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 2023-12-13
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

UIC's 'lavender' graduates step out into the world
by Vern Hester
2023-05-12

This article shared 5126 times since Fri May 12, 2023
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


On May 2, University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) held its 17th annual Lavender Graduation Ceremony in front of a crowded room of queer graduates and their friends, allies and families.

The event was held in the Illinois Room at the University Student Center, and featured an array of speakers including activist Precious Brady-Davis, a live band and a full-course buffet dinner.

The traditional Lavender Graduation is an annual event conducted at colleges and universities across the nation to honor LGBTQ+ students for their accomplishments and contributions. The event is an informal complement to an institution's formal ceremony rather than a replacement.

Honoring 11 graduate and 23 undergraduate students graduating from UIC this year, the event kicked off with a Native Land Acknowledgement and a welcome address delivered by Moises Villada, associate director of UIC's Gender and Sexuality Center, as well as the Center's Assistant Director for Civic Engagement Yasmine "Yaz" Tadross. Associate Chancellor and Vice Provost for Diversity Dr. Amalia Pallares spoke next, tying the history of queer expression with indigenous history and survival.

In presenting the Hattie B. Woods-Hayden Award, Dr. Stephvon "Bo" Cook advised the graduating students to embrace what he called "the three f's." The first was to continue fighting, while the second was freedom, and the third was "your future." He said, "As you leave this comfort zone and go out in this world, show them who you are. When you fight, you are telling people, 'My freedom is worth it.'" Recipients of the award included Roni Lee and LeeLoo Rose.

Keynote speaker Precious Brady-Davis opened her speech with words from poet laureate Lucille Clifton, adding, "She reminds us that even without a map, even on ground that feels unsteady, we can shape our lives into what we want them to be. This is what so many of you have done in order to be here tonight. A Lavender Graduation exists because you have been subject to unrelenting threats just for being who you are. This celebration recognizes your power, your innovations, your shared humanity, and also your ability to survive and thrive in the face of so many obstacles."

Speaking on the current political climate, Brady-Davis said, "But even as we celebrate your achievements to this institution as LGBTQ students, you are graduating into a society, into a world, into a time wherein the forces of darkness are very strong. Homophobia, transphobia, racism, sexism, ableism and classism serve as leading forces of oppression. All around us there are forces guided by fear and ignorance, operating out of a desperate attempt to maintain power in a world that is constantly evolving beyond the narrowness of their understanding and imagination. Although we've come a great way since President Dwight Eisenhower's Lavender Scare in 1953, these forces are still very much at work, with recent attempts to ban trans folks from serving in the military, roll back protections for same sex marriage, and…silence our voices.

"Even as we celebrate, my message to you is clear; this fight is far from over, and our communities continue to navigate persistent inequity, lack of representation, and increasing levels of violence. This year alone we've witnessed over 400 anti-LGBTQ bills introduced in state legislatures across the country.

"…And so I believe that clarion call of Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera still remains true over 50 years later ... Our pride is still a revolution...throwing a brick at what's rightfully ours."


This article shared 5126 times since Fri May 12, 2023
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Out and Aging
Presented By

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

A prom of their own: Chicago orgs host LGBTQ+ youth celebration
2024-04-15
On April 13, Center on Halsted hosted its queer prom, MasQUEERade, for folks enrolled in its youth services. Prom goers created their own masquerade masks thanks to craft stations at the door. The evening included a ...


Gay News

UK's NHS releases trans youth report; JK Rowling chimes in
2024-04-11
An independent report issued by the UK's National Health Service (NHS) declared that children seeking gender care are being let down, The Independent reported. The report—published on April 10 and led by pediatrician and former Royal ...


Gay News

Cook County Commissioner Kevin Morrison announces inaugural Cook County LGBTQ+ Youth Art Competition
2024-04-10
--From a press release - Schaumburg, Ill. — April 9, 2024 — Cook County Commissioner Kevin Morrison recently announced the firs ever LGBTQ+ Youth Art Competition. The competition's theme is "Pride is Power!" and will set the ton for Pride celebrations ...


