KJ Whitehead holds corner-side protests in North Side Chicago neighborhood, overcomes 'white gaze'

CHICAGO -- Most days, you'll find KJ Whitehead at the intersection of Winnemac and Winchester Avenues in Chicago's Ravenswood neighborhood.

"I have to continue to come out here because I'm not sure how many people would come out in my place," Whitehead said.

She's protesting against the racial injustice in Chicago and around the country.

"I want folks to realize that when it comes to racism, especially here in Chicago, white folks tend to have a different idea of what racism is or isn't compared to black and brown folks," Whitehead said.

The protests started in June, after the death of George Floyd.

Whitehead was on the corner of her street every day with signs, telling her neighbors how she felt. As the months went by, the protesting grew into a way for Whitehead to express herself without caring about the 'white gaze' and she encourages others to do the same.

"It's important for black and brown folks, especially black and brown queer and trans folks like myself, to be able to do things for themselves without the white gaze," Whitehead said. "We have fought to get to this point where we are seen. Here I am and here I am to stay."