Tag Archives: Boystown

Chicago's Gay Historic "Boystown' Neighborhood Now To Called "Northalstead" To Be More Inclusive

Chicago’s Historic Gay Neighborhood “Boystown’ Now To Called “Northalstead” To Be More Inclusive

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.
So, never.

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.

How do you feel about the change? Sound off below.

Chicago's Gay Historic "Boystown' Neighborhood Now To Called "Northalstead" To Be More Inclusive

Activists Demand Chicago’s Gay Neighborhood “Boystown” Name Be Changed To Be More Inclusive

A petition, created by local “queer” non-binary activist Devlyn Camp is demanding that the historic Chicago gay neighborhood of “Boystown” change it’s name claiming it perpetuates sexism and other discrimination in the neighborhood.

The petition posted on Change.org reads in part:

The Castro, Greenwich Village, West Hollywood, and many more. LGBTQ neighborhoods exist for all intersections of queer identity. Chicago’s is the only gendered nickname. Systemic transphobia, racism, and sexism have plagued our neighborhood for decades, and it begins at the top, with the all-male board of the Northalsted Business Alliance. It begins with the BOYSTOWN signs down our street announcing that this neighborhood is “for the boys,” though the signs hang above our diverse Legacy Walk of several LGBTQ icons in our history.”

(SNIP)

“Many of our transgender siblings must visit the Center on Halsted to utilize necessary resources. Many of them have experienced transphobia in the North Halsted area. Our LGBTQ siblings of color looking for inclusive bars have been met with racism. Many women frequenting and working in North Halsted businesses have been met with sexism. When police shut down the bars early after Pride in 2018, many on the Northalsted Business Alliance praised the police.”

Northalsted Business Alliance board said in a written statement that it had formed a committee to begin outreach to businesses and community members, with the goal of gaining “important perspective” on a possible name change.

“This process will likely take a few months, as we listen to the community feedback and engage in broad-based efforts beyond just a possible name change, but a commitment to learning how to ensure the neighborhood moves forward as an inclusive and welcoming neighborhood for all,” the statement said.

The boundaries of the neighborhood stretches from about 3100 to 3800 North Halsted. The unofficial designation of Boys Town as an area dates back 50 years to 1970’s The neighborhood has always been predominantly populated by gay men and lesbians.

At the time of this post 1300 people have signed the petition. But blowback by many who live and work in the neighborhood have been equally strong against the name change.

Do you think the name change of Boystown to something more inclusive is justified or is it really much ado about nothing?

Sound off in the comments below.

Chicago Man Goes Missing After Pride

find christopher

A man from Chicago has gone missing and his friends and family are doing all they can to find him and bring him home. Christopher Evans has been missing since June 30th and no one has seen him since leaving a pride event. According to the Facebook page dedicated finding Evans, a group of his friends are posting statuses on social media to get as much visibility as possible to find their friend. As of now, it is unclear if there are any indications of foul play surrounding this missing case, which is why it is imperative to find Evans as quickly as possible. Here’s the Facebook page mission statement:

find chrisWe are going to find our friend, Christopher Evans.

Missing from Chicago’s North Side: Christopher Evans. Last seen leaving Roscoe’s Bar (Halsted and Roscoe), heading East on Roscoe. He was last seen early Sunday morning, June 30 around 1:30 am. If you have seen this man, please please please contact his family and authorities ASAP.

Friends, fraternity brothers, and others: We are asking that you share this status and keep positive thoughts that Chris shows up safe and sound. A police report has been filed, and the investigation has already begun. The police will do their job, and we will do what we can on social media and by organizing neighborhood canvasing events if we have to.

One of Evan’s friends, Jack Geahan, has been giving update statuses involving what little information the police have been able to provide since being assigned to the case as the search continues for his good friend. He’s imploring that all signing up to provide as much information as possible:

Hi Everyone,

Having spoken to Chris’ family this evening and the detective assigned to the case, the best course of action for us to be able to help is going to be putting up fliers all over the area in the next day or two. If you are available tomorrow through Saturday for one (or more) flyer shifts, please fill out this form and indicate how you can help put up fliers. Sometime later this evening I will work on coordinating groups on places to meet up and to knock out different blocks in the area.

He hasn’t been found yet, but the best thing we can do now is just make sure the community sees his face and hopefully it will jar someone’s memory from that night.

And in this update Geahan asks friends and family to give the police a chance to do their job:

Hi Everyone,

Thank you for showing your support in finding Chris. He means a lot to so many people and it is just tearing so many of us apart to see him missing. I love seeing so much support across Facebook and the dedication so many of you are expressing to help find him. But for time time being, please please PLEASE sit tight.

What you’ve seen in shared statuses in the last 24 hours is what we know. The police have the police report from his parents, but the detectives haven’t even been able to sit down to talk to the parents. Those of us that were with Chris the night he went missing have collected everything that we know and have passed it along, and he is still missing. So many of us have ideas of how we can be effective, but the reality is this: we are not police, and we are being driven by our caring for finding Chris.

We have to give the police a chance to start looking. Give them a chance to do their jobs. Give them a chance to tell US what they need done; to tell US how we can help. Please stay tuned for more information as it comes in. Keep Chris in your thoughts, take a deep breath, stay positive, and share the status that has been seen by so many.

Thank you, and stay tuned.

If you have any information about Evans’ whereabouts please contact the Chicago police department in Boystown and follow updates on the Find Christopher Evans Facebook Page.

*Editor’s Note* When this story broke and we were alerted to the situation, sharing of the Facebook statuses, and due to the location where Evans went missing it was presumed that Evans was a member of the LGBT community when in fact he is straight, We apologize for any confusion on our part and are committed to Evans coming home safely. As a community that strives on bringing people together this can be an opportunity to reach out and help since this man went missing in a place we call home. So I ask that LGBT members in Boystown report any info to help. Let’s unite. 

 

Chicago Police Mock Boystown Robbery Victim: “Don’t Mess With The Boys In Dresses”

During a recent rash of iPhone robberies in LGBT area of Boystown in Chicago over the weekend disturbing audio has come forward of Chicago’s not-so-finest mocking and blaming the victims of crimes over the police radio.

In an audio recording of the police scanner traffic received by ChicagoPride.com, a male dispatcher is heard broadcasting a robbery in progress near North Halsted at 5:17 a.m. Sunday.

A male officer replies four minutes later that he found nothing in the area.

Less than 30 seconds pass before the dispatcher reports that the victim, a Hispanic male, placed a 911 call and was robbed by “four male blacks dressed as females.” An ambulance is dispatched.

The officer then states over the police radio, “If you wouldn’t stay out late, this wouldn’t happen.”
The dispatcher jokes, “If you wouldn’t mess with boys in dresses, this wouldn’t happen.”

About eight minutes after the initial dispatch, the victim received help from another officer responding to the call.

“Blaming the victim aspect of this incident is troubling,”said Christina Kahrl, Lakeview Action Coalition (LAC) volunteer leader and Equality Illinois board director.  “LAC has been working with the Chicago Police Department to develop general protocols to ensure police sensitivity and competence on transgender issues, whether they are suspects or victims. The goal is that the police treat transgender folk with the same dignity and respect owed to all people.”

The Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) is looking into the matter but (of course) neither the officer nor dispatcher have been identified.