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 2016-07-27
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


  WINDY CITY TIMES

Jamal, 18 years old, Maywood
LGBTQ Youth Series from Windy City Times
by Erica Demarest, Windy City Times
2012-12-05

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


When Jamal Marshall came out during his freshman year of high school, he knew only one other gay person—a classmate he'd been friends with since the fourth grade.

"It'd have been way different for me [if I knew about other people]," Marshall says. "I could never really imagine someone being gay. I had no clue how big the population of homosexuals was… At that moment, it just seemed like being gay was really rare."

Through his work with Youth Pride Services (YPS), an advocacy and leadership organization for LGBTQ youth of color, Marshall, 18, hopes to reduce stigma and create positive images of Black gay men for younger generations.

"YPS is about getting people to view us as being normal," Marshall says. "I feel like everyone out here has an equal opportunity."

For Marshall, a high school senior who lives with his mother in Maywood, Ill., much of that work starts at home. He describes his family as tolerant—but not supportive—of his sexual orientation.

Marshall recalls coming out to his mother via text message because "it was kind of awkward to talk to her in person." His mother, a registered nurse, cried for several days and asked Marshall whether he wanted to become a female and wear dresses or makeup.

"She was asking me stereotypical questions based on stereotypes about gay people… and it really, really bothered me," Marshall says. "I feel I've been gay all my life. But for the simple fact that my mom and my family taught me religion, I thought it was wrong, and I kind of questioned myself."

About a year after he told his mother, other relatives discovered Marshall was gay through Facebook. One aunt reacted particularly harshly, calling him out during his final exam week.

"She was texting me, telling me I was going to go to jail, that I was going to put my momma in the hospital—not knowing that my mom already knew," Marshall says. "She told me she didn't love me no more. I was in tears taking my final. I couldn't concentrate. I ended up flunking my final."

Over time, Marshall's family has come around. His aunt—who Marshall describes as a typical Virgo, "that type of person to react first, and then think later"—is now the most accepting of his family. And his mother is warming up to the idea of a gay son.

"We have a lot of youth who have parents who say that they're supportive," YPS founder Frank Walker says, "but they're really more tolerant than supportive."

Marshall explains: "To be supportive, you will embrace the fact that your child is gay, instead of just trying to ignore it and not really bring it up. Like, my mom can't use the word 'gay' or 'boyfriend.' She'll just say 'your friend.' She doesn't really embrace the fact that I'm gay."

Despite the difficulties, Marshall considers himself lucky.

"[My mother's] intentions are always good, and she ain't ever done me wrong," he says. "Compared to how I see most people, it could be ten times worse. You've got people out here, whose parents are kicking them out, sending them to a psychiatrist, beating them… My momma has always been there to hold my hand through it all."

Marshall travels from his Maywood home to the Loop for YPS meetings, a trek he finds daunting but worthwhile because it connects him to the larger gay community. He says there aren't many LGBT resources in the suburbs—echoing a sentiment Windy City Times has heard in countless youth interviews.

As Marshall applies for colleges for next fall, he says his life goals are to be successful and to bridge gaps between gay and straight communities. He credits YPS with connecting him to LGBT peers and leaders, who are helping him come into his own as a gay man and activist.

Generation Halsted

This eight-week series seeks to capture youth voices not typically represented in Windy City Times and other media. The young people portrayed have many housing situations, gender identities and sexual orientations. The series looks primarily, but not exclusively, at Boystown, where an influx of young LGBTQ people has been a source of controversy. Windy City Times will continue to explore the issues raised here beyond this series.

See more from this series on www.youtube.com/windycitytimes and www.vimeo.com/windycitytimes and or click the "YOUTH" tab at www.WindyCityMediaGroup.com .


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

Kenosha trans student alleges school bias 2016-07-27
Youth center supporting LGBT young adults, changing workspaces 2016-07-27
Upcoming: Trans youth group, Catholic retreat, Health Symposium 2016-07-27
National PTA Adopts Res on Recognition of LGBTQ Individuals as a Protected Class 2016-07-21
HRC Foundation Video Features Proud Dads of Transgender Children 2016-07-21
CA Education Board Adopts LGBT-Inclusive History-Social Science Guidelines 2016-07-14
Event focuses on foster care and adoption in LGBTQ community 2016-07-11
TRANS JUSTICE Owen Daniel-McCarter takes helm of Illinois Safe Schools 2016-07-06
Local news briefs 2016-07-05
About Face Youth Theatre AD HOC [HOME] opens soon 2016-07-02
Activist Janae Bonsu talks BYP100, queer Black identity 2016-06-29
BOOK REVIEW Being Jazz 2016-06-28
Windy City Times 30 Under 30 Honors event held 2016-06-22
17th Annual 30 Under 30 to honor youth June 22 2016-06-22
Groups Call on Legislators to Reject Appalling Attacks on Trans Children 2016-06-19
Transgender Youth Employment Toolkit released 2016-06-18
PRIDE Day at Brookfield Zoo 2016-06-17
Foster care seminar July 9 has special LGBTQ focus 2016-06-10
Event to look at NY LGBTQ youth and survival sex 2016-06-01
Event to look at NY LGBTQ youth and survival sex 2016-05-25
23 civil-rights groups back Title IX moves trans students 2016-05-22
Queer Youth Exploring Spirituality Holds Fundraiser in Pilsen May 14 2016-05-11
Chicago Filmmakers Announces Digital Media Scholarships for LGBTQ+ Youth 2016-05-10
Filmmakers Sets Digital Media Scholarships for LGBTQ+ Youth 2016-05-10
LGBT life front and center on historically black college campuses 2016-05-08
LGBTQ prom takes place in Lake View 2016-05-08
Storage project gears up to help youth experiencing homelessness 2016-05-04
Chicago Public Schools Guidelines Support Trans Students, Employees, Adults 2016-05-03
Dept. of Ed Publishes Names of Schools Receiving Right To Discriminate Against LGBTs 2016-04-29
Center on Halsted starts housing initiative 2016-04-27
Storage project gears up to help youth experiencing homelessness 2016-04-25
Cross-country hiker raises awareness for foster youth 2016-04-20
Urban Initiatives holds fundraiser at Sidetrack 2016-04-20
Gender JUST collaborative examines radical solutions to transgender issues 2016-04-20
Cradles to Crayons expands into Chicago, names Bernard Cherkasov ED 2016-04-18
Tiny Home Summit responds to homelessness 2016-04-17
20th Day of Silence has thousands of students taking action 2016-04-16
Children's Museum marks Family Equality Day 2016-04-14
Summit focuses on Tiny Home designs to combat homelessness 2016-04-13
Pediatricians, health professionals speak against legislation targeting trans youth 2016-04-12
 



Copyright © 2016 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
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.

www.windycitymediagroup.com
[email protected]  •  [email protected]  •  [email protected]

Website Powered by LoveYourWebsite.com