Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Windy City Times 2023-12-13



Adolescent health issues examined
by Robert Schultz

This article shared 2788 times since Wed Sep 22, 2010
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

A dynamic Verna Eggleston urged a roomful of teen health providers to use every tool at their disposal when confronting adolescents' issues. Eggleston, the executive director of the Hetrick-Martin Institute ( HMI ) , the largest gay and lesbian youth organization in the country, was the keynote speaker at the June 30 3rd Annual Health Issues for Youth at Risk Conference held at De Paul's Egan Urban Center.

More than a hundred service providers were present for a day scheduled with workshops on topics including "At Risk Youth/At Risk Staff," "Health Risks of Adolescent Sex," and "Health Issues Facing Runaway Youth". The Night Ministry, Chicago Health Outreach, Teen Living Program, and the Youth Network Council hosted the conference.

"We continue to use this old-fashioned language: 'Are you having sexual intercourse?'" said Eggleston. "That's meaningless to some. That's not the practice of the young people I serve."

Eggleston said others take the opposite approach of using youth language. "If I talk your language, then we be like jiggity," offered Eggleston. In order to know what youths are saying Eggleston had her staff create a glossary of contemporary teen lingo. "I didn't need to communicate with them in that way but I did need to know what they were saying to me when they said they were getting jiggity."

Eggleston emphasized the importance of putting one's biases based on class, economic status, race, and gender aside when working with youth. "I'll put my beliefs aside for one moment so I can hear what they have to say," explained Eggleston. The HMI is located in New York City and provides services to more than 7,000 youth ages 2-21 from the New York metropolitan area each year. It's estimated that there are 30,000 homeless youth on New York City's streets. HMI is particularly known for its Harvey Milk School, the first and largest accredited public school in the world devoted to the education needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and questioning youth. Advocates for Youth studies indicate that up to 40 percent of homeless youth maybe LBGT.

Eggleston, who has 25 years in youth social services, participated in the Hate Crimes conference at the White House. She has also worked as a senior administrator for government and private agencies.

Eggleston related brief anecdotes the illustrated the complexities of teen sexuality: young lesbians who get pregnant because it will get them services; banjee boys who are equally sexually active with males and females; and straight females who have anal intercourse to preserve their virginity. Eggleston and the HMI staff encounter other hurdles besides teen sexuality. Daily survival issues impact these urban youths. "How long can you survive on a twinky diet?" she asks rhetorically.

Eggleston eloquently brought to light the fact that when it comes to HIV, the risk factors that affect youth are no different than those for adults. Because youth misinterpret the utility of lists, some youth will wrongly interpret that they face no risk from HIV. "I've been with my boyfriend since we were 12 and I know he's not into that MSM stuff," said Eggleston mimicking a New York teen girl. "Anyone who has had barrier-free sexual intercourse between 1960 and today is at risk for HIV," said Eggleston.

Eggleston spoke about parallel issues with confronting HIV in seniors, particularly when they are one's relatives. Like adolescents, this age group is a vulnerable population. Adolescents and seniors frequently can only access services through someone else.

"I must stay connected. I must make sure that all those folk who don't have access get access. Because if it came for me last night it's coming for you in the morning," said Eggleston.

Urging everyone to get tested for HIV, Eggleston pleaded, "I don't care how rich you are. I don't care how poor you are. I don't care how Black you are. I don't care how white you are. I don't care how gay you are and I don't care how straight you are. I don't care how you have sex."

Eggleston concluded by saying when social-service providers no long feel good about the work they are doing—move on. Eggleston emphasized, however, that the work the providers are doing is vital.

This article shared 2788 times since Wed Sep 22, 2010
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

Out and Aging
Presented By


Gay News

APA adopts policy supporting transgender, gender diverse and non-binary individuals 2024-02-28
- From a press release: WASHINGTON—The American Psychological Association (APA) has adopted a landmark policy affirming evidence-based care for transgender, gender diverse and nonbinary children, adolescents and adults, noting that recent ...

