How Boystown Became a “Gay Disneyland”

In Boystown: Sex and Community in Chicago (out later this month), Drexel University sociology professor Jason Orne explores the changing culture on Halsted Street.

How did Chicago’s Boystown transform into, as you write, “a petting zoo” for “straight women on safari”?

As gay people have gotten more accepted in society, Boystown’s business owners fear that gay men don’t really need to go to Boystown anymore. So they encourage another constituency that has money—straight white women, largely—to come to these bars.

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