Out in segregated Chicago

Groups within gay community aren’t always allies.

August 31, 2012

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What does it mean to be openly gay in segregated Chicago?

As part of the Race: Out Loud series, WBEZ gathered black lesbians and gay white men for a frank discussion. We picked two groups who may not always be in the same room sharing their experiences – especially about race. They talked about self-segregation and the myth about unity within the gay community. Reporter Niala Boodhoo led the conversation at the WBEZ South Side Bureau.

Here are the participants:

Brett Marlow works at Groupon and loves Sheryl Crow. He lives in East Lakeview. Brett is from Florida.

Lisa Marie Pickens is co-founder of Affinity Community Services http://affinity95.org/acscontent/  and recently stepped down as board president. She lives in Avalon Park.

Kevin Osten runs the LGBTQ Mental Health and Inclusion Center at the Adler School of Professional Psychology. He grew up in Milwaukee and lives in Portage Park with his partner.

Katrina Sanford is executive director of Earth Pearl Collective, an arts organization that showcases queer women of color. http://www.earthpearlcollective.com/ showcase queer women of color. A doctoral student in clinical psychology, Katrina lives in Rogers Park.

Kelly Suzanne Saulsberry is the current board president of Affinity Community Services. She grew up in the Pill Hill neighborhood in Chicago. She’s a public policy graduate student at the University of Chicago.

Trent Stewart is a financial analyst who’s lived in Chicago for 12 years. He’s originally from North Carolina and now lives in the Edgewater neighborhood. He volunteers at the Chicago History Museum.

Xia Xaing teaches math and sciences to students who want to obtain GED. Originally from Brazil, Xia has lived in the U.S. for 12 years and lives in the Austin neighborhood.

This discussion was recorded in collaboration with Affinity Community Services and the Chicago History Museum, station partners.

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