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 2022-03-16
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Queer activists talk racism, transphobia at Center event
by Kate Sosin, Windy City Times
2012-05-30

This article shared 5248 times since Wed May 30, 2012
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


More than 100 people packed into the Center on Halsted's Hoover-Leppen Theatre May 27 to talk about racism, transphobia and a host of other "isms" that some say are plaguing Chicago's LGBTQ communities.

"Queer is Community," an evening of conversations and performances, was held as a response to "When in Boystown," a controversial blog that launched earlier this spring. Organizers claim that the blog's play on Lakeview stereotypes is racist, transphobic and body-negative.

The event—which included a speak-out, performances and a panel discussion—also appeared to be fueled by the controversies surrounding crime and race that rocked the neighborhood last summer.

"This neighborhood has a history of excluding people and trying to eject people from the neighborhood," said ellie navidson [sic], an organizer of the event.

Boystown became embroiled in controversy Last summer when residents launched a Facebook page called "Take Back Boystown." Many said they believed that violent crime in the neighborhood was on the rise, while others accused residents of unfairly scapegoating queer youth of color.

navidson and co-organizer Nico Lang had discussed the controversy when planning "Queer is Community," The two said they wanted to pre-empt the summer's controversies by creating a positive event.

The evening started out with an informal speak-out outside the theatre, followed by performances and then a panel discussion with the performers.

navidson presented a piece that explored transphobia within the queer community. Precious Jewel of the Center on Halsted spoke of the need to move beyond conversations about bullying and same-sex marriage. Brian Turner of TaskForce Prevention and Community Services paid tribute to Paige Clay, a transgender woman from Chicago who was recently murdered, and talked about the intersection of transphobia and racism.

Tony Soto of The Qu website discussed the ways that he was a "blissfully ignorant" gay man before he began to think about gender and queer issues. Yasmin Nair of Gender JUST argued against using stories for political purposes and spoke against relying on same-sex marriage to solve widespread lack of access to healthcare. Performer Rebecca Kling presented tongue-in-cheek apology for being transgender. Jackie Guerrero performed a glittery burlesque piece. Jamie Royce, backed by Chicago's Queer Choir, presented a poem on being queer and femme-identified. The evening was emceed by local comedian Adam Guerino. (Disclosure: Both Yasmin Nair and Jamie Royce are contributing writers for Windy City Times.)

Panelists and audience members tackled everything from a debate about what "queer" means, whether or not there was a "queer community" and what should be done to ensure that media portrayals of queer life are accurate.

Huffington Post writer Zach Stafford spoke of the need to break down "who we are willing to respect and why."

Panelists unraveled the controversy surrounding a recent New York Times obituary, in which transgender performer Lorena Escalera was described as "curvaceous" and in other ways that activists said unnecessarily over-sexualized her life and marginalized her death.

In one tense moment, Soto argued that transgender people should be forgiving of those who make honest mistakes, to which one person yelled, "Yeah, blame the victim!"

Audience members followed up by weighing in on Soto's statement, and the conversation eventually subsided.

However, a great deal of focus was placed on the Center, just two days after queer organization Gender JUST released a statement accusing the Center of not installing "restorative justice" practices for youth.

Center CEO Modesto Valle recently told Windy City Times that the Center used restorative justice practices for people who are caught stealing from Whole Foods, which is attached to the Center.

Valle said that those who do steal from Whole Foods can return to the Center through a restorative justice process of meeting with those involved.

However, Gender JUST organizers have alleged that no such process has been made public. The group launched a petition just days before the event calling on the Center to implement restorative justice. At least 65 people had signed it as of May 28.

Center representatives could not be reached for comment over the holiday weekend.

In the end, the event seemed to highlight a fissure between some in Chicago's gay and lesbian scenes and a mostly younger generation of self-identified "queer" people. (Queer, a term that has been reclaimed in recent years, is often used both as alternative umbrella term for "LGBT" identities and as a political identity set apart from a more mainstream gay rights movement.)

Donations at the event were collected for The Crib, a low-threshold shelter in Lakeview for LGBTQ youth.

Guerino said that "Queer is Community" will continue to exist as a Facebook page, and that organizers may hold future meetings and events. The Facebook page can be found at www.facebook.com/qiscommunity.


