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 2022-08-31
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

AIDS: Jose Love, youth activist tries to make a difference
by John J. Accrocco
2012-02-29

This article shared 3830 times since Wed Feb 29, 2012
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


In a country where an alarming amount of young people take their lives in response to bullying over sexual orientation, organizations like Chicago-based Youth Pride Services are vital.

For nearly a decade, this national program has provided leadership and hope to a generation of Black, queer, youth. "Youth at hope, not at risk," is the YPS slogan on their Facebook page. This member-driven initiative has helped shine light on issues of sexual orientation and HIV awareness within young, ethnic MSM ( men who have sex with men ) communities via outreach events, lectures and resources.

"They have been a heart to the youth in Chicago," said Michigan chapter leader Jose Love, 20. "From helping mold the mindset of the youth so that they can be good citizens and so much more. I am forever thankful that they put faith in me to be the bridge for Michigan, to do the same with my team here."

This year, YPS/Code Red are sending Jose Love to the Black Treatment of Advocates Network ( BTAN ) National Steering Committee. BTAN is being backed by the Black AIDS Institute and Jose Love will be part of a very public platform that will help initiate teams and services for getting all Black Americans living with HIV into treatment.

Love, along with another YPS member, were selected by their peers by election as a representative for YPS to the BTAN National Steering Committee.

Empowerment at large is what this service is all about. The national YPS collective, Code Red, is comprised of the top LGBT youth leaders in the country. Code Red members also act as the national faces and public voice of YPS and meet via teleconference to discuss issues facing their demographic.

"I am most grateful in being selected! I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would be on such a platform so soon in my life. God has something for me to do here and this is just the beginning," said Love.

Jose Love nee James Fergerson was born and raised in Detroit. He was born with strong connections to the church—he's the son of a pastor. "I'm a very optimistic person. … The church has been a big part of my life. I think it's helped form the foundation of my activism. I don't care if you're gay, straight, bi, Christian or Jewish, we all have the divine right to be treated equal," Love said.

Life as an openly gay man has not been particularly easy for Love. He attended a Detroit public high school that he recalls as being "full of machismo. In a predominantly Black high school it was so hard to be the first openly gay guy. It took me two difficult years to change most of their minds about homosexuality. And I try not to define myself as just gay. I'm human and I don't want me or anyone else to be treated like a leper for making our life decisions."

On coming out of the closet to his family, Love was met with more adversity: "Sweet Jesus it was hell. My mom took it so hard: we fought, cursed at each other and I was put out. My name was blackened in the family. However, my father's side handled it with grace. All he said was that it was between me and god. Were they happy? No, but in the end they wouldn't judge me for who I am. My mother's mindset has since changed because of how I carry myself and who I have become."

After graduating high school in 2010, Love got involved with Code Red when a friend told him about YPS. "The mission statement was something that I believed strongly in, so I got active." In his short time with YPS, Love became a part of the more administrative Code Red where he is a youth mentor and an open ear for the problems facing the YPS members he guides. "I tell my folks to show their true colors. When I show my true colors, I attract so many more people," he said.

"I believe I have always been an activist and not just for the LGBT community, but the world and what is right," Love said. "It pains me to see the things going on, and not just in the gay community. My problem with my specific community is how far apart we have become. As I look at documentaries about the struggles that so many have undergone so that we can be where we are today, it saddens me. People have lost their lives and in return we act uneducated. That's not who we are and that's why the world has such a negative viewpoint of us, because of the ignorance some people are displaying."

Now that Love is part of an even bigger committee, his guidance will be more important than ever as BTAN's National Steering Committee has much to accomplish. "I'm hoping through being on this platform that I can touch nations and be a voice for the people that don't know and don't have the resources to know."

In addition to Love's commitments with YPS and BTAN, he is studying psychology and counseling at Schoolcraft College in Michigan. "My life is headed in a very positive direction. As well as being a student, I just became a Balie Dai model. I'm on the right track I believe. My career goals are simple."

This story is part of the Local Reporting Initiative, supported in part by The Chicago Community Trust.


