Iconic Boystown Chicago to Get a Name Change

History is about to be erased and changed

This is making National AND International news!

Chicago’s LGBTQ ‘hood has long been called ‘Boystown’, but business leaders have decided its time for a re-brand.

The move comes after a petition gained steam over the summer which described Boystown as the “only gendered nickname” of any city’s LGBTQ district. (The petition gained over 1,500 signatures, although a counter-petition to keep the name had over 2,000.)

HISTORY –   The Boystown section of Lakeview was the first officially recognized gay village in the United States.

It is also the cultural center of one of the largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities in the nation. Boystown has grown into a cultural center for the LGBT residents living within the Chicago metropolitan area. The district’s informal boundaries, overlapping with Lakeview East, are Irving Park Road on the north, Broadway on the east, Wellington Avenue on the south, and Sheffield Avenue on the west. The Center on Halsted, an LGBT community center, is also located in this area.

Boystown is known for its colorful, lively nightlife and inviting atmosphere. Boystown also includes some of Chicago’s off-Loop theater, specialty restaurants, greystone and brownstone walk-up buildings and other historic architecture, trendy fashion outlets, wine boutiques, chain stores, and independent shops. The city’s annual Gays and Lesbians Chicago Pride Parade begins at the intersection of Montrose and Broadway, runs south along Broadway then Halsted to Belmont, turns east on Belmont to Broadway again, then south to Diversey, and then east to Sheridan Road.

From QUEERTY “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.

“To promote the inclusion of transgender, nonbinary, lesbian, and intersex individuals, we submit this petition for the Northalsted Business Alliance to simply follow the other LGBTQ neighborhoods across the world by marketing the area based on its location, North Halsted, not the majority gender of those people who sit on the Northalsted Business Alliance board This is only the beginning of the many changes needed in the North Halsted area.”

So what’s going to be the new  name??????  WHO  KNOW’S ?!

 

NORTHALSTED ANNOUNCES SURVEY RESULTS ON ‘BOYSTOWN’ NAME CHANGE
September 23, 2020

In response to concerns over the ‘Boystown’ name as exclusionary, the Northalsted Business Alliance sought community input via a three-month online survey, which concluded September 15. While the alliance used ‘Boystown’ in past marketing campaigns, it does not have any claim nor rights to the name, which has been in colloquial use since the 1980s.

The survey, intended to listen to community voices, results in the board’s decision to focus marketing efforts on the geographic location (Northalsted) and use the slogan ‘Chicago’s Proudest Neighborhood’.

While formal changing of the name Boystown lies with city planners, map makers, Aldermen and organizations beyond NBA, the alliance will focus marketing exclusively on location.

A breakdown of survey results as follows:

7,890 respondents
3,060 comments/1,350 suggestions for new names
58% favor keeping the Boystown moniker
80% did not feel unwelcomed by the Boystown name

The survey queried participants on categories of self-identification. The majority identifying as Lesbian, Transgender, non-binary and queer favor a name change. To ensure all members of the LGBTQ+ community feel welcome in the business district, the Northalsted Business Alliance Board agreed to discontinue using ‘Boystown’ in marketing.

Plans to replace banners featuring ‘Boystown’ are underway.

About the Northalsted Business Alliance (NBA)
Formed in 1980, NBA represents more than 100 businesses along the Halsted Street corridor. The organization hosts major events throughout the year including Chicago Pride Fest, Northalsted Market Days, the Haunted Halsted Halloween Parade and more.

For information about NBA visit www.northalsted.com.

 

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