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 2017-09-20
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Gilda's Club provides outreach to LGBTQ community
by Carrie Maxwell, Windy City Times
2012-04-11

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Gilda's Club Chicago is one of many groups worldwide that honor the memory of Gilda Radner, the comedienne who died from ovarian cancer and had a wish that "no one should face cancer alone." One way that Gilda's Club Chicago provides support is through its new LGBTQ group.

The LGBTQ support group had its first meeting in April 2011, according to Mark Petroelje, the group's facilitator. Petroelje explained that Gilda's Club Chicago had a desire to reach out the LGBTQ community and contacted him to be the group's facilitator since he is a counselor and therapist at Live Oak ( which has partnered with Gilda's Club Chicago to form the LGBTQ support group ) as well as an openly gay man.

The seeds of the group started in late 2010 with Rebecca Fritz, the adult program manager at Gilda's Club Chicago, who saw a need for an LGBTQ group within the club, said Thom DeVries, program director at Gilda's Club Chicago.

The LGBTQ group ( under the networking umbrella of support groups for men, women and children living with cancer and their families and friends ) within Gilda's Club Chicago meets every first and third Wednesday 6-7 p.m.

"The intention of the LGBTQ cancer support group is to provide a safe space for LGBTQ people to talk about the impact that their cancer diagnosis and treatment have had on their sense of self, their relationships with others, and the goals or plans for their lives," said Petroelje. "The group is free of heterosexist bias and expectations, so participants can talk freely about sexual behaviors, dating/relationships, difficulties with medical professionals, family issues, coming out, and gender nonconforming behaviors and attitudes.

"The group is open to any person who self identifies as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or queer and has been diagnosed with cancer. I believe that all people carry with them survival strategies and strengths—as well as the capacity to know what they need. My role as the facilitator is to foster and maintain a safe space. The group is here to support the participants and provide a time and a space for them to talk about and ask for what they need in the moment."

Speaking to one of the group's members, Janet Anne, an open lesbian with cancer, she said, "My fight is not a positive thing, but I do have a positive attitude. I refuse not to be happy. ... Without Gilda's Club, I'd be imprisoned at a homeless shelter or sitting in a library trying to keep warm. Gilda's Club is more than a place. It's a refuge. It's a resource. It's a social space. My LGBTQ support group is a place where I know I'm not alone, a place where I can cry, and a place I can get hugs."

Stephen Majsak is an openly gay man and director of development at Gilda's Club Chicago. He told Windy City Times, "When you are valued and supported, you bring all your best attributes to the community. That's what Gilda's Club is all about. We just do it for people when cancer is the common issue. ... It's a free, member-driven approach so you can find someone who can support you in a way that fits your situation—and then you can give the benefit of your experiences to someone else when they need it."

LauraJane Hyde, chief executive officer of Gilda's Club Chicago, said, "Gilda's Club Chicago is proud to serve the LGBTQ community by offering a networking group for LGBTQ people living with cancer. It is so important that all people have a place to go where they are welcome, and Gilda's Club is that place for our city."

"We are a very welcoming community and we encourage people to look us up and see what we have to offer because we have a lot to offer," said DeVries.

Jimmy Kays, a manager at the Boystown nightspot Sidetrack, said "I lost a dear friend of mine last August to cancer and learned of Gilda's Club shortly afterwards. I was so impressed with what the club had to offer that they will be the beneficiary for the second annual Over The Rainbow—a benefit of hope being held at Sidetrack Nov. 14, 2012, 7-10 p.m. Visit www.facebook.com/OverTheRainbow773.

See www.gildasclubchicago.org and www.liveoakchicago.com 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.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Pink Hat Run to benefit women's organizations Nov. 4 2017-09-23 - The first annual Pink Hat Run will take place in Chicago Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017 in Chicago's South Loop. The 5K/1 ...


Gay News

Michael Johnson bypasses trial, is sentenced to 10 years for hiding HIV status 2017-09-22 - New York, NY, Sept. 21, 2017 — Today, in conclusion to a prosecution short on fairness and riddled with questions about racism and ...


Gay News

Dance for Life raises $233,000+ for dancers with critical health and life issues 2017-09-22 - Chicago Dancers United ( CDU ), which mobilizes Chicago's dance community by raising funds through dance, welcomed nearly 2,300 guests at the 26th ...


Gay News

Indie film raises awareness of dangers of sex trafficking 2017-09-20 - Ric Morgan never imagined he would become an actor. He had dabbled in acting in his middle school days, but, in his "previous ...


Gay News

South Side Help Center to mark 30 years, honor leaders, support hurricane recovery 2017-09-20 - Chicago, IL September 20, 2017 —South Side Help Center ( SSHC ), a not-for-profit, community-based organization, will be celebrating 30 years of serving ...


Gay News

Center Chief Program Officer addresses LGBT suicide risks in current climate 2017-09-20 - The United States recently recognized National Suicide Prevention Week, at which time experts noted that recent and continuing events—including those both directly and ...


Gay News

TPAN to celebrate '30 Years of Hope' 2017-09-20 - On Sept. 28, Test Positive Awareness Network, or TPAN, will celebrate 30 years of supporting those affected by HIV/AIDS. Merrill Kenna, the organization's ...


Gay News

Lake County raises cigarette buying age to 21 2017-09-20 - Lake County is set to become the first area in Illinois to raise the minimum age to buy cigarettes, tobacco products and electronic ...


Gay News

Trans Disaster Relief Fund site launched 2017-09-18 - The TFA Trans Disaster Relief Fund website has been launched to aid trans, intersex and genderqueer community members affected by hurricanes Harvey and ...


Gay News

HRC urges 'no' vote on Cassidy-Graham health care bill 2017-09-18 - WASHINGTON — Today, the Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer ( LGBTQ ) civil ...


 



Copyright © 2017 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

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.