||Black Caucus Meeting Stirs Controversy
by Andrew Davis
This article shared 3963 times since Sat Sep 1, 2007
A conference of the Chicago Black Gay Men's Caucus ( CBGMC ) took place Aug. 9 at the Chicago Department of Public Health ( CDPH ) Training Building at 1642 N. Besly—and centered around a unique exercise that shed light on some controversial issues but that also baffled some of the attendees, who were under the impression that another topic would be discussed.
The caucus began smoothly enough, with CGBMC President Kevin Tindell providing updates regarding the organization's committees. However, the night's first bump occurred when Tindell erroneously said that the Quality of Life Bill—a measure establishing a statewide lottery game in which proceeds would ultimately help HIV/AIDS-related organizations—had passed through the Illinois General Assembly and been signed by Gov. Rod Blagojevich. ( The former has occurred but the latter has not. ) A couple of people raised their hands in an effort to correct Tindell, but were instructed to wait until the end of the meeting if they had comments, frustrating them.
( The day after the meeting, attendee Michael O'Connor contacted Windy City Times to express his frustration, calling the presentation of the report 'a clear example of political illiteracy among the African-American GLBT leadership in this city.' He added that he cleared up the situation with Tindell during the first break but that Tindell failed to make a retraction, leaving O'Connor 10 seconds at the end of the meeting to clarify things. Tindell responded by e-mail: 'The bill is on the Govenor's desk but it is not signed yet because the budget has not been signed as of [ Aug. 13 ] . I acknowledged the correction and thanked [ O'Connor ] publicly in the meeting before it ended. I cited that I was wrong in stating that it had already been signed.' )
Then, the meeting moved on to an exercise that involved the entire gathering. CDPH's Lora Branch presented the crowd with an interactive hypothetical that focused on Doug, a 32-year-old volunteer at a youth center, and Jamal, a 16-year-old who goes to the center ( the only place where he is 'out' ) and who has had sex with an HIV-positive man. One night, Doug gives Jamal a ride in his car; Jamal confesses his problems and ultimately says that he wishes he had a boyfriend like Doug.
Moderator Diana Beasley, a management counselor, then split the audience into several groups, who then discussed legal issues, role-play issues, boundaries and sources of support as they related to the scenario. After a half hour, everyone came together and discussed said topics. ( They were assisted by a panel of experts who consisted of CDPH attorney Wendi Wright, Rev. Juan Reed, Department of Children and Family Services' Thayer Johnson and Renae Ogletree of Chicago Public Schools. ) What ensued was an at-times passionate discussion that touched on everything from abortion to disclosure of possible criminal activity.
Several people were confused by the very fact that the exercise even took place. In fact, one attendee asked, 'What is the basis of this being held at the CBGMC meeting?' Branch answered at the meeting's conclusion that the night's subject 'was just the tip of the iceberg. We're going to get into much, much more depth with this topic. Someone asked, 'Why are we addressing this?' [ It's because ] it's an important issue. Should we address it today or never? Today. Every issue that comes to this room is going to be addressed in a public forum until we get the answers.'
Although the forum produced some answers, some people were not satisfied by the night's proceedings. An e-mail making the rounds stated that the allegedly morally ( and possibly, legally ) corrupt behavior of the leader of an agency head would be specifically discussed at the meeting. However, the closest the forum got to that claim was the exercise—which angered a few of the attendees.
Developments will be reported as they happen—and several people indicated that things are definitely not over concerning the issues involving the agency head.
This article shared 3963 times since Sat Sep 1, 2007
| ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE|
|THEATER 'Wicked' returning to Chicago in 2022 2021-11-30|
- The blockbuster musical Wicked will return to Broadway In Chicago's James M. Nederlander Theatre, 24 W. Randolph St., on Sept. 28-Dec. 4, 2022. Now the fifth longest-running show in Broadway historyand featuring songs such as "Popular" ...
|Billy Masters 2021-11-29|
- "The obvious one would be A Little Night Music. I know I could do that role very well now that I've gotten to this stage in my life, and you know it's a beautiful song in there. It's perfection."Sarah Brightman reveals ...
