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
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Let's take 'PRIDE' in our youth
Special to the Online Edition of Windy City Times
2010-06-23

This article shared 3836 times since Wed Jun 23, 2010
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


by Malaundja Gayles

Chicago streets are flooded with youth who are homeless. Some of us are forced into the streets because of our sexuality. Oftentimes we are face to face with danger and complete discomfort. During this Pride season, I'm asking you to take "pride" in our homeless LGBTQ youth by taking action.

To begin, I was a homeless youth. I am also part of the LGBTQ community. I've encountered unstable housing since the tender age of 15. It was definitely a life-altering experience. Left with not many opportunities or choices, I began reaching out anywhere and everywhere. I turned to the shelters but they were always full. I knew it was dangerous but I even turned towards complete strangers for help. I was blessed not to ever get seriously hurt. It seems as if I was in a dead end situation. I wanted so much more out of life—school, a job, the connection to a caring adult and a home. I slept on trains, in parks and even at complete strangers' houses, never knowing whether or not I was going to experience violence. Finally, I came across a program for homeless youth but it took me eight months to obtain stable housing—there was a long waiting list. This program was LGBTQ-friendly and greeted me with open arms. The adults staffing this program helped me to achieve more in life that I've always yearned for. They helped me get in school, taught me to present myself in a professional manner that affirmed my sexuality and gender identity. It gave me somewhere safe and secure to live. This program was incredible but I realize they can only help so many. Remember, it took me eight months to get in. What about the youth that are still waiting for someone to help them get to where they've always been trying to go in life but lack the access to resources and support?

I've been volunteering with a program that makes sure youth like me have a chance. It's called the LGBTQ Host Home Program and it's run by an agency called UCAN, along with community partners Howard Brown Health Center and Teen Living Programs. The idea is simple: reach out and partner with adults across the city and suburbs who have a private living space or extra bedroom in their apartment and are willing to house a youth aged 18-24. UCAN provides ongoing training and support to both adults and youth. They are there to help train and guide us every step of the way. Currently, one young adult is successfully living in a home in the Little Village neighborhood. We're training more homes right now and youth will move into homes in July and August.

The bottom line is that the streets of Chicago are home to too many young adults. They need you to take "pride" by getting involved. Many youth need the opportunity to gain stability, housing, jobs, education and life skills needed to become a successful adult. This starts with UCAN. I am a prime example of how taking "Pride" in a youth can make a difference. I am 22 years old and now have pride in myself. I am a full-time college student and plan on attending law school in 2014. I knocked on 2,196 doors campaigning for Obama two years ago. I am strong and resilient. If I could say one thing to adults thinking about opening their homes, it is this: take the step. I wish this program had existed two years ago and someone had taken that step with me. You can transform the life of a youth—with as little as an extra living space or private room in your apartment you can make a difference. In the process you might make a life-ong friend. I stay connected to the adults that helped and encouraged me when I was down. They believe in me. When I walk across the commencement stage to be handed my law degree, they will be there cheering me on. This is what "pride" is for me.

Take pride in a youth this LGBTQ Pride Month. Call or e-mail UCAN and see how you can support us in opening your home, making a financial contribution or get the word out to others. Visit www.ucanchicago.org or call 312-738-5966.

Malaundja Gayles is a 22-year-old full-time college student who plans to attend law school. She actively volunteers her time in assisting homeless youth.


This article shared 3836 times since Wed Jun 23, 2010
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Sydney WorldPride plans a celebration like no other 2022-11-08
Special to Windy City Times - WorldPride is heading Down Under in 2023. Sydney has been named the official location for WorldPride next year, and the cosmopolitan city is planning to go all-out to welcome LGBTQ+ guests from all over the world. ...


