Amigas Latinas

We are a nonprofit based in Chicago, bringing LGBTQ Latinas support, advocacy, and education fiercely and unapologetically since 1995. We'll bring you all the best events going on in the Chicago area--fierce and proud.

Call for Trans* Interviews—Chicago

Hola Amig@s! Today we’re sharing with you a call for interviews. Please spread the word—RT, repost, reblog!

We met Stef last week at the first Soy Quien Soy: Trans Empowerment Collective meeting in Pilsen. Ze is a wonderful, compassionate listener. Ze is currently working on hir dissertation research at the University of Iowa in Iowa City. Ze is here in October to gather interviews from the varied and diverse trans* community that resides in and around Chicago.

Stef is trans* identified and is currently in U of Iowa’s Sociology program—this research has been approved by their Institutional Review Board under application #201106701. Stef is  interested in how trans folk (broadly defined) understand their identities, the communities we have built, and their relationships to others. Part of these interviews includes listening to your stories and experiences with medical & mental health providers. These are in-depth interviews to paint a broad picture of our trans* community in Chicago.

These interviews are open to the friends, families, partners, and allies of trans* individuals. Stef would be happy to hear their experiences as well.

Stef’s email is stef.shuster@gmail.com. Ze is working hard to be as flexible as possible when scheduling interviews—so don’t pass this up! All and any information will be kept in complete confidentiality and respect.

Research done by us, for us is empowering, affirming, and necessary! There is a lack of research being done at the academic level on/about our communities. Let’s strive for accurate information by participating in research. Please pass this forward—spread the word! Support community research initiatives and queer studies!

In case you need it. Just in case. [Resource Numbers]

  • Suicide Hotline: 1-800-784-8433
  • LifeLine: 1-800-2738255
  • Depression Hotline: 1-630-482-9696
  • Sexuality Support: 1-800-246-7743
  • Grief Support: 1-650-321-5272
  • Trevor Project: 1-866-488-7386
  • Eating Disorder Hotline: 1-847-831-3438
  • Rape and Sexual Assault: 1-800-656-4673
  • Runaway: 1-800-843-5200, 1-800-843-5678, 1-800-621-4000
  • Exhale: After Abortion Hotline/Pro- Voice: 1-866-439-4253
  • Thank you Tumblr folks for posting a list of numbers and resources for folks who may benefit from them. We encourage our members to keep these handy--because you never know who might need them. Confidentiality is of the utmost importance to many (if not all) of these hotlines.
  • We'd also like to add a wonderful local resource called Pride Call, which operates out of Woodstock, IL. Pride Call is there to serve anyone and everyone who calls in with a crisis or need. Their number is 815-337-2255 and their trained volunteers are available Monday through Friday from 4pm to 8pm. You can follow them on facebook (Pride Call) or check out their website at www.pridecall.org. It can be a great benefit to talk to someone locally--with complete confidentiality and anonymity--who is familiar with Illinois and the Midwest.
  • Thank you again Tumblr folks!

New Group at Vida/SIDA

We’re always happy to hear of new groups starting around Chicago that empower LGBTQ individuals and offer these resources to our members/readers/supporters. If you can access these resources, please do! Part of supporting new community endeavors is attending and participating at these groups.

Please spread the word about this group since it is relatively new. Thank you to Vida/SIDA for putting this together and continuing to affirm queer women.

Vida/SIDA is hosting a new group for female-identified LGBTQ folks. The group is meant to honor and celebrate the identities of queer women. Please come and share your ideas & help shape the future of the group! Every Tuesday 6-8pm at 2073 W. Division. Spread the word about this group—Ladies this one’s for you!

 

Vida/SIDA also has a group for Latin@s 18-24 who identify as gay or bisexual, or Latinas who are trans (mtf). This is their Comprehensive Risk Counseling & Services resource: assisting with goal-setting, encouraging healthy and safe behaviors, and providing access to resources. For more information please call or send an email to julissao@prcc-chgo.org at 773-278-6737. Participants are welcome by appointment or walk-in, Monday through Friday 9am to 6pm. Clients who pass the screening process and enroll in CRCS will receive incentives for their participation.

To access more of Vida/SIDA’s resources, information, etc. please visit them at www.vidasida.org.

