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 2021-09-01
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Boystown responds to violence
by Kate Sosin, Windy City Times
2011-07-13

This article shared 7134 times since Wed Jul 13, 2011
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


While Lakeview residents and concerned youth have been vocal on the perceived increase in crime in Boystown, LGBT community leaders, organizations and bar owners have been slower to speak on recent controversies.

Problems started at this year's Pride Parade, where a lack of crowd control resulted in brawls all over Lakeview. In the wake of parade, Lakeview residents created a Facebook page to discuss crime called "Take Back Boystown." Residents reported violent incidents on that page, including a July 3 stabbing that was caught on video.

However, the "Take Back Boystown" page has also been plagued by a perception that its members want to force youth of color out of the neighborhood, setting off a debate that nearly exploded at the Lakeview CAPS meeting on July 6.

We asked LGBT leaders and their organizations to comment on recent violent incidents in Lakeview, the July 6 CAPS meeting, and the birth of the "Take Back Boystown" Facebook page:

—Jim Ludwig, owner of Roscoe's Tavern: "The enthusiastic participation and staggering number of citizens at the CAPS meeting was clearly indicative of the community's concern for safety on our streets and the frustrations we all encounter. This emphasized our need for a dedicated entertainment district police tactical presence similar to that assigned in the 'Rush Street Area' is clearly needed to handle the huge numbers of visitors to our area seeking entertainment every night of the week.

"Respect for the friendliness in the neighborhood is lacking and really what all involved want. Any ordinary citizen is easily intimidated by the growing population of wandering and aimless underage folks who are drawn to North Halsted Street's welcoming and diverse nature. Most of these individuals do not feel welcome to "be themselves" in their own neighborhoods. Friendly, respectful social behavior is what is attractive to our neighborhood, but anti-social, confrontational, and intimidating behavior has no place in our shared community. Very, very few of these people cause any trouble, but their presence on the street is clear indication of their thirst for involvement and acceptance.

"The mob mentality is not appreciated or welcomed even by most of those from other neighborhoods. The bottom line for me is there really is no justification for defending any criminal acts. Halsted Street has a large number of very enthusiastic customers and residents who greatly appreciate the efforts to keep our safety assured. We have never had a more competent and attentive set of public servants holding elected offices and positions of authority in our neighborhood, including the aldermen, police commanders and officers."

—Paul Cannella, owner of Scarlet bar and Taverna 750: "There are two things that should have a zero-tolerance policy on Halsted Street. The first is racism and the second is crime. Aside from that, they have nothing in common. The past is the past, so all we should do is learn from it. There is no reason to rehash it, be rude, call people names, etc. Move forward. I am confident the police department and our alderman will get this under control.

"They are extremely hard working and dedicated people, but they need our support and help. Together, we can put a stop to crime. Once this is resolved, then we can turn towards some long term solutions such as increasing programs for youth at the Center, more shelters for the homeless, etc. First and foremast, we do have to take back Boystown — from the criminals. Then we can get back to welcoming with open arms any member of LGBT community, or others that seek our assistance as giving and caring people."

—Bernard Cherkasov, Esq., chief executive officer of Equality Illinois: "I am shocked and saddened by the recent wave of attacks in the Boystown neighborhood of Chicago. Our community cares greatly about keeping the neighborhood diverse, welcoming, and safe. At the same time, I am disappointed in the scapegoating of the already marginalized and disadvantaged members of our community. This is something that impacts the entire LGBT community, and we must all come together to figure out a solution."

—From the Join the Impact-Chicago official release: "The series of events that have unfolded in Boystown have been tragic. Violence is wrong, but so too has been the overt racism, dismissal of youth issues and hostility towards the most vulnerable groups that live within our community. We see the racist and ageist behavior that was exhibited [July 6] at the CAPS meeting as not only bigoted, extreme and exclusive, but also as one of the gravest threats to equality for LGBTQ people everywhere. The racist, ageist, sexist display brought shame to the LGBTQ community. We plan to join other groups in organizing and activism to confront this behavior and to demand youth needs be met, with safer schools, more shelters, and economic assistance that address the core sources of unrest in our streets. Action on this would stand in the tradition of everything our movement has fought for. Neutrality is not an option for us."

—Lisa Marie Pickens, board president and co-founder of Affinity Community Services: "Affinity would ask what is meant by 'Take Back Boystown?' We suggest that now is the time for a very measured, strategic and intentional conversation to take place among a broad based of concerned stakeholders so that understanding can occur and real strategic solutions can be mapped out that are inclusive of all."

