Windy City Media Group Frontpage News Home
CELEBRATING 29+ YEARS OF Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender NEWS

Search Gay News Articles
Advanced Search
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2015-03-25
Download Issue
  News Index   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds     AIDS @ 32       Marriage
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime

THEATER REVIEW The Hammer Trinity THEATER REVIEW
The Hammer
Trinity
Playwright: Nathan Allen and Chris Mathews. At: House Theatre of Chicago at ...

Browse Gay News Index   Browse Gay News Archives
  Windy City Times

Tracy Baim. VIEWS The Garcia fallout
by Tracy Baim.
2010-12-22

facebook twitter del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email


Rick Garcia is among the most controversial figures in Chicago's gay community. But while he has alienated and angered many people during his decades of activism, he has also been one of the most visible and passionate people working on LGBT rights in Illinois. He is one of the most known "faces" and spokespersons for our movement, and he has been credited with being among the most effective activists in the state.

His work spans from the 1980s when he lobbied for passage of the city's gay-rights law, to Cook County and state of Illinois legislation for LGBT rights. Most recently, he worked on the successful 2010 push for civil-unions legislation in Illinois.

So even if you disagree with his tactics, and have been on the other end of his attacks, Garcia deserves the honors he has received, including induction into the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame.

Given that I have frequently been on that "other side" of Garcia's attacks, I am probably the last person to write an editorial about his sudden firing from Equality Illinois, as its political director. But maybe that makes this the right thing to do. Garcia is both dogged and tireless in his activism, and he was not afraid to spark anger and outrage, even among other gay activists and leaders.

Equality Illinois CEO Bernard Cherkasov announced Dec. 17 that Garcia was fired from the agency that Garcia helped found in the 1990s (as the Illinois Federation for Human Rights). The firing was a shock heard around the state, especially coming just days after the passage of civil-unions legislation.

Perhaps Garcia's biggest cross to bear was his temperament and his take-no-prisoners approach to gay politics. Politics really seems to be a sport for Garcia, and winner takes all. That is a style that can be effective in securing gay rights. But it is also a style that creates many enemies who are after your head, and your job. Over the years, Garcia did more than his fair share of attacking of other gay leaders and groups—some of it deserved, some of it not.

But all of this criticism, and difference in styles, does not add up to the way this all was handled last week, just before the holidays, and days after one of the state's biggest victories on gay rights. Even if there are legitimate reasons behind this action (and often when it involves personnel, agencies are not able to fully disclose their reasons for firing), the way this happened was disrespectful and has opened a huge wound for Equality Illinois to heal. Coming just weeks before the agency's annual fundraising gala, it could have a negative impact on the agency's future.

This was the wrong timing and the wrong process, and it creates more questions than answers. The Equality Illinois board and its CEO now must step up and come clean about this process, and what can be done to make this transition more transparent and respectful.

Equality Illinois is an important community agency, but that doesn't mean it is not accountable to that same community when controversy strikes. They need to understand that by firing their most visible face in the community, they have a lot of damage control and bridge building to do.

I don't agree with many things Garcia has done in our community, but I do know that his contributions have been tremendous, and no one deserves to experience the actions that happened last week. We may not be able to fully know everything that built up to this painful decision, but what we do know about the process is that it was badly handled in public in a way that could hurt the agency, and our community.


facebook twitter del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.

PASSAGES Former Chicagoan Stan Dale Boyer dies 2015-03-29
Reproductive Justice at the Intersections: Abortion access is an LGBT issue 2015-03-25
VIEWS The love that dare not speak its name 2015-03-25
Letters: Going for Garcia 2015-03-25
VIEWS Discrimination is not religious freedom 2015-03-18
LETTERS: A matter of money 2015-03-18
VIEWS Stunned in Selma 2015-03-14
Writing For Justice: Does voting actually matter? 2015-03-11
VIEWS Boston's forgotten role in the women's movement 2015-03-11
Open To Thinking: Remembering Selma 2015-03-04
VIEWS The second coming of the man who would be queen 2015-03-04
VIEWS Gay or not, polo harms horses 2015-03-04
VIEWS: MOMBIAN Equity in the doctor's office 2015-03-04
Transcending the Blacklist: Coalitions consist of distinct communities 2015-02-25
VIEWS A road map beyond Black History Month 2015-02-25
MARK MY WORDS Loss of a pioneer 2015-02-25
LETTERS Not cool for school 2015-02-18
VIEWS LGBT parenting is a reproductive justice issue 2015-02-18
Black Youth Project 100, changing world one meeting at a time 2015-02-11
VIEWS Remembering the Lovings this Valentine's Day 2015-02-11
VIEWS The case of Bruce Jenner, and our transphobia 2015-02-11
Open To Thinking: Satire and Freedom 2015-02-04
VIEWS Historic Black LGBTQ talk on 'Selma' takes place 2015-01-28
Letters to the editor: Bowled over 2015-01-28
VIEWS Martin Luther King Jr.'s expansive dream 2015-01-21
The Grand Jury and Civil Rights 2015-01-07
VIEWS The day after Christmas 2015-01-07
VIEWS How to be a better ally (from someone still learning) 2014-12-31
VIEWS MOMBIAN Seeking LGBTQ parents in history 2014-12-31
LETTERS Grants slippery slopes; Honoring Goerge? 2014-12-31
VIEWS: Why Laverne Cox should be fifth 'View' co-host 2014-12-30
VIEWS What's in a greeting? 2014-12-24
EDITORIAL Unconditional 2014-12-21
VIEWS World AIDS Day and my community's ongoing struggle 2014-12-10
Open To Thinking: The Idea of the City and Our Mayoral Election 2014-12-03
VIEWS Off the grid 2014-12-02
Holiday gift guide to new LGBTQ-inclusive kids' books 2014-12-02
Repetitive Motion Disorder: Black Reality and White Denial in America 2014-11-28
VIEWS Reflections on the Transgender Day of Remembrance 2014-11-26
VIEWS Remembering Thanksgiving 2014-11-24





Copyright © 2015 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
the 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.

 

 

 



 

ALMA names recipients of Young Latino Leaders for Creating Change scholarship
 
NUNN ON ONE: TELEVISION Taryn Manning dishes on new music, 'Orange Is the New Black'
 
Ald. Emma Mitts videotaped making anti-LGBT comments
 
PASSAGES Carl Sharp
 
New BYC location among Howard Brown meeting announcements
 
Windy City Times Current DownloadNightspots Current DownloadQueercast Current Download
Windy City Media Group BlogsJoin Our Email List!Donate Now








  News Index   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds     AIDS @ 32       Marriage
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime



About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.