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 2021-12-08
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

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 3637 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 3637 times since Wed Jun 23, 2010
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Bulls extend win streak to nine games on fourth Pride Night 2022-01-08
- The Chicago Bulls now have their longest win streak since 2011. The team (26-10) beat the Washington Wizards 130-122 at the United Center on Jan. 7 to extend their win streak to nine games. Zach LaVine ...


Gay News

Legislation to address disparities facing LGBTQ+ seniors, people with HIV/AIDS 2021-12-22
- On Dec. 16, Pride Action Tank, OUTreach and Equality Illinois hosted a virtual "breakfast" to discuss issues facing LGBTQ+ seniors and persons with HIV/AIDS as well as legislative policies created to address them. "Advocating for Change" ...


Gay News

Pride in the Pews: from storytelling to mobilizing Black LGBTQ+ leaders of faith 2021-12-21
- Storytelling, justice and community—these core values drove Pride in the Pews when it began in March 2021 as a campaign to collect 66 stories from Black LGBTQ+ Christians across the country. While the mission for Pride ...


Gay News

WORLD Court rulings, Dutch apology, trans candidates win, Global Black Pride 2021-12-05
- Botswana's Court of Appeal upheld a 2019 ruling that decriminalized gay sex, effectively striking off two sections of the penal code that had outlawed homosexuality, according to Reuters. Before the 2019 High Court ruling, which was ...


Gay News

Taiwan's Kaohsiung Pride to host WorldPride in 2025 2021-11-13
- InterPride announced that Kaohsiung Pride, in Taiwan, has won the bid to host WorldPride in 2025. With this vote by InterPride members, a WorldPride event will be held in East Asia for the first time. The ...


Gay News

Red Stars score historic win, qualify for playoffs 2021-10-30
- The Chicago Red Stars defeated the Orlando Pride, 1-0, at Exploria Stadium on Oct. 29, according to SB Nation. Kealia Watt's second-half goal was the difference, and it ensured that Chicago would host an opponent (to ...


Gay News

THEATER 'A Michael Martin Tribute' Nov. 11-28 2021-10-27
- Curious Theatre Branch will host a three-week celebration of the solo performance monologues of the late Michael Martin, curated by Kelly Anchors. A Michael Martin Tribute will take place Nov. 11-28 at Pride Arts Center, 4139 ...


Gay News

Campus Pride releases list of worst anti-LGBTQ schools 2021-10-25
- Campus Pride officially released its 2021 Worst List, naming 180 campuses across the country as "the absolute worst, most unsafe campuses for LGBTQ youth." The colleges and universities included in this year's list have either received ...


Gay News

lllinois Holocaust Museum hosts talk on Stonewall and the LGBTQ-rights movement 2021-10-24
- On Oct. 17, Skokie's Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center hosted a "Legacy of Stonewall and the LGBTQ Rights Movement" panel discussion to kick off its latest exhibit, "Rise Up: Stonewall and the LGBTQ Rights Movement." ...


Gay News

SPORTS Chicago Red Stars power past Orlando 1-0 2021-10-14
- The Chicago Red Stars, behind an early Kealia Watt goal and a clean sheet from Cassie Miller, defeated the Orlando Pride at home (Bridgeview's SeatGeek Stadium) Oct. 13 by a score of 1-0. During the game's ...


Gay News

LGBTQ History Month: Pauli Murray, architect of history 2021-10-13
By Victoria A. Brownworth - (Note: The pronouns she/her are used in keeping with Murray's own writings, but Murray was a transmasculine and gender-nonconforming lesbian.) Some say Pauli Murray is the most important U.S. activist many have never heard of. An ...


Gay News

Coming Out for LGBTQ+ History 2021-10-11
- October 11th is National Coming Out Day, a day established in 1988 by members of the LGBTQ+ community to encourage people to stop hiding and be open about their identity. Coming out increases visibility of the ...


Gay News

Pride Fest sees rainbows over rain 2021-10-05
- After last year's COVID-related cancellation, the LGBTQ+-focused outdoor affair Pride Fest returned to Lake View after a delay of a few months, as it usually takes place in June. An additional full day was added to ...


Gay News

Urban Village Church hosting drag worship service, Pride prom Oct. 10 2021-10-04
- On Sunday, Oct. 10, Urban Village Church (UVC) will host a drag worship service at its Wicker Park site, 1012 N. Noble St. Worship begins at 10:30 a.m. (CST) with performances from local drag artists, including ...


Gay News

SPORTS Chicago White Sox hold Pride Night 2021-10-04
- On Sept. 29, the Chicago White Sox held Pride Night. LGBTQ+ activist Gary Chichester threw the first pitch of the game—which featured the White Sox taking on the Cincinnati Reds—at Guaranteed Rate field. BMO Harris invited ...


 



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      OUT! Guide     
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      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      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.