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 2016-09-21
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


  WINDY CITY TIMES

Passages: Michael "Makayla" Gwinn, transgender youth
by Kate Sosin, Windy City Times
2013-02-25

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Makayla/ Michael Gwinn, a young transgender person whose life work was in mentoring fellow LGBTQ youth among other things died Feb. 16. Gwinn was 23.

An active performer, makeup artist and LGBTQ youth advocate, Gwinn loved life and worked to give back to Chicago's LGBT community, said friends. Gwinn, who identified as transgender, used the names Michael, Mikayla and Jaiden as well as both male and female pronouns (a choice that is reflected in this article).

"He loved life," said DaMina Ross, Gwinn's foster parent. "He was multi-talented. He was smart, witty, infectious personality, and he was loyal."

Gwinn was active in a number of LGBT initiatives. She facilitated workshops and discussions at Lawrence Hall Youth Services, where she formerly lived.

Kevin Pleasant, a mentor and friend to Gwinn, said Gwinn was dependable and committed to work with youth.

"He was youth advocating especially for LGBT youth," Pleasant said. "He just wanted equality for LGBT youth. He wanted them to have the same opportunities as non-LGBT youth."

Gwinn was also very involved in National Youth Pride Services (NYPS).

Frank Walker, founder of NYPS, said he was shocked to hear of Gwinn's passing.

According to Ross, Gwinn was found dead outside a residence in Ravenswood on Chicago's North Side, after a possible drug overdose.

Walker and Ross said Gwinn's life had not been easy or simple.

Gwinn was born in Waukegan and later moved to Chicago. At age nine, she entered the foster care system. When Ross met her, Gwinn was living as female in a group home with men. Ross later filed the paperwork to become Gwinn's foster parent.

Despite challenges, Gwinn succeeded both academically and professionally. She graduated from St. Gregory the Great High School and pursued an associate's degree in applied marketing from Harold Washington College. He later earned his certification as a makeup artist after attending London Eyes International Academy of Makeup. He was working as a makeup instructor at the time of his death.

Gwinn also performed at local clubs and was a member of the ball house, House of Evisu.

"I personally like how, even though all these worlds were against her, she made her way to be what she wanted," said Walker.

Ross said Gwinn had a close and supportive chosen family. He is also survived by biological siblings.

Ross remembered Gwinn as funny, charismatic, loyal and courageous.

Gwinn's passing marks the eighth death of an NYPS youth in less than a year, a stunningly high number. The deaths are believed to be unrelated, but the unusually high rate among Black LGBTQ youth in Chicago is sparking fears among advocates and youth alike.

Gwinn was friends with Paige Clay, a transgender woman whose murder last Spring garnered national attention.

Walker said that in its first nine years of operating, NYPS saw just two deaths in the organization. In the last few months alone, he has seen eight. Walker cannot make sense of those losses. NYPS has started keeping track of the number of Black gay youth who die in the U.S. They receive notice of one death a week.

"The majority of them are people we know from Chicago," Walker said. "I think eventually the mainstream media is going to have to start noticing that a lot of Black LGBT youth are dying."

Services for Gwinn are scheduled for Saturday, March 2 at Destiny Worship Center, 5510 W. Chicago Ave. A wake will be held from 12-1 p.m. The funeral will follow at 1 p.m. Donations to cover the cost of services can be made through Brooks Memorial Chapel at 773-699-3323.


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

From This Day Forward, explores family with transgender dad, Oct. 10 2016-09-22
Chicago House launching TransWorks mentorship Oct. 19 2016-09-21
Mbiganyi Lashani: The life behind one of Chicago's 500 murder victims 2016-09-21
Mel Platzke memorial Sept. 24 2016-09-21
National roundup: Pence in lawsuit, #BiWeek, trans murders 2016-09-21
Benjamin Allen, owner of Boystown nightspots, dies at 69 2016-09-21
Trans actress joins 'Nashville' 2016-09-20
Transgender, diverse women featured on cover of Harper's Bazaar India 2016-09-20
HUD rule requires equal treatment of transgender people in emergency shelters 2016-09-20
Safe Schools Alliance hosts annual benefit 2016-09-19
'Transparent,' Paulson among Emmy winners 2016-09-18
PASSAGES Playwright Edward Albee dies 2016-09-18
More than 500 at WERQ! LGBTQ Job Fair Sept. 16 2016-09-17
Award-winning documentaries highlight diverse trans experiences at REELING 2016-09-15
NCAVP mourns killing of T.T. Saffore, a Chicago transgender woman of color 2016-09-15
ACLU asks Court not to review decision protecting trans student's restroom access 2016-09-14
VIEWS Transgender kids: Is my child just going through a phase? 2016-09-14
World: Paralympic athlete, intersex activists, gay Russian candidates 2016-09-13
Five must-dos to support trans child's transition in school 2016-09-13
BOOK REVIEW A Murder Over a Girl 2016-09-13
Chelsea Manning to get gender affirming surgery 2016-09-13
Quigley pushes for transgender equality at the VA 2016-09-13
Lambda decries suburban Pittsburgh School District vote against trans students 2016-09-13
Vigil remembers murdered trans woman 2016-09-12
PASSAGES Karen B. Teplitzky dies at 47 2016-09-12
Transgender woman found slain on Chicago's West Side 2016-09-12
TransWorks Program to launch mentorship program in October 2016-09-12
PASSAGES Trans personality Alexis Arquette dies 2016-09-11
Trans actor Schofield brings one-man show to Chicago 2016-09-11
Elgin school allows trans student locker room access 2016-09-10
Former Chicagoan Bob Rybicki dies 2016-09-10
Entertainer The Lady Chablis passes away 2016-09-09
Death of civil rights activist "horrifying and disturbing" 2016-09-08
Mural tribute to women, including trans, unveiled in Pilsen 2016-09-08
PASSAGES Community figure Gene Davis dies 2016-09-08
Platzke cause of death revealed 2016-09-07
THEATER REVIEW Dutchman/TRANSit 2016-09-07
National roundup: Jeff Montgomery memorial; custody ruling; Orlando hero 2016-09-06
World news: Grunt site for trans men, out bishop, South Africa's HIV treatment 2016-09-06
Express Yourself Gala and Fashion Show fundraiser for [Trans]formation Oct. 2 2016-09-06
 



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