Gay News

Washington DC to host WorldPride in 2025 2022-11-04
-- From a press release - Washington DC, November 4, 2022… InterPride, an international association of over 400 Pride organizations from over 70 countries, announced that the Capital Pride Alliance (CPA) has been selected to host WorldPride in 2025. "CPA is thrilled ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Birth certificates, university items, drag-show standoff, 'Models of Pride' 2022-10-30
- Following a lawsuit from ACLU, ACLU of West Virginia and the Harvard Law School LGBTQ+ Advocacy Clinic, the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources' Vital Registration Office has introduced more accessible and safer policies ...


Gay News

Hundreds attend Plainfield Pride's 'Pride at PARC' 2022-10-19
- After encountering some resistance, "Pride at PARC" took place Oct. 16 in Plainfield, with hundreds of people attending. The event took place at the Plainfield Park District's Prairie Activity and Recreation Center (PARC). Among other things, ...


Gay News

WORLD Brittney Griner, Montenegro Pride, Nobel Prize winners, Brazilian film 2022-10-16
Video below - (NOTE: This week's news contains some graphic details. Please be advised.) Former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Bill Richardson said that lesbian WNBA star Brittney Griner and former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan, who are being ...


Gay News

LGBTQ+ HISTORY MONTH Putting an end to the myths of Stonewall 2022-10-16
- For years, people have debated what actually happened that night in June 1969 when Stonewall was raided and a new, more militant struggle for equality was born. Due to the debates, and insistence of some to ...


Gay News

Plainfield Pride event set to take place despite some opposition 2022-10-14
- Plainfield Pride is hosting its first official event, "Pride at PARC," on Sunday, Oct. 16, despite opposition from some, Patch reported. The organization will gather from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Plainfield Park District's ...


Gay News

Philadelphia hosts street renaming ceremony for gay tourism expert 2022-10-11
- On Oct. 11, Philadelphia officials will honor the late civic pride booster, celebrated author and former Visit Philadelphia President/CEO Jeff Guaracino by renaming a portion of South 13th Street after the tourism marketer and LGBTQ+ trailblazer ...


Gay News

Lakeside Pride members gather to celebrate 25 years of music 2022-10-10
- In June 2016, shortly after the Pulse nightclub shootings in Orlando, members of a Lakeside Pride musical ensemble took a photo of their spectators at a pride event; everyone in the photo was each formed hearts ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Gay political contest, trans man killed, Kansas Pride, researcher dies 2022-10-02
- In New York, two gay candidates, Democrat Robert Zimmerman and Republican George Santos, are running to fill the seat vacated by Democrat Tom Suozzi in New York's 3rd Congressional District—marking the first time in U.S. history ...


Gay News

City asks Bloomington LGBTQ+ bar to remove Pride artwork 2022-09-25
- The city of Bloomington, Illinois has asked an LGBTQ+ bar to remove its Pride decorations, according to Central Illinois Proud. Last month, The Bistro, hosted its annual downtown Pridefest with at least 6,000 attendees from all ...


Gay News

BOOKS 2022 #BannedTogether virtual auction taking place Sept. 22-25 2022-09-22
- On Sept. 22-25, non-profit organization Pride and Less Prejudice (PLP) will hold its second annual #BannedTogether virtual auction to raise $10,000 to send 800 LGBTQ+-inclusive books to elementary schools across the United States and Canada. The ...


Gay News

WORLD Malta PM, Kenya official, Kharkiv Pride, sex-education campaign 2022-09-18
- Malta Prime Minister Robert Abela has promised reforms for the country's LGBTQ+ community, including free gender-affirming surgery for trans people, according to PinkNews. In an interview with ONE Radio, he said, "I believe that social reform ...


Gay News

THEATER PrideArts appoints new managing director, three new board members 2022-09-14
- The board of directors of PrideArts—the Uptown-based theater company focused on presenting queer stories on live stages and virtual platforms—announced the appointment of Amber Mandley (she/her/hers) as Managing Director, a ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Protests, Respect for Marriage Act, photographer, Fla. Democrat 2022-09-11
- The Inland Empire Pride festival in Riverside, California, was disrupted when far-right extremists demonstrated outside the event venue, The Advocate reported. Violent clashes erupted between protesters and those attending the ...


 




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






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.