Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor



Brad Trowbridge on counseling, inclusive slogan
by Erica Demarest, Windy City Times

This article shared 3981 times since Wed Mar 7, 2012
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Since leaving his counseling position at Northwestern University more than a decade ago, Brad Trowbridge has launched his own family-law practice, represented more than 500 domestic abuse victims and written a chapter on civil unions for the Illinois Bar Association.

This month, the openly gay attorney is looking to make the next leap in his career as a candidate in the 8th Judicial Subcircuit. Trowbridge recently sat down with the Windy City Times to talk about his campaign, counseling work and hopes for 2012.

Windy City Times: Can you tell us a little bit about your counseling background?

Brad Trowbridge: I started counseling in 1986, after I got my master's degree. Then I went to Northwestern University to be their "gay counselor," so to speak. There'd been at least one suicide on campus by a gay student, and there was a second student that they suspected of being gay. The administration thought we needed to address this head-on, so they sent a message to the LGBT student population that they valued LGBT students and had a resource available to them. Although I counseled all undergraduate and graduate students, I was the designated gay counselor. I dealt with a lot of coming out issues.

WCT: What prompted your transition into law?

BT: I decided I wanted to be more of an advocate. I went to law school at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and couldn't move back here fast enough. [ Laughs ] It's hard to be in your 30s and out in Champaign.

As a counselor and therapist, your role is to help people heal from traumatic experiences. Many of the students I worked with at Northwestern had suffered some sort of abuse in their lives, some sort of childhood trauma. Many of them were having a hard time coming out, either because of their family, their church or society in general. We're talking about the early-to mid-'90s. The notion of civil unions or same-sex marriage was not even seriously considered.

I decided that it really wasn't my natural way to be—to be the comforter and the healer, the therapist. I really wanted to roll up my sleeves and go kick butt, go do something. Law school would give me an avenue to do that.

WCT: Your campaign slogan is "All Families Matter." Can you tell us more about that?

BT: It's supposed to encompass the idea that all families are important. A family could be one person. It could be a straight couple, a same-sex couple, a couple that has children, a single mother or a victim of abuse.

It's everybody. One of the things that I've learned in my career is that our court system doesn't often demonstrate that all families do matter. Sometimes people who have the money and resources get better treatment, better representation—or representation at all. Many people can't afford representation. I want to send the message that all people should be treated equally, have equal access to the courts and get the same justice.

WCT: I saw that you ran in the 2010 judicial election, but withdrew.

BT: We thought there was going to be an opening in the 8th Subcircuit. My intention at the time was to get a head start if that opening ever became available, and it didn't. An opening occurred countywide, and I tried to get enough signatures at the last minute to get on the ballot. When it became clear that I didn't have enough, I withdrew.

WCT: You wrote a chapter on same-sex relationships in the Illinois State Bar Association's Family Law Handbook. How did that come about?

BT: I don't know. [ Laughs ] I got a call from the editor. Someone had referred me because they knew I worked with a lot of same-sex couples; I think it was just word of mouth in Springfield.

They asked me to write about civil unions and same-sex couples—not so much as an advocate, but as an educator. It was finished in December 2010, but we held off publishing since the Civil Unions Act was about to be voted on. Once that was passed, [ the chapter ] changed entirely. It was really focusing on how same-sex couples could contract with themselves to share property and raise children—to sort of legally meld their lives together. With the passage of the civil union act, that made things a little easier—kind of like one-stop shopping.

WCT: Do you think there are any areas of the law where LGBT people are particularly discriminated against?

BT: The law, for the most part, is gender- and sexual orientation-neutral. What really comes into play is the judge that people end up standing in front of.

One of the things I think will be interesting: We celebrated the passage of the Civil Unions Act this past June. Well, if our relationships are like heterosexual relationships, half of those essentially 'marriages' are going to end. We're going to end up in the court system more than ever before.

It'll be interesting to see how our judges handle same-sex couples essentially divorcing and disputing custody of their children. That could be an area where we're at a disadvantage. We don't know whether those judges are going to treat us with respect…. or whether gender stereotypes are going to come into play in terms of awarding custody.

We need judges who have more than just sound legal minds. We have to have judges who understand the complexities of life today: human relationships, same-sex marriage, same-sex couples having children, domestic violence. It's a different world than it was 20 years ago.

To learn more about Trowbridge, visit .

View downloadable election guide charts at the following link. This election chart was updated online on Friday March 9 with corrections and updates, most notably in the 8th Subcircuit Judicial Race. .

