Updated: Jan 2, 2020
Come out for a walking tour that explores the hidden history of Chicago’s gay village and strategies for Urban Planners to better navigate planning for enclaves - ethnic, cultural, or otherwise.
May 3, 2018
Tour begins at 5:30 pm (rain or shine)
Meet at the:
Belmont CTA Red Line Station
945 W Belmont Ave
Chicago, IL 60657
1.5 CM Credits available! This FREE event is brought to you by APA-IL’s Diversity Committee in partnership with Jane’s Walk Chicago. Questions? Please contact Marcella Bondie Keenan, Diversity Chair at firstname.lastname@example.org
Boystown, synonymous with late-night fun and the country’s first recognized LGBTQ district, is at a cross-roads. As gentrification displaces gay spaces and queer people of color, as wealthy home-owners push out homeless youth, and as strollers grow more common, the neighborhood’s cultural fabric is threatened.
Like the Castro, La Village, Zona Rosa and other gayborhoods around the world, Boystown grew up around gay peoples’ need to escape bigotry and socialize at a time when gay people were shunned, censored, and erased from history. But has today’s broad social acceptance made them obsolete? What function to these enclaves still have? Should and can they be protected via Planning or Policy?
As gentrification threatens to erase Boystown and other culturally-rich places, what, if anything, is to be done? Can Planners protect culture without “Disneyfying” it? But meanwhile, where will the queer youth go?
Because fact is, despite less overt discrimination and many civil rights advances, queer people lack federal protections in housing & employment and sexual orientation and gender identity will be erased from the 2020 Census. Worse, a third of homeless youth are LGBTQ and transfolk face inordinate rates of homicide.
Explore this and more as we tackle hard-to-answer questions about how minorities use the built environment and how to plan for enclaves.
Andie Meadows is a queer femme researcher, photographer, and writer. Her work reveals how women, femmes, and transfolk helped shape Boystown by focusing on lesser-known stories of iconic Boystown locales. She is the founder of radical body positive party series Less is More and co-founder of writing collective The Dining Room.
Vitaliy Vladimirov is an urban planner, queer immigrant, and artist. City Organizer for Jane’s Walk Chicago, his recent projects include gathering oral histories in Uptown, speaking about planning to high schoolers, and organizing walking tours so as to bring planning theory to the public.
Jane’s Walk is an annual, global happening that honors Jane Jacobs’ legacy via citizen-led walking tours in early May to coincide with her birthday. Jane’s Walk Chicago invites Chicagoans to walk and envision a Chicago that is healthy, vibrant, and just.