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 2020-02-19
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



Trans Vigil Calls for End to Violence
by Charlsie Dewey

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

Standing in the cold, under the towering sign of a 7-11 on the corner of Roscoe and Halsted on Nov. 20, a small group gathered for the Illinois Gender Advocates Transgender Day of Remembrance to honor the transgender men and women who were brutally murdered over the past year, to support the survivors and to call for an end of the hate that motivates the violence towards individuals based on who they are.

Even with increased media attention, more protections being enacted and a rise in transgender involvement in government positions, the number of transgender hate-crime victims has increased.

Beyond the candles lit in memory of the known victims, Center on Halsted's Laura Velasquez reminded gatherers that 80 percent of crimes go unreported, and Reverend Bradley Mickelson of New Spirit Community Church, added, 'I can confidently say that I believe there are many more that have fallen whose names we do not know because of a hatred in our society of people it does not choose to understand but, instead, chooses to fear.'

'We are cast out. We are treated as freaks,' said Stevie Conlon, chair of Illinois Gender Advocates. 'What happens to our community? We're treated as an object. Something not to be talked about, that should be hidden in the dark, where it's OK to hit or beat an object because we're not treated as people. We're not accepted in the light of day as people and we should be. The tragedy is that we come here every year to remember these poor people who have been killed because they're different. And until society accepts us as the people we are, when will this stop?'

Equality Illinois Director of Public Policy Rick Garcia called for an end to the violence, 'No one should be beaten, battered, bruised or even murdered, simply because of who they are as persons ... . We come together and stand in demand that our elected officials pass the strongest hate-crime legislation possible.'

Even as the light of the candles reminded the crowd of the pain and sorrow that hatred has caused, there was also a hope in the hearts of those gathered.

Bill Greaves, director and community liaison of the City's Advisory Council on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues, pointed to the progress in Chicago, 'Already our city has added gender identity to its human-rights act, which publicly acknowledges the rights of transgender people. And this summer, at the opening ceremony for the Gay Games we heard directly from our mayor that lesbians, gay, bisexual, and transgender men and women are welcome in Chicago. That statement reverberated nationwide. In fact, it reverberated worldwide, because it is one of the few times in the history of our nation that it has been said that directly, that succinctly.'

Greaves added that the state of Illinois includes protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, and that that definition of sexual orientation includes gender identity.

The fight is not over. The family of Krystal Heskin, a Chicago victim, attended the vigil and stood as a reminder that there is still progress to be made and that there is still work to be done.

'I'll say this right now,' said Conlon, 'I'm just a regular person, and the trans people that you know are just regular people, and they should be treated that way. We should have as much of a right to be safe as anyone else, because when we're out in the open, and when we're accepted as people, that's when it becomes totally inappropriate to treat us inappropriately ... . We should be everywhere, and we should be out.'

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

Trans scientist kicks off TGNC-affirming symposium 2020-02-23 - Transgender climate scientist, humanist and activist Dr. Mika Tosca's keynote kicked off the day-long "Being a Stronger Ally: A Trans/GNC Affirming Symposium" Feb. ...

Gay News

Suburban district settles anti-trans lawsuit 2020-02-19 - After more than four years, Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211 settled a lawsuit brought by transgender former student Nova Maday, who alleged discrimination. ...

Gay News

Starbucks pro-trans ad airs, but employees criticize company 2020-02-11 - Starbucks UK released an ad showing a young trans man getting to use his chosen name while getting a coffee—but the ad has ...

Gay News

Bloomberg under fire for anti-trans comments; campaign responds [UPDATE] 2020-02-07 - Days after unveiling a five-part, multi-pronged LGBT platform, Democratic presidential candidate and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is being criticized for ...

Gay News

'Being a Stronger Ally' symposium Feb. 22 2020-02-07 - Registration is open for "Being A Stronger Ally: Trans/GNC Affirming Symposium"—which the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce ( ACC ) is hosting in partnership ...

Gay News

Virginia passes laws that protect LGBTQs 2020-02-06 - On Feb. 6, Virginia legislators passed comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation ( the Virginia Values Act ) that activists said makes the state the first ...

Gay News

OPINION 'Trans-formal' education 2020-02-05 - "The year started well, but substitute teachers were not told about Dave's name," my friend Pat told me. "My son was called a ...

Gay News

WORLD Glenn Greenwald, Swiss chocolatier, Chick-fil-A, South Korean trans soldier 2020-01-27 - A coalition of approximately 40 human-rights and free-speech NGOs signed an open letter—organized by Freedom of the Press Foundation and Reporters Without Borders—addressed ...

Gay News

ELECTIONS 2020 Lightfoot backs trans candidate Quinn 2020-01-24 - Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has endorsed transgender candidate Jill Rose Quinn for Cook County judge ( the K. Sheehan vacancy ). "I'm proud ...

Gay News

Lightfoot criticizes aldermen over LGBT study 2020-01-16 - On Jan. 15, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot criticized aldermen for objecting to a plan to determine if the LGBT community faces obstacles in ...


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.