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 2017-09-20
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Queer activists talk racism, transphobia at Center event
by Kate Sosin, Windy City Times
2012-05-30

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


More than 100 people packed into the Center on Halsted's Hoover-Leppen Theatre May 27 to talk about racism, transphobia and a host of other "isms" that some say are plaguing Chicago's LGBTQ communities.

"Queer is Community," an evening of conversations and performances, was held as a response to "When in Boystown," a controversial blog that launched earlier this spring. Organizers claim that the blog's play on Lakeview stereotypes is racist, transphobic and body-negative.

The event—which included a speak-out, performances and a panel discussion—also appeared to be fueled by the controversies surrounding crime and race that rocked the neighborhood last summer.

"This neighborhood has a history of excluding people and trying to eject people from the neighborhood," said ellie navidson [sic], an organizer of the event.

Boystown became embroiled in controversy Last summer when residents launched a Facebook page called "Take Back Boystown." Many said they believed that violent crime in the neighborhood was on the rise, while others accused residents of unfairly scapegoating queer youth of color.

navidson and co-organizer Nico Lang had discussed the controversy when planning "Queer is Community," The two said they wanted to pre-empt the summer's controversies by creating a positive event.

The evening started out with an informal speak-out outside the theatre, followed by performances and then a panel discussion with the performers.

navidson presented a piece that explored transphobia within the queer community. Precious Jewel of the Center on Halsted spoke of the need to move beyond conversations about bullying and same-sex marriage. Brian Turner of TaskForce Prevention and Community Services paid tribute to Paige Clay, a transgender woman from Chicago who was recently murdered, and talked about the intersection of transphobia and racism.

Tony Soto of The Qu website discussed the ways that he was a "blissfully ignorant" gay man before he began to think about gender and queer issues. Yasmin Nair of Gender JUST argued against using stories for political purposes and spoke against relying on same-sex marriage to solve widespread lack of access to healthcare. Performer Rebecca Kling presented tongue-in-cheek apology for being transgender. Jackie Guerrero performed a glittery burlesque piece. Jamie Royce, backed by Chicago's Queer Choir, presented a poem on being queer and femme-identified. The evening was emceed by local comedian Adam Guerino. (Disclosure: Both Yasmin Nair and Jamie Royce are contributing writers for Windy City Times.)

Panelists and audience members tackled everything from a debate about what "queer" means, whether or not there was a "queer community" and what should be done to ensure that media portrayals of queer life are accurate.

Huffington Post writer Zach Stafford spoke of the need to break down "who we are willing to respect and why."

Panelists unraveled the controversy surrounding a recent New York Times obituary, in which transgender performer Lorena Escalera was described as "curvaceous" and in other ways that activists said unnecessarily over-sexualized her life and marginalized her death.

In one tense moment, Soto argued that transgender people should be forgiving of those who make honest mistakes, to which one person yelled, "Yeah, blame the victim!"

Audience members followed up by weighing in on Soto's statement, and the conversation eventually subsided.

However, a great deal of focus was placed on the Center, just two days after queer organization Gender JUST released a statement accusing the Center of not installing "restorative justice" practices for youth.

Center CEO Modesto Valle recently told Windy City Times that the Center used restorative justice practices for people who are caught stealing from Whole Foods, which is attached to the Center.

Valle said that those who do steal from Whole Foods can return to the Center through a restorative justice process of meeting with those involved.

However, Gender JUST organizers have alleged that no such process has been made public. The group launched a petition just days before the event calling on the Center to implement restorative justice. At least 65 people had signed it as of May 28.

Center representatives could not be reached for comment over the holiday weekend.

In the end, the event seemed to highlight a fissure between some in Chicago's gay and lesbian scenes and a mostly younger generation of self-identified "queer" people. (Queer, a term that has been reclaimed in recent years, is often used both as alternative umbrella term for "LGBT" identities and as a political identity set apart from a more mainstream gay rights movement.)

Donations at the event were collected for The Crib, a low-threshold shelter in Lakeview for LGBTQ youth.

Guerino said that "Queer is Community" will continue to exist as a Facebook page, and that organizers may hold future meetings and events. The Facebook page can be found at www.facebook.com/qiscommunity.


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

World news: Jewish lawmaker, LGBT crimes, trans school reopens 2017-09-20 - An ultra-Orthodox Jewish lawmaker resigned from the Israeli legislature after drawing rabbis' wrath for attending his gay nephew's wedding, Business Insider reported. Yigal ...


Gay News

National roundup: Trans bill blocked, student killed, Chelsea Manning 2017-09-20 - U.S. Senate Republican leaders blocked a bipartisan amendment to the annual defense bill that would have stopped the Pentagon from implementing the bulk ...


Gay News

Trans Disaster Relief Fund site launched 2017-09-18 - The TFA Trans Disaster Relief Fund website has been launched to aid trans, intersex and genderqueer community members affected by hurricanes Harvey and ...


Gay News

Trans woman is 20th killed this year 2017-09-18 - In Charlotte, North Carolina, Derricka Banner, 26, was found shot and killed in a vehicle on Sept. 12, according to QNotes. Banner is ...


Gay News

California Legislature Passes Bill Creating Non-Binary Gender for State IDs 2017-09-18 - Sacramento — The California Legislature last night approved a bill that would make it easier to change gender markers on state-issued identification documents ...


Gay News

Chicago Fringe Opera leads with transgender coming of age story at Center 2017-09-17 - Chicago — Now in its fourth year, Chicago's "alt-opera company" ( John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune ) Chicago Fringe Opera ( CFO ) ...


Gay News

Palm Center Statement on Bipartisan Support for Senate Bill to Block Trump's Transgender Ban 2017-09-15 - SAN FRANCISCO, CA — Palm Center Director Aaron Belkin issued the following statement in response to today's introduction of a stand-alone bill to ...


Gay News

Groups tell courts: Ban already harming transgender troops, U.S. military 2017-09-15 - ( SEATTLE, September 14, 2017 ) — Lambda Legal and OutServe-SLDN today asked a federal court to halt immediately all steps taken to ...


Gay News

Advocates: Trump working to weaken protection against sex, gender discrimination 2017-09-15 - Washington — Even as another attempt surfaces in Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act and cut Medicaid funding, the Trump administration is ...


Gay News

International fashion model Teddy Quinlivan comes out as transgender 2017-09-13 - New York, NY - Internationally acclaimed fashion model Teddy Quinlivan today shares with the world her authentic self, disclosing that she is transgender. ...


 



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


 



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.