Affinity Community Services Affinity, which turns 15 this year, provides services to black lesbian, bisexual, and transgender women. In addition to hosting meetings—including the south-side chapter of Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays—at its Hyde Park headquarters, the nonprofit coordinates discussion groups, meet-and-greets aimed at “decreasing isolation,” and a thrice-monthly drop-in center for queer teens. Affinity also participates in a coalition of activists and service providers working to improve health among black lesbians and bisexual women.
Chicago Theological Seminary LGBTQ Religious Studies Center Founded in 2006, the seminary’s LGBTQ Religious Studies Center is a “theological think tank” designed to allow faculty and grad students to “explore critical issues in theology and ethics from an LGBTQ perspective.” But it also aims to create resources for community activists, from publications to roundtables and conferences. The seminary is a notoriously gay-friendly institution that in 2002 created the LGBT Religious Archives Network (lgbtran.org)—though responsibility for those online archives has since moved to Berkeley.
University of Chicago Office of LGBTQ Student Life Though most of the University of Chicago’s events are for students, the Office of LGBTQ Student Life does keep a calendar of queer-related goings-on—discussions and lectures, mostly—that are open to the public. Upcoming events include the lecture “What Stake Do Heterosexual Women Have in the Same-Sex Marriage/Domestic Partnership/Civil Union Debates?” by law professor Mary Anne Case (Thu 3/4, 5 PM, 1126 E. 59th); and “Gilberto Freyre and the Myth of Brazilian Sexual Freedom,” a presentation by grad student Jay Sosa (Tue 3/16, 4:30 PM, 5733 S. University).
Youth Pride Center An organization that primarily serves queer youth of color, the Youth Pride Center will now be run by them, too: earlier this year the group announced a revamp of its mission that put day-to-day operations into the hands of members and alumni. It runs a drop-in center in Hyde Park and is trying to address the problem of violence faced by its members: nearly 20 YPC-affiliated youth reported being attacked last year. The group also sponsors STD/HIV testing and education and hosts lectures and social events including a monthly under-23 party called “Curiosity.”