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 2019-12-11
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

James McIntyre on foster care system, advocacy, award
by Carrie Maxwell, Windy City Times
2019-10-05

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


=When James McIntyre was 3, he was placed in the Illinois foster care system with his four other siblings due to parental neglect and drug use. Two years later, McIntyre was adopted with two of his siblings by couple—but everything changed for the worse when he turned 7.

McIntyre said this was when his adoptive mother and her biological son started spanking him and the abuse escalated from there.

"I was tortured," said McIntyre. "I was forced to bend over and place my hands on my ankles naked balancing a can of vegetables on my back by my adoptive mother. If the can fell off my back she would kick me over. She would make me do this for hours. When it was finally over she would send me to bed without dinner. I got so hungry that I would eat the lead paint chips off the window ledge.

"When the physical abuse stopped, then the sexual abuse started. For six years, I was raped by her biological son in that household. A secret I kept to myself after telling one person and nothing happened."

McIntyre said he was able to escape that house by pretending to be mentally unstable so he would be hospitalized. This led to four hospitalizations over the course of a year and after that his adoptive parents terminated their parental rights. He bounced from one foster home or program to another until he aged out of the system at age 21.

"I had to hide the fact that I was gay in many of these placements," said McIntyre. "Being gay was a seen as a safety risk. However, staying in the closet was not safer. "

These traumatic experiences caused McIntyre, now aged 28, to become an advocate for aged-out foster youth in Illinois. McIntyre's advocacy began when he was 16 years old and learned he was meant for something bigger.

McIntyre said that during his time in foster care as a teenager, he learned from one of the adults to speak out about his experiences to educate people about the problems in the foster care system. He added that listening to the children being serviced is important because many times they have the answers.

When McIntyre, who now lives in Chicago, aged out of the system in 2012 he co-created Illinois' first Foster Care Alumni of America ( FCAAIL ) chapter.

McIntyre said FCAAIL's vision is "for all people in and from foster care to be connected, empowered and flourishing."

This vision, McIntyre added, was developed by many foster care alumni.

"Our mission is to ensure a high quality of life for those in and from foster care through the collective voice of alumni," said McIntyre. "We intend to erase the differences in opportunities and outcomes that exist for people in and from foster care compared to those who have not experienced foster care."

McIntyre added that FCAAIL also works to improve outcomes for foster care alumni including providing opportunities for them to connect with each other so isolation is reduced. He said this can also give them the outlet to create chosen families and community with each other.

In 2014, McIntyre became the FCAAIL chapter president and stayed in that role for five years.

Outside of his FCAAIL role, McIntyre was an unpaid contract lobbyist whose work resulted in a law that made foster youth documentation affordable, another law that gave aged-out foster youth tuition waver among other victories.

"Over the past 10 years, I have worked on well over 25 pieces of legislation," said McIntyre. "Some of them are increasing education opportunities, expanding sibling contact, creating transparency with hospitals as they report child abuse, creating better standards of foster parents and making are human services talk to each other so that older youth in care and alumni are not lost."

Currently, McIntyre works as an outreach and mission associate with the Illinois Court Appointed Special Advocates. ( When McIntyre wants to unwind he loves to bake and is still entertaining the idea of becoming a pastry chef in the future. )

McIntyre's advocacy work has also including speaking at numerous charity events and as a member of both the Child Welfare Advisory Committee on Older Youth and then National Youth and Alumni Policy Council.

"One of my passions is encouraging others to be active in government," said McIntyre. "I found my family in the Illinois General Assembly."

On Tuesday, Nov. 5, McIntyre will be honored, along with three other awardees, as the National Association of Social Workers, Illinois Chapter 2019 Public Citizen of the Year at the organization's statewide conference. The event will take place at the Westin North Shore in Wheeling, Illinois.

"It is a true honor to be receiving the Public Citizen of the Year award from NASW-IL," said McIntyre. "As a former foster kid who knows the dedication to improving the lives of abused and neglected children, social workers saved me."

"James personifies the NASW-IL Chapter's Public Citizen of the Year award which is presented to a non-social worker and member of the community whose accomplishments exemplify the values and mission of professional social work," said NASW-IL Chapter Executive Director Joel Rubin. "His personal narrative and commitment to advocacy to improve the foster care system mirror's the NASW's support for child welfare policies designed to provide the best for children in need of care."

McIntyre said his message to the country is "I always encourage people to look into foster care. In Illnois, we have over 16,000 kids in the system. If you can foster, mentor. If you cannot mentor, donate. And if you cannot donate, talk about foster kids. Many kids are stigmatized by the system. If we all start talking about it more it will take away that stigma."


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

Complaint: ICE officers treated inhumanely trans migrant in failing health 2019-12-12 - Today Transgender Law Center ( TLC ) and the Law Office of R. Andrew Free announced they filed a Federal Tort Claim Act ...


Gay News

Velazquez, Craig and Maloney Press HHS on Removal of LGBTQ Protections 2019-12-12 - Washington, DC — More than one hundred members of the U.S. House of Representatives have written the Trump Administration's Department of Health and ...


Gay News

Lambda Legal: Van Dyke's Confirmation An Affront to LGBT Community 2019-12-11 - ( Washington, DC, December 11, 2019 ) — Today, Sasha Buchert, Senior Attorney at Lambda Legal, issued the following statement after the U.S. ...


Gay News

State rep candidate reveals connection to Gacy 2019-12-11 - Running for Illinois state representative, former comedian/radio host Patti Vasquez has revealed that the late serial killer John Wayne Gacy murdered her brother, ...


Gay News

Memoir profiles lesser-known sides of Edie Windsor 2019-12-11 - Mention the name Edie Windsor, and many LGBT residents would correctly associate her with the landmark litigation that ultimately paved the way for ...


Gay News

WORLD Marriages in Brazil, chemsex, couple attacked, Gus Kenworthy 2019-12-10 - The state Institute Brazilian Geography and Statistics said that same-sex marriages in Brazil grew 61.7 percent in 2018—a trend that grew from October, ...


Gay News

NATIONAL PrEP access, candidates, Kim Petras, abandoned son 2019-12-10 - Uninsured U.S. residents can now apply for free PrEP drugs through the federal government, Plus reported. The Department of Health and Human Services ...


Gay News

GOP offers answer to Equality Act; LGBTQs criticize measure 2019-12-06 - On Dec. 6, Republican Utah Rep. Chris Stewart unveiled the so-called Fairness for All Act—legislation that supposedly protects LGBTQ+ people against discrimination in ...


Gay News

Lambda Legal to 11th Circuit: Schools Must Provide Trans Students Equal Restroom Access 2019-12-05 - ( ATLANTA - Dec. 5, 2019 ) — Today, Lambda Legal asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit to affirm ...


Gay News

CCH HIV chief discusses prevention and treatment efforts 2019-12-05 - According to Toyin Adeyemi, MD, an infectious disease specialist who is Cook County Health's ( CCH ) senior director of HIV services, the ...


 



Copyright © 2019 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


 



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 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.