatever in Chicago that I’m aware of. The only other people who would list “bottom” in a program besides Bradley Thomas Balof would be guys on a RentBoy site or who advertise their bodies on Craigslist.
Are there some jobs in life where moonlighting should be strictly controlled by an employer?
I know that a lot of cops and firemen moonlight in the Chicago bar scene, with a good number of them picking up shifts as bouncers and doormen when they aren’t on-call for their already lucrative day jobs working for the city. Even back in Cleveland, cops and firemen did this all the time…but I remember hearing about a few instances through the years where a cop or fireman was caught making an erotic video and was fired over it, as it brought embarrassment to the department. There was even an instance in the last few years of a group of young morticians who made a “Men of Mortuary” Playgirl-style calendar (without full nudity) and then funeral homes that employed some of those guys fired them for participating in the project. So, this makes it seem that there are indeed limits to what some people in certain careers can do when it comes to moonlighting outside of their day job.
Am I wrong to expect a public school system to have an absolute zero-tolerance policy when it comes to things like this?
There isn’t an Illinois State Board of Education meeting in Chicago until the end of June, so I’ll have to wait until then to ask that question on the record and bring all this to the attention of all parents in attendance…but I’m wondering if the fact that Balof is gay and is stripping, dancing, and performing in the nude for other men makes a difference in how the Chicago Public School system responds to his
full-moonlighting; would a straight female teacher caught working in Hooters’ or bouncing around a stripper’s pole be disciplined for her after-school special activities while a gay male teacher/stripper is given free rein to nude it up all he wants when his teaching day is done? Does this mean there is one set of rules for gay teachers and another for straight ones…or is the fact that Balof has a penis (and shows it to people!) what makes all the difference in whether or not Chicago Public Schools has an issue with him?
If so, then there’s sexism in play here, too, since that would mean that Balof (a male) is given permission to do things that a female teacher seems forbidden to do. I hope that self-styled feminists take umbrage with that and demand that a stripping male teacher be treated just as a female teacher would when those nocturnal activities finally come to light.
Off the record, one children’s advocacy group I spoke with yesterday told me that they’d be afraid to confront the School Board about Balof because he’s a gay male…and anyone speaking out about his activities will be decried as “homophobic”…especially in June, of all months, “because this is pride month and we’re afraid of being called homophobes during pride month”. The bullies in the “gay community” would come out in full-force, I’ve been told, because whenever a gay man is criticized for any sort of behavior by a parents’ or moms’ group then gays see it as a chance to berate Christians and conservatives in general as “homophobes”.
Well, I’m openly gay and I have a problem with any public school teacher having a resume longer than “teacher”…especially when public school teachers are always crying about being overworked. Clearly, that’s not true, since Balof finds so much time to do all sorts of other things in addition to collecting that $60k/year as a Chicago public school teacher. If this guy really was so overworked and burdened by his teaching duties then he wouldn’t have the energy to bare his butt in public and wiggle it up on stage for people…or stand up there telling “jokes” about how dumb he thinks the black kids in his class are.
I think it’s time that people stopped being afraid of gay people calling them “homophobes” for saying something that a gay person (who is in charge of children) is doing while moonlighting is inappropriate, considering his day job. Being gay should never render someone an untouchable secular-saint who can’t be criticized for fear of the critic being bullied. Since June is “Pride Month” where the “gay community” loudly claims it’s demanding full-equality, shouldn’t part of that “equality” include an expectation that gays follow the rules like everyone else and be held accountable to the same standards of professional behavior that straight people must follow?
QUESTION FOR COMMENTS: Do you think a straight female teacher would keep her job if she posted a resume like Bradley Thomas Balof’s?
Can you find any instances of female teachers being dismissed for actively taking part in the adult entertainment industry?
How would YOU handle this situation if you were Karen Lewis (President of the Teacher’s Union in Chicago) or Barbara Byrd Bennett (CEO of the Chicago Public Schools)?
[ Click above to embiggen: Some of the promotional material for website www.BradleyThomasComic.com, which was wiped clean of all content on the morning of Friday 5/31/13 after our initial reporting on “The Case of the Stripping School Teacher” was published ]
A sixth grade teacher in a Chicago Public School classroom has been identified as a moonlighting stand-up comic who mocks his black students’ names, intelligence, and home life in degrading “comedy routines” staged in the city’s LGBTQAI community…where gay Chicago men have a longstanding habit of making racist, “ghetto” jokes at the expense of black people…but are never called-out on it because gays are a protected and favored class in our national media; a gay public school teacher ridiculing and degrading his black students for the amusement of gay audiences thus pits two of the institutional Left’s primary demographic groups against one another in as politically-incorrect terms as possible. Chicago’s now faced with the rare spectacle of wondering whom the media will side with on this one: the black children being mocked or the gay comic who degrades them on stage?
Bradley Thomas Balof, a gay, white, male teacher at Joseph Stockton Elementary School on the North Side of Chicago continues to perform his standup routine at venues like Zanies in Old Town, with troupes such as OutLoud Chicago, and in appearances at Sidetrack the Video Bar in Boystown (where Balof also serves as the bar’s master-of-ceremonies (MC) for special events and regularly dances nearly-nude as an in-house erotic entertainer).
