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06 July 2011


Luckey Starr

As a gay black man, I find this story and many like it to be an embarrassment to the community. We will NEVER get anywhere if we keep this shit up. United we stand, Divided we fall. #getittogether

Chitown Kev

"Why not offer them a job or a place to stay ... or the resources to achieve those goals?"

Boy Rod, I get where you're coming from but...

I want to play devil's advocate here for a sec.

Yes, it is true that it seems that most of these black and Latino youth come from the South and west Side (and possibly Humboldt Park too).

Why is it that Boystown seeming to shoulder the burden of this. What is the responsibility of the neighborhoods where the youths come from?

(For the record, I live in Rogers Park and we have plenty of young black gays living here and really, we always have.)


If the residents of Boystown truly want to tout itself has a safe location for the LGBT then resources like the Center on Halsted need to exist and LBGT youth will gather on the streets.

Yes, it's unfortunate that crime happens. Yes, there needs to be additional programs in place that keep the kids off the streets but with the lack of funding and the history Illinois has with non-profits, change is not going to happened quickly.

And I'm not going to argue that large amounts of young black gays live in Rogers Park, but what programs, events or resources are available to them other than the multitude of sex parties that happen in Rogers park?

Jim J

"It's unfortunate that crime happens" ...said like "it's unfortunate that it rains" or like crime is a natural phenomenon and we just have to put up with it. I don't care if they're black, white, or green: any group of teenagers these days is frightening prospect.


If I lived in the neighborhood, I would NOT want those ANIMALS in MY neighborhood, either. My mother always said, "Poor people have poor ways." And, lo' & behold, this is yet a 1st class example of such! This digusting behavior is reminiscent of what is happening at L.A.'s premiere gay bar/restaurant, THE ABBEY. The ONLY fights I've seen there have been BLACK & LATINO guys!! (Who DON'T live in the West Hollywood neighborhood!) Although intellectually I know the folks fighting DON'T represent me in ANY WAY, I also know that to non-blacks, they DO! I truly wish that those who can't seem to go ANYWHERE without colossal chips atop their shoulders, would keep their behinds at HOME! I assure you, there will NEVER be a day when residents from the Halstead neighborhood TRAVEL to the ghetto to fight! STAY HOME with that ish!!! And, ROD, why don't YOU "offer them a job" or "a place to stay?" All you have to do is FLY their tired asses to NYC! Obviously they don't mind leaving THEIR neighborhoods!!!!!


I have to side with Chitown on this one-- the need for services should not be placed on Boystown alone. In fact, it seems these young people come for the services provided at the Center, so in a way Boystown is already providing services if the range of services being offered is as reported in the newspiece.

Gathering on the street is not dangerous-- stabbing is. What we need to think hard about is that these are increasingly related and that is problematic; residents will over-react, racial tensions will increase, and blacks will be made to feel very unwelcome. We've seen this movie before-- can someone figure out how to re-write the script?


Cam, I was just wondering how you knew the people in the video were poor? I didn't think they had been identified.

Derrick from Philly

I sometimes wonder about poor folks who live in the so-called ghettos who are not violent and don't commit crime. Why should they have to suffer just because they're poor?

Who decides what neighborhoods should not have to deal with crime? What's the criteria? Money?

I got my azz out of North Philly because the Gay-bashing was getting out of hand back in the early 90s (I didn't leave my family's home 'til I was 34 years old--now, you know that's a damn shame). I left and felt safe, but every and now then I wonder about those who do no wrong but they get punished because of where they live.

The other guy

Gotta say I agree with Cam on this one. I have seen the same thing happen in every place I've lived. It's the black and Latino hoodrats who bring the drama and confusion and give all of us gay men of color a bad name. We know we are not all like that but outsiders don't. The sooner we call it what it is, the sooner the issue can be fixed. This sort of thing is why I stopped going to large outdoor events, bars and clubs years ago - I'm too old for that mess. Young groups hanging out like that leads to problems - just go to Gallery Place here in DC for the proof.


"If I lived in the neighborhood, I would NOT want those ANIMALS in MY neighborhood, either. "

"The ONLY fights I've seen there have been BLACK & LATINO guys!! (Who DON'T live in the West Hollywood neighborhood!)"