As we find out about new groups and resources we’ll post them here and on our facebook. So keep checking back because there’s a lot going on in Chicago!

Start October Off Right—10/1

Hola Amig@s! Start October off right by attending two awesome events tomorrow night. Grab a pumpkin spice latte and hit the town for a fun night out!

Our friends over at xQsi are a sponsor for a diabetes research walk. Here’s the information for tomorrow night 10/1:

Every year, the American Diabetes Association hosts Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes in order to raise funds in the name of diabetes research and, ultimately, to find a cure for the disorder. The Walk is a little over three miles and takes place in downtown Chicago. This year, the walk will take place on October 22.

As a member of the American Diabetes Association Young Professionals Board, I have dedicated my time to help this effort succeed and hope to continue the effort in the years to come. In collaboration with local organizations such as Arte y Vida Chicago and Tall Hispanic Short Hispanic Productions, I hope to host a small fundraiser complete with entertainment, food and raffles, charging a small affordable fee at the door, with all proceeds going to the Walk.

I am asking you to join in the effort to get the word out and help spread knowledge about this epidemic that is taking the world by storm. We’ve added Chicago Wolves tickets to the list of raffle prizes along with tickets to see Tyler Perry’s show! Remember, if you can’t make it out on Saturday, please consider donating here: http://bit.ly/reDU4T

They are meeting at Junior’s Sports Bar in Pilsen at 6pm, and have been gaining fantastic community support! So be a part of this! If you know or are affected by diabetes, please consider going or donating—or just spreading the word! No contribution is too small! This is their fb event page: http://www.facebook.com/#!/event.php?eid=274262839251737

Also tomorrow night (ideally you’d swing by both!) is the L Stop’s 2nd fundraiser. The L Stop throws fabulous parties so you don’t want to miss this!

Hey, we’re back again with another Fundraiser for our Launch Party later this fall. Join us at Minibar for a fun time.

$10 Cover gets you one drink ticket and light appetizers. Raffle Prizes! Check back soon for Raffle Prizes list!

Special Guests include adorable wife duo Bridget McManus [http://bridgetmcmanus.com/] and Karman Kregloe of http://www.afterellen.com/ and Shannon Ennis of http://tellofilms.com/.

See a screening of McManusland at 8PM, then get ready for our very first “Dating Game” soon after. 3 Girls, 1 Bachelorette. Whoever Emily picks gets to go on an all-expense date on us!

Hope to see you there! ♥Join the ladies from the L Stop for a great night out—try their very first Dating Game and report back to us! For more info, this is their fb event page: http://www.facebook.com/#!/event.php?eid=102562223186708 or visit theLstop.org.

It’s sure to be a great Saturday night out tomorrow here in Chicago. Let’s hope for more sunshine and just one more 70 degree day!

Keep checking back because we’ll keep you updated on the events in Chicago so you can keep connected with your favorite communities. Happy Friday!

UIC Youth Development Summit—Sign up!

We’re forwarding this from our awesome new board member Emilia. Pass this on to anyone who might be interested—it’s a great opportunity!

Hey Folks!

Please consider submitting an RFP to present your work at the 2011 Youth Development Summit, taking place on November 5th at Uplift Community High School. We are looking for both adult and youth presenters who are committed to changing the way we engage youth to become agents of change in their schools and communities. 

Last year, we hosted our first YD Summit, with over a hundred participants, 12 sessions and a resource fair. This year we NEED YOUR HELP in making this year’s summit another opportunity to build a stronger Youth Development Community. 

Attached are materials for submitting an RFP and for registration. If you are not interested in participating, please feel free to pass this email along to others who could benefit from this experience.

Please submit your RFP by October 7th. Please register by October 22nd! 
Visit the following sites for additional information! 
UIC Youth Development Summit Page:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/UIC-Youth-Development-Summit/202721209789142

2nd Annual Youth Development Summit event:
https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=124736457627460

Also, our website:
www.ydsummit.org

New Resources in and around Chicago

Hola Amigas! We have some event notes and updates for you on this fine fall day. In this article are notes from the Chicago Trans Coalition Meeting, which Amigas is proudly a part of and attends regularly. These are resources that Amigas finds out about and passes onto you and whomever might need them. It is important to take advantage of all the services and opportunities available in Chicago—attend, participate, and utilize!

