At Chicago’s first ever trans pride rally this summer, Gozamos spoke with several local organizations that offer services to Chicago’s transgender community. About 300 people attended the historic event, dubbed the T.G.I.F. (trans, gnc, and intersex freedom) Rally. Lead organizer Kokumo, a transgender woman/activist/artist, kicked off the rally by explaining, “As a trans woman, I see that we are shut out of the establishment via education, employment, and housing. The only way we can truly find happiness is by creating our own movements and our own safe spaces.”
In addition to facing such issues as employment and housing discrimination, transgender women, particularly women of color, are disproportionately victims of hate murders. This year in Chicago, two young transgender women of color, Paige Clay and Tiffany Gooden, were murdered on the city’s West Side.
The T.G.I.F. rally addressed several of these issues in addition to providing a space for the trans community to celebrate its achievements. The keynote speech was given by Kylar Broadus, a lawyer and founder of Trans People of Color Coalition, the first advocacy organization in the world run by and for trans people of color. Broadus made history himself by becoming the first transgender person to testify before the U.S. Senate.
The rally also included a gender-affirming clothing drive, a self-defense class, performances, speakers, and a Wall of Remembrance for attendees to write the names of those in the trans community who lost their lives this year. The event also featured a Wall of Celebration because, as Kokumo explained, “we also want to celebrate those who are still with us and doing revolutionary work.”
Check out our interviews with some of the local organizations that are doing such revolutionary work in Chicago.
Resources Featured in Video
Transformative Justice Law Project
4707 N. Broadway, Chicago
Soy Quien Soy: Trans* Empowerment Collective
Oak Park Public Library’s Transgender Resources
834 Lake St., Oak Park, IL
Affinity Community Services
1424 East 53rd St., Chicago
AIDS Foundation of Chicago
The mission of the AIDS Foundation of Chicago is to lead the fight against HIV/AIDS and improve the lives of people affected by the epidemic.
200 W. Jackson, Ste. 2200, Chicago
Broadway Youth Center
Offers comprehensive services to youth, ages 12-24 including a safe space for young people experiencing homelessness.
3179 N Broadway
Center on Halsted
Provides a safe and welcoming environment with programs and services for the entire LGBT community.
3656 N. Halsted Street
Howard Brown Health Center
To eliminate the disparities in health care experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people through research, education and the provision of services that promote health and wellness. (Includes advocacy groups and program for trans clients who wish to access hormones)
4025 N. Sheridan Road
Chicago, IL 60613
Illinois Gender Advocates
lllinois Gender Advocates (IGA) is the organization in Illinois performing public advocacy for transgender people. We petition for changes in the law and provide public education about transgenderism.
Illinois Safe Schools Alliance
Promotes safety, support and healthy development for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth, in Illinois schools and communities, through advocacy, education, youth organizing and research
70 E. Lake, Ste. 900, Chicago
Develops the leadership and power of diverse Queer Chicagoans through a commitment to racial, economic and gender justice, and the vibrant resistance cultures of our communities
Gender Queer Chicago
A grassroots, peer-led group that works to create safe spaces for all of us to talk about, think about, explore, and express gender
La Casa Norte
Serves youth and families confronting homelessness. We provide access to stable housing and deliver comprehensive services that act as a catalyst to transform lives and communities
3533 W. North Avenue, Chicago
The Night Ministry
Provides housing, health care and human connection to members of our community struggling with poverty or homelessness.
4711 N. Ravenswood Ave., Chicago
Project VIDA is a culturally-focused HIV/AIDS prevention and direct services community-based organization located on Chicago’s West Side.
2659 South Kedvale Avenue
Chicago, IL 60623
Valeo at Lakeshore Hospital
Provides comprehensive psychiatric and addiction-related treatment for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) individuals.
4840 N. Marine Drive
Chicago, IL 60640
Primarily invested in GLBTQ issues, HIV prevention, HIV/STD testing and counseling, and outreach services to high-risk individuals. Offers temporary housing program for LGBTQ youth.
2703 W. Division Street
Chicago, IL 60622
For additional resources, also see ChicagoGender.com, OutintheSuburbs.com, GenderAdvocates.org