Windy City Media Group Frontpage News Home
CELEBRATING 28+ YEARS OF Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender NEWS

Search Gay News Articles
Advanced Search
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2014-10-15
Download Issue
  News Index       Archives   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds   AIDS @ 32
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime

THEATER REVIEW Take Me Out THEATER REVIEW
Take Me Out
Playwright: Richard Greenberg. At: Eclectic Theatre Company at the Athenaeum, 2936 N. ...

Browse Gay News Index   Browse Gay News Archives
  Windy City Times    Download PDF Issue

Youth builds new family in Lakeview
LGBTQ Youth Series from Windy City Times
by Erica Demarest
2013-01-02

facebook twitter del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email


When Ilene Cameron first visited Boystown four years ago, she was hoping to find acceptance. What she got was a family.

The then-18-year-old had been living in a group home following a litany of family issues.

"My [biological] family—they're not very accepting of the fact I'm bisexual," Cameron said. "They call me names, make fun of me, say a lot of things that I really don't like. My mom calls me a faggot. I'm downright dirty to have a relationship with a guy and a girl. I'm stupid, and I shouldn't be part of the family."

A good friend told Cameron about Boystown, the city's LGBT-designated corridor, and promised to show her around. Cameron soon met dozens of youth just like her. Many identified as LGBT; some were homeless or precariously housed; still others had been disowned after coming out to their families.

For the first time in years, Cameron felt at home.

"I always felt very alone," she said. "I was in middle school and high school, and nobody liked me because I would always try out for the boys' teams—football, basketball. They used to judge me, make fun of me, for how I dressed and everything. I had nobody I could depend on. I'd go home to my mom or my foster parents, and I'd still get judged."

Before she knew it, the lifelong South Sider had built a 'chosen family' in Lakeview—designating certain friends as siblings, aunties or parents.

"They've been with me through my rough ages—when I was drinking because I felt bad about my family. They helped me with a lot of things out here, took me into [their apartments] when I didn't have one… Out here, we're all respectful to each other. We count on one another. We don't argue that much. If someone gets hurt, we'll be at the hospital until they get better."

Cameron recalls hitting a rough patch about a year-and-a-half ago. She was just coming out of an abusive relationship and had suffered a miscarriage. Her health was poor, her asthma had been acting up, and though she has a GED, Cameron couldn't find work.

"Everybody came up with money so I could buy my inhaler, my iron pills and my vitamins," Cameron said. "They bought it for me and everything."

Cameron beams when talking about her chosen family, but says life can be tough in Lakeview.

"Mostly every night we have trouble with the police because some of the LGBTQ kids are homeless, and some of us don't really have bus fare to get on the trains," said Cameron, who lives in a West Side transitional housing program. "We help each other on trains—put our money together to buy bus fares."

She said police often stop her for no reason or harass young people near CTA stations, having made assumptions about whether the youth are riding legally.

It's also common, Cameron said, for Lakeview residents to make snide comments as they walk past her and her family.

"I just want [people] to know that we're all the same people," she said. "We might be a little bit different from you with our sexuality or whatever, but we're just the same. We go to school together. We're all in the same community. We ride the same bus, trains, everything. You shouldn't judge us for what we like, what we do or how we act."


facebook twitter del.icio.us stumble upon digg 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.

True Colors hosts national summit on LGBTQ homeless issues 2014-10-18
Chicago LGBTQ Job Fair Oct. 22 2014-10-15
Chicago LGBTQ Youth Job Fair Oct. 22 2014-10-15
LGBTQ youth job fair Oct. 22 at Center 2014-10-15
Sociologist Pascoe on youth and homophobia Oct. 22 2014-10-13
LGBTQ youth job fair Oct. 22 at Center 2014-10-08
Alliance brunch looks at progress, challenges for safe schools 2014-10-08
Town hall focuses on bullying prevention 2014-10-01
Group offering youths five LGBTQ trips to Israel 2014-10-01
NU grad school adds sexual orientation question 2014-09-27
Illinois Safe Schools, CPS collaborating on trans* policy 2014-09-24
VIEWS Black children are beloved and beaten 2014-09-24
MTV, LOGO TV to premiere "Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word" 2014-09-18
Life: Twelve 2014-09-17
Openly gay Roosevelt Univ. president to retire 2014-09-17
Chicago 2014 Homeless Youth Summit generates projects 2014-09-17
Fed Appeals Court upholds NJ law banning conversion therapy 2014-09-11
Rep. Harris honored by Almost Home Kids group 2014-09-11
Chicago LGBTQ Youth Job Fair Oct. 22 2014-09-10
Chicago LGBTQ Youth Job Fair Oct. 22 2014-09-10
Youth counselor talks Night of Hope, suicide prevention 2014-09-02
Study: 19% of L.A. County foster youth identify as LGBTQ 2014-08-27
GLSEN launches 25 Days for Safer Schools 2014-08-26
Campus Pride's LGBT-friendliest schools 2014-08-20
Report has what youth of color think about LGBT agenda 2014-08-20
Possibilities 2014-08-20
Campus Pride lists 50 LGBT-friendly colleges, universities 2014-08-15
Investigation exposes housing discrimination in suburbs 2014-08-14
'Homestretch' youth homeless doc at Siskel 2014-08-13
NC court says stepparents can maintain contact with children 2014-08-06
Eychaner Foundation launches '1,000 Kids for Iowa' 2014-08-05
Black Youth Project Report: How youth view LGBT agenda 2014-08-05
The Barcus Bunch: Single gay dad on unconditional parenting 2014-08-05
MOMBIAN How the makers of D&D won my family's heart 2014-07-29
LGB parents and their kids doing despite heterosexism 2014-07-23
LGBT youth more likely than heterosexual youth to try suicide 2014-07-22
Youth homeless summit releases task force survey 2014-07-21
Alliance names Anthony Papini new executive director 2014-07-16
Report outlines workplace barriers for LGBT youth 2014-07-16
Vernita Gray LGBTQ youth fund holds inaugural fundraiser 2014-07-16





Copyright © 2014 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.

 

 

 



 

Trans entrepreneur Kinley Preston lives her truth
 
Man's Country renovates to add leather emporium
 
Chicago House luncheon puts spotlight on disparities
 
Dining news: Hot Doug's replacement; Chefs Hall of Fame
 
Trans musician to appear at documentary screening
 
Windy City Times Current DownloadNightspots Current DownloadQueercast Current Download
Windy City Media Group BlogsJoin Our Email List!Donate Now



  News Index       Archives   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds   AIDS @ 32
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime



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      News Videos      Nightspots Videos      Entertainment Videos      Queercast Videos      Comedy Videos     
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.