First up is a new program called QUEST. It is an alternative sentencing program designed for trans women charged with misdemeanor prostitution. This is a one-day 8hour seminar that educates trans women about trauma related issues, domestic violence, HIV/STI’s, substance abuse, gender identity, and self esteem. Participants can be one-time or repeat offenders, and will receive additional training on housing, GED, computer skills, and free/confidential HIV prevention, counseling, and testing.

Participants who successfully complete QUEST can have their case dismissed and record expunged—thought this does take up to a year to occur, plus standard legal fees. QUEST is the first program of its kind in the U.S. to directly serve the trans community. Currently there is a $25.00 registration fee, however, various fundraising efforts are being coordinated to hopefully eliminate that fee. QUEST meets every 3rd Friday of each month at 2813-15 West Fifth Avenue, Chicago. Their number is 773-533-5600 (ext. 3512). They are a part of the Footprints Program run by the Christian Community Health Center.

The program is in its early existence, having started this May, but it has been receiving positive feedback from participants and judges. The 23rd District of the Chicago Police Department is aware that this program is in place. Each class is about 7 to 10 participants all of different backgrounds and identity, though again, the program is for trans women and addresses their specific needs (like gender identity). Tricia Ford, Director of Footprints Services, is the contact person at QUEST. Call QUEST directly at the number above.

Also, Van was recently part of giving cultural competency training to participants at A Safe Place: Lake County Crisis Center. He was part of a panel of professionals training 10 individuals about LGBTQ sensitivity and domestic violence. In his speech he stressed the importance of using correct pronouns and name, allowing the trans individual to be the expert of their experience, and asking polite, relevant questions. Taking time to ask a trans person what pronoun/name they’d like to be addressed by is crucial to care and demonstrates respect, regardless of a person’s knowledge of trans issues.

The volunteers and staff at A Safe Place are LGBTQ friendly and inclusive, so they are a good resource to look for in the north. They are located at 2710 17th Street Suite 100, Zion IL. Their Help Line is 847-249-4450 and 800-600-SAFE. They can be emailed at info@asafeplace.org, or accessed through www.asafeplaceforhelp.org. The contact there is Kate Cothell, and she is the Volunteer and Outreach Specialist. Contact her or A Safe Place by calling directly and/or emailing the info address. They do have volunteers who speak Spanish and who regularly work with/for the Latino community all over Illinois. This is an excellent resource if you are out in the northern suburbs and cannot access the city’s resources. Amigas is all over Illinois, supporting programs like these.

Thirdly, in addition to national LGBT Crisis Lines, we’d like to tell you about Pride Call, which is located in Illinois and operates Monday through Friday, from 4pm to 8pm. They are staffed by fully trained volunteers and have a board that meets regularly. Volunteers keep all information confidential and are trained to discuss trans issues and questions. You can find out more about Pride Call at www.pridecall.org. Pride Call provided the training for A Safe Place and they are a group of friendly, passionate people. Pass this info onto anyone who might be able to utilize this resource, especially as October is National Coming Out Month.

Also at the Trans Coalition Meeting was a representative from the Chicago Women’s AIDS Project. She gave an overview of the female condom project and how it relates to the trans community. The FC2 (second version of the female condom) is FDA approved, softer, seamless, quieter, now more affordable, and non-allergenic for people with latex allergies. The FC2 is for everyone to use cis and trans, straight, gay, queer, etc. It is currently the only receptive-partner initiated STI, HIV, and pregnancy prevention tool available. It works for both vaginal and anal intercourse. It’s a viable, affordable, empowering option for whoever carries and uses one.

More and more Walgreens pharmacies will have the FC2 available for purchase in packs of three. Agencies and organizations throughout Chicago (especially those who work with the Chicago Department of Public Health) will/should have free FC2’s to hand out. The Women’s AIDS Project is strengthening their campaign to make the FC2 more accessible and affordable for everyone. It comes in a small, white package with an expiration date, and while it’s more expensive than a regular condom, people do report more pleasure with the FC2. Definitely something to look into! I was once told that you can always be having safer sex. For more information about the FC2 and the campaign, go to www.ringonit.org.

