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 2020-01-08
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



LETTER Ruffled feathers

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

Dear Editor:

Recently, I was waiting for two friends on the patio and talking to my sister on the phone. A small, very elderly Black woman came up to the patio asking for money, and before she could finish her sentence, I saw an older white woman set down her glass of wine and thrust her hand in the first woman's face. She aggressively barked, "No, no. Get out of here. No!"

I was shocked. For one, I work in homelessness advocacy, so I was trying to figure out whether or not this was an appropriate time for me to intervene, as the first woman had already walked away. Second, I always find it disturbing to see someone treat another person that with level of disregard for their humanity.

I continued my phone conversation, ultimately deciding that I would express my thoughts to the older white woman when I got off the phone. I wanted to wait for the moment to de-escalate.

It had only been about a minute or two, but she noticed me looking at her. She abruptly got up and came over to my table.

"Is that alcohol," she asked loudly. I told her it was not. "You have to buy a drink" she said. I told her that I was sober. I was trying to tell her I was planning on getting a ginger ale when she said "There are plenty of non-alcoholic drinks. You're drinking MY water, using MY wifi, and sitting on MY patio. Yeah, that's right, I'm the OWNER."

I said something to the effect of "I cannot believe this is how you treat customers," to which she said "Well, you aren't my customer!" I mentioned that I had also seen her treat the woman asking for money poorly, and I was dismayed by it. I was packing up by this time.

"What are you even doing here? This isn't productive!" she said, pointing to my book. ( I still have no idea what that means ). She got very, very close to my face as I asked her name. I told her I was going to let the community know about this, and she laughed in my face. "Go ahead and do that," she said, seeming to suggest that she was impervious.

After I left, I mentioned this to a friend who pointed out that it could be frustrating for a business owner that I had not purchased something. I can see that. On the other hand, I got the water from the bartender, and told her I would be on the patio. I've worked in food service for 10+ years, and understand that some places have an immediate purchase policy. The bartender did not mention that I had to immediately purchase something. I have been to Big Chicks more times than I can count, and have spent a ton of money there. If the owner had shared her immediate purchase policy in a respectful manner, I would have been happy to go inside buy something right then.

The reality is, she did not share her policy respectfully. And, moreover, she had been sitting across from me for the better part of 20 minutes before she approached me. I do not think my lack of purchase was what upset her; I think it was me observing her treat another person that poorly. I am upset about my experience with her, but I am more concerned about her treatment of the woman asking for money.

I am concerned that she wants to make money from the Uptown community, but does not want to understand larger dynamics that drive people to have to ask for money in her community. I am upset that she does not want to speak with kindness and respect to people in her community. I am upset that she would put her hand in an elderly Black woman's face and speak harshly to her for ANY reason, but especially without provocation. I am upset that she believes she is impervious.

I know Big Chicks is a beloved community spot. I want people to be aware about who we are giving our money to, so that ya'll can make an informed decision before choosing to spend money there again. I can say that I definitely will not be returning.

Ezra L.


[Note: Windy City Times reached out to Michelle Fire, but had not heard back at the time of publication.]

facebook twitter 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

MOMBIAN LGBTQ parenting: The year in review 2020-01-08 - This past year saw many challenges to LGBTQ equality—but there was still some progress. Let's review the parenting-specific news of the year. ...

Gay News

Lightfoot submits letter for refugee resettlement 2019-12-24 - Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, on Dec. 24, submitted a letter to the U.S. Department of State consenting to refugee resettlement in Chicago and ...

Gay News

THE AMAZON TRAIL All I want for the holidays is a left earbud 2019-12-24 - Not really. My greatest wishes would be for world peace, a year of pain-free good health for all my family, friends, and neighbors, ...

Gay News

LETTER Pride Parade's future 2019-12-24 - Dear Editor: I am concerned about the future of the Pride Parade going forward since the passing of Richard Pfeiffer—may he ...

Gay News

MOMBIAN Childhood stories of LGBTQ, other social justice activists 2019-11-26 - Every social justice hero was once a child. Some became activists as children; others did so as adults because of things they experienced ...

Gay News

LETTER GroceryLand anniversary 2019-11-26 - Dear Editor: Twenty-five years ago, our beloved GroceryLand opened its doors and served its first participants! On Christmas Eve in ...

Gay News

THE AMAZON TRAIL The Terminator 2019-11-13 - This week I went to the movies. It's been a long time since I've said that. Do people even say "the movies" anymore? ...

Gay News

LETTER Voice your choice 2019-11-13 - Dear Editor: On Nov. 5, New York City overwhelmingly approved ranked choice voting by referendum. We should do those residents one ...

Gay News

Halloween unmasks our troubled history with race 2019-10-30 - Halloween is one of this country's favorite yearly activities. Unfortunately, Halloween can be America's scariest, too—especially for those of us seen as costumes ...

Gay News

LETTER Response to hate 2019-10-30 - Dear Editor: God's presence is always reflected in us. As a person of faith, I believe in Jesus Christ. No ...


Copyright © 2020 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 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.