Balof’s “comedy stylings” at Sidetrack and other gay venues include:
* Mocking the names of his black students, particularly the females, as “Shaquisha”, “Loquisha”, “”Shaniqua” , “Bon’Qui Qui”, and other variations of same that are disturbingly popular “jokes” amongst many gay men in Chicago
* Informing his audiences that he’s a public school teacher in Chicago who is exasperated by the lack of learning ability of his black students…and then detailing their academic struggles on stage in a “my students are so funny, they think 2 plus 2 is 5″ kind of way; other “jokes” in this vein involved the children not knowing what various sexual or other adult terms meant and then having “funny” responses to Balof about them
* Affecting a “ghetto accent” and taking on “ghetto black mannerisms” while telling “jokes” about the black people he claims to encounter during his teaching day
* Ridiculing black parents, especially the mothers, for the poor school performance of their kids
* Maligning black women as welfare queens and linking their reproductive frequency to the lackluster academic performance of their children
* Presenting himself on stage as a sainted martyr for having to “put up with black kids all day at work”
Balof regularly performs these “jokes” as the master-of-ceremonies (MC) for high-profile events held at Sidetrack the Video Bar, which is owned by prominent Chicago gay activists Art Johnston and Jose Pepin “Pepe” “Pep” Pena (who are also the principle fundraisers and founders for/of the lobbying organization Equality Illinois). Johnston and Pena are regularly present for Balof’s comedy routines and laugh along with the rest of the gay audience as Balof mocks black people unrelentingly. This is especially disturbing, since Johnston and Pena take the stage at these same events to promote Equality Illinois’ purported mission of achieving “equality for everyone in Illinois”…but then they laugh uproariously when one of their employees lambasts the culture and intelligence of black Chicago children and their parents.
I have personally and repeatedly complained to both Johnston and Pena about the offensive nature of the “comedy” performed at Sidetrack, with Pena in particular telling me in his thick accent that he didn’t care about complaints and that he “thinks this is funny”…and so Sidetrack will keep doing what it’s been doing, with Pena’s personal approval, regardless of how awful some of these “jokes” truly are.
Sidetrack the Video Bar films all of its special events MC-ed by Balof and stores these recordings digitally in its VJ/sound booth above its Main Bar room at 3349 N. Halsted in Boystown; as of Friday 5/31/13, it appears an investigation now has been launched by the Chicago Public Schools administration to obtain copies of all these videos for review, as Sidetrack has never made these performances by Balof available on its website or YouTube. There is an entire video production facility in-house and on-site at Sidetrack, with three or four dedicated staff members in charge of filming, editing, and archiving every event that happens in the bar.
[ Click PLAY above: as of this writing, this commercial for “Laugh Track” found on YouTube is the only film from the events available; while it does not show the racist jokes about public school students that are so offensive and only offers a taste of what “Laugh Track” was all about, it does prove that these shows were filmed by Sidetrack using the bar’s video production facilities. You can see screens to the sides of the comics where they’re being projected while they work the microphone; a Sidetrack camera operator was filming them so it could be broadcast on the screens and those performances were then captured digitally and archived in the Sidetrack VJ/sound booth ]
From the summer of 2010 through the spring of 2011, Balof and fellow comic Adam Guerino additionally staged the “Laugh Track” live comedy shows held at Sidetrack on Thursday nights; these featured standup comedy performances by Balof where he used his life as a public school teacher in majority-minority Joseph Stockton Elementary as the basis for his performance sets. Another Sidetrack co-owner, Chuck Hyde, was quoted in November of 2010 saying these “Laugh Track” shows had “been growing rapidly…We know that there’s a whole lot of talent in our community that doesn’t always get to showcase, so this just seemed like a natural fit” for Sidetrack the Video Bar. Another interview with Guerino revealed that he, Hyde, and Balof had conceived the idea for “Laugh Track” together and were the principle driving forces of the weekly events.
These “Laugh Track” shows were heavily promoted by owners Johnston, Pena, and Hyde with lavish posters and ads in all of the city’s gay entertainment publications. By all accounts, they were extremely well-attended and brought a lot of business into the bar on what was otherwise a slow night of the week. But, the consistently degrading nature of the material aimed at black people and children quickly soured audiences and “Laugh Track” was canceled unceremoniously in 2011…with most references to it disappeared down the “memory hole”. After hoping the ill will and hurt feelings that initial year of performances caused had been forgotten, Sidetrack attempted to resurrect “Laugh Track” again in the spring of 2012…but it was not restored as regularly featured entertainment in the bar. Balof, however, continued his racist comedy stylings at Sidetrack whenever he took the mic as an MC of special events and still performs at Zanies and other venues whenever they will have him…making fun of the black students in his sixth grade class wherever he can plug in a microphone.
Balof’s official performance biography describes him under his stage name “Bradley Thomas” as:
Bradley Thomas (www.bradleythomascomic.com) is a comedian, Activist, Teacher, Drag Queen, Leatherman, Bartender, Actor, Model, Bottom. Bradley Thomas does it all. Whether for his weekly show Laugh Track at Sidetrack, Night of 100 Drag Queens, International Mister Leather, or other performances Bradley has been performing as a comedian and emcee for over a decade. His quick wit, and sardonic view help him create stand-up performances that are both relevant and irreverent. Bradley does not shy away from incorporating equality, sexuality, and social justice into his art. Of course, he is quickest to laugh at himself, if you dont beat him to the punch. If laughter is medicine, Bradley hopes his audiences OD every night.
A “bottom”, as listed in the bio above, is a reference to Balof’s preferred position during anal sex (in which he elects to be the receptive partner); this is the first time I’ve ever seen a comedian list personal information such as this in a program bio…and one that his sixth grade students could easily find online in an internet search, no less.
Read the rest of this entry »