FOF #784 – Mind the Gap

Jun 20, 2008 · 1985 views

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The success of the Center on Halsted, Chicago’s LGBT Community Center, has been met with some difficult challenges. Some of the people that need a place like the Center the most are the queer youth […]


  1. Cliff Dix says:

    As far as gay rights go, yes we are making progress but there is much more to be done. As Fausto said the new fight is now being taken up on the internet and not with local grassroots groups. But we as a whole are becoming complacent by winning a few battles. The less there is for us to fight for the less fight there is in us. The generation gap also plays into this. The older people are tired of fighting and the younger people do not think there is anything to fight for.

    P.S. I love the Barbra/Joan photshop work. Great job Fausto. By the way, I saw an interview with Barbra where she said she NEVER listens to ANY music at home. Nothing. Now that is weird.

  2. I agree with alot of things said about the gay youth that go to the center on halsted.
    It is hard for openly gay or transgendered kids in most neighborhoods, especially in the african american neighborhoods on the southside. It is dangerous walking outside if you’ve got a swivel in your hips, i had to beg my mother for us to move from our old neighborhood, just so i could feel comfortable walking home from school. I hated going home, i hated my mom for not understanding how afraid i was going to the store at 9 oclock at night. The center on Halsted is a real safe haven, not only is the surrounding neighborhood gay friendly the center itself is catered to gay youth.

    And i think that my age group (18-24) are completely responsible for learning about their own sexual health. This is the age of information right? We’ve got the internet, and podcasts like FOF, there is NO excuse for an 18 year old not to understand the benefits of wearing a condom. I recently made the mistake of not wearing a condom, but it was a conscience decision on my part. In school we had sex ed. programs (and yes even public schools in chicago) that provide any and all information teenagers need to practice safe sex. I believe that it is a personal choice to use condoms or not to use them, the information is everywhere, and by not holding teens accountable for their actions is just restricting them from taking responsibility for their actions. I really hate it when people think that just because we are younger that that automatically makes us naive and it makes it okay that we’ve made bad decisions.

    Teens are the same as adults, we want to be heard and respected, but that also means that we need to be just as ready to speak out for our rights and keep ourselves involved in the gay community. I say the gay community because lets face it, here on the south side of chicago, there aren’t many centers or churches specifically for us, I know the feeling i get when i walk in boystown or andersonville is completely different than walking down 63rd and Martin Luther King Dr. to visit my aunt. It’s sad but the only time i feel really safe or comfortable is with my friends or when i’m in lakeview.

  3. Pete says:

    great comments barbieboy. i guess living in lakeview and fortunate enough to come from a good background has given me a limited understanding of youth in precarious situations.

    aside from attending the forum last week, i’ve never been to the center on halsted despite living in the area. i didn’t see the center as something necessary to me personally. i now realize the center is so much more than I imagined and that it offers much needed services to people all over chicago.

    also, i hooked outside the center once but my john was cheap and all i got was a sony CD walkman, instead of an ipod. lame.

  4. a cd walkman? really, i know guys who turn tricks in that neighborhood and charge $50 for a screw, a cutie like you is worth way more than a cd walkman.

  5. So is hotness measured by how fancy of a gadget you can obtain from a trick? Hunks get iPhones, skunks get a Hitachi MP3 player:

  6. Loved the show today and Jason was a great guest. I laughed when you guys had the hand writing contest. Fausto reminded me of that line from “The Color Purple” when Oprah says, “You told Harpo to beat me….” You guys are so adorable.

  7. Joan poked a lot of fun at Barbra during her show the other night here in Pittsburgh. There was no mention of lesbian kisses, she just said Barbra had a face like a dog, much to the intended dismay of her 99% gay audience, whom she mocked by shouting back “You’ve gone TOO far, Mrs. Rivers, take it back!”

  8. I’m a big fan of both women, but even I draw the line at people I’ve been intimate with, onstage or offstage. SHE is not one to talk about looking like a dog either!

  9. I beg to differ with Barbieboy and with Fausto about Latina/o and African American neighborhoods being more repressive than white neighborhoods for trans and queer youth. There are a LOT more African American and Latina/o queer and trans youth (and trans people in general) walking the streets in Black and Latino neighborhoods than white queer and trans youth walking around white middle- and upper-class neighborhoods in the city and the suburbs. Middle-class white parents (and police and schools) have historically been a lot more repressive about their queer and trans children — sending them to psychologists, psychiatrists, doctors, and mental hospitals; holding back allowances, and coercing their children to behave properly. Working-class and poor people of color do not have as much access to those types of repression, and thus you have more openly trans and queer of color youth. Historically, middle-class white queer youth often waited until they were older–say, in college–to come out. Now, with GSA clubs in high schools, this has really changed.

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