So, these are four new resources for you to access:

—QUEST Program

—A Safe Place Crisis Center in Zion, IL

—Pride Call LGBT Crisis Line in Illinois

—the new and improved FC2

We’re working hard to keep you updated with the newest events, resources, and opportunities for our communities in and around Chicago. Keep checking back because we update frequently—and you never know who might be able to utilize these resources. Repost, reblog, and link us!

Enjoy your day, let’s hope for more sunshine.

Oak Park Library’s Flyer for their LGBT Documentary Month. Movies and discussions run every Sunday throughout October. This is a FREE event in Oak Park, which is conveniently located by the green line and CTA stops, or just off 290. Thank you to the folks at Oak Park PFLAG for passing this on. Spread the word!

Oak Park Library’s Flyer for their LGBT Documentary Month. Movies and discussions run every Sunday throughout October. This is a FREE event in Oak Park, which is conveniently located by the green line and CTA stops, or just off 290. Thank you to the folks at Oak Park PFLAG for passing this on. Spread the word!

Flyer for the Coming Out Ball, October 7th at the Chicago Cultural Center. Be there & be fabulous.

Flyer for the Coming Out Ball, October 7th at the Chicago Cultural Center. Be there & be fabulous.

Hola Amig@s! It’s a rainy, drippy day out there so don’t forget those umbrellas and sweaters. Fall is definitely here in Chicago. In this update we have more awesome events and news going on in Chicago—and some reminders about important events happening this week!

First off, there’s a new group at the Center on Halsted, specifically for significant others, friends, family members, and coworkers of trans/gender non-conforming individuals. It is: “This casual conversation group will give folks, who have a trans/gender variant person in their life, a chance to share, learn, and discuss their experiences. Facilitated by Gregory Gross, a cisgender member of the center’s staff.”

The group is called T Talk SOFFA and they are meeting TONIGHT 9/26 at 6:30pm, in the Center. For more information on when they meet, visit the Center’s web page www.centeronhalsted.org.

Secondly, I’d like to remind you about tomorrow night’s LGBT Immigrant Rights Community Forum tomorrow night 9/27, at 6pm in the Adler School of Psychology. Our founder Mona Noriega will be hosting the meeting—we are proud to be a part of such an integral community dialogue and discussion. You MUST RSVP to this free event—you may do so until 5pm tonight!

Check in starts at 5:30pm tomorrow nigh and there will be appetizers provided by the folks at Adler. Go to the 17th North Dearborn Entrance.

If you cannot make it, remember to check out the live Internet broadcast of the panel, which can be viewed here on 9/27 at 6pm. www.almachicago.org/immigration.php

The forum will feature Congressmen Luis Gutierrez and Mike Quigley, as well as a panel of experts on Immigration throughout the Chicago/national area.

These are INTEGRAL events within our communities, so please join us and be a part of building community!

Third: On Wednesday, 9/28 at UIC there will be a Latino/a Safe Zone 101 Panel. Here is the info from UIC’s web site: 1:00-3:30pm Latino Cultural Center, Lecture Center B2 Free and Open to the Public.

This is a training to increase awareness and comfort with Latino/a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer people and issues; empower Latinos/as to become a LGBTQ ally; and address the unique experiences and challenges that are specific to LGBTQ Latinos/as. This training is part of Latino Heritage Month and is a collaboration with UIC’s Latino Cultural Center. Contact Moises Villada at moises@uic.edu and please RSVP by 9/25 at: www.surveymonkey.com/s/3LG8Y7L. Email Moises and UIC if you’d still like to attend—check to make sure space is still available.

Fourth: There are two events in October you need to keep an eye out for!

The Coming Out Ball hosted by Depaul’s Spectrum group is October 7th—come out and celebrate with pride and glam! I’ll be posting their flyer here soon so you can get all the fabulous details.

Starting October 2nd, the Oak Park Library will be hosting its annual GLBT Documentary Film Series. There are a variety of documentaries to see, and the library is accessible via CTA routes. Not only can you (for FREE) see a movie, but there will be a speaker/discussion for that movie. Support local queer resources & spread the word, attend, and participate! I’ll post their flyer up here as well so you can see the great movies they’ll be running throughout October.

That’s all for now Amigas! See you later!