Scott Cole and I used to joke that one of our friends was not just gay, but Super Gay. And this describes the Chicago hood that I’m visiting to a tee. I don’t know if this is a compliment or an insult; maybe more of a term of endearment. Super Gay, except lots of baby strollers and yuppies. Boystown, as my friends told me last night at Fire Fly, an intimate little bistro on Northalstead–that’s not a typo, Spellcheck, the locals have shortened the street name to a friendly little moniker–Boystown is the only official gay neighborhood.
“What about The Castro?” I asked.
That one stumped ’em.
Many, many people much smarter than me have mused on gay ghettos. Gayborhoods. Great Gay Ways. Are these gay enclaves a boon for us? In a way, it seems that any place that is homogeneous risks dysfunction, xenophobia, banality. It happens on Capitol Hill and it happens on Wisteria Lane. I don’t think I’ll ever be content with one neighborhood with a single identity. All the folks in this coffeeshop are middle class whites. Literally. I’m the only person of color among 40 folks sipping lattes, talking on cell phones, writing on laptops. And it’s not just this neighborhood.
Here I am at left in a funny little shot snapped by Dr. Scott last night after a night of carousing.