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Caitlyn Jenner Is Coming To Chicago To Speak About LGBTQ Rights

By Selena Fragassi in News on Aug 24, 2015 8:32PM

After recently accepting the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2015 ESPYs, Olympian, transgender activist and reality star Caitlyn Jenner is preparing another important speech for an event right here in our city.

Jenner has been named the keynote speaker for the 7th Annual Chicago House Speaker Series taking place at Hilton Chicago on Nov. 12. She follows in the footsteps of previous honored guests including former president Bill Clinton, Madeline Albright, Whoopi Goldberg and Laverne Cox.

Formed in 1985, Chicago House was the first (and is now the oldest) housing provider in the Midwest for individuals impacted by HIV/AIDS and/or LGBTQ marginalization, who may also be affected by poverty, homelessness, mental illness or substance abuse. The organization is also home of the TransLife Center, opened in 2013 that offers a comprehensive support program of housing, employment, medical, legal and emergency services to transgender residents.

Every year the Speaker Series aims to bring attention to the mission of Chicago House, which has helped more than 1,800 men, women and children in the Chicago area, according to organizers.

“Offending the values of fairness and equity, transgender men and women face enormous intertwining barriers to stability due to discrimination, societal and family rejection and pervasive hostility,” a statement from Chicago House said. “More than a quarter of transgender persons reports having lost a job due to their gender identity and more than half reports having difficulty finding a job because of their identity.”

Jenner, too, touched on the grave difficulties facing youth in the transgender community in particular during her now widely viewed Arthur Ashe acceptance speech.

“All across this country, right now, all across the world, at this very moment, there are young people coming to terms with being transgender. They’re learning that they're different and they are trying to figure out how to handle that, on top of every other problem that a teenager has,” she said of the reported 76 percent of transgender children who have been targeted at school. “They're getting bullied, they're getting beaten up, they’re getting murdered and they’re committing suicide.”

Chicago House CEO and Reverend Stan Sloan said Jenner's attendance in the speaker series would help “build a world of respect for all people, so we can achieve the same end Caitlyn Jenner called us to aspire to, and I quote, ‘… from that respect comes a more compassionate community, a more empathetic society, and a better world for all of us.’ "

The 7th Annual Chicago House Speaker Series will take place Thursday, Nov. 12 from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom of the Hilton Chicago, 720 S. Michigan Ave.

Tickets start at $200, which include a VIP reception and lunch presentation from Caitlyn Jenner. Premier seating and VIP packages are also available at an additional cost. For more information on tickets, click here or contact Tyler Lewis at 773.248.5200 (ext. 304).