Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-06-08
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Community and politicians gather to open the AIDS Memorial Garden
by Matt Simonette
2022-06-02

This article shared 724 times since Thu Jun 2, 2022
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Chicagoans gathered at the lakefront the morning of June 2 for the ribbon-cutting and grand opening of the city's long-awaited AIDS Memorial Garden.

"There are so many ones who have passed who have come to witness this sacred moment," said poet-playwright Osiris Khepera in a spoken-word performance introducing the morning's events. "…This is a space for all. This is a space for living."

AIDS Garden Board Chair Yoni Pizer said, "This, indeed, is a park with a purpose."

Among the officials also speaking June 2 were Gov. JB Pritzker, Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Ald. Tom Tunney (44th Ward), State House Majority Leader Greg Harris, Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton and Chicago Parks District CEO Rosa Escareno.

Located at Belmont and the lake, the three-acre Chicago AIDS Memorial Garden is anchored by a rendition of the Keith Haring sculpture Self-Portrait. According to its website, the garden's "[v]isitors will be guided with markers and milestones through a variety of intimate and collective garden spaces all providing a sensory nature experience, the most notable being a memorable grove of gingko trees and a perennial garden of natural plantings at the entrance."

"I expect this beautiful garden to become the city's most treasured gem," said Escareno.

Tunney spoke of the garden both as "a symbol of resilience" of LGBTQ+ community members and a memorial to lives lost to government indifference. He further reflected on how the Belmont Rocks, the lakefront summertime gathering-spot once occupying the space the garden now stands on, was so integral to LGBTQ+ Chicagoans.

Frequently choking back tears, Harris discussed his HIV and AIDS diagnoses, recalling his physician telling him that he likely only had about six months to live. He also spoke of the sting of indifference, at a time when persons with HIV/AIDS could lose their jobs and insurance, and could be refused medical services: "We had a president who didn't care and politicians who used our community as punching bags to score cheap political points."

"I'd love to be here looking out at a sea of my friends and colleagues" now gone, Harris said.

"This is a historic place, a place of joy [and] a place of remembrance," said Pritzker, who said that the path around the garden "reminds us of the progress that the LGBTQ+ community has made." He added that the spot holds in itself both "immeasurable losses" and the "vibrancy of a community."

"Never forget those brave individuals who acted up," added Pizer.

Lightfoot spoke about efforts Chicago Department of Public Health are putting forth in combatting new HIV infections, particularly in BIPOC communities. She noted that the City had appropriated about $40 million towards HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment.

But Lightfoot also urged vigilance for the LGBTQ+ community, warning that the community's rights will likely be under attack across the country, especially when right-wing activists will be emboldened following the likely overturning of the Roe v. Wade decision.

Lightfoot noted that Roe is couched in the issue of privacy, and that means that challenges to LGBTQ+-rights will come soon after. Noting that the Right is already challenging the rights of trans and queer children with so-called bathroom bills and don't say gay legislation, Lightfoot said challenges to LGBTQ+ adults' rights will follow.

"We need to be ready, and not just let things happen to us" as a community, Lightfoot said.

"Rights can be gone in an instant," Harris similarly said.

Stratton said the garden should stand as a metaphor for the state of Illinois itself, a place where LGBTQ+ residents "don't have to hide" and "be all that they want to be."

"That's what JB and I want for all of Illinois," she added. "Together we can make Illinois a place that respects the dignity of every person's existence."

State Sen. Sara Feigenholtz, state Rep. Margaret Colke and Cook County Commissioner Kevin Morrison also attended the June 2 event.


This article shared 724 times since Thu Jun 2, 2022
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Cook County officials discuss MPV timelines
2022-08-12
Members of the Cook County Health and Hospitals Committee gathered Aug. 8 to hear details from local health officials on the monkeypox virus' (MPV's) impact on both suburban Cook County and Chicago, and their planned responses. ...


