Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-12-13



Chicago's LGBTQ+ Advisory Council sets a new course
by Carrie Maxwell

This article shared 12835 times since Mon Mar 18, 2024
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Chicago's LGBTQ+ Advisory Council held its first meeting of the calendar year on Feb. 28 at City Hall in the Loop under the leadership of the recently appointed chair Jin-Soo Huh.

The LGBTQ+ Advisory Council is currently one of five councils established under the Chicago Commission on Human Relations's (CCHR) Enabling Ordinance. Other Advisory Councils focus on Equity, New Americans, Veterans Affairs and Women.

Huh, who has been on the advisory council since it was reestablished in early 2020 under then Mayor Lori Lightfoot's administration, told Windy City Times he decided to join because "I am a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community and love that I have the privilege of calling Chicago home. The advisory council is a way that I can make Chicago an even more inclusive place and to make sure the voice of the LGBTQ+ community is heard and recognized while the City makes policy decisions."

Late last year, Huh took on the role of chair because he wanted "to continue to make Chicago a more inclusive place. I was heartened by then Mayor-elect Johnson's LGBTQ+ policy positions and the naming of the advisory council as a key partner in his transition report."

The meeting began with Huh noting that the council will be modernizing how it operates including a revamped website with more information about its work available to the public. Huh also said each meeting will have consultancy, community connection, committee and council updates and public comment sections.

The consultancy objective is to "advise a city agency, the Mayor's team or other city body on specific questions that pertain to the LGBTQ+ community" while the community connection has three objectives; "aim to hear from a diverse set of organizations, help the advisory council better engage with the community and form partnerships with organizations that serve the LGBTQ+ community and build advisory council's awareness of resources and services that organizations provide to support our work."

This quarterly meeting's consultancy focused on supporting LGBTQ+ migrants and featured a presentation by Chicago Office of Immigrant, Migrant and Refugee Rights First Deputy Rey Wences. In addition to the general information on the migrants who have come to Chicago, Wences also said that there will be improvements in support for the LGBTQ+ migrants including a more inclusive intake questionnaire upon migrants arrival "affirming signage at the Illinois Department of Public Health's intake center and coordinating connections to resources outside of the shelters."

The community connection portion of the meeting featured a presentation by Center on Halsted's CEO Joli Robinson (who took on this role in early December 2023). Robinson spoke about her background in Dallas working to help the unhoused population there and that this is also one of the focuses of the Center. She shared the other things the Center has to offer and said, "We are going to focus on being strategic and intentional about our programming and services. [So] that when people walk through the doors of the Center or engage with anyone at the Center, [you] feel affirmed for who you are and are celebrated."

Additionally, Communications and Outreach Chair Anna DeShawn, Community Safety Chairs Maliyah Arnold and Mony Ruiz-Velasco, Equity and Inclusion Chairs Dr. Pamela Lightsey and Stephanie Skora and Health and Human Services Chair Miguel Blancarte, Jr. shared each of their committee's priorities and future plans.

Arnold added that she took on one of the community safety committee chairperson roles because, "As an openly transgender person and a woman of color, witnessing the detrimental impact of policy rollbacks on transgender rights across the United States under the Trump administration was a reality check for me. While it was heartbreaking, it made me aware that despite the progressive momentum of our country over the last several decades, the loss of this progress was always just one bad election cycle away. As negative as it seems, the harm that this administration affected in my community… on my friends and chosen family… inspired me to get more involved in political leadership. I've realized the urgent need for informed, empathetic leadership that can advocate for the rights and dignity of all LGBTQ people across the city."

DeShawn told Windy City Times she wanted to join the council and also become the Communications and Outreach Chair "because so often the information doesn't get back to the people. It's not that work isn't being done, it's that it doesn't get communicated. I want to be part of the reason people in our LGBTQ+ community as well as our comrades know what is going on and are thoughtfully informed."

The advisory council also includes among its membership Don Abram, Dr. Nick Alder, Dr. Chris Balthazar, Don Bell, Robert Castillo, Stefanie Clark, Starr De Los Santos, Kim Hunt, Kristen Kaza, Cornelius Lee, Sanjeev Singh, Eric Wilkerson and Vic Wynter.

The LGBTQ+ Advisory Council was originally called the Advisory Council on Gay and Lesbian Issues (ACGLI) and has been in existence since 1985 when then Mayor Harold Washington created it. Since that time, the council has gone through different iterations and focuses.

Huh told Windy City Times that he hopes this new version of the LGBTQ+ Advisory Council "becomes a body that effectively advocates for policies that protect and invest in the LGBTQ+ community. To do this, I want to make sure we meaningfully engage LGBTQ+ Chicagoans and organizations throughout the city to hear about their experiences and find ways that we can collaborate. We have taken the first steps by setting our priorities for this year and we look forward to working with the community and reporting out the progress on these priorities."

