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 2016-08-24
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


  WINDY CITY TIMES

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

facebook twitter 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 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

La Casa Norte breaks ground for Pierce House and Community Center in Humboldt Park 2016-08-26
Welcome for Daniel-McCarter Aug. 25 2016-08-24
MOMBIAN Hope and help for back-to-school time 2016-08-24
U.S. juvenile, criminal justice systems endanger lives, futures of LGBTQ youth 2016-08-23
UIC among top 30 LGBTQ-friendly campuses 2016-08-22
Judge hears District 211 injunction arguments on trans student 2016-08-16
CDC: LGBTQ youth face high rates of violence and bullying 2016-08-11
Tiny Homes model tours in August 2016-08-10
Covenant House hires Illinois director 2016-08-07
Kenosha trans student alleges school bias 2016-07-27
Youth center supporting LGBT young adults, changing workspaces 2016-07-27
Upcoming: Trans youth group, Catholic retreat, Health Symposium 2016-07-27
National PTA Adopts Res on Recognition of LGBTQ Individuals as a Protected Class 2016-07-21
HRC Foundation Video Features Proud Dads of Transgender Children 2016-07-21
CA Education Board Adopts LGBT-Inclusive History-Social Science Guidelines 2016-07-14
Event focuses on foster care and adoption in LGBTQ community 2016-07-11
TRANS JUSTICE Owen Daniel-McCarter takes helm of Illinois Safe Schools 2016-07-06
Local news briefs 2016-07-05
About Face Youth Theatre AD HOC [HOME] opens soon 2016-07-02
Activist Janae Bonsu talks BYP100, queer Black identity 2016-06-29
BOOK REVIEW Being Jazz 2016-06-28
Windy City Times 30 Under 30 Honors event held 2016-06-22
17th Annual 30 Under 30 to honor youth June 22 2016-06-22
Groups Call on Legislators to Reject Appalling Attacks on Trans Children 2016-06-19
Transgender Youth Employment Toolkit released 2016-06-18
PRIDE Day at Brookfield Zoo 2016-06-17
Foster care seminar July 9 has special LGBTQ focus 2016-06-10
Event to look at NY LGBTQ youth and survival sex 2016-06-01
Event to look at NY LGBTQ youth and survival sex 2016-05-25
23 civil-rights groups back Title IX moves trans students 2016-05-22
Queer Youth Exploring Spirituality Holds Fundraiser in Pilsen May 14 2016-05-11
Chicago Filmmakers Announces Digital Media Scholarships for LGBTQ+ Youth 2016-05-10
Filmmakers Sets Digital Media Scholarships for LGBTQ+ Youth 2016-05-10
LGBT life front and center on historically black college campuses 2016-05-08
LGBTQ prom takes place in Lake View 2016-05-08
Storage project gears up to help youth experiencing homelessness 2016-05-04
Chicago Public Schools Guidelines Support Trans Students, Employees, Adults 2016-05-03
Dept. of Ed Publishes Names of Schools Receiving Right To Discriminate Against LGBTs 2016-04-29
Center on Halsted starts housing initiative 2016-04-27
Storage project gears up to help youth experiencing homelessness 2016-04-25
 



Copyright © 2016 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
Sponsor
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.

www.windycitymediagroup.com
[email protected]  •  [email protected]  •  [email protected]

Website Powered by LoveYourWebsite.com