Racist much, Miss Cam? Or classist? It's hard to tell the difference between white queens and snow queens online...

And how do you know where they live? Do you live in West Hollywood? If so, does that make you feel better? Because there is just as much drug dealing and prostitution in WeHo as Compton ... maybe more. It's just done behind doors and at the clubs, as opposed to the street.

Two more things, hon. If I recall correctly, Rod moved from NYC to Chicago and may have a little more knowledge on this than you. And imo his point on giving them a job was in response to closing down the community center and not offering an alternative.

The Abbey is tired, btw.

Rod Mc

@Kev: I also was playing the devil's advocate lol.

The purpose of the Center was to offer counseling and resources to the LGBT community at large and at risk LGBT youth. Why suggest closing the Center just because there have been several street fights or crimes that were not even associated with the Center? As Kevjack suggested, the problem is not youth coming to the area. The problems are the fights.

Not sure how/why you're comparing employed Black LGBTs living in Rogers Park to Black LGBT transient youth in Boystown. There are social service organizations that serve all neighborhoods.

But: Do Black/Latino LGBT youth feel comfortable socializing in their neighborhoods? Do they feel comfortable getting job placement in Woodlawn or Humboldt Park or HIV testing or counseling?

Probably not, which is why they often move to Edgewater, Rogers Park etc. when and if they can. Those are larger questions about homophobia in our communities.

Chitown Kev

OH, I agree that closing the Center is a bad idea but having 8-10 packs of 15-20 black queens is just a hot mess.

And...yes, all those packs of hoodrat queens DOES look scary...call me a suck up to the white gay establishment if you want to but I've lived on the North Side for almost 20 years because I don't want to be around this bullshit.

I've also seen some straights acting up and while everyone is focused on Halsted, most of the drug action that I've noticed actually takes place on Clark Street (read: straights). I have witnessed open air weed and coke markets over on Clark Street. But because Clark Street is mostly for straights and for Cub fans...hmmmmm...

also keep in mind that it's not simply racial profiling but also age-related profiling. If you're black but older, the cops won't pull you over...hell, I got into 2 different bars in the area without having to show even one form of ID.

Oh, and Rod there indeed have been fights with the Center; at one time the center had to close off the computer stations on the second floor because of a fight...that I heard from a (black) lady friend of mine.

Another thing I am seeing is that ol' tension between North Side blacks and South Side blacks.

An whose fault is it that black and Latino youth don't feel comfortable socializing in their neighborhoods.


DALTON, I don't deem myself classist in the least. Realist describes me, though, to a "t." I'm calling a spade a spade (no pun intended). The day I see well-educated, gainfully-employed professionals CONSISTENTLY fighting at gay bars, I'll call THEM out, too. But I simply HAVEN'T seen that in my 21 yrs of gay bars patronage. What really irks me even more than the fact that these fools fight every chance they get---is that sooo many of 'em are soooo damn HOT! Geez! What's a sane, non-confrontational 47-yr-old brotha to do??? :) :)

Honut Sinti

It happens all over. Here in DC a few weeks ago there was shooting at a Caribbean Parade/Festival and one person ended up dead. Young people were the antagonists who put a bad mark on an event that had been going on for about 20 years.


@Dalton: Thank you so much for that! You are a rare gem, as indicated by the contrast in your statements verses the others posted.

L. Michael Gipson

I'm furious that there is any debate about these children's right to congregate in ANY public space. PERIOD. That's some 17th to early 20th century Jim Crow B.S. Are public fights disruptive and uncomfortable? Yes. But, address the behavior and the perpetrators of said behavior ABOUT THEIR BEHAVIOR. This notion that anyone reflecting the physicalities and class of the perps should be singled out, profiled, for special sanction because they are young, "of color," and of varying socio-economic status is ridiculous, elitist and racist. Plenty of white gay men in Boys Town engage in all kinds of illegal and inappropriate behavior on these same streets, including taking Tina, public sex, and solicitation, not to mention lover's DV (I lived there, so I know of what I speak). The space has NEVER been welcoming of Blacks who ere not white identified. This is a ruse to get rid of a space they don't want there in the first place. As Rod pointed out, you want young people engaged in constructive activities and behaviors, give them a reason to do so. But with double-digit unemployment rampant among Black youth, schools unsafe for learning for Black gay youth, and adults only wanting to be involved in teens lives when they want to f**k them, their anger and frustration is wholly justified. More surprising to me is how few Black gay men on this thread seemed to understand from where this frustration and anger is born. Kudos to the LGBT Center for trying to do something for and about this generation besides paying lip service to "caring about the youth."

