Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-06-08



In Search of Health Care In America
Solutions & Dialogue, Part 4
by Sherri Jackson

This article shared 4912 times since Wed Jan 1, 2003
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

Blacklines, January 2003

Copyright © 2002 Lambda Publications Inc. All rights reserved.

"We don't fight for anything anymore; we live in a microwave society." -- Comedian Bernie Mac

It's 1992, the economy is staggering and financial scandals are in the headlines, and George Herbert Walker Bush is the President. Sound familiar? It's 2002 and G.W. the selected cowboy seems to be repeating the past of family history!

G.W. wrestles with the financial fallout from Enron, among others. We appear to be in a recession, and we the people wait while the cowboy wages WAR. In Illinois, cussing publicly gets you a fine of $300, and City Council gives itself a raise. Our priorities seem to be backwards. While all this takes place, the real issues of LBGTs, education, healthcare, affirmative action, and housing are on the backburner. We continue to mislead the young generations as if BLING-BLING ( materialism ) is more important to follow. While the rich get richer, middle class gets too comfortable, and the poor remain poor!

We now are going into 2003 with the possibility of repeated drama of firings, cutbacks, and, the possibility of a bomb dropping. If this takes place, we the LBGT community will have to face media drama and have agencies answer questions once again to the public. Maybe next time we the public will get a chance to speak via a public forum.

When the coverage broke out of firings and cutbacks at Horizons, Howard Brown Health Center, and Minority Outreach Intervention Project, we the public waited so the agencies could hear our take on the situation. It never happened, with the exception of MOIP, great spokespersons from the community, and great media coverage. It was hard to watch this take place, but it has not been forgotten--we just became hushed and docile.

I was a volunteer at Horizons and then was selected a board member from 1996-2000. I too once was in the position of helping to decide who do we fire, cutback, etc.

We will always have fallouts and struggles revolving around racism, sexism, ageism, classism, and, gender issues. So how do we move on and be proactive and less reactive? How do we find the balance and be brutally honest and continue to serve the community? I hope we all are searching for better solutions in the community and healthcare locally and globally. While some speak of diversity, others practice it. Diversity is good ethics, good sense, and good business. Most agencies and large corporate institutions look diverse, but positions in coordinator/management are rare with faces of color unless in low or middle management. It seems like women and folks of color have always been second-class citizens in society when it comes to healthcare, and issues that effect us.

I would love to see more men support women's issues such as we are expected to support their issues. I recall being saddened when Stacey Long left Howard Brown Health Center; she returned to Chicago with much enthusiasm in serving the women's community. Stacey is a friend, community organizer, and lawyer ( J.D. ) . It must have been hard for her being an African-American female working in a predominately white male institution that has a rumored history of catering only to white males, and being the director of the Women's Program.

White homosexual men have access to a cohesive cultural network and support systems that include advocacy and service-oriented groups. Homosexuality is often viewed as taboo in Black and Latino communities. This may be a result of cultural barriers, and limited access to medical care including systemic barriers, patient beliefs, and behaviors, and unclear provider communication.

It would be a dishonor not to see the Women's Program carry on at HBHC. But, finding the balance and paying homage to Stacey is what I hope some of us continue to strive for if nothing else! I struggle along with other African Americans when it comes to sitting on any predominately European board. Some Europeans may treat us as though we are special, different from other African-Americans whom they may perceive in stereotypical ways. On the flip side some African Americans send the shout outs of labeling you being newly selected Negro, "Uncle Tom" and sell-out! When, where, and how will we find the balance and just all get along?

In 1999 Liz Huesemann was leaving Horizons--she was executive director. Liz is a License Clinical Social Worker. I admired Liz along with others, respected the fact she was not perceived as some pretentious European individual trying to do outreach with communities of color. She did it with sincerity and passion. She wasn't afraid to come to the South or West side like some cater to you their $200 and above dinners and never show their face for our $50 and less events! It's a little harsh? It's real. We as African Americans need to ask ourselves, will we do more than our ancestors did with less? Will we collectively, individually, financially, ethically, raise each other up in empowerment? We were once together, kinder, and happier with each other before we became educated, materialistic, perpetrating, and carrying the oppressors' oppression on to each other! In communities of color, some are living in zones around toxic waste that lead to health hazards and mass destruction. Most African Americans have been subjugated to these war zones of living. Think about the sell-out individual and what that means?

