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 2018-06-20
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Community leader Wanda B. talks about being a stud
by Angelique Smith
2017-08-09

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


For Wanda B., founder of the social club Stud 4 Life, the word "stud" stands for "Solidarity, Trustworthiness, Understanding and Dependability"—and those principles extend to the service mission of her organization.

Beyond Stud 4 Life's social events, charity work and various causes—from marching for marriage equality in Springfield in the past to stop the violence walks—Wanda works security for CTA. She is also known for looking sharp, and readily gives due credit for that to her wife Stephanie Green, who she's been with for 24 years.

Windy City Times spoke with Wanda about her work in the community and the upcoming book chronicling her life.

Windy City Times: To you, what makes a stud?

Wanda B.: I can only speak for myself, but it's somebody who takes charge. I'm the aggressive one, the one that makes sure everything is okay and secure. A stud is just like a gentleman, really.

WCT: Tell us about the Stud 4 Life, which celebrated its fifth anniversary earlier this year.

WB: I started Stud 4 Life because I wanted to give back to the community. I wanted to adopt a shelter, so I adopted Clara's House, which is for abused women and children. I wanted to help the community and unite with studs, because we have been through so much.

My goal was for us to become a family and be able to talk about things. A lot of studs don't have any family anymore because they've been disowned. I wanted to unite us, really. We're very active in the [African-American] community. We've done walks to stop the violence, toy drives, anything and everything, we've done so much in these five years and it's awesome, too.

WCT: Can you tell me more about the walks?

WB: Every Saturday from 12 to 3—and I know this sounds crazy—we go on the dangerous corners and streets and we have a bullhorn and we say, "Blow to stop the violence." I made some signs about stopping the killings and all that. We have sno-cones and hot dogs and that brought people and they started to march with us. No police protection or anything, but that's okay. We talk to people about how to get off the streets, especially me because I'm from the streets. I talk to a lot of different gangs about getting off the streets and getting jobs, which I personally do myself every day after work.

WCT: Where did you grow up in Chicago?

WB: I grew up in the projects on 39th [Street]: Madden Park Homes.

WCT: How do you think the community has responded to some of the work you've been doing?

WB: There's been a lot of change, especially on 87th [Street]. A lot of guys have turned their lives around since we've started this, because I started a mentoring program, too. I just talk to people and they also come to me, too, because I've got that type of personality. I help them in any way that I can … and they tell a person and they tell a person. Now I've got too many people! [laughs] I love it, though.

WCT: I watched a YouTube video where you talk about the pressures and the struggles of being a stud. There was even mention of an encounter you had with your brother where he had an issue with you.

WB: Coming out as a stud, I've been shot at, I've been stabbed, I had to fight growing up in the projects to get where I am. Being a stud is not an easy thing to be, growing up out here. There's a lot of hatred. I've cried. … I've been through so much just being who I am but I have to be who I am. My brother feels like I'm trying to be more of a "man" than what he is. He has a problem with me because I "look like a guy," "dress like a guy" and I do all "guy" things. My relationship with my brother is still strained after all these years. I think he's getting better, but we're always going to have a strained relationship. My mother is what keeps us together.

WCT: What was it like when you came out to your mother?

WB: When I came out to my mother, it was hard because her best friend sexually abused me. So, I didn't tell my mother until I was graduating from high school. I tried to tell her earlier, but she wasn't really listening. When I finally told her, she was crying and stuff like that. She felt like she should have paid better attention and she should have protected me. After that, everything was cool [with her].

WCT: Tell us about the book you have coming out.

WB: It's called Leader by Fault. I chose this title because—at 13, growing up in the projects [and] by me being a stud—all the guys had me doing "guy things" like fighting and all that, and made me a leader. I chose the title because the things that happened to me, as far as on the streets and being sexually abused, none of that was my fault. It tells the story of all I've been through and how I overcame obstacles, didn't do drugs and it's a very powerful story of where I was then and where I am now.

WCT: When did you start writing it?

WB: About 10 years ago. But I would start and stop because it's painful. I didn't want to hurt my mother because of the stories I was telling. I decided the time is now because it's not going to just help me. I know it's going to help a whole lot of people, especially the younger LGBT people that are going through this but don't know how to deal with it.

WCT: How can people get the book?

WB: Hopefully in the next couple of months, it's going to be on Amazon. And I'm going to have a book signing before the end of the year.

WCT: Any advice for young studs out there?

WB: You don't have to get high just to be a part of this lifestyle. It's dangerous out here. Always take advice from an older stud that's been there.

Find my mentoring program, where we can help you through the pain you're going through and the struggle. People can come to me about anything and can talk to me about anything. I mentor a lot of people on Facebook now. Whatever people need. I love my rainbow family and everybody knows that.

Follow Wanda B. at facebook.com/wandab.onamission.5 .


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.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Emma Gonzalez part of June 15 march 2018-07-14 - Emma Gonzalez and other students from Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, are scheduled to take part in St. Sabina Church's annual ...


Gay News

Chicago women launch LGBTQ travel companies specializing in same-sex weddings in Italy 2018-06-21 - CHICAGO, IL ( JUNE2018 ) —To Italy lovers, Rome is the most romantic city in Europe — sorry Paris! Amid passionate residents, spectacular ...


Gay News

Peach presents the Water Pride Edition celebrating LGBTQ+ women, femmes 2018-06-21 - Peach!, an event series that celebrates all LGBTQ+ women & femme family, presents the 2018 4-event series…'The Elements' ( Air, Water, Earth, & ...


Gay News

Boxer Orlando Cruz leading Chicago's Pride Parade 2018-06-20 - Professional boxing's only openly gay star is coming to Chicago. Orlando "El Fenonemo" , of Puerto Rico, was the grand marshal in ...


Gay News

A brief history of LGBTQ students and proms 2018-06-20 - In recent years, many LGBTQ students have attended their high school proms across the country without any "controversy" but that was not always ...


Gay News

Jan Dee looks back on 45+ years as custom jeweler 2018-06-20 - For as far back as Jan Dee can remember she has always been interested in arts and crafts and has parlayed that into ...


Gay News

LGBTQ-owned car repair service aims to expand nationwide 2018-06-20 - Chicago-area resident Brian Moak is working to change the perception that the car-service industry and LGBTQ individuals do not mix. A year ...


Gay News

Lauren Heckathorn on being a genderqueer special-education teacher 2018-06-20 - Lauren Heckathorn's ( pronouns they/them/their ) dream of becoming a special education teacher began at a young age when their third grade class ...


Gay News

'Queer the Pier' to take guests on aural journey 2018-06-16 - Kristen Kaza is a queer event producer extraordinaire, whose "party-with a purpose" productions have been part of the city's entertainment landscape since 2012. ...


Gay News

Black Lesbian exhibit opens with filmmaker Welbon 2018-06-15 - 10F0LD Productions and curator Kru is now presenting the Black Lesbian Archives Exhibit, with an opening June 14 at Affinity Community Services in ...


 



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.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

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.