Andersonville resident and out activist Pat Bushman recalls her first big encounter with Boystown’s phallic street statues more than ten years ago. “I was pushing my cat Xena in her stroller up North Halsted when I bumped into one of those ugly rainbow-colored penis things,” says Bushman of the pylons the city constructed in ’98 to officially designate North Halsted as gay-identified ’hood Boystown. “Suddenly, I had an idea.”
After a nearly decade-long initiative, Bushman, cofounder of Concerned