In efforts to increase African-American LGBQT community awareness and support, Chicago Black Gay Caucus organizes a Black Gay Pride every year a week after the city’s Gay Pride celebration.
The Black Gay community doesn’t want to be singled out, but they stand out. Black Pride is not to be confused with Gay Pride that’s occurring this weekend on the North Side’s Boystown. Black Pride is the celebration of gay pride in the black community, the many parties, events will be hosted on the South Side next weekend.
The LGBQT community stands for equality and rights for the non-heterosexual residents of Chicago but many African-Americans don’t feel they are accepted in all parts of the city. When “LGBQT alliance resources,” is researched on Google, only a few pinpoints surface south of Chinatown.
“They are not well advertised in the black community,” said Evany Turk.
Evany Turk is a program coordinator for an HIV/AIDS outreach program, Care 2 Prevent.
“I got into this field of work because I’ve been living with HIV for 12 years and I wanted to help prevent others from contracting it and if they did, help them live with it and be healthy.”
Tristan Sims is a 20-year-old student at Columbia College who also works for Care 2 Prevent.
“I’m a peer advocate and I make sure patients are adhering to medication, I try to make them feel as comfortable as possible,” Sims said, “I work with youth from 13 to 24-years-old and they feel comfortable talking to me because I’m in their age bracket.”
When asked whether he felt the same support on opposite sides of the city, non-identifying Tristan Sims said, “I feel I can be myself on both sides of the city but more so on the North Side, out South I can still be myself but I know I would have to be with my people or with someone I can trust to defend me.”
There needs to be more community support, Sims said, “There was always a large community of down low guys and a small community of out guys mostly because the black community is unsupportive and guys feel that being openly gay emasculated them.
The black gay community and white LGBQT community have a distinct separation. “The clear example being separate prides, although the main pride ‘white’ is a mixture of everybody black pride is more on south side and unfortunately it’s not as free as the main pride,” Turk said, “The police monitor it more and it’s harder to get permits and space for black people.”
This year for Black Pride the Chicago Black Gay Men’s Caucus is hosting a rooftop party, fireworks celebration, happy hour, reunion, and picnic/beach party. These events range from July 3 through July 6 and to learn more about the events visit Black Pride 2014.