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 2017-11-22
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Political activist helps mark LGBTQ Heritage Month at UIC
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Stephen Sonneveld
2012-10-16

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


"If you look at the newspaper reports, the pictures, [it] only reinforces that impression that there are no people of color who are part of the marriage equality movement, there are no queer people in communities of color, and, of course, nothing could be further from the truth."

Helen Zia, political activist and the former executive editor of Ms. Magazine, shared that observation with UIC students Oct. 9 during the keynote speech for the university's LGBTQ Heritage Month. The 55-minute address detailed Zia's thoughts and struggles about intersecting sometimes disparate communities, how small steps can create big change, and the responsibility of privilege.

The faculty at UIC is making a concerted effort to use Zia's example of "diversity within our diversity" in their Heritage programming, as the Gender and Sexuality Center (GSC) and the Asian American Resource and Cultural Center (AARCC) are co-sponsoring a number of events, from discussions promoting mutual awareness, to the screening of the Detroit hate crime documentary "Who Killed Vincent Chin?"

GSC Director Megan Carney told Windy City Times that the role of the two centers "is to provide opportunities for education around the value of cultural diversity, but also to look for creative solutions to common problems [in order to discern] how do we all work together?"

Karen Su, Director of AARCC, said how meaningful Zia's presence was to UIC, as she was one of the public figures who supported adding an Asian American Studies program there. Not only was the program introduced in Fall 2010, but Zia's tome "Asian American Dreams: The Emergence of American People" became part of the curriculum. Earlier in the day, Zia visited a class and students had a rare opportunity to discuss their textbook with her.

Zia had the crowd laughing as she recounted her decision to come out on live television in 1992, but tied it back to her main points that though she was given an opportunity to speak about being an Asian American journalist, she also used the privilege of that moment to combat what was a very homophobic election year.

She also recounted how, fresh out of Princeton, she felt like family with the other activists of color in her neighborhood—until they made it clear at one meeting they viewed homosexuality as "petty, white, bourgeois decadence." Moreover, LGBTQ people did not exist, and were not welcome, in their communities. Zia had never even held hands with another woman, but knowing lesbians among feminist activists was enough to accuse her of being one.

Zia confided to WCT the impromptu kangaroo court had her "terrified" and she could not comprehend "that they were so bigoted." In later years, she confronted her primary accusers. The straight, male Asian activist did not recall the incident, but acknowledged, "I don't doubt it. We were very homophobic then." The straight, male Black activist denies it to this day.

That seminal moment and other experiences were part of Zia integrating her "full humanity" in "a world where there's still this strange, weird bifurcation that many LGBTQ people experience. I could be an Asian-American in this world, and I could be queer in this world, but somehow I couldn't be the same in the same space. [Then and even today] in some quarters, to communities of color there are no queer people. Even as [they] had said it to me, there is still that belief."

Whether it's about sexual orientation, or speaking out about the social progress one wishes to see made real, Zia has learned "that making change in the world is really a lifelong coming out process."


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

ALMA recognizes recent award winners 2017-11-14 - The Association for Latino/a Motivating Action, or shortened as ALMA, honored LatinX inductees of the LGBT Hall of Fame and 30 Under 30 ...


Gay News

Change Over Time Journal calls for LGBTQ papers 2017-11-14 - Change Over Time, a semiannual journal publishing original articles on the history, theory, and praxis of conservation and the built environment, is calling ...


Gay News

Hall of Fame induction strikes joyous notes 2017-11-09 - The overall mood of the Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame's Nov. 8 ceremony honoring its 2017 inductees was markedly different from the tone ...


Gay News

LGBT Hall of Fame inductees to be honored Nov. 8 2017-11-08 - Nine individuals, three organizations and two friends of the community have been selected for 2017 induction into the Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame, ...


Gay News

ALMA honorary event Nov. 9 2017-11-08 - The Association of Latinos/as Motivating Action ( ALMA ) will celebrate this year's Latinx LGBTQ Hall of Fame inductees and 30 Under 30 ...


Gay News

Professor/writer Danny Cohen featured at Holocaust museum event 2017-11-08 - The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum ( USHMM ) Midwest regional office hosted a talk featuring Northwestern University and Crown Family Center for ...


Gay News

Cleve Jones speaks on preserving LGBT-neighborhoods, politics 2017-11-07 - Longtime LGBT-rights advocate Cleve Jones was asked during a Nov. 6 appearance at Sidetrack bar what set him on his course to be ...


Gay News

Leather spot Touche marking 40th year 2017-11-01 - North Side leather bar Touché marks its 40th anniversary in November, and is kicking off the month with a five-day long celebration starting ...


Gay News

Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame inductees to be honored Nov. 8 2017-11-01 - Nine individuals, three organizations and two friends of the community have been selected for 2017 induction into the Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame, ...


Gay News

Looking back: LGBTQ History Month's canon 2017-11-01 - Winston Churchill once said, "History is written by the winners." When the Stonewall Riots occurred in 1969, the history of more than a ...


 



Copyright © 2017 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

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.