Windy City Media Group Frontpage News Home
CELEBRATING 28+ YEARS OF Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender NEWS

Search Gay News Articles
Advanced Search
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2014-10-01
Download Issue
  News Index       Archives   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds   AIDS @ 32
 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

SCOTTISH PLAY SCOTT Happy anniversary: Lyric's Anthony Freud marks milestones SCOTTISH PLAY SCOTT
Happy anniversary:
Lyric's Anthony Freud
marks milestones
Anthony Freud has been general director of the Lyric Opera of Chicago ...

Browse Gay News Index   Browse Gay News Archives
  Windy City Times

Lakeview 'loitering' event turns into dramatic showdown with queer youth organizers
Posted July 3, 2011
by Kate Sosin, Windy City Times
2011-07-06

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

      More Photos


The intent, said organizers, was simply to raise awareness about crime in Lakeview.

But what many expected would be a simple community protest of violence in Boystown, quickly became a stand-off that reached to the heart of a decades-old dispute over who has a claim over Chicago's "gayborhood." The night also ended with the arrest of two people, including a well-known LGBT activist.

More than 50 people gathered in the 7-Eleven parking lot at Halsted and Roscoe for a neighborhood "positive loitering" walk, Saturday, July 2.

The walk, scheduled as a response to what some say is an increase in crime in the neighborhood, was advertised on the new "Take Back Boystown" Facebook page. ( www.facebook.com/TakeBackBoystown ) Its stated intent was to raise awareness about safety and noise problems in Lakeview. Recent events, including a June 18 stabbing outside the 7-Eleven as well as a number of fights that broke out over Pride weekend have worried many residents in recent weeks.

Before the walk, participants gathered at the south end of the parking lot around 11:30 p.m. But at the north end of the lot, another group of about 30 people gathered in protest of the first.

As walk organizers readied to divide into groups, the 30 protesters confronted the event with megaphones, accusing attendees of policing queer youth of color out of the neighborhood.

The two groups stood for several minutes at opposing ends of the parking lot, while onlookers started to gather, apparently confused by the stalemate.

The "Take Back Boystown" page started June 28. After advertising the positive loitering walk, it has become more controversial. That is because some its members posted messages blaming Black youth who access LGBT social services in Lakeview for crime and violence.

"The offenders are Black gang members," posted one man. "That's a fact! These trannys are bringing their homey G boyfriends into the neighborhood courtesy of The Center on Halsted. You can tell who they are by the way they act."

Several other members denounced what they said were racist comments and said that the issue was not about race but rather safety.

Still, protesters at the positive loitering event said they worried the group was advocating for racial profiling in the neighborhood. Many of those protesters came representing LGBT youth organization Gender JUST, a group largely comprised of queer youth of color, who have been organizing around the issue for several months.

The positive loitering contingent, which gathered around Kathleen Boehmer, 23rd police district commander, tried to make announcements to the group, but chants from protesters drowned them out.

"We're gonna beat back police attack," protesters yelled.

One man turned around and yelled "get the fuck out of my neighborhood" at the protesters.

With Saturday parties in full-swing at neighborhood clubs, the Lakeview streets were packed with partygoers. Many people stopped to watch the confrontation, which became tense when protesters moved closer to the official event.

The positive loiterers largely did not respond to protesters, but rather decided to move away and start their walk. According to Rob Sall, an organizer of the walk, his group sent between five to six groups of people around the neighborhood.

Protesters, however, followed the walkers with megaphones. Sall said the protest "derailed" the walkers from their goal.

"That clearly goes against everything we do on our walk because we move about the neighborhood quietly, peacefully," said Sall, adding that Gender JUST drew unwanted attention to them.

Gender JUST also drew attention to themselves. Sam Finkelstein, a well-known activist with the group, was arrested around 12:45 a.m. According to Finkelstein, one of the walkers told police he was pressing charges against Finkelstein for yelling in the neighborhood and asked that he be arrested. Windy City Times could not confirm that a walker requested he be arrested.

A police spokesperson did confirm that Finkelstein was arrested for "disorderly conduct." He was released without charges hours later.

"It's a perfect example of the problem with this," Finkelstein said. "They want to silence any debate."

Finkelstein said many youth are forced to access services in Lakeview due to a dearth of LGBT services elsewhere in the city, only to be chased out by business owners and police.

Janel Bailey, another Gender JUST member, said that she was protesting the walk because she felt that queer youth were being unfairly scapegoated.

"We are the queer youth of color and allies and sex workers," she said. "We're also concerned with safety and want to be included in this conversation and not necessarily made targets."

While Finkelstein was being arrested, a fight unrelated to the loitering event was taking place at Halsted and Aldine. According to witnesses, a young man had been badly injured in an altercation with several people and had been bludgeoned with either a can of mace or a metal rod. He was arrested but quickly released.