This article shared 3981 times since Wed Mar 7, 2012
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Gay News

Bulls, Blackhawks lose; Lightfoot-Fire FC link 2022-12-01
- The Chicago Bulls (9-12) fell to the Phoenix Suns (15-6) 132-113 in Arizona on Nov. 30, dropping the Bulls to 12th in the Eastern Conference. Phoenix now leads the Western Conference. Devin Booker scored 51 for ...

Gay News

Landmark step toward equality: Senate passes bipartisan Respect for Marriage Act 2022-11-29
-- From press releases - WASHINGTON — The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) — the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization — today celebrated the bipartisan passage of the Respect ...

Gay News

Leni Manaa-Hoppenworth submits 2000+ petition signatures to run for seat vacated by Harry Osterman 2022-11-24
-- From a press release - CHICAGO, IL — Early this morning, Leni Manaa-Hoppenworth, candidate for 48th ward, submitted 2166 petition signatures — over four times as many as the 473 minimum required — in order to get on the ballot for ...

Gay News

Transgender Day of Resilience: Town Hall panelists tackle allyship, discrimination and immigration 2022-11-23
- Brave Space Alliance (BSA), Life Is Work (LIW) and Chicago Therapy Collective (CTC) hosted three free events across the city that they named—TDOR Weekend: A New Era, Together— to celebrate ...

Gay News

Gay candidates Lopez, Lawson file papers for 2023 aldermanic race 2022-11-21
- Ald. Raymond Lopez (15th Ward), an openly gay City Council member who has been an ardent foe of Mayor Lightfoot, announced Nov. 21 that he was dropping his bid for Lightfoot's mayoral seat, and would instead ...

Gay News

Kris Mayes shatters lavender ceiling; first LGBTQ person elected Arizona Attorney General 2022-11-21
-- From a press release - Washington, DC — Today LGBTQ Victory Fund candidate Kris Mayes won the election for Arizona Attorney General. With this historic win, she is now the first out LGBTQ Attorney General in Arizona history. Mayor Annise Parker, ...

Gay News

Equality Illinois on the Club Q shooting 2022-11-20
-- From a press release - Statement from Brian C. Johnson, CEO of Equality Illinois, the state's LGBTQ+ civil rights organization, on the Club Q shooting: On a day already marked by sadness, the LGBTQ+ community woke up to the tragic news ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Respect for Marriage Act, lesbian judge, gay official resigns 2022-11-20
- Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) said that debate on the Respect for Marriage Act (RFMA) is suspended and will continue on Nov. 28, when the Senate reconvenes after Thanksgiving, LGBTQ Nation reported. The RFMA ...

Gay News

WORLD Brazilian musician, top LGBTQ+ cruises, Elon Musk, anti-trans attack 2022-11-20
- Brazilian musician Pedro Sampaio revealed that he dates men and women, Out noted. Sampaio has 7 million monthly listeners on Spotify, more than 5 million followers on Instagram and several music videos with more than 50 ...

Gay News

Reports: Senate to vote on marriage equality law Nov. 16 2022-11-15
- The U.S. Senate will vote on a measure enshrining marriage equality into law Wednesday, according to reports. Supporters of the measure, known as the Respect for Marriage Act, which aims to protect against an eventual repeal ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Political results, communicable-disease law, Urvashi Vaid 2022-11-13
- Sharice Davids won the election for Kansas' 3rd Congressional District. In 2018, she made history when she became the first out LGBTQ+ person elected to Congress from Kansas and one of the first two Native American women ever ...

Gay News

REPORTS: Tunney will not run to be Chicago mayor 2022-11-11
- Outgoing Ald. Tom Tunney (44th ward) will not be among the challengers to incumbent Mayor Lori Lightfoot in the upcoming city election, according to multiple reports. Tunney's decision was first reported Nov. 10 in Chicago Tribune. ...

Gay News

Erick Russell shatters lavender ceiling; first Black LGBTQ person elected to statewide position in U.S. history 2022-11-09
-- From a press release - Washington, DC — Today LGBTQ Victory Fund candidate Erick Russell won the election for Connecticut state Treasurer. With this victory, he is now the first Black out LGBTQ person ever elected to statewide office in U.S. ...

Gay News

HISTORY MADE: Oregon's Tina Kotek one of first lesbian governors in U.S history 2022-11-09
-- From a press release - SALEM — Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, hailed the victory of HRC-endorsed Tina Kotek in her bid to become the governo ...

Gay News

History made: More LGBTQ+ people elected to congress than ever before 2022-11-09
-- From an HRC press release - Washington, DC — Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) — the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization — hailed the victory of at least ...


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.







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.