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 2018-03-21
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



Intuit event focuses on LGBTQ inclusivity
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Liz Baudler

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Students, artists, and professionals met at Intuit: the Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art, 756 N. Milwaukee Ave., as part of the Chicago Community Trust's On the Table initiative on May 16.

The topic involved fostering LGBTQ inclusivity at Chicago's cultural institutions. Filmmaker Dan Rybicky hosted the hour-long conversation, and began by connecting the gallery's mission—presenting the work of outsider artists—to the conversation's focus.

"I've always found the term 'outsider"' to be a fascinating, loaded term," Rybicky said. "As a gay artist, growing up, I felt like an outsider." He then asked the assembled group what they thought LGBTQ inclusivity looked like and what variables it incorporated.

Many participants pointed out that while the trans community is gaining visibility, historically it's been shunned by other members of the acronym. According to Allie Stephens, a film composer who teaches at SAIC, marriage equality "pushed the trans community into the background." Trans filmmaker Andre Perez agreed with Stephen's assertion that inclusivity often looks like tokenism, questioning why trans employees often languish in entry-level positions. Members of Whitney Young's Pride Club echoed that feeling, relaying times they were called upon to be spokespeople at school events. One student described the school administration's support of the club as a "ruse" to seem more open and liberal.

Patrick, an artist with work in the recent Art Aids America exhibit, mentioned that he saw labels as a barrier to inclusivity, even across groups like gender and race. "Once you have a label, the system identifies you and pushes you down," he said. A student from the Adler School of psychology completely disagreed, explaining, "No system will take you seriously if you're dismissing your own label. There is power in identity."

For his part, Rybicky referenced his experience working with Columbia College Chicago's documentary program. He noticed that once he and a female colleague took over the program, the students and their works went from being "hetero and white" to featuring more women and queer students and subjects. He expressed the need for more films on queer and trans subjects in general: the more films there are, it's easier to recognize "good" and "bad" films rather than just celebrate the subject matter. Filmmaker Perez agreed, saying they wished people understood that trans films didn't just have to be about "the surgery". "Large cultural institutions are in a position to take a risk, but they are afraid to," Perez said.

Echoing that comment, Rybicky and Intuit Executive Director Debra Kerr asked participants to discuss three actionable items to make cultural spaces more inclusive. The results were broad, from making grants and microgrants more accessible for artists, to removing or lowering museum admission fees. The table of Whitney Young students questioned corporate gestures of inclusivity like Target's pronoun pins. "When capitalism and inclusivity meet, what does it do for actual activism?" one student provocatively asked. Kerr cited a study saying that older generations believe youth's opinions and hoped that youth would continue to demand change.

Perhaps the simplest change proposed was mere civil conversation across belief systems, much like the conversation On the Table fostered. Helpful tips proposed were to stay in the conversation and not vilify others for not saying the right thing as they navigate new concepts.

"We're afraid to address things because we don't know what to say," Stephens remarked.

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

Firebrand Theatre Presents 9 TO 5 The Musical, Music & Lyrics by Dolly Parton 2018-03-22 - CHICAGO ( March 21, 2018 ) — Following its critically acclaimed hit LIZZIE, Firebrand Theatre, the first musical theatre company committed to employing ...

Gay News

LGBTQ couples shop around wedding expo 2018-03-21 - RainbowWeddingNetwork hosted its 10th annual LGBTQ Wedding Expo at the Hotel Chicago on March 18. RainbowWeddingNetwork launched, in 2000, at the hands of ...

Gay News

Flower & Garden Show tells 'Tales' this year 2018-03-20 - With a theme of "Flowertales, the annual Chicago Flower & Garden Show took place March 14-18 at Navy Pier. As always, there was ...

Gay News

Randolph Street Market on March 24-25 2018-03-20 - Called the "Barney's of Vintage," the Randolph Street Market continues its indoor market season with "Spring Fling" on Saturday-Sunday, March 24-25, 10 p.m.-5 ...

Gay News

Driehaus appoints new executive director 2018-03-20 - Chicago's Richard H. Driehaus Museum has announced the selection of its new executive director, Richard P. Townsend. The appointment came after an ...

Gay News

FAIRY GARDENER Free Library boxes, spring growth, recipes 2018-03-14 - Good God, Gertie! What is that three-and-a-half-foot-tall package on my front porch? It is wrapped in soggy cardboard and covered in plastic wrapping ...

Gay News

AIDS garden planned for Belmont Rocks; Haring art to be included 2018-03-14 - About a dozen people gathered for a meeting March 8 to discuss a planned garden to memorialize the loss, activism and resilience of ...

Gay News

THEATER Looking for a fight: Art as disruption in 'Seven Fights' 2018-03-14 - "Have you ever punched anyone in the face?" an actor—coincidentally, the biggest on the stage—asks the audience at the start of the show ...

Gay News

Xfinity, Tom Lenk part of Center's 'A Night with Oscar' 2018-03-14 - Buffy the Vampire Slayer actor and Instagram star Tom Lenk as the perfect choice to critique the looks at the 90th Academy Awards. ...

Gay News

Stage 773 opens DiversifiCABtion Series, applications open to artists 2018-03-13 - CHICAGO — Stage 773, located at 1225 W. Belmont, is excited to announce applications are now open for its DiversifiCABtion Series. This new ...


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.