Just the other day, I was informed by a couple readers about the drama in Boystown, a popular gay area in Chicago.
There has been several violent crimes in the neighborhood within the past month. Many of the residents are getting worried that the cause of the attacks are due the increased youth in the neighborhood. Many of the young minority LGBT folks go to the Center on Halsted because it provides a safe space and job training.
But the residents are taking this to a new level, completely blaming the youth on the crimes. They even gone as far as creating a Facebook page called page called Take Back Boystown, which has some of the most racist and stupid statements ever.
Keith Ecker from Windy City Times, breaks it down:
For example, one fan of the page writes, "It's all of us innocent people that are being attacked by the blacks." Another echoes the words of many by placing blame on the Black GLBT youths that seek services at the Center on Halsted, posting that "We have a center full of 'kids' who don't live in the neighborhood just wandering around the streets because they lack the funds and/or age required to get into bars. So, what happens then? Well, I think we've all seen what happens..."I understand that folks are scared and concerned. But if you read those statements you will see how fear has kicked up the foolishness and ignorance in these people. It's a shame to see this community fall apart at the seams. I hope they can come together and work this out before more damage is done.
This ignorance reflects a growing schism that has taken root in Chicago's gay community. On one side are the mainstream gays. We are those who are portrayed in the mass and GLBT media and serve as the target audience for Lady Gaga and Glee. Politicians court us, and businesses cater to us. On the other side are the disenfranchised gay Black youths. These young adults have no public platform. Many come from extraordinarily intolerant communities. Some are homeless. Few have much money to their names. For the mainstreams, it gets better. For the others, not so much.
Have us gays really come so far as to have the "privilege" to look down on others with condescension? Have we achieved such "lofty" status as to completely trivialize the plights of others? I guess now that Ellen is the queen of daytime talk and Broadway isn't just for gays, we have the right to lump all Black people together as misfits and criminals.