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

  IDENTITY

Souls a' Fire—Reclaiming Stonewall
by Amy Wooten
2005-08-01

This article shared 2732 times since Mon Aug 1, 2005
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


Black community members are putting their heads together to explore how scholars and religious leaders can articulate a vision to health professionals and community leaders to create support for the Black LGBTQI community.

In a panel discussion for the second Souls a' Fire conference, 'Reclaiming Stonewall,' physical and mental health professionals and religious and community leaders discussed how the Black LGBTQI community can build coalitions in order to set agendas for, and participate in, their own community, rather than having the white LGBTQI community determine their political and social agendas. They also discussed just what 'Reclaiming Stonewall' means to the Black LGBTQI community.

Panelist Makani Themba-Nixon, the executive director of the Praxis Project, said that the community must first remember the purpose of churches. Churches reflect the economic conditions and histories of a community, Themba-Nixon said. They can offer a space for people to interrogate and challenge stereotypes and homo-negativity. Therefore, the Black church community must take action. 'So when all those right-winger folks are writing letters, we are writing letters, too,' she suggested. 'We have to be willing to be more political because other folks are not. They should not be up there by themselves.'

Next, Victor Rogelio Ponds, an employee of the South Side Help Center, explained that the white LGBTQI community leaves Blacks to combat racism alone. Reclaiming Stonewall is a grim reminder to many that they have been left to fight their own battles, and are often excluded from the movement. 'The civil-rights, gay-rights and women's movements were never—I repeat never—about freedom for all,' Ponds said. 'The civil-rights movement was and still is only about heterosexual men.' The women's movement has been 'blatantly exclusionary' of women of color, and dominant groups within the gay-right's movement have silenced the voices of others, he added.

'The rainbow is made of not seven or six colors, but a whole continuum of colors even beyond the colors I can see,' Ponds said. Reclaiming Stonewall is about not surrendering one's racial identification to the gay community and settling for becoming a 'tolerated guest.'

'Reclaiming Stonewall is about telling our stories,' he continued. 'It's about looking into our own mirrors.' Only then can the community start to build bridges and gather support.

Even when the Black LGBTQI community does take action, having 'true and lasting intersections' after events is a problem, said Rev. Yvette Flunder. Flunder, a lesbian, has been a pastor for the gay community for 20 years. The Black LGBTQI community has difficulty coming together to have 'one little something' and create political and economic clout, she said. 'We need to find ways to not be so divided.'

One of the problems, Flunder explained, is that, 'We have not been able to help [ LGBTQI people ] cultivate their voices!' Flunder suggested that the Black community celebrate its differences in order to get something done. 'Celebrate diversity,' she said. 'Don't cast it away.'

One of the ways in which this celebration can occur, added panelist Juan Reed, an Episcopalian vicar, is by creating tolerance in the church. 'Gay people are well-represented in African American churches in the choir, in the pews, in the pulpit—everywhere,' Reed said. The church could not go on without their participation, yet Black gays passively accept intolerance in silence. 'It's not just tolerating the presence of LGBT people. It's not just being in the leadership. It's voice. Once we open our mouths, we make room for a whole lot of other people.'

Coupling breaking the silence with linking spirituality and social justice can help LGBTs create change in the church and elsewhere, Reed added.

Rev. Toni Dunbar, who serves as chaplain for the San Francisco Juvenile Probation Department, added to Reed's discussion of social justice with her stories of the hardships LGBTQI juvenile detainees face. Through her experience, Dunbar has found that many Black church volunteers and LGBTQI activists fail to offer a progressive attitude or help answer LGBTQI youths' questions. Also, some don't want to hear her air out the community's dirty laundry about the correctional system or homophobia.

Dunbar suggested that the Black LGBTQI community avoid partnerships with white organizations. Instead, partner within the community, and when forming partnerships, insist on cultural competency. The Black LGBTQI community must also use a multifaceted approach, strive to create policy, be assertive, utilize the media and 'live to fight another day,' she said.

Respondent Maurice Charles, a history of Christianity doctoral student, said that all panelists brought up the importance of focusing on Black 'everyday oppression.'

'Reclaiming Stonewall is not to pick out the right pride shirt,' Charles said, 'but resisting bricks through a car window or violence at high school.' It may not be considered by some as academic discourse, he continued, but Black LGBT voices must be heard.


This article shared 2732 times since Mon Aug 1, 2005
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

About Face to run immersive comedy about climate-change activism 2022-05-27
- About Face Theatre brings its 27th season to a close with a world premiere comedy created by and starring the About Face Youth Theatre ensemble. Gayme Changers will run June 18-24 at The Den Theater, 1331 ...