Gay News

ELECTIONS 2024 Mike Simmons discusses LGBTQ+ health disparities, child tax credit 2024-02-27
- State Senator Mike Simmons is running unopposed in the March 19 election. Simmons began representing the 7th District after the former state senator, Heather Steans, retired. He's lived in the area his entire life. ...

Gay News

Advocates call for increased HIV funding amid state's 'disappointing' pattern of flat funding 2024-02-27
- Governor JB Pritzker's proposed 2025 budget has no increase in HIV funding, continuing a years-long pattern of flat spending toward tackling the epidemic in Illinois. Pritzker outlined his $52.7 billion budget for the 2025 fiscal year ...

Gay News

ELECTIONS 2024 Kelly Cassidy discusses reproductive health, LGBTQ+ rights ahead of March primary 2024-02-26
- By Kayleigh Padar State Rep. Kelly Cassidy, running unopposed in the March 19 primary election so as to continue representing the 14th District, was first elected in 2011. During her tenure in Springfield, she has ...

Gay News

Howard Brown Health Names Robin Gay, DMD as Interim President and CEO 2024-02-23
--From a press release - Howard Brown Health's Board of Directors announced today the appointment of Robin Gay, DMD as Interim President and CEO. Dr. Gay, who most recently served as Chief Dental Officer, assumes the role formerly held by outgoing ...

Gay News

Unprecedented Alabama Supreme Court ruling undermins access to family-building healthcare, GLAD responds 2024-02-23
--From a press release - Feb. 23, 2024 (Boston) — Today, GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) issued the following statement from Polly Crozier, GLAD's Director of Family Advocacy, on the Alabama Supreme Court decision ...

Gay News

Center on Halsted to host trans youth & family summit 2024-02-19
- Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted St., has announced that its Trans Youth & Family Summit 2024 will take place March 16. This year marks the sixth annual event, which partners between Youth Services' Pride Youth ...

Gay News

As Chicago prepares to host DNC, former delegates reflect on LGBTQ+ inclusion at previous conventions 2024-02-19
- When Mark Ishaug, now the CEO of the mental health advocacy Thresholds, was a delegate at the 1996 Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Chicago, representing the larger LGBTQ+ community was "critical," he said. The convention, where ...

Gay News

'West Side Story' gets a sex-positive spin with new burlesque show 2024-02-19
- In partial observance of National Condom Day, which was Feb. 14, Los Angeles-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) presented A West Side Story Burlesque at the Harris Theater for two hour-long performances on Feb. 17. The show, ...

Gay News

Connections for the Homeless purchases Evanston hotel 2024-02-18
- Connections for the Homeless in Evanston hosted an open house at the Margarita Inn, formerly a boutique hotel, February 13, to celebrate its purchase for use as a hotel-based interim shelter. The Margarita Inn will give ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Utah board member, Baths founder dies, Fla. protests, DoJ equity plan 2024-02-16
- Utah's Republican governor and lieutenant governor urged the State Board of Education to take action against a conservative board member whose social-media post questioning the gender of a high school basketball player incited threats against the ...

Gay News

Illinois Poor People's Campaign: National call for moral revival demands action against poverty 2024-02-15
--From a press release - Springfield, IL — The Illinois chapter of the Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival (ILPPC) will convene a critical press conference at the state capitol, alongside 32 other states across the nation on ...

Gay News

Coalition of LGBTQ+ advocates, health care providers release Project RAINBOW report 2024-02-12
--From a press release - SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A coalition of more than two dozen LGBTQ+ advocate organizations and health care providers are releasing a new report aimed at addressing the challenges and discrimination that ...

Gay News

Munar prepares to step away from Howard Brown leadership 2024-02-11
- After 10 years of leadership at Howard Brown Health, President and CEO David Ernesto Munar has decided to step down from his post on Feb. 29. Munar, who'd previously been president and CEO of AIDS Foundation ...

Gay News

New US Trans Survey highlights importance of gender-affirming care and societal acceptance 2024-02-11
- After surveying 92,329 people in 2022, the early insights gleaned from the 2022 U.S. Trans Survey (USTS) have been released—and they highlight just how much impact gender-affirming care can have. The USTS, which was last completed ...


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.




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.