|SHOWBIZ Netflix, Kal Penn, Dennis Rodman, 'The Voice,' 'Euphoria' 2021-11-28|
Video below - Terra Field—one of the Netflix employees who organized the walkout around Dave Chappelle's comedy special The Closer—has resigned from the streamer, Deadline reported. Field, along with B. Pagels-Minor, organized an ...
|Broadway titan Stephen Sondheim dies at 91 2021-11-27|
- Stephen Sondheim, one of the giants of Broadway songwriting, died Nov. 26 at his home in Roxbury, Connecticut, according to media reports. He was 91. Among the works in the legend's oeuvre are Company (1970), Follies ...
|EVENTS John Grumpy Co. presenting 'Black Sunday' Nov. 28 2021-11-24|
- John Grumpy Co. is hosting "Black Sunday," which will take place at HVAC Pub, 3530 N. Clark St., on Sunday, Nov. 28, 9 p.m.-2 a.m.. This event will feature celebrity DJ Jamal Smallz. "Black Sunday" will ...
|MUSIC Grammy nominations announced; GLAAD comments 2021-11-24|
- On Nov. 23, the nominations for the 64th Annual Grammy Awards were announced. John Batiste, the musician who also serves as the bandleader on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, led among all nominees with 11 ...
|MUSIC Controversial rapper DaBaby postpones shows 2021-11-24|
- DaBaby's return to touring following fallout for making anti-gay comments at the Rolling Loud music festival in Miami this past summer has been postponed, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. The rapper's been promoting his "Live Show ...
|SHOWBIZ '9-1-1,' Billie Jean King, Lena Waithe, singer Mary Lambert, White Party 2021-11-21|
- Actor Rockmond Dunbar left the Fox show 9-1-1 after four seasons over a vaccine mandate, Deadline noted. His gay character, Michael Grant, was abruptly written off in the Nov. 15 episode, leaving fans of the first-responder ...
|Rainbow Railroad plans 'When I Am Free' benefit concert to get LGBTQI+s to safety 2021-11-20|
--From a press release. Videos below - Chicago, IL (November 12, 2021) - The annual Chicago 5 Lives Fundraiser hosted by Rainbow Railroad is proud to return this year with "When I Am Free", a benefit concert offering attendees a premier evening of ...
|MOVIES 'Dante and Beatrice in Florence' Nov. 28-Dec. 5 2021-11-19|
- Porchlight Music Theatre is partnering with Hershey Felder Presents: Live from Florence and its second season of productions. The launch of this new season from Hershey Felder is the new musical film Dante and Beatrice in ...
|Lil Nas X part of 'Jingle Ball' on Dec. 7 2021-11-17|
- Queer rapper Lil Nas X will headline KISS FM's Jingle Ball Presented by Capital One this year, run in coordination with iHeart Radio. The event will take place Tuesday, Dec. 7, at Allstate Arena at 7:30 ...
|Chicago Therapy Collective to honor Trans Day of Resilience 2021-11-16|
- On Saturday, Nov. 20, Chicago Therapy Collective will release an original music video cover of Wildfires (Sault, 2020) in honor of Trans Day of Resilience (TDOR) 2021 and the racial justice uprisings of 2020. According to ...
|'When I Am Free' concert supporting Rainbow Railroad on Dec. 3 2021-11-16|
- "When I Am Free: A Benefit Concert for Rainbow Railroad" will take place at Center on Halsted's Hoover-Leppen Theatre, 3656 N. Halsted St., on Friday, Dec. 3, at 7:30 p.m. During this event, there will be ...
|SHOWBIZ Theater items, Lady Gaga, 'Justice League Queer,' Tom of Finland 2021-11-14|
- Eighteen months after he died of COVID, the life of playwright Terrence McNally was celebrated in a packed house Nov. 1 at the Schoenfeld Theatre, Gay City News noted. Tributes poured in from theater artists, while ...
|Britney Spears' conservatorship ends 2021-11-12|
- The conservatorship that has controlled Britney Spears' finances, personal life and medical decisions since 2008, and which for many years was controlled by her father, Jamie Spears, has ended. On Nov. 12, Los Angeles County Superior ...