This article shared 5248 times since Wed May 30, 2012
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Brave Space Alliance purchases South Side building in expansion move 2022-05-26
- In its ongoing efforts to provide safe spaces for transgender and gender non-confirming BIPOC, Brave Space Alliance (BSA) closed on a 7,000-square-foot building on 71st Street and Jeffrey Avenue, in the South Shore community, to expand ...


Gay News

Artist Rick Sindt explores queer desire and pornography in 'Skin Remembers' 2022-05-25
- Rick Sindt, a Chicago-based artist who recently moved to St. Louis, explores the discovery and development of queer attraction in his exhibit "Skin Remembers." Sindt transforms pornographic stills, repurposing them into images of intimacy. Sindt recently ...


Gay News

Indiana institutes anti-trans sports ban, overrides Holcomb's veto 2022-05-25
- The Indiana General Assembly overturned Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb's veto of House Bill 1041, which prohibits transgender girls from playing girls school sports, according to the IndyStar. The House voted to override the veto 67-28; the ...


Gay News

Ricky Gervais courts controversy with graphic anti-trans jokes 2022-05-24
- (WARNING: There is graphic language in this article.) Yet another Netflix special is courting controversy because of a comedian making anti-trans jokes. Ricky Gervais' Netflix comedy special SuperNature has drawn criticism for a string of grap ...


Gay News

WORLD Nigeria protest, 'Flag in the Map,' Belgium, McDonald's 2022-05-22
- Dressed in rainbow-colored vests, members of the LGBTQ+ community marched in a dangerous demonstration in Nigeria's capital, Abuja, to protest a bill introduced by lawmakers in Nigeria's lower house of parliament last month seeking to ban ...


Gay News

Comedian criticized for letting Chappelle open and tell anti-trans jokes [UPDATE] 2022-05-22
- Comedian John Mulaney surprised his audience—and drew criticism from some fans—when Dave Chappelle appeared as the opener and reportedly told "transphobic jokes," per Variety. Chappelle's opening set occurred during a ...


Gay News

For International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, Biphobia HRC highlights grants 2022-05-17
-- From a press release - WASHINGTON — Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, is commemorating International Day Against ...


Gay News

Judge blocks part of Alabama law criminalizing care for trans youth 2022-05-14
- On May 13, U.S. District Judge Liles Burke blocked part of an Alabama law that made it a felony to prescribe gender-affirming puberty blockers and hormones to transgender minors, USA Today reported. ...


Gay News

Texas court okays child-abuse inquries into families of trans kids 2022-05-13
- On May 13, the Texas Supreme Court unanimously cleared the way for the state child-welfare agency to resume investigating parents and doctors who provide gender-affirming care for trans youth—actions Gov. Greg Abbott has equated to child ...


Gay News

Judge: Dallas hospital must start gender-affirming treatment for trans youth 2022-05-12
- In Texas, Dallas County Judge Melissa Bellan temporarily removed all barriers for transgender youth seeking medical treatments from Children's Medical Center Dallas—providing a major win for doctors fighting to restore ...


Gay News

HRC calls for passage of the Women's Health Protection Act 2022-05-11
-- From a press release - WASHINGTON - Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, joined a growing number of organizations calling for the ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Rainbow flagpole, Washington Blade, Don Lemon, Black leaders 2022-05-08
- Four years after the Trump Administration abruptly nixed plans to bring a rainbow flag to federal land adjacent to NYC's Christopher Park, the Biden Administration is planning to install a permanent flagpole at the park, Gay ...


Gay News

33rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York honor Judith Light, Wilson Cruz and more 2022-05-07
-- From a press release - New York - Friday, May 6 — GLAAD announced recipients for 16 of this year's 30 categories for the 33rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards on May 6. Additional categories were announced in Los Angeles on April ...


Gay News

Virginia trans teen killed at party 2022-05-06
- The life of Black transgender girl Ariyanna Mitchell, 17, ended violently at a party in Hampton, Virginia, on April 2—and the accused killer asked her if she was a boy or a girl before shooting her, ...


Gay News

NBJC celebrates and remembers trans journalist/activist Monica Roberts on her birthday 2022-05-04
-- From a press release - WASHINGTON, DC — Today, the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) celebrates the life and accomplishments of Monica Roberts, a revered transgender journalist, activist, and founder of the award-winning publication TransGriot. ...


 



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
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.