Gay News

Nominations for 30 Under 30 Awards due April 12
2024-04-08
--From a press release - CHICAGO—After a four-year hiatus, Windy City Times has revived its 30 Under 30 Awards. Windy City Times is seeking to recognize 30 more outstanding LGBTQ+ individuals (and allies). Nominees should be 30 years or younger as ...


Gay News

Australian, U.S. contestants take home honors from 2024 Puppy & Trainer Contest
2024-04-08
Photos by Joseph Stevens - The International Puppy & Trainer Contest was held in Chicago from April 4-7 at Center On Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted St. Pups, pets and trainers from around the world attended and competed. The event was again ...


Gay News

Jeff Awards launches submission period for Impact Awards
2024-04-06
The Jeff Awards announced the opening period for applications submissions for its 2024 honors to help inspire early career artists of color in the Greater Chicagoland area. Two recipients will be selected for awards of $10,000 ...


Gay News

Windy City Times receives two Lisagor nominations
2024-03-30
Chicago Headline Club has announced the finalists for its 2023 Peter Lisagor Awards on March 29. Two Windy City Times journalists were among those finalists. The Peter Lisagor Awards, according to Chicago Headline Club's website, "represent ...


Gay News

2024 'Nike Basketball Camps with the Chicago Sky' announced
2024-03-28
The Chicago Sky officially announced, in a debut collaboration with Nike Sports Camps, 2024 summer basketball camps for Chicagoland youth. Two camps for boys and girls ages 7-15 will take place June 17-21 and July 8-12 ...


Gay News

Nex Benedict's autopsy report released
2024-03-27
The full autopsy report for Nex Benedict (he/they)—a 16-year-old transgender and Indigenous student from Oklahoma's Owasso High School who died in February a day after a school fight—has been released. The Oklahoma Office of the Chie ...


Gay News

The Jeff Awards announces the 50th anniversary awards for non-equity theater
2024-03-26
--From a press release - A complete list of recipients can also be found online in the Non-Equity and News and Events sections at www.jeffawards.org. (March 25, 2024 - Chicago) — Celebrating its 50th anniversary awarding recognition for Non-Equity theater, the ...


Gay News

Former Chicago Girl Scouts CEO Brooke Wiseman to receive Luminary Award
2024-03-22
Brooke Wiseman, a now-retired nonprofit leader in the Chicago area, spent most of her career creating leadership development opportunities for girls and women—and making sure that hungry children could be fed. While leading Girl Scouts of ...


Gay News

Alyssa Naeher wins National Women's Soccer League Impact Save of the Week
2024-03-20
--From a press release - CHICAGO (March 20, 2024) — Chicago Red Stars goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher earned National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) Deloitte Impact Save of the Week honors, the league announced today. Seven minutes into the eight minutes of added ...


Gay News

Affinity celebrates Burning Bowl while looking toward the future
2024-03-19
On March 17, Affinity Community Services held its annual Burning Bowl ceremony even as it already sets its organizational sights on 2025. The event, titled Burning Bowl 2024 Evolution, was held at Studio Imani, 5917 N. ...


Gay News

Windy City Times seeks nominations for 30 Under 30 Awards
2024-03-18
--From a press release - CHICAGO—After a four-year hiatus, Windy City Times has revived its 30 Under 30 Awards. Windy City Times is seeking to recognize 30 more outstanding LGBTQ+ individuals (and allies). Nominees should be 30 years or younger as ...


Gay News

Oprah, Niecy Nash-Betts honored at GLAAD Media Awards
2024-03-15
Oprah Winfrey and Niecy Nash-Betts were honored at the 35th Annual GLAAD Media Awards that took place in Los Angeles at The Beverly Hilton on March 14. Winfrey received the Vanguard Award, introduced by iconic Chicago ...


 


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.

 
 

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.