Greg G

"Whose fault is it that black and Latino youth don't feel comfortable socializing in their neighborhoods."

Surely you meant to say Black and Latino "LGBT" youth, Kev. That would be due to homophobia and anti-LGBT violence which is why you left the "hood" long ago.

"all those packs of hoodrat queens DOES look scary."

What are they going to do to you? Challenge you to a vogue off?

Clearly you have issues with other gay black men, Kev. You veered off "devil's advocate" territory on this blog long, long ago. Rod made one editorial comment and you're unloading. And you've made it obvious at TR and JMG what type of men you prefer, btw.

And you really don't want to talk about "drug dealing" in Boystown. The white gay boys have that market cornered and are dealing crystal meth from their apts, condos, on the street and even at Howard Brown.

God bless you for answering him, Rod. Kev, you sure have a lot to say to Rod "now". You were MIA during the GLAAD nominations, when Rod was in Dominican Republic, Vienna, etc etc.


Yes indeed Mr. Greg that "t" was sweet. Also dalton and L.M I co-sign.

I'm born and raised in New Orleans, then moved to houston (pre-K no fema check :(), next chicago, now lovely nyc. I've seen first hand how a hot mess some black gay youth can be. All they need is a productive and WELCOMING environment that they feel comfortable going to. Most of the time this is not the case being that most of those white queens and snow queens sometimes sad I know, don't want blacks there regardless of your social status.

Just like I would tell bill cosby if i see him is if you not gonna do anything about the problem SHUT THE F UP!

Chitown Kev

"All they need is a productive and WELCOMING environment that they feel comfortable going to. Most of the time this is not the case being that most of those white queens and snow queens sometimes sad I know, don't want blacks there regardless of your social status"

Cajiva,I agree but whose responsibility is it to provide that type of environment and at what cost? Why don't these kids have better home training?

(and,incidentally, we did go through this a little bit in Rogers Park about 10 years back when some of the projects began to close down.

There was an uptick in incidents and confronatations that was reported on that time (some, though not allof the incidents,involved gays but they did involve black youth...I remember because my picture got in the paper on one of those stories

Chitown Kev

Greg G

You don'tknow me orwho I sleep with(boy,you'd be somewhat surprised) so your speculation about all of that is unwarranted.

I am well aware of what the white gay boys in Boystown do, trust me. That's not exactly the point.

Clark Street is only a block away from Halsted. and I have seen more OPEN AIR drug sealing on Clark Street (overwhelmingly straight) than Halsted. and that may be where someof the crime is coming from.

Chitown Kev

"You were MIA during the GLAAD nominations, when Rod was in Dominican Republic, Vienna, etc etc."

actually, I have been kinda sorta MIA from all of the blogs recently...certainly, I don'tpost anywhere near as much as I did even 3 moths ago.

Life happens. Sorry that I don't post and comment according to your specifications.

and there are more black gay blogs that Rod's...in fact,I have to go check Derrick Mathis' blog now.


The point that seems to be missing is that someone ws stabbed and why these young people seem to do such acts. Not being young and having no need for a gay bar or neighborhood, its just sad that its the 'them' messing it up for 'us.' Black and Latino youth in 2011 seem to have no place to go and be welcomed or understood, sad. I blame the black neighborhoods they are fleeing for the fear they have of not being able to be who they are and the in your face racism from the area they think they could be safe in, and, lets keep it real, not all black gay youth are thugs and hoodlums.

Chitown Kev

hmmmm..I am pretty defensive here...

an explanation...

as I've stated, i live in the Rogers Park sction of Chicago and have lived here (and Evanston) for 18 years.

As any Chicagoian will tell you, it is probhably the most etnically diverse area in the COUNTRY. We have white folks, black folks, Latinos (mostly Mexicans), eastern European immigrants, South Asian immigrants.

