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c. Julie Michelle (http://iliveheresf.com/?p=1988)

“I also want to go to Boystown while I’m here,” was my next suggestion.

“The neighborhood has changed,” Adia, a Boystown resident, told me in a cautious, you-better-watch-out tone.

“I know,” I replied. “It’s in every local paper.” On Independence Day eve, a man was stabbed on Halsted right between Roscoe Street and Belmont. The incident involved a horde of African-Americans, dashing and shouting, and a bystander catching it on tape and posting it on YouTube. It seems social media is not a cure for Genovese syndrome.

“I grew up there, my mom still lives there, and as an African-American, it just makes me sad to see it all go down in my neighborhood,” Whitney said.

The video rekindled tensions, racial or otherwise, and launched another round of finger pointing in the gay community. On one side, the mostly white local residents and business owners who cited crime as the main concern and went insofar as to creating a Facebook page, Take Back Boystown. On the other side, the urban youth advocates who defend the Center on Halsted’s community services for queer kids of color.

Ideas, In Case You Missed It »

c. Wikimedia Commons

The Week in Review is usually marks the time in the publishing schedule when we escape, however briefly, the deadening gravity of queer self-analysis to comment on broader, more lighthearted subjects: war, political violence, hate speech, the apocalypse. This week we can afford no such levity: Zack Rosen, TheNewGay’s Co-founder and Editor-in-Chief, announced this Wednesday that he’ll be stepping down from his post after more than four years of dedicated service. From all of us who have struggled and sweated underneath you for hours on end, often into the small hours of morning, fueled by nothing but cheap stimulants and the magnetism of your personality: Thank you Zack. You will be greatly fucking missed. Incidentally it was an honor to work for you at the blog.

Columns, Not Your Average Prom Queen, Place »

Photo Credit: Wiki Commons

The area of Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood nicknamed Boystown has evolved over time into a gay Mecca. It is a part of the city where men holding hands on the street is commonplace, and most businesses proudly display HRC or rainbow stickers in the windows. It is the home to the annual Chicago Gay Pride Parade. Gay bars and clubs are a part of the draw, but the neighborhood is also home to a beautiful LGBT community center that offers meeting space, programming and events. Unfortunately, for the same reasons that make Boystown a great place to visit, this gay watering hole is host to much more serious LGBT related issues.

Ideas »


My real concern is about how our community defines violence and who we label as criminals. Boystown residents are scared for their lives, but many of them have instant access to safety. For instance, has anyone spoke about the fact that this highly-circulated video of the public Boystown stabbing was shot on a small camera, by the owners standing on their private balcony. They weren’t in any harm’s way. But if you read most news reports, it would seem that the residents of Boystown were under direct attack. While robberies and muggings occur, a majority of the fighting is not only black on black, but gay on gay crime. I reluctantly share that a lot of illegal activity happens all the time in Boystown (and in most gay spaces in general.) Who is able to get away with it is a different story, and there’s a big difference on the types of bodies policed.