This article shared 3830 times since Wed Feb 29, 2012
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Peppermint barks while Broadway bangs, and all the other dish to start the week
2022-11-28
"I love Broadway. I love what they do—Broadway Cares, but I also want to say the show is extraordinary!" —Nicole Kidman's impromptu speech after bidding $100K to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS for Hugh Jackman's hat after ...


Gay News

Chicago's COVID level returns to 'medium'; boosters/shots encouraged
2022-11-26
According to the latest information on the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) website, the city's COVID-19 risk level is now at medium level. In a news release, the Chicago Department of Public Health explained Cook ...


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

SHOWBIZ Grammy nominees, Gabrielle Union, Trevor Noah, Brendan Fraser
2022-11-20
Out Magazine compiled a list of some of the 2023 LGBTQA+ Grammy nominees. Among those on the list were Brandi Carlile (who earned another seven Grammy nominations this year, raising her career total to 25), Lady ...


Gay News

Lambda Legal challenges anti-HIV military policy
2022-11-13
Lambda Legal filed a legal challenge to the U.S. military policy that prevents people living with HIV from enlisting in the U.S. Armed Forces, according to a press release. The current policy requires that applicants for ...


Gay News

Center on Halsted hosts health resource event for LGBTQ+ seniors
2022-11-11
Center on Halsted hosted How to Plan for your Changing Health Needs, a Senior Citizen Resource Fair with a particular focus for members of the LGBTQ community on Nov. 8. A host of representatives from medical, ...


Gay News

National AIDS Memorial names 2022-2023 Pedro Zamora Young Leaders Scholarship recipients
2022-11-09
-- From a press release - SAN FRANCISCO, California, Nov. 09, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The National AIDS Memorial has announced its 2022/2023 Pedro Zamora Young Leaders scholars, its largest and most diverse class ever, providing ...


Gay News

QPOC and transgender elders become focus of grad school student's master's thesis
2022-11-02
When we think about how LGBTQ+ age, helping people feel connected and "seen" is just one of the many ways a community can care for LGBTQ+ elders. It can contribute to their mental health as they ...


Gay News

Santa Speedo Run Northalsted to return, has raised more $500,000+ for Chicago's LGBTQ+ community
2022-11-01
-- From a press release - CHICAGO (Nov. 1, 2022) The Santa Speedo Run Northalsted is back with a full afternoon of events that begin at noon on Saturday, Dec 3. Proceeds from the annual event benefit Center on Halsted, Chicago's LGBTQ ...


Gay News

SAVOR Matcha Cita
2022-10-31
Just steps from the Morgan stop on the Pink and Green lines is a heavenly place. And if you don't believe this writer about Matcha Cita (1017 W. Lake St., with an additional spot at Studio ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Birth certificates, university items, drag-show standoff, 'Models of Pride'
2022-10-30
Following a lawsuit from ACLU, ACLU of West Virginia and the Harvard Law School LGBTQ+ Advocacy Clinic, the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources' Vital Registration Office has introduced more accessible and safer policies ...


Gay News

Sheryl Lee Ralph producing HIV/AIDS documentary
2022-10-29
Recent Emmy winner Sheryl Lee Ralph has signed on to produce Unexpected, a documentary short about women of color living with HIV in the South, Variety reported. Directed by Zeberiah Newman, the film will chronicle Masonia ...


Gay News

Howard Brown Health's Big Orange Ball has 'Saturday Night Fever' theme
2022-10-27
Howard Brown Health's Big Orange Ball was back in-person at Park West on Oct. 22—this time with a big (not orange) disco ball. About 300 people brought their Halloween spirit to the event, dressed in costumes ...


Gay News

WORLD Anti-LGBTQ+ countries, UK monkeypox/MPV, vigil, intersex activist
2022-10-23
Video below - Thirty-four Commonwealth nations still have anti-LGBTQ+ laws—roughly three-fifths of the group's total of 53 nations, according to Erasing 76 Crimes. Worldwide, 69 countries still cling to such anti-homosexuality laws. Just ...


Gay News

Chicago Dept. of Public Health reports first two monkeypox/MPV deaths
2022-10-22
On Oct. 21, the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced two deaths of Chicago residents caused by this year's monkeypox virus (MPV) outbreak. According to a CDPH press release, both individuals had multiple other health ...


 




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


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.