INDIVIDUAL | Inducted 2006

Edward Negron, 36, activist and substance-abuse counselor, for years of dedicated service as a volunteer, mentor, leader, and advocate in the LGBT, Latino, and recovering communities.

Ed Negron joins the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame for his years of Ededicated service to three sets of Chicagoans: the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT), the Latino/a, and the recovering communities.

Negron has served many organizations as a volunteer or leader, including the Association of Latino Men for Action (ALMA), Orgullo en Acción, Equality Illinois, the Chicago Boys Troop, International Mr. Leather, the Chicago Task Force on LGBT Substance Use and Abuse, the Chicago Crystal Meth Task Force, and Compassion Action.

He has also worked on LGBT outreach to youth with the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, as well as street and event outreach for other HIV/AIDS service providers. He chaired Chicago’s first Latino/a LGBTQQ Pride picnic in 2006.

Negron is a consensus builder who has done jobs big and small to promote social welfare, justice, and the health of LGBT communities. He has fearlessly spoken publicly about his life as a former addict, gangbanger, and drug dealer, to work against the effects of drugs, addiction, homophobia, and oppression. He appears regularly on television and in print to tell his story as a proud and active gay man who overcame great challenges to become a contributing community member. He is currently working toward a degree in addiction studies and recently passed an Illinois examination to become a Certified Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Counselor.

Negron regularly participates in advocacy and lobbying with other community leaders, meeting with government officials from City Hall, Springfield, and the White House. Far less visible, but vitally important, is the work he does as a mentor to youth, as well as in private face-to-face interventions to help break cycles of oppression, alienation, and abuse.

Besides his own community involvement, Negron is part of a large and proud family active in Chicago’s Puerto Rican community and is an Army veteran. He and his longtime partner Patrick Gannon live in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood.