Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2018-03-14
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



Rogers Park trans woman alleges landlord discrimination
by Matt Simonette

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

A Rogers Park woman has filed a complaint with the Chicago Commission on Human Relations, alleging that her landlord is trying to illegally evict her from her apartment because she is transgender and her fiance is Black.

Michelle Roberts, 6413 N. Glenwood Ave., was allegedly informed by representatives of her landlord, Zoran Knezev, in mid-September that Knezev was unable to rent out other spaces in his building because prospective tenants were put off by both by Roberts' gender identity and the race of her fiance, Sidney Morgan.

Knezev allegedly used racial epitaphs when referring to Morgan, and forbade him from spending the night in Roberts' apartment, according to the Sept. 22 complaint.

Roberts leased the apartment from Knezev in March 2014. The terms of that lease, however, have now come into question.

For $450 a month, Roberts was essentially leasing her bedroom and access to the common spaces in her apartment. Knezev moved other individuals, each of them on separate leases, into the other bedrooms of the apartment.

Roberts additionally paid a $450 security deposit. According to the complaint, she was the only tenant asked to pay it. Knesev and his representatives also entered the apartment unannounced on several occasions, she said.

All those other individuals subsequently moved out, and Knesev blamed Roberts. After one such tenant left in the middle of the night, a maintenance man on Sept. 15 allegedly confronted Roberts and informed her that she had 10 days to vacate the premises. Roberts and Morgan said that her rent was paid in full and on time, and that she kept the apartment clean.

"They said that they were losing $900 a month because of who I am," Roberts said. The maintenance man allegedly said that if she did not leave, he and his brother, who he said was a sheriff's deputy, would have her property thrown out. He added that the tenant had moved out because Roberts "made her uncomfortable."

Roberts said that the tenant in question, however, was an African American lesbian with whom she got along, who left because of a roach infestation. Roberts added that she too had also complained of roaches in the unit, and showed a text message correspondence about the matter with Knesev's leasing agent, a woman whom she only knew as "Jessica."

Four days after the exchange with the maintenance man, Knesev arrived at the apartment and told Roberts he would give her 30 days to leave, and also offered to give her $200 to help with the move. According to the complaint, he warned her, "You don't want to see my other side."

"I don't have savings," Roberts said. "I'm not prepared to move in a month."

The complaint also alleges that Knesev called Morgan a racial epitaph in late August, when Morgan phoned Knesev to complain about another tenant's excessive drug use and the landlord's failure to change the apartment locks after tenants left.

In a text message, Jessica told Roberts via text message that Morgan could no longer spend the night in the apartment. Though Roberts' lease specified she could not have guests stay longer than two weeks, "There's no way he could have known how much time I was, or was not, spending there," Morgan said.

Knesev declined to comment on the specific allegations when Windy City Times reached him for comment. He did, however, vehemently deny that he had discriminated against Roberts.

"I just retired after 49 years in service in my job, and nobody has ever accused me of discrimination," he said, adding that he had been complying with the requirements from the complaint and had witnesses who would attest to his civil treatment of his tenants.

For the moment, Roberts is unsure of where to go. She was injured on the job and is, for the moment, supporting herself mainly through a worker's compensation package. The matter has become further complicated as city inspectors began taking notice of the condition of the building.

"They came back up from the basement and said, 'We could spend five hours down there,'" Morgan said.

He and Roberts will wait until the discrimination claim against Knesev is settled before pursing legal options. They informed the office of Cook County Board Commissioner Larry Suffredin about the situation and said his staff was responsive and helpful.

"We're not sure what to do now," Morgan said. "At first, Michelle just wanted to stay until her lease was done. Now we don't even know if the lease is legal, and we don't want to keep giving this landlord money."

Roberts said she feared her situation might become a common one as Rogers Park welcomes more gay and transgendered individuals who are priced out of other neighborhoods: "A lot of LGBT people are moving north, and they're going to be butting heads with these old-school landlords."

facebook twitter pin it 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.


Gay News

Board shutters ground-breaking, gender-defying American Theater Company 2018-03-19 - The country's only trans* artistic director of a midsize regional theater lost his job Friday. With the board's decision to shutter the American ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Pro-trans ruling, nightclub incidents, HIV outbreak 2018-03-13 - In Michigan, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of a woman who said she was illegally fired by a ...

Gay News

Transgender Woman Seeks Immediate Protection from IDOC Guards 2018-03-08 - Illinois — A transgender woman has filed a third lawsuit in federal court seeking immediate action to protect her from ongoing harassment and ...

Gay News

New Hampshire House Passes Transgender Nondiscrimination Bill 2018-03-07 - CONCORD, N.H. — The New Hampshire House of Representatives passed HB 1319, legislation that would update the state's laws prohibiting discrimination in employment, ...

Gay News

WORLD New museum, EU condemns gay 'cure,' trans lawmaker 2018-03-07 - The European Parliament has overwhelmingly voted to condemn gay "cure" therapy and urged member countries to ban the practice, PinkNews reported. The EU ...

Gay News

ELECTIONS Jill Rose Quinn, trans attorney, runs for Cook Co. Court, Suriano vacancy 2018-02-28 - Jill Rose Quinn is aiming for a place in history. Should she win her primary- and general-election races, Quinn would be the first ...

Gay News

Storytelling class for women of color 2018-02-28 - Feminine Comique ( Fem Com ) is a Chicago-based class that provides opportunities for cisgender and transgender women of color to use comedy ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Pro-trans ad, Point's honors, Vegas shooting 2018-02-27 - The Human Rights Campaign, Lambda Legal, OutServe-SLDN, American Military Partner Association and Gender Justice League published a full-page USA Today ad featuring leading ...

Gay News

LGBT military groups celebrate first out trans recruit joining the Armed Forces 2018-02-27 - WASHINGTON — Today, the nation's leading lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender ( LGBT ) military organizations, OutServe-SLDN, the American Military Partner Association, and ...

Gay News

Full page USA Today ad shows bipartisan opposition to Trump's trans military ban 2018-02-26 - WASHINGTON — Today, the Human Rights Campaign, Lambda Legal, OutServe-SLDN, American Military Partner Association, and Gender Justice League published a full-page USA Today ...


Copyright © 2018 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.








About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

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.