Boystown, the historic gay neighborhood in Chicago will now be known as Northalsted after calls from certain groups that it should be named something more inclusive.
The Northalsted Business Alliance announced Wednesday it was eliminating the use of “Boystown” in its marketing campaigns to be more inclusive of all genders despite the fact that most of the area’s businesses are gay male orientated.
Local non-binary queer activist Devlyn Camp launched a petition in July to push for a new neighborhood name.
The NBA launched a three-month survey to get more feedback. They opted for the name change even though the majority of people who responded said they supported keeping the Boystown name.
Of the nearly 7,900 people who responded, 58 percent favored keeping the Boystown moniker and 80 percent said they don’t feel unwelcome by the name.
As culture and language change and develop over time, we must listen to the community to support inclusivity, and this survey is a step towards gaining valuable insight,” NBA President Ramesh Ariyanayakam said in a press release.
Response to the name change so far has been overwhelmingly negative:
Marc Roger I’ll stop calling it Boystown just like I stopped calling the Sears Tower the Sears Tower and the Hancock building the Hancock.
Dillon David If you feel unwelcome in Boystown, you will still feel unwelcome even with the name change… it’s not a neighborhood name issue, it’s a much bigger issue of the discrimination that occurs within the community… it’s an issue that needs to be addressed with business owners and how the neighborhood runs its events… the name change won’t change squat and everyone is still going to call it Boystown.
Josh Kanode And the New Stupid just keeps rolling in Chicago.
Jamie Henderson North Halsted is a direction, Boystown is an identity.
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