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

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Trans man harassed, mistaken for ISIS member
by Matt Simonette
2015-11-25

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


A trans man who works in Berwyn says that he was harassed and threatened at gunpoint by an area resident who mistook him for an ISIS member.

Benedetto DeFrancisco, who lives on Chicago's North Side and works as a teaching assistant in Berwyn, alleges that, on Nov. 18, William Jackson, of the 1400 block of S. Wesley Ave., began shouting at him and flashed a pistol because his beard made him resemble a terrorist.

DeFrancisco said that most mornings he goes for a walk upon arriving at his workplace, both to unwind after his commute and to check the perimeter of the school grounds. The first time he passed Jackson's house, DeFrancisco had his headphones in, and did not know Jackson was yelling at him.

"I literally just walk around the school, so on my second lap, he was definitely shouting [again], and it felt like it was aimed at me," DeFrancisco said. "It was getting louder and more aggressive. A lot of swearing. I honestly thought he was drunk. I took out my headphones and looked at him, and heard what he was saying: 'I know what you're doing, motherfucker. You're scaring my wife—get out of here.'"

At that point, DeFrancisco saw Jackson's gun, a .45 caliber Ruger semi-automatic pistol. "He was waving it around, waving it at me," he recalled. "I just tried to sat as calm as I could. I pretended to put my earphones back in, but dialed 911 instead, and walked around the corner to hide."

Berwyn police arrived within moments and confronted Jackson. A detective later told DeFrancisco that Jackson and his wife were avid viewers of Fox News and other cable news programs that were playing up the threat of foreign terrorism. Jackson's wife was distressed by DeFrancisco's look, so Jackson came out to confront him. DeFrancisco said he identifies with many facets of Middle Eastern culture, since his mother was born in Damascus, but is of mixed-European descent.

"They were getting scared, because the ISIS attack happened in France, and getting more scared that ISIS was in Chicago," DeFrancisco explained. "It's clear that they had been watching me since the previous Monday—this happened on a Wednesday. I've been taking these walks since I've been working there. On my walk, I notice the same people come around. My thing to do is say hello. Unfortunately, with this man and his wife, their fear got the best of them. They could have just asked, 'Hey, what are you doing here?'"

Jackson was charged with aggravated assault and will appear in court Dec. 9. DeFrancisco asked police to investigate the matter as a hate crime, but was doubtful that would happen.

"[Jackson] is not the only person watching Fox News—it's a toxin and it's spreading fear, and this fear leads to hatred. Instead of wanting to know something about a culture or religion, they just shut it down in the most horrible or scary way," said DeFrancisco, who also noted that his gender identity was was not made an issue by Jackson or police.

He said Jackson, from whom he'd most like a letter of apology, became remorseful when talking to police.

"I'm not interested in his serving jail time," DeFrancisco added. "I would like a dialogue with him about what lesson he learned from this, what he's going to do to open his mind a little. I'm not looking for any kind of revenge."


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

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.

 

 

 

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 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.