—Rosa Yadira Ortiz, president of Amigas Latinas: "Amigas Latinas has been working to build community and support for LGBTQ Latinas for the past 16 years. We believe that an important part of our mission is to create networks of solidarity between diverse LGBTQ populations—something that can only be accomplished if we recognize the differential impact of racism, classism, ageism, transphobia and xenophobia on the lives of LGBTQ persons across the city.

"For this reason, we are deeply disturbed to see how quickly supporters of the Take Back Boystown movement have resorted to racist name calling and racial profiling in the name of protecting their neighborhood. Should those who commit violence against another person be held accountable? Absolutely. But this does not mean targeting all youth of color, nor should it mean agitating for the removal of programs designed to serve the most marginalized members of Chicago's LGBTQ community.

"In a year marked by 'It Gets Better' campaigns, we must ask: for whom? Can we look our youth in the eye and say it gets better, knowing that homelessness is on the rise for queer youth of color? Knowing that joblessness for Black and Latino youth in Chicago is at an all-time high? Knowing that agencies and organizations providing services to queer youth are facing increasing cuts in funding? And knowing that those LGBTQ persons who have the most economic privilege, racial privilege, and economic clout prefer to organize around the removal of youth of color rather than working for increased resources for queer youth city wide?

"Amigas Latinas joins organizations across the city in asking that supporters of the 'Take Back Boystown' movement re-examine the language and tactics they currently employ, and we hope that the debate around this issue will inspire a move towards inclusivity, rather than exclusivity."

—Modesto Tico Valle, chief executive officer of Center on Halsted: "To be clear, we condemn violence in all its forms including physical violence or abusive language. I think this is a feeling shared by most members of our community. We must work together to build a safe and inclusive community for all people. We're working with community members and organizations to find better ways to ensure the safety and security for everyone. Also, Center on Halsted serves the entire community—more than 1,000 people come through our doors every day.

"We provide job training and professional development, community and cultural programs, and comprehensive health and wellness services for the entire community. Just as a small example, more than 150 people participate in our LGBT senior programs every week, 5,000 people attend our arts and cultural events, five recreational sports leagues are housed here, and we offer free HIV testing to more than 2,500 people every year. "

—Illinois Safe Schools Alliance official statement: "At the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance (the Alliance), a youth organizing group committed to ensuring Illinois schools fully address sexual orientation and gender identity, we are committed to participating in a process that seeks to surface the issues of ageism, racism, classism and transphobia inherent in the violence and community reactions.

"We propose a format where individuals and organizations that are committed to community dialogue on these issues come together with middle and high school-aged youth and young adult voices being central. This process must include youth, young adults, Lakeview residents and community-based organizations, queer organizations of color, youth-led organizations, LGBT community centers and businesses, and transgender and gender-variant focused organizations. The Alliance has worked with schools and communities throughout the state in prioritizing youth voices through a process of addressing very complex situations involving violence and oppression and know we can move forward together.

"In order to begin this process, youth leaders at the Alliance are committed to participating in a real conversation with other youth of color and allies to ensure youth voices are heard and are leading the efforts to move past vitriol into solutions that put forward the lived realities of young people oppressed by a combination of factors including race, sexual orientation, class, age, immigration status and gender identity. We seek to engage other groups in and outside of the LGBT community who want to push past the name-calling and shouting and move to a space where we can hold each other and our community centers accountable to meeting and exceeding the needs of those often seen as the most vulnerable. For us, it is a struggle to seek and retain our humanity in the face of inhumanity through violence, racism, greed, and oppression."

—Crash Crawford, Sex Workers Outreach Project-Chicago (SWOP): "We at SWOP-Chicago stand in solidarity with all people involved in, or perceived to be involved in, street economies, referred to as 'sex-trades'—and feels the LGBT community in Chicago should do the same. As many in the LGBT community may recall, it isn't easy 'coming up.' The bigotry, stigma and even violence faced by LGBT people, especially youth, people of color, and trans-persons, or those perceived to be such, are still very real.

"As the 'capital of the Midwest,' Chicago and its predominantly LGBT neighborhoods is a natural mecca for LGBT people from all over—many of whom are fleeing toxic intolerance or violence at home. Many even have been turned out of their homes, and turned away from by their relatives and relations. In the past, as well as today; the police often end-up functioning as the mechanism through which the violence of racism, transphobia and homophobia operate—ESPECIALLY when these people are, or are characterized, as sex workers. For these people, the sex trade can be the one place where what up until then had been a hindrance becomes an asset.

"Often the only asset they and the LGBT community have in the first place is a sense of community. SWOP-Chicago maintains that what at-risk LGBT people need is outreach, advocacy and "a seat at the table" in the community—NOT further marginalization and increased criminalization."