Gay News

Big Cities Health Coalition holds monkeypox virus briefing
2022-08-11
Big Cities Health Coalition (BCHC) held a virtual monkeypox virus briefing Aug. 10 fthat ocused on local public health activities in Chicago. Speakers included BCHC Executive Director Chrissie Juliano and BCHC member and Chicago Department of ...


Gay News

Calif. Gov. Gavin Newsom names first queer woman to state supreme court
2022-08-11
California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced his intention to appoint Alameda County Superior Court Judge Kelli Evans to serve as an associate justice of the California Supreme Court to fill the vacancy created by Justice Guerrero's elevation ...


Gay News

Another queer candidate is part of Chicago mayoral race
2022-08-10
In addition to incumbent Lori Lightfoot as well as Ald. Raymond Lopez and media figure DJ Doran, there is a new LGBTQ+ candidate in the race for Chicago mayor. According to their website, J Saxon "is ...


Gay News

Chicago Ald. Sophia King enters mayoral race
2022-08-10
Chicago Ald. Sophia King (4th Ward) has officially entered the Chicago mayoral race. "I love this city. We need a Chicago that's safer AND stronger," King says in the video, according to NBC Chicago. "Let's put ...


Gay News

Drag show finally takes place at UpRising Bakery and Cafe
2022-08-08
After a series of events that encompassed everything from vandalism to meetings with village officials to a visit from Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker, LGBTQ+-owned Lake in the Hills business UpRising Bakery and Cafe finally held its ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Okla. schools, Tenn. lawsuit, political items, Mich. library
2022-08-07
Video below - Oklahoma public schools have started requiring students from kindergarten to college to complete "biological sex affidavits" if they want to compete in school sports, in accordance with a state law that took effect earlier this year, ...


Gay News

WORLD Zelensky, French position, UK drag-queen shows, triathlons
2022-08-07
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky confirmed he will ask Ukraine's government to look into legalizing same-sex marriage after the war with Russia ends, PinkNews reported. Ukraine's constitution defines marriage as between a man and a woman. Last ...


Gay News

Uganda government forces LGBTQ+ group to shut down
2022-08-07
An LGBTQI+-rights group in Uganda said the country's government forced it to shut down, according to The Washington Blade. Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), in a press release, said Uganda's National ...


Gay News

Pritzker visits UpRising Bakery and Cafe
2022-08-06
On Aug. 5, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker met with Corrina Sac, owner of Lake in the Hills business UpRising Bakery and Café, as well as leaders from Equality Illinois and Woodstock Pride and Illinois state Rep. ...


Gay News

POLITICS Milwaukee gets RNC in '24; Chicago among DNC hopefuls
2022-08-06
Milwaukee will host the 2024 Republican National Convention (RNC). According to Politico, RNC committee chair Ronna McDaniel tweeted, "I am excited to announce that the RNC has voted unanimously to select Milwaukee as the host city ...


Gay News

Indiana Gov. Holcomb signs bill banning most abortions
2022-08-06
Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb has signed a bill that would ban most abortions—making it the first state to pass a restrictive law against the procedure since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade earlier this ...


Gay News

Kinsey Institute exhibiting iconic Tom Fox HIV/AIDS photo series
2022-08-05
An exhibition of 60 iconic photographs documenting Indiana University alumnus Tom Fox's battle with AIDS in the late 1980s will hang in the Grand Hall of Maxwell Hall on the Indiana University-Bloomington campus. "Wild Horse Running: ...


Gay News

CDPH, community partners provide monkeypox update as Market Days nears
2022-08-05
With the event known as Northalsted Market Days happening Aug. 6-7—and with tens of thousands of people expected to attend—the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) and community partners held a press conference Aug. 4 about ...


Gay News

Sinema plans to sign on Senate Democrats' climate, health and tax bill
2022-08-05
U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Arizona) announced Aug. 4 that she will "move forward" with Democrats' massive climate, prescription drug and spending bill, after fellow party members appeared to reach an agreement about her concerns with the ...


 



Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 

Sponsor


Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.