Maybe it is the individual that does nothing to help and improve a community or reach back for others. In all of these statistics there is someone LBGT waiting for assistance. In Illinois, rates of incarceration per 100,000 women age 18-64; 54 white, 553 Black, Hispanic 69. In Illinois 82.5% of women incarcerated are mothers affecting at least 25,000 children annually, nationally 1.5 million children have parents in jail. As you sleep there is an African American or Latino individual being racially profiled. There are an estimated 53 million disabled individuals. It is estimated 43 million people are without health insurance! In 2001,there were 249,000 victims of rape or sexual assault. A total of 17.7 million women have been victims of these crimes. About 3% of men have experienced rape in their lifetime. About 44% of rapes victims are under 18. Blacks are about 10% more likely to be attacked than whites. ( )

In South Africa 4.7 million are HIV positive, and India is also facing devastating losses. There is a woman who will not get the same treatment in HIV/AIDS because of her gender. This is reflected in the need to negotiate a dominant culture that devalues women of color and lesbians. Between 1998-2000, African-American women accounted for 79% of all female AIDS cases, while they made up only 39% of the metropolitan area's population. ( ) . Approximately 339,000 individuals are currently living with AIDS in the United States ( .hiv.stats/hasr ) .

Somewhere laying beside the road, a transgender individual has been found dead due to a HATE CRIME, but we will have to debate with larger society what constitutes it in being a hate crime. Across the country a female of color is being portrayed as ex-drug addict user/ho/slut/aggressive/and hard. Why aren't we speaking out against this, and why do we choose at times to partake? It is all hype!

There is a young mother worried her child will be taken away as she catches public transportation to her suburban job of minimum wage; she cannot afford a babysitter and wants to get off welfare. The color of her skin may be white, or of color! There is a Black-on-Black homicide taking place. Can you be a role model and teach someone to read? There is an elderly individual who will have to choose between medication and food for the month, while a drug company shakes hands with a politician!

The young want leaders who will speak the truth and take them with him or her. The scholar Cornel West has said "African-Americans need visionary leaders that can pass the ideas and thought on to future generations and speak the truth and not be afraid! Do we want to hear the truth?" Will we continue to suffer mentally, emotionally, physically and then have the breakdown wondering what we could have done?

In life I have heard there are three types of individuals--those that make things happen, those that wait to see what will happen, and those that say 'when did that happen'? What individual are you?

As we approach 2003, I hope we embrace the idea of being educated in health issues locally, nationally, and internationally. What takes place across the seas will affect us here on our own soil. We together need to get busy--we still have lots of work to do! I will continue to search for healthcare in this so-called America the beautiful. We must not become tired now. Will we as African-Americans do more than our ancestors did with less? We must continue to liberate so together we may celebrate!

This health series is dedicated to my elder sister friend/mentor Jackie Anderson, who unconditionally shares her wisdom, time, friendship with all colors, ages, and genders. We love you.

"To Whom Much has been given much will be expected."

Copyright © 2002 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved. Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Radio, and publishes Windy City Times, The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community, Nightspots, Out Resource Guide, Blacklines and En La Vida. 1115 W. Belmont 2D, Chicago, IL 60657; PH ( 773 ) 871-7610; FAX ( 773 ) 871-7609. Web at . Contact: editor

This article shared 4912 times since Wed Jan 1, 2003
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


Gay News

Sen. Baldwin, colleagues applaud confirmation of Global AIDS Coordinator, push for global LGBTQI+ rights 2022-07-02
-- From a press release - WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen.Tammy Baldwin joined her colleagues in congratulating John Nkengasong on his recent confirmation as U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator. The lawmakers also urged Ambassador Nkengasong to ensure ...

Gay News

Out at CHM: Panelists discuss HIV/AIDS' continued impact on dance community 2022-06-25
- The Chicago History Museum (CHM) hosted a June 23 panel with doctors and dancers who shared their experiences with the HIV/AIDS epidemic as well as ideas for continuing to address the disease today. Following the discussion, ...