This article shared 7134 times since Wed Jul 13, 2011
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

SOCCER Lloyd scores five goals as U.S. women rout Paraguay
2021-09-17
Scoring five goals in a soccer match can be called a glut or even a "repoker." Whatever it's called, Carli Lloyd accomplished that incredible feat as the U.S. women's national team routed Paraguay 9-0 in Cleveland ...


Gay News

Stephen Amell, 'Outlander' star to be at Wizard World Chicago
2021-09-17
Stephen Amell, known to millions as the crime-fighting vigilante lead in the hit TV series Arrow, will return to Wizard World Chicago on Saturday, Oct. 16. Amell—who also starred in DC Universe vehicles such as DC's ...


Gay News

WORLD False report, Indian activist dies, fashion exhibit, LGBT Awards
2021-09-12
In Spain, a man who claimed eight hooded men carved an anti-gay slur on his butt using a knife in a horrific hate crime later said the act was consensual, according to out.com. According to police ...


Gay News

WORLD Trapped in Afghanistan, lesbian pioneer, anti-gay crimes, Valencia's bid
2021-08-22
Among the Americans trapped in the suburban areas of Kabul, Afghanistan, under Taliban control was Josie Thomas, 32, a transgender government contractor for the U.S. State Department and former U.S. Air Force Sergeant, The Washington Blade ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Biden nominees, San Diego crime, HRC, Fox News contributor
2021-08-08
President Joe Biden reappointed out lesbian Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum as a commissioner of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), which is an advisory post pertaining to issues of religious freedom, Gay City News reported. ...


Gay News

Wis. man attacks trans couple but won't be charged with a hate crime
2021-08-04
In Wisconsin, a La Crosse official said incomplete state laws prevented them from charging a man with a hate crime after he attacked a transgender couple in a public park, according to Wisconsin Public Radio. La ...


Gay News

Analysis of hate crime laws finds limitations, opportunities, rising hate violence
2021-07-28
--From a Movement Advancement Project, National Center for Lesbian Rights press release - With a rise in hate violence across the country, a new report from the Movement Advancement Project (MAP) and 16 leading civil rights organizations provides a groundbreaking analysis of state and federal hate crime laws. The ...


Gay News

WORLD Anti-LGBTQ crimes, conversion therapy, out prime minister, Pakistan school
2021-07-11
In England, police are treating the painting of a homophobic slur on an LGBTQ Pride mural as a hate crime, the BBC reported. The wall in St Helens, Merseyside, which was painted by volunteers and artists ...


Gay News

THEATER Goodman's 'I Hate It Here' to stream July 15-18
2021-07-02
Goodman Theatre's streaming-in-real-time Live series will conclude with I Hate It Here, written by Ike Holter and directed by Lili-Anne Brown. I Hate It Here appears July 15, at 7:30 p.m.; July 16, at 7:30 p.m.; ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Panic defense, VP Kamala Harris, Black LGBTQ app, crime items
2021-06-13
Four states and the nation's capital have taken action to ban the so-called LGBTQ "panic defense," which is a legal strategy used by defendants to cite a victim's sexual orientation or gender identity as an excuse ...


Gay News

Employee fired for using gay slur at Indiana Arby's
2021-06-12
An employee at an Arby's restaurant in Lafayette, Indiana, was fired after writing a homophobic slur on the receipt of a gay couple, NBC News reported. Craig Gray and John Burns were dining at the restaurant ...


Gay News

When crime goes viral
2021-06-10
Activists say Illinois's law that makes it illegal to expose others to HIV is racist and homophobic. Now they're close to changing it.
In early 2016, Jimmy Amutavi had what he considered a happy life. More ...


Gay News

Incarceration for HIV crimes in Georgia cost the state $9 million
2021-06-02
--From a press release - Between 1999-2020, as many as 133 people were incarcerated in Georgia prisons for HIV-related crimes New analysis from the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law finds that as many as 133 people have been incarcerated ...


Gay News

WORLD Myanmar activist, Cyprus official, brutal crimes, UK youth
2021-05-23
In Myanmar, Equality Myanmar Executive Director Aung Myo Min broke another barrier, becoming the first LGBTQ person to become sworn in as a member of cabinet after being appointed by the National Unity Government as its ...


Gay News

President Biden signs historic hate crimes bill into law
2021-05-20
WASHINGTON — Wade Henderson, interim president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, released the following statement after President Biden signed into law the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, which included the Khalid ...


 



Copyright © 2021 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


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
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      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      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.