Jul 13, 2011

GLBT Teens Need Their Public Spaces

Gaylings serving it on Christopher St.

As a teen I could NOT hangout in the neighborhood where I lived and be out and proud. It was just plain dangerous to do so. While I'm not crazy about us self-segregating, finding other people like me on Christopher St, in the West Village of NYC, was a godsend. However, these days GLBT teenagers can't catch a break in their own gayborhoods.

V, posted recently about folks over at Boystown in Chicago having issues with the young, mostly kids of color, hanging about at night. It seems the elders see a connection between increased criminal activity and the yungins. (Click here for the post)

And, Michael Musto blogged several weeks ago, about Christopher St. businesses and residents are having issues with the yungins, again mostly kids of color, that are allegedly engaging in scandalous behaviors in the neighborhood.
Even the Manager of Boots & Saddles, Rob Ziegler (see pic) is quite vocal about his fears. (Click here for the post)

GLBT kids are extremely vulnerable members of our community. It concerns me that these kids are being portrayed as dangerous. What they need is for us older folks to be more empathetic to this stage in their lives.

There has to be a way that we can create, in partnership with the yungins, safe public spaces for them to socialize.


NG said...

Word is the problem stems from the "community" closing all the venues and places these kids would go to that the old white queens hated.

Allan S. said...

I'm putting the racism element on semi-pause for now. I know yall got the inferences in the post that reveal I know some of what is behind the current attitudes.

I'm hoping the dialogue starts off with us looking at the fact that young people need the elders to use their wisdom to find creative ways to support and make room for the yungins.

NG said...

True, but if you're going to have a dialogue, it has to, IMO, begin with the elephants in the room: old versus young.

By the way, when Queer Justice League started in 2007, their first meeting was hijacked by neighborhood residents who demanded action against this very problem. Some of the youth were begging for help while some of the older residents just wanted to live out their lives in quiet and peace. The end story is nothing got resolved and Queer Justice League never got off the ground due to age old animosity and stuff from the 80's and 90's.

Lawrance Lamar said...

I myself am straight but for a while a lot of kids at my school thought I was gay and I got the shit kicked out of me constantly and no one gave a damn. But whenever I see a group of openly gay people I smile at how brave they are knowing a big group of society shuns you just for your preference and takes a physical stand against you. Its ridiculous and stupid.

Todd HellsKitchen said...

Race isn't the issue. And neither is orientation... This is all a sign of the times... And it's gonna get worse as unemployment soars... Some fixes that have worked in past decades... Neighborhood patrols, Guardian Angels... Perhaps there is room for a new gay oriented anti crime patrol that could offer these kids hope and a sense of community at the same time?... Just thinking out loud...

Kyle said...

Allan, they've forgotten what it was like to really be young and all the trials that come along with being GLBTQ. I'm very disappointed that they've let themselves get his way. Maybe they were never that free. Most importantly they should be helping them(not an easy task), not condemning them, if they think the kids are part of the problem.