Gay News

CDC reminds people that National HIV Testing Day is June 27 2022-06-24
-- From a press release - June 27 is National HIV Testing Day (NHTD), a day to emphasize the importance of HIV testing and make sure everyone knows their status so they can take steps to improve their health, regardless of the ...

Gay News

100 HIV groups call on Congress to fund Biden's National PrEP Program 2022-06-16
-- From a press release - (New York City, NY) Wednesday, June 15, 2022—PrEP4All, Inc., along with 100 HIV organizations, are leading the push for Congress to fund a National Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) Program that would ...

Gay News

TPAN to host Closing Ceremony for Ride For Life Chicago June 19 2022-06-15
-- From a press release - Chicago, IL—TPAN will host the Closing Ceremony of the Ride For Life Chicago on Sunday, June 19 at Foster Beach from noon-5pm. Cyclists will complete their 200-, 100-, and 50-mile rides to converge at the beach ...

Gay News

Governor signs bills expanding access to HIV- and AIDS-related care and prevention 2022-06-14
-- From a press release - Chicago—Governor JB Pritzker signed HB4430 and HB5549 into law today, removing barriers to access for HIV and AIDS care and prevention. HB4430 allows pharmacists to dispense both pre- and post-exposure prophylaxis drugs (PrEP and PEP) without ...

Gay News

AIDS Run & Walk Chicago to now take place Oct. 2 2022-06-08
- The 31st Annual AIDS Run & Walk Chicago will now take place on Sunday, October 2. The annual event helps raise awareness and funds for individuals who are living with or vulnerable to HIV/AIDS across Chicagoland. ...

Gay News

Community and politicians gather to open the AIDS Memorial Garden 2022-06-02
- Chicagoans gathered at the lakefront the morning of June 2 for the ribbon-cutting and grand opening of the city's long-awaited AIDS Memorial Garden. "There are so many ones who have passed who have come to witness ...

Gay News

amfAR gala is highlight of Cannes Film Festival, raises $19M 2022-05-28
- The amfAR gala, the highlight of the famed Cannes Film Festival, returned as a glamorous in-person event May 26 at the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Antibes, France, according to a press release. amfAR, The Foundation for ...

Gay News

Howard Brown Health unveils Pride mural at Walsh Park 2022-05-26
- On May 25, Howard Brown Health unveiled a mural celebrating Pride month, in collaboration with local artist David Anthony Geary. The unveiling took place at Walsh Park, 1722 N. Ashland Ave. Wintrust Bank's ongoing community partnership ...

Gay News

CDC publishes new HIV surveillance reports 2022-05-24
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a new HIV surveillance report: Diagnoses of HIV Infection in the United States and Dependent Areas, 2020; and a new HIV supplemental surveillance report: Monitoring Selected National ...

Gay News

HIV/AIDS activist Rae Lewis-Thornton on her new memoir, 'Unprotected' 2022-05-18
- Emmy-winning HIV/AIDS activist, author, minister, political organizer, motivational speaker, life coach, jewelry designer and social media figure Rae Clara Lewis-Thornton's recently released book, Unprotected: A Memoir, is already a pre-release ...

Gay News

PASSAGES Dr. David Ostrow dies at 74 2022-05-14
- Longtime researcher Dr. David Gene Ostrow, of Chicago, died unexpectedly on Feb. 16 at home. He was 74. The cause of death was end-stage renal disease, according to the Tribute Archive website. Ostrow was born on ...

Gay News

Running squad 'Team to End AIDS' calls for participants to raise funds 2022-05-10
-- From a press release - (Chicago, IL) Over the last 19 years, TEAM TO ENDS AIDS (T2)—the only HIV charity fundraising marathon team in the Midwest—has raised more than $13 million for HIV/AIDS awareness and direct support for those living with ...

Gay News

Book-signing for HIV/AIDS activist's 'Unprotected: A Memoir' on May 21 2022-05-05
-- From a press release - "I had been torn apart by the doings of others and blamed myself for surviving to the best of my ability. It would literally take decades for me to understand that I was the product of what happened to me." Emmy ...


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.