The young man eventually ended up in the 7-Eleven parking lot, where the stand-off between protesters and walkers continued and an ambulance was called by protesters. Witnesses say the man refused medical care.

Bailey, who witnessed the fight, alleged that the young man had seriously been outnumbered and was ignored by police and the positive loitering contingent.

But Sall said that the presence of Gender JUST had distracted his group from their intended purpose to interrupt such fights.

"Had they not derailed what we were doing, [ the fight ] probably potentially could have been avoided," Sall said.

While Sall conceded that the "Take Back Boystown" page "is extremely racially charged," he said that racist comments on the page did not reflect those who organized or attended the walk. He said those at the event were not looking to push anyone out of the neighborhood or racially profile youth.

"We don't care if they're here or not," Sall said. "This is an entertainment district. We expect that. But we do ask that they respect the neighborhood."

Finkelstein maintained that the issue had little to do with safety and everything to do what he feels has been an ongoing class dispute between young poor people and wealthier Lakeview residents.

"Our people own this issue," Finkelstein said. "This is what we do every day. Every time they do this, we're going to be here."

As one confused onlooker watched the night's events unfold, he commented that he wanted to simply push the two groups together. "But I guess I know that's not possible," he said. "It's probably more complicated than that."

Concerned Lakeview residents are planning to discuss recent crimes and possible response at the next CAPS meeting on Wednesday, July 6 at 7 p.m. The meeting has been moved to the auditorium at Inter-American Elementary School, 851

W. Waveland Ave. For more information go to http://www.44thward.org/Safety%20Pages/About_CAPS.html.


facebook twitter pin it 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.

Town hall focuses on bullying prevention 2014-10-01
One night in the area of Austin 2014-10-01
Group offering youths five LGBTQ trips to Israel 2014-10-01
CA governor signs bill banning use of panic defenses 2014-09-28
NU grad school adds sexual orientation question 2014-09-27
Illinois Safe Schools, CPS collaborating on trans* policy 2014-09-24
A tale of two murders: Connected or not? 2014-09-24
VIEWS Black children are beloved and beaten 2014-09-24
MTV, LOGO TV to premiere "Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word" 2014-09-18
Life: Twelve 2014-09-17
Openly gay Roosevelt Univ. president to retire 2014-09-17
Mother of Eisha Love: Heartbreak and courage 2014-09-17
Chicago 2014 Homeless Youth Summit generates projects 2014-09-17
UN's Free & Equal; Grindr controversy; Chinese serial killer 2014-09-16
ASK LAMBDA LEGAL Trans health care 2014-09-16
ABA names awardees for LGBT advances in law profession 2014-09-11
Fed Appeals Court upholds NJ law banning conversion therapy 2014-09-11
Rep. Harris honored by Almost Home Kids group 2014-09-11
Chicago LGBTQ Youth Job Fair Oct. 22 2014-09-10
Chicago LGBTQ Youth Job Fair Oct. 22 2014-09-10
Suspect arrested in murder of trans woman 2014-09-09
Proclamation marks 20th anniversary of Violence Against Women Act 2014-09-09
Youth counselor talks Night of Hope, suicide prevention 2014-09-02
Chicago couple files suit against cab company 2014-08-30
Study: 19% of L.A. County foster youth identify as LGBTQ 2014-08-27
Hate crime summit Oct. 20 in Chicago 2014-08-27
GLSEN launches 25 Days for Safer Schools 2014-08-26
SlutWalk marchers and CPD officers clash 2014-08-23
Detroit police investigate anti-trans hate crimes 2014-08-21
Campus Pride's LGBT-friendliest schools 2014-08-20
Report has what youth of color think about LGBT agenda 2014-08-20
Possibilities 2014-08-20
Campus Pride lists 50 LGBT-friendly colleges, universities 2014-08-15
Investigation exposes housing discrimination in suburbs 2014-08-14
'Homestretch' youth homeless doc at Siskel 2014-08-13
Domestic violence focus of LGBT forum in Bridgeport 2014-08-12
NCAVP responds to hate violence homicide of Juan Ceballos 2014-08-08
NC court says stepparents can maintain contact with children 2014-08-06
Eychaner Foundation launches '1,000 Kids for Iowa' 2014-08-05
Black Youth Project Report: How youth view LGBT agenda 2014-08-05





Copyright © 2014 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.

 

 

 



 

DISH: SAVOR River Roast
 
Operation Do Ask, Do Tell: Symposium on health for military GLBTs
 
Jane Saks expands social-justice brand with Project&
 
NUNN ON ONE: MUSIC Paloma Faith's 'Perfect' plan
 
One night in the area of Austin
 
Windy City Times Current DownloadNightspots Current DownloadQueercast Current Download
Windy City Media Group BlogsJoin Our Email List!Donate Now








  News Index       Archives   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds   AIDS @ 32
 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      News Videos      Nightspots Videos      Entertainment Videos      Queercast Videos      Comedy Videos     
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.