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

United Church of Hyde Park hosts LGBTQ+ storytelling event
by Jess Savage
2024-03-25

This article shared 11940 times since Mon Mar 25, 2024
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


About 20 people had gathered around four round tables in the community room of the United Church of Hyde Park, 1448 E. 53rd St., on March 23. They were listening quietly to a man tell the story of how, on a recent trip to Peru, he went into a bar with a massive rainbow flag in the window, thinking it was a gay bar, only to find out that the Inca flag looks almost exactly like the pride flag.

A dozen people told stories of hardship, triumphs and joys at the Donuts, Faith, and My Coming Out Stories event at the church that day. It was the second event in this series, with more planned in the coming months.

"Not only is this about coming out, but it's also about letting people in," co-host Venise Keys said.

Attendees spanned multiple generations and identities, and each was welcomed warmly by the audience. Claps and laughs filled the large event room, which was decorated with kids' paper crafts and motivational posters.

"Even when, sometimes, people are not receptive to your story, sometimes it's good to tell your story — because it's a relief to you," United Church's Rev. Charlene Hill said.

Rev. Charing Wei-Jen Chen helped to host the event. It was also his first time sharing his coming out story to an audience. He didn't feel intimidated or scared because other people got up to tell their stories as well, he said.

"I think people have a story to tell, and that people may not have the opportunity to tell their story in an appropriate environment," Chen said.

Each participant who shared a story followed a particular format, so that the audience could welcome and encourage them.

"We are privileged to be here to support you and participate in your journey," the audience chanted after the storyteller shared their name and pronouns. They repeated this phrase when the participant finished their story.

Welcoming people to tell their coming out stories in a safe setting is important to maintain the church's commitment to allyship and support for LGBTQ+ people.

The pride flag hanging outside of the church has been stolen by unauthorized people multiple times, leaving some members feeling unsafe. The church released a statement announcing they will continue to support their LGBTQ+ members, host LGBT-focused programming and continue to display a pride flag.

Co-host Keys shared stories of her own, read poetry and welcomed the audience to come up to share experiences around their sense of place, family, and identity. She offered encouragement and commended each person for their bravery and vulnerability.

"The donuts were sweet, the stories were sweeter," Keys said.

The first storytelling event took place on National Coming Out Day in October last year, and they're hoping to continue hosting similar events every season.

The next Coming Out Stories event takes place in June. The church is asking for a suggested donation to participate, which will support their LGBTQ+ ministries.


This article shared 11940 times since Mon Mar 25, 2024
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Out and Aging
Presented By

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.