And plenty of gays and lesbians from all of those demographics.

And if you want ghetto or "the hood", there's always Howard Street (and frankly, I LOVE it that Rogers Park is and can be ghetto).

Yes, racial tensions occur on occasion (e.g. when some of the former public housing dwellers moved in 10 years ago, there was an uptick in tensions similar to what is happenting in Boystown...my mug actually made it into the Sun-Times when that story was reported on...those "wilding" incidents subsided after a few months).

But for the most part the races and ethnicities and the sexualities get along just fine up here and that's not simply on the surface. black gets along with white, Indian gets along with Pakistanis, rich gets along (generally) with the poor, etc.

That's the way we roll. and I wouldn't have it any other way.

And when developers wanted to do the gentrification thing up here, there were white folks with big money that made sure they were limited in what they would allow the developers to do)

It's the type of neighhborhood that I always dreamed of living in.

I was talking with a friend of mine (black, straight, female) and she and I agreed thatwe do live in a kind of bubble in comparison to the rest of Chicago as far as race relations are concerned.

Blame it on the bubble, I guess...I'm not stupid. But to see things like what's happening in Boystown breaks my heart because it doesn't have to be that way.

@Michel Gipson

Yeah, Boystown has never been really welcoming to black folks but it's as welcoming asd it ever has been nowadays. Back whewn I first got to Chicago, you rarely saw a black face in Boystown.

Then again, we had more of our own black gay clubs then too (The Generator, the "Stop and Stank", lol, Rialto's, etc.)

Greg G


On the contrary, I know your story and your type quite well. The story here was about a man who was stabbed and street LGBTPOC youth in Boystown. But now it's about you ... you made it out the hood, your neighborhood is diverse, you don't get asked for ID, you've seen drug dealing, you were "scared" by gangs of black gay "hoodrats." You've gone from
"devil's advocate" to pearl clutcher to "how dare these hoodrats come to Boystown where I don't even live."

You gush over white boys at TR, JMG and Queerty (GOOGLE: "I like 'tradey' white boys like on 'Broke Str8Men' you said at JMG) and feel compelled to rush in comments here and "educate" the coloreds about white gay men. YOU said in the other post that "many racist comments" were from blacks. YOU said you sensed a "passive aggressive" mindset in these comments that "black gay men" thought white gays had to do more for these kids.

And you've also thrown out numerous strawmen and red herrings about "black youth" when we're clearly talking about black LGBT youth. YOU and Cam also said that YOU feared these young people "were making it worse" for all black gays.

I know your type. YOU play the "honey please" card at JMG, TR and around white boys and then feel YOU need to explain white people to other black gay men. YOU feel like you're an ambassador, and when black gays act "hoodrat", it makes "us all" look bad. Because you've been hanging out at white gay bars for decades and like to feel "special."

You, you, you, you. And no concern for our next generation of black gay men because they "are making it bad" for the rest of us ... to do what? Enter Little Jim's without being carded? Pick up some white dick? Child, please. Boo.

Greg G in River North

Rogers Park is so-so. Western Rogers Park is mostly white and most of the blacks are in the Sheridan-Red Line-Howard corridor.

Many black gay men moved into Rogers Park and parts of Edgewater in the 1980s and 1990s because the area has many ONE and TWO ROOM studios and cheap apartments. There is a corridor along Hollywood Ave that is heavily black and gay. And very ghetto.

Rogers Park, Howard and north of Howard have outrageously high crime rates. And north of Howard used to be a war zone and the drug capitol (with Cabrini Green) of the north side. Maybe that's why you moved there years ago? So if you're worried about stabbings and street crime, look closer to home. The thugs on Howard or the coin-operated white "trade" you invite home (or meet online) will "get" you loooong before the young black kids walking down Halsted.

And Kev: YOU did congratulate Joe on his GLAAD nomination but did NOT congratulate Rod. I was pretty sure about this but I just went back and checked.

Oh and the same Derrick Matthis that no one reads and launches unhinged personal attacks on Pam and Rod? Honey, please. Comparing that z-lister to Rod is like comparing a broken down Ford Fiesta to a brand new Escalade with 22" rims. Child, please. Boo.

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