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 2020-06-24
About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



Chicago holds vigil for Jorge Steven Lopez Mercado.
by Blair Mishleau

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Chicago's LGBT community held a vigil on Sunday Nov. 22 for Jorge Steven Lopez Mercado, the 19-year-old who was murdered in Puerto Rico.

It began with a peace walk starting at the corner of Division and California, and ended with a candlelight vigil at the Humboldt Park Boat House.

Chicago was one of more than 20 cities across the nation to partake in candlelight vigils for Lopez. Chicago's vigil had several hundred people.

A variety of people participated in the vigil, including LGBT community leaders and elected officials. They were present to honor Lopez and solemnly call for an end to hate crimes.

"We want it to remember and honor Jorge, and remember every other victim of a hate crime," said one of the organizers, Ed Negron. "Yeah, there's going to be some messages of what we want to do to end it, but it's not a City Hall-type of protest. We want to remember our fallen brothers and sisters."

Representatives from Amigas Latinas, UNID@S, Young Women's Empowerment Project, La Casa Norte, Orgullo en Accion, Vida/SIDA, Boricua PRIDE and the Association of Latino Men for Action ( ALMA ) were at the event, among others.

Many Latino figures in the community were responsible for bringing the event together.

The main organizers were Juan Calderon of VIDA/SIDA; Jorge Felix of Boricua PRIDE; Ruben D. Feliciano of ALMA and Boricua PRIDE; and Ed Negron of Orgullo en Accion.

Hilda Frontany of Boricua PRIDE, and Orgullo's Nilsa Irizarry and Negron provided introductory remarks. Rev. Dr. Pedro J. Windsor-Garcia of La Capilla Del Barrio Church led a prayer.

Jose Lopez of the Puerto Rican Community Center and Juan Calderon of VIDA/SIDA provided a historial/local community perspective while Felix read a message from Puerto Rico.

Members of the at-large LGBTQ community also spoke, including Gender JUST's Yasmin Nair ( who also writes for Windy City Times ) , Cook County State's Attorney LGBTQ Liaison Vernita Gray. City of Chicago Commission on Human Relations' Bill Greaves lent a policy/human-rights perspective.

In addition, politicians slated to speak included Aldermen Roberto Maldonado, Manny Flores and Rey Colon; state Reps. Cynthia Soto, Toni Berrios and Greg Harris ( who is openly gay ) ; and state Sens. Willie Delgado and Iris Martinez.

"I sent an e-mail out Tuesday morning to some friends saying that we should try to put something together … and all of a sudden this huge thing was created. There's this huge feeling of community in Chicago. I'm blessed and honored to be a part of it," Negron told Windy City Times.

"For the Latino gay and lesbian community here in Chicago this is a pretty major event. The number of e-mails I've received from folks [ show ] there's outrage and a need for immediate response," said LGBT activist Robert Castillo.

Other events across the nation attracted thousands of people. New York's event had over 2,229 confirmed guests on Facebook, and there were vigils in other states ranging from California to Alaska. Vigils and protests have also occurred in Puerto Rico.

"A big thank you to Chicago and its LGBT people," said Christopher Pagan, a reporter in Puerto Rico who helped to break the story to Windy City Times. "I have received many e-mails from that city, and it's no longer the Windy City to me. If anything, it's warm with love."

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.

Copyright © 2020 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  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar 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 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.