Windy City Times, Keith Ecker
Watch out Boystown! The Blacks are coming to get you! At least that's the message that some in the community seem to be broadcasting.
In response to violent criminal incidents in the gayborhood, Facebook users launched a page on June 28 called "Take Back Boystown." In one day, the group garnered more than 700 members. While some are thinking progressively by lobbying for increased citizen-led patrols and communication with police, others seem to be capitalizing on this issue to voice their racial prejudices.
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..."
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.
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