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 2018-10-17
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



AFSP panel looks at community resources
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Carrie Maxwell, Windy City Times

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

"Community Resources" was the focus of one of the panels at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention LGBT suicide prevention symposium at Northwestern Memorial Hospital's Feinberg School of Medicine April 20.

Krista Walker of Youth Outlook; Lawrence Carter, Illinois Safe Schools Alliance (ISSA) GSA network coordinator; and Simon Chavez, AFSP LGBT Outreach Committee co-chairperson were the featured speakers addressed a crowd of about 100 people about their LGBT outreach efforts.

The panel discussion began with a video from ISSA—"Dear 40-Year-Old Me"—featuring Alliance Youth Committee members and other youth speaking to their 40 year-old selves about their present lives and what they hope for in the future.

Following the video, Carter spoke about the mission of the ISSA which "is to promote safety, support and healthy development for LGBTQ youth, in Illinois schools and communities, through advocacy, education, youth organizing and research." Carter also talked about ISSA's work on the issue of bullying and the state-wide anti-bullying law that they are looking to get passed through the state legislature as well as working with administrators to enact policies in schools that are trans friendly.

The Youth Committee holds two youth driven summits a year, Carter explained, where over 300 youth representing gay-straight alliances (GSA's) across the state gather to learn about advocacy work and also how to create safe spaces in their own schools. Carter also noted that due to the equal access act of 1984 schools have to allow GSA's or any other extra-curricular clubs to form if the students express an interest in having such clubs.

Then Walker talked about Youth Outlook—a suburban Chicago organization formed in 1998. Its mission, according to Walker, "is to service LGBTQ who want to come and have a safe space to talk about issues, hang out and explore who they are." Walker noted that Youth Outlook has partnered with other organizations, colleges and universities to educate people about LGBTQ youth issues.

Chavez spoke about the study that the AFSP conducted in 2007 to increase knowledge and reduce the risk of suicide in the LGBT community. Since 2009—following two years of discussions—the AFSP has been working to implement the recommendations made by the experts they assembled, Chavez explained.

The AFSP is committed to providing outreach to the LGBT community, according to Chavez, and one of the ways they do this locally is to have booths at Pride Fest and Market Days.

During the Q&A Walker was asked about the demographics of the individuals who utilize the drop-in center. Walker explained that they have recently seen an increase in the number of trans youth coming to the center so they created a specific night "Transcend" that caters to trans youth. Walker also mentioned the emergence of youth who identify as pansexual. Carter talked about the increase in the number of trans youth who feel comfortable expressing themselves in places like the west side of Chicago.

Walker and Carter were asked about the ratio of FTM individuals and MTF individuals in either the ISSA or Youth Outlook. Walker said she sees an equal amount of both groups of individuals as well as a large number of youth who identify as bisexual. "I think that the transgender community has helped the conversation surrounding bisexuality because it opens up the door to look at gender and sexual orientation in a multi-faceted was that wasn't there when it was just about gay or lesbian issues," said Walker.

Other questions focused on teacher support for LGBT youth, what resources they have available to intervene in schools where students don't feel safe and what happened at East Aurora High School about their policies regarding trans students.

See,, and for more information.

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

Study Reveals Which Transgender Teens Have Highest Suicide Risk 2018-09-12 - TUCSON, Ariz. — Research has shown that transgender adolescents are at greater risk for attempting suicide than cisgender teens, who identify with the ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Pet Shop Boys, Oprah, 'Chicago' suicide, Idris Elba 2018-07-10 - Pet Shop Boys ( PSB ) will release the final set of albums in their CATALOGUE: 1985-2012 series of reissues of all their ...

Gay News

Trigger warning, mental health, suicide prevention and survivor guilt 2018-06-13 - Trigger warning: mental health. Simply put, suicide can kiss my ASS. If you're a fellow family/friend survivor, I'm sending you tons of ...

Gay News

Reports: SWAT teams respond following Boystown suicide threat 2018-03-31 - SWAT teams and other police personnel responded the late evening of March 30 and early morning of March 31 after a Lake View ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Pre-teen suicide, drag-queen situation, Truth Awards, Stormy Daniels 2018-03-20 - A 12-year-old bisexual boy in Mississippi committed suicide after allegedly being bullied for coming out, Gay Star News reported. Andrew Leach was found ...

Gay News

BOOKS Jane Mersky Leder gets 'Dead Serious' about ending teen suicide 2018-02-23 - When Jane Mersky Leder first published Dead Serious: Breaking the Cycle of Teen Suicide in the late '80s, the "cultural and social landscape ...

Gay News

Suicide-prevention organization throws fashion gala 2017-12-05 - On Nov. 19, Live Out Loud presented it's eighth annual fashion gala benefit in front of a SRO crowd in the ballroom of ...

Gay News

Live Out Loud Charity Fashion Show and benefit for suicide prevention 2017-11-06 - Sherrie Gearheart, the founder of Live Out Loud Charity ( LOLC ), is hosting a fashion show to raise funds for suicide prevention ...

Gay News

World news: Sydney cops, torture victim, suicide study, Prince Harry 2017-10-18 - Four cops in Sydney claim they were singled out for investigation on drug charges simply because they are gay, reported. In early ...

Gay News

Trans Teen Who Died By Suicide Protected By Federal Law, Federal Court Rules 2017-10-13 - ( San Diego, CA, October 13, 2017 )—Yesterday, the National Center for Lesbian Rights ( NCLR ) and Transgender Law Center ( TLC ...


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.