See . To sign up for the newsletter, visit and to contact the council visit, .

This article shared 12835 times since Mon Mar 18, 2024
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Out and Aging
Presented By


Gay News

WORLD Nigeria arrest, Chilean murderer, trans ban, Olivier Awards, marriage items
Nigeria's Economic and Financial Crimes Commission's (EFCC's) decision to arrest well-known transgender woman Idris Okuneye (also known as Bobrisky) over the practice of flaunting money has sparked questions among several ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Ohio law blocked, Trevor Project, Rev. Troy Perry, ICE suit, Elon Musk
In Ohio, Franklin County Court of Common Pleas Judge Michael Holbrook temporarily blocked a Republican-backed state law banning gender-affirming care (such as puberty blockers and hormones) for transgender minors from ...

Gay News

BOOKS Frank Bruni gets political in 'The Age of Grievance'
In The Age of Grievance, longtime New York Times columnist and best-selling author Frank Bruni analyzes the ways in which grievance has come to define our current culture and politics, on both the right and left. ...

Gay News

Hunter leads resolution declaring April 2024 as Minority Health Month
--From a press release - SPRINGFIELD — To raise awareness about the importance of cardiovascular health, particularly among minority communities, State Senator Mattie Hunter passed a resolution declaring April 2024 as Minority Health Month in ...

Gay News

Supreme Court allows Idaho ban on gender-affirming care for minors
The U.S. Supreme Court has granted a request by Republican Idaho Attorney General Raul Labrador to lift a lower court's temporary injunction preventing the state from enforcing its felony ban on gender-affirming care for minors, The ...

Gay News

Howard Brown reaches tentative agreement with union after 1.5 years of contentious negotiations
Howard Brown Health has reached a tentative agreement with its union, after a year and a half of negotiations that included two workers strikes. The Illinois Nurses Association, which represents about 360 employees at Howard Brown ...

Gay News

City Council passes Lesbian Visibility Week proclamation
Chicago alderwomen Maria Hadden (49th) and Jessie Fuentes (26th) introduced a resolution at Chicago's April 17 City Council meeting to declare April 22-28 as Lesbian Visibility Week in Chicago. This is part of a nationwide effort ...

Gay News

SAVOR Vivent Health/TPAN leader talks about Dining Out for Life
On Thursday, April 25, people can join the city's restaurant community for Dining Out For Life Chicago, an event ensuring people affected by HIV/AIDS can access essential services. We want to show up in the communities ...

Gay News

Morrison to run for Cook County clerk (UPDATED)
Openly gay Cook County Commissioner Kevin Morrison has decided to run for the Cook County clerk position that opened following Karen Yarbrough's death, according to Politico Illinois Playbook. Playbook added that Morrison also wants to run ...

Gay News

Q FORCE launches 2024 election efforts in Chicago
More than 100 people attended the launch of 2024 election efforts by Q FORCE Midwest Action Group at Sidetrack April 12. Q FORCE is a Chicago-based, all-volunteer, grassroots movement organizing to recruit and activate "at least ...

Gay News

First Queer and BIPOC-owned Illinois cannabis company opens Northalsted dispensary
A small group gathered April 12 at 3340 N. Halsted St. to celebrate the grand opening of a historic new Northalsted business. SWAY, Illinois' first queer and BIPOC-owned cannabis company, marked the opening of its dispensary ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Trans woman killed, Tenn. law, S. Carolina coach, Evan Low, Idaho schools
Twenty-four-year-old Latina trans woman and makeup artist Meraxes Medina was fatally shot in Los Angeles, according to the website them, citing The Los Angeles Times. Authorities told the Times they found Medina's broken fingernail and a ...

Gay News

David E. Munar reflects on Howard Brown leadership and new Columbus, Ohio post
On April 1, David E. Munar started his tenure as CEO of the Columbus, Ohio-based non-profit health system Equitas. The date marked the latest chapter for Munar, who previously helmed AIDS Foundation Chicago and, most recently, ...

Gay News

UK's NHS releases trans youth report; JK Rowling chimes in
An independent report issued by the UK's National Health Service (NHS) declared that children seeking gender care are being let down, The Independent reported. The report—published on April 10 and led by pediatrician and former Royal ...

Gay News

LPAC, Arizona LGBTQ officials denounce Arizona Supreme Court ruling on abortion
--From a press release - Washington, DC — Yesterday, in a decision that starkly undermines reproductive freedoms, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled to enforce a 160-year-old law that criminalizes abortion and penalizes healthcare providers who ...


Copyright © 2024 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives.

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 Transgender 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.