Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


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



Reflections on Pride
by Max Smith

This article shared 4152 times since Fri Jul 1, 2005
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

Black gay pride celebrations should be the starting points for renewed long-term efforts to make our quality of life better. The volunteers who work to put together the mix of parades, cultural events, workshops and dance parties deserve credit and support for trying to appeal to a community in which it is easier to get a crowd to party than to be about something as serious as self-help. An awful part of that new book by J.L. King shows how badly we need the more serious aspects of prides.

Before getting to that, let me first pay tribute to one person who will be missed by many friends at pride celebrations this summer: Jason Thomas. You met Jason Thomas in the November 2004 Identity magazine Thoughts And Ideas column. He spoke of getting caught up in the criminal just-us system. He spoke out about how known gays are harassed and mistreated by guards and inmates in the Illinois Dept. of Corrections prisons. When Jason Thomas was released on parole Sept. 15, 2004 a friend who knew Jason since their high school days convinced me to allow Jason to move into my large home. It is rough getting decent affordable housing when you are 23, a convicted felon and have no work history or credit.

Jason had a can-do spirit. He helped me deliver Windy City Times newspapers last fall. Then he got pick-up jobs; moving furniture, painting houses, washing cars, etc. to be a net contributor to the house. With his honestly earned income Jason decorated my front porch with holiday lights he purchased for the house last December.

At the start of the new year, Jason resolved to get two things he'd never had before: a car and a place of his own. And surely enough, I was happy for Jason when he drove home in early spring with a 1989 Plymouth Voyager minivan that let him get even more work helping people move and doing light home improvements. His thrift and careful budgeting got him his own apartment in April.

On Tuesday May 10, 2005 my telephone rang in the early evening. The caller identified himself as a medical doctor at the intensive care unit of a local hospital. He asked 'Do you know a Jason Thomas, about 6ft 4, 200 lb. 23 years of age?' When I said 'Yes, of course, he used to live here,' the doctor apologized before saying Jason had died at 3:55 p.m. that very day. I was shocked. But then my mind went back to an unexplained illness Jason complained of in February. And just two days earlier several of Jason's friends told me Jason said 'I love all of you guys.' That was memorable because he had never said that before.

So what does this story of Jason have to do with Black gay pride? Everything.

Among Jason's friends from Jackson Park, Club Escape and Jeffrey Pub almost $1,000 was collected in small donations and given directly to AR Leak Funeral Home at 79th St. and Cottage Grove Ave. At his memorial service, Jason's relatives pointed at, and whispered and giggled about all the sissies and faggots in the chapel. Never mind that all funeral expenses were paid by the voluntary donations from Jason's 'gay family', not blood relatives.

There are lots of people in need in our community. Maybe the greatest overall need is the capacity to see the good in people society would just as soon ignore: including the homeless, ex-offenders and people without financial resources. Of course there has to be a willingness on the part of these and other people in trouble to become drug and alcohol free. Drinking and drugging to mentally escape problems usually makes bad problems worse.

On Thursday, June 9, Black lesbian activist Jasmyne Cannick of Los Angeles spoke on National Public Radio ( WBEZ 91.5 FM ) about Black Gay Prides. She was great in talking about how the Black Pride celebrations help us combat both racism and homophobia. I think the next roadblock that needs attention is the internalized self-doubt and even self-hatred that lead to self-destructive or self-limiting activities. Over the years, as much as possible, I've worked for volunteer groups that promote Black gay pride all year-around.

Lately I've become very concerned about the long-term viability of Church of The Open Door. Declining attendance and high winter 2005 heating bills have taken a toll. Show your Black pride by attending service there! Sundays 4 p.m., 5954 S. Albany Ave. Nothing like spiritual uplift to combat self-doubt and self-defeating behavior.

One year ago a book I edited, Staying Power, encouraged a new understanding of God's unconditional love of same-gender-loving people. It is possible to love another person only if you love yourself first. Of critical importance is understanding the moral correctness of, and feeling great about, same-gender lovemaking between consenting adults.

Quite the opposite is what creates self-hatred among same-gender-loving people. To my great disappointment, a message promoting self-hatred among same-gender-loving people is given four pages in J.L. King's latest book Coming Up from the Down Low. Voice is given to Tracy J Sipp. On page 166 of King's book Sipp says 'Indeed the spirit of homosexuality is an abomination to God.' Rather than give additional quotes like that from this book: suffice to say that the benefit of doubt I'd given King vanished when I read this latest book. Last year I personally sent by e-mail and handed a hard copy of Church of The Open Door's workshop 'Clobber Scriptures 101' to King. This workshop's plainly worded information gets into great detail about what the Bible says and does not say about same-gender love. I strongly encouraged King to read, study and use that information whenever he has a chance to educate literally thousands of people he is blessed to be able to contact and teach. For J.L. King to devote four pages of his book to the perspective that homosexuals are sinners, but try to love them anyway, is a terrible betrayal of me personally and of the same-gender-loving community generally. Show your Black gay pride ... boycott this book.

Usually I devote myself to one topic per month in this column. Thank you, consistent readers, for allowing me to comment on multiple topics while trying to tie each to the general theme of Black Prides. Comments? Concerns? contact

Rocks Award

Clarence Wood, chairman of the city of Chicago Human Relations Commission and President/CEO of the Jane Addams Hull House Association, was recently chosen as the 2005 recipient of the 'President's' award, sponsored by the Rocks Coordinating Committee.

'We all have a responsibility to right the wrongs of the past and work to make this country inclusive. Our contemporary diversity discussions can only be valid if we explore the historical contexts of exclusion of many and inclusion of some,' Wood said.

The award is presented annually to individuals who exemplify civic leadership in effectively addressing issues that combat the societal ills that adversely affect many communities throughout the city of Chicago.

Wood was presented with a commemorative plaque in the offices of the Chicago Commission on Human Relations.

The Rocks Coordinating Committee continues to be the facilitator of the largest and oldest culturally diverse lakefront GBLT after 'Pride' celebration/minority health preventive informational linkage apparatus event in the city of Chicago, with estimated crowds of well over 10,000 African American and Latino attendees annually at Montrose harbor on the lakefront on GBLT 'Pride' day

This article shared 4152 times since Fri Jul 1, 2005
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

Out and Aging
Presented By


Gay News

Center on Halsted to host trans youth & family summit 2024-02-19
- Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted St., has announced that its Trans Youth & Family Summit 2024 will take place March 16. This year marks the sixth annual event, which partners between Youth Services' Pride Youth ...

Gay News

Lakeside Pride Wilde Cabaret Valentine's Day Feb. 17 2024-02-16
--From a press release - Lakeside Pride Wilde Cabaret puts their own spin on Valentine's Day with a show celebrating things done and sacrificed for love - not just romantic love, but love for pets, friends, family and art. Join the ...

Gay News

GLAAD, NFL host third annual pre-Super Bowl event 'A Night of Pride' 2024-02-08
- On Feb. 7, LGBTQ+ media-advocacy organization GLAAD, along with The National Football League (NFL), hosted the third annual "A Night of Pride" at Caesar's Palace in Super Bowl LVIII's host city of Las Vegas, a press ...

Gay News

Chicago Fire FC announces 2024 theme nights; Pride Night will be June 1 2024-01-19
--From a press release - CHICAGO (Jan. 18, 2024) — Chicago Fire FC announced the club's theme nights for select home matches during the 2024 regular season, driven by Carvana. The Club's 2024 calendar features 11 theme nights, including the return ...

Gay News

WORLD Austria proposal, conferences, Pride marches, tennis player, Gay Games 2023-11-03
- In Austria, a historic proposal by the country's Ministry of Justice sees 33 million euros (approximately $35 million U.S.) set aside to compensate those who were persecuted or convicted of consensual same-sex acts—although critics say th ...

Gay News

NHL reverses decision to ban Pride Tape, allowing players to show support for LGBTQ+s 2023-10-24
--From a press release - (New York, NY - October 24, 2023) Today the National Hockey League (NHL) reversed its decision to ban Pride Tape and other displays of support for LGBTQ people on the ice, stating: "After consultation with the ...

Gay News

THEATER Company of 'Wolves': Redtwist's Dusty Brown on gay Riding Hood retelling, Grindr, gender identity 2023-10-16
- It's all about Pride in 2023-24 at Redtwist Theatre. The 19th season for this North Side black-box theater includes three very different productions, starting with Wolves, called a "gory, gay reimagining of 'Little Red Riding Hood.'" ...

Gay News

NHL bans Pride Tape from hockey games and practices 2023-10-11
- The National Hockey League (NHL) has designated that athletes will no longer be able to show support to the LGBTQ+ community while playing, according to Out, which cited Outsports. The league has issued a ban of ...

Gay News

GAY HISTORY MONTH George Harris reflects on his late husband and Dallas activism 2023-10-10
- Special to Windy City Times. To mark Gay History Month, this article appears courtesy of Dallas Voice and the LGBT History Project. When George Harris and Jack Evans became the first couple to legally marry in ...

Gay News

Illinois colleges make list of most unsafe places for LGBTQ+ youth 2023-10-05
- Campus Pride has released its list of the worst places for LGBTQ+ youth—and several Illinois colleges and universities are on it. According to a press release, "the Worst List identifies the 'absolute worst, most unsafe campuses ...

Gay News

GAY HISTORY MONTH Putting an end to the myths of Stonewall 2023-10-02
- Special to Windy City Times. In recognition of Gay History Month, this article appears courtesy of the LGBT History Project and Philadelphia Gay News. For years, people have debated what actually happened that night in June ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Sex Education' star, Rotten Tomatoes, Jessica Lange, Queer/Art 2023-09-08
Video below - Sex Education star Ncuti Gatwa officially came out during an interview with Elle UK, according to Out. "I remember being at Manchester Pride, going through the streets with all my boys, shaking my cha-chas, living it ...

Gay News

Brave Space Alliance holds Post Pride Mixer 2023-08-30
- On Aug. 27, Brave Space Alliance held its Post Pride Mixer at popular lesbian-owned bar Nobody's Darling. The social gathering celebrated past accomplishments while looking forward to new horizons for both the service organization and the ...

Gay News

UIC among nation's top 30 campuses for LGBTQ+ students 2023-08-25
--From a press release - The University of Illinois Chicago has been named one of the top 30 colleges and universities for LGBTQ+ students, according to Campus Pride, a national organization serving LGBTQ+ and ally student leaders and campus organizations in ...

Gay News

Orlando Pride crushes Chicago Red Stars 2023-08-21
- In Florida's Exploria Stadium on Aug. 20, the Orlando Pride thrashed the Chicago Red Stars 5-0 in professional women's soccer action, according to WFTV. Four players scored for Orlando, led ...


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.