Gay News

'Community Parades and Activism: LGBTQ Claiming its Space' on June 4 2022-05-26
- The discussion-centered event "Community Parades and Activism: LGBTQ Claiming its Space" will take place Saturday, June 4, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Puerto Rican Arts Alliance, 3000 N. Elbridge Ave. An open discussion about LGBTQ/SGL activism ...


Gay News

LGBTQ Religious Archives Network holds 'AIDS, Activism and American Christianity' webinar 2022-05-12
- LGBTQ Religious Archives Network (LGBTQ-RAN) held an "AIDS, Activism and American Christianity: A Conversation" virtual webinar on May 5. The event focused on Christian activism during the height of the HIV/AIDS crisis in the 1980s and ...


Gay News

'It Was Vulgar and It Was Beautiful' explores art collective's part in HIV/AIDS activism 2022-04-23
- In Jack Lowery's book, It Was Vulgar and It Was Beautiful: How AIDS Activists Used Art to Fight a Pandemic, the historian shares how the art collective Gran Fury utilized community-made propaganda to address the HIV/AIDS ...


Gay News

VIEWS Trans women passing the torch 2022-01-19
- I am writing this letter to the editor to compliment Windy City Times on its recent article "Passing the torch: How generations of trans women approach activism, advocacy," by Max Lubbers. The article highlights how the ...


Gay News

Passing the torch: How generations of trans women approach activism, advocacy 2022-01-18
- As part of an older generation of transgender women in Chicago (including icon Gloria Allen), advocate Channyn Lynne Parker knows the work will outlast her. That's why she thinks of advocacy like a marathon, not a ...


Gay News

HIV AT 40: Longtime advocate Gregg Gonsalves talks activist roots, Larry Kramer and COVID 2021-12-08
- When it comes to dealing with HIV/AIDS, few people have been on the front lines—in the areas of activism, research and instruction—like Gregg Gonsalves. Gonsalves, a MacArthur fellow, is an expert in policy modeling on infectious ...


Gay News

AFC commemorates passing of the HIV decriminalization law with World AIDS Day event Dec. 1 2021-11-24
--From a press release - The World AIDS Day Community Celebration of the Historic Passage of HB1063, which ended criminal penalties against people living with HIV, will be hosted by AIDS Foundation Chicago (AFC). It will also commemorate World AIDS Day ...


Gay News

Activist projects names of trans dead on Netflix HQ 2021-11-21
--From a press release - LOS GATOS — On the Trans Day of Remembrance, the names of trans people who died this year were projected onto Netflix's Silicon Valley headquarters. The words of light were visible from Winchester Boulevard, over the ...


Gay News

Combining creativity with consulting, trans-rights activists launch Better World Collaborative 2021-11-04
- With years of activism behind them, transgender-rights advocates Crispin Torres and Rebecca Kling have sat through countless workshops. But they'd often leave their seats or Zoom calls feeling disappointed. Workshops don't need ...


Gay News

Co-founder of LGBTQ Latinx organization reflects after decades of activism 2021-10-12
- When activist Julio Rodriguez was 5 years old, a teacher forced him to stand up in class and choose another name maybe John, she suggested, since people couldn't pronounce "Julio." By the time he got home, he ...


Gay News

"I can't be silent": Michael O'Connor discusses his longtime activism 2021-10-04
By Kayleigh Padar - Years ago, longtime activist Michael O'Connor heard that some Black legislators in Illinois didn't want to support the Marriage Equality Act because they didn't believe Black people would benefit from same-sex marriage. He decided to prove ...


Gay News

Latinx Humanist Alliance, American Humanist Association hosting activism training 2021-09-27
- The Latinx Humanist Alliance and the American Humanist Association, in partnership with the Midwest Academy, are hosting a virtual grassroots activism 101 training on Friday, Oct. 1, 4-5:30 p.m. CT; and Saturday, Oct. 2, 1-2:30 p.m. ...


Gay News

Writer on AIDS activism in the Black church honored 2021-02-10
--From a press release - The LGBTQ Religious Archives Network (LGBTQ-RAN) honors Dr. Dan Royles with the 2020-21 LGBTQ Religious History Award. The review jury selected Royles' "There Is a Balm in Gilead: AIDS Activism in the Black Church" from among ...


Gay News

30 Under 30 Awards 2000-2019 2020-09-30
- Honoring local LGBTQ people 30 and younger who excelled in entertainment, politics, health, activism, academics, sports and other areas, Windy City Times' 30 Under 30 Awards ceremonies, which started in 2000, were held during Pride Month. ...


 



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.