Monday, April 12, 2010


Boystown Tours are going to start May 2nd. This isn't "official" as of yet, but that's the date I have in my head.

Today I spent the day walking around, introducing myself to people, getting some histories, setting up some interviews, etc.

I've really come up on something here and that is...that gay history isn't exactly a laugh riot. Now of course I knew this coming in, but talking to people now and getting a million different opinions on things is really opening my eyes. People are willing to talk to me, but I can't help but notice they're wondering what a bright-eyed, straight girl wants to know it for.

And I tell them I'm excited and it's going to be a great tour and then I see the pain on their faces as they recall what the neighborhood used to be like, what the world used to be like.

Chicago history, especially now, is fun! Burnham and Sullivan and city plans and long ago fires, but the fight for equality is not nearly as fun! as Chicago history as a whole.

I'm going to have to be very careful how I phrase things, how I tell (to the best of my ability) the story of the gay struggle, the fight...and yes, I'm never going to be able to fully understand the impact and the resolutions, but I want to honor it, I so want to honor it and the hardships and the struggles.

But see, I like this. I like the puzzle. I like trying to figure out how to do justice to the gay fight for equality and at the same time, how to have a blast in Boystown, how to honor the businesses and how to not overstep my straight, white-girl bounds.



Erin said...

I know I'm just another straight white girl, but I think this is a WONDERFUL idea. Seriously. So proud of you, Hixx.

rebar said...

I wonder if there isn't some kind of Halsted "maven" who could fill you in on the hard part of the history, but also have some fun and funny memories as well.

Maybe someone on the chamber of commerce? As I'm sure a tour like this would include the chance to hit up some of the local shops for purchases/souvies.

They might hook you up with someone who's in the know and willing to share. Especially since they are small business owners as well.



Hixx said...

Thanks Erin! Thank you so much, I'm workin' it for sure.

Rebar, yes! I'm meeting with a fellow at the northalsted business owners thingy on Monday and talking with someone at the Center as well. I'm hoping to come clean about some of the issues and have them give it to me um...straight.