Hero Sandwich: Chicago's Famously Gay 'Boystown' Gets Toasted, Renamed Over a Non-Binary Beef

(AP Photo/Darryl Webb)
AP featured image
AP Photo/Darryl Webb


If you love making a break for Boystown, your sexist streak is about to be broken.

Chicago’s historic gay neighborhood was recently deemed too exclusive due to its discriminatory name.


For a number of non-guys, the “B” word was a real bummer.

From WGN:

Boystown, in Lakeview, has been welcoming the LGBTQ community for three decades…


Of nearly 8,000 people polled…20% said they felt unwelcome…

As noted by The Daily Wire, “That 20% was enough to trigger a change” to the town’s title.

Clearly, gentlemen were befitted as could be. Lamentably, ladies were left out.

But that wasn’t where the othering ended.

Also ostracized: Illinoisans who are neither men nor women.

Channel 9 reports:

[S]ome complained the name excluded women and gender non-binary people.

For folks kept uncomfortable by civic syllables, what could be done?

Three months ago, a moniker makeover began — courtesy of a doer named Devlyn.

Here’s ABC7:

In the neighborhood, banners trumpet the names and bike racks reiterate the message, letting visitors know they are in an LGBTQ-friendly neighborhood.

But some neighbors say the name is unfriendly to anyone who is not a boy, and that’s why Devlyn Camp started a petition to change the name to reflect a more diverse neighborhood.

“It’s time to include all of us,” Camp said. “We shouldn’t have people come to the neighborhood expecting only boys; there’s plenty of trans people, there’s plenty of non-binary people.”

The Change.org charge chided:


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.

The “Boystown” nickname began in the 1990s as a joke and it is now a marketing tool used by the Northalsted Business Alliance, and perpetuates the existing social issues that deter many LGBTQ people from the neighborhood. As we all grow and reconsider our roles in perpetuating bigotry, we ask that this board reflect on the growing number of incidents in our LGBTQ spaces. One form of bigotry perpetuates others.

The initiative garnered 1,516 signatures.

And now, the Alliance has saved the day.

The nefarious nickname’s been nixed, in favor of the official Northalsted — the actual geographic location.

The brand spankin’ gay and lesbian label just rolls off the tongue.

Getting left out just got licked.

But revelers in the revolution should race to the area lickety-split.

As it turns out, no inclusive deed goes unpunished — there’s another campaign on Change.org.


Its mission: a return to the name “Boystown.”

Number of signatures so far: 2,308.

Still, it seems to me those who couldn’t shake feeling shunned in Chicago have bigger barriers to bemoan: The poor devils are locked out of Los Angeles; all but select saints will never frolick in San Francisco; none but those named Mary will make it to Maryland.

And as for that planned Caribbean cruise? They can forget it — cancel those tickets to the Virgin Islands.

But if the above persecutions can be put aside, congratulations to those who booed Boystown.

The winds of change swept the Windy City. Toxic masculinity got manhandled, and wokeness won.

Nice goin’, Northalsteders.



See more pieces from me:

Say Cheese: Costco Cancels a Pimento Based on Mayor’s Portrait of Black Lives Matter

Moxie Gets a Makeover: Gucci Debuts Its $2,600 Dress – for Men

Man Refrains From Marrying Woman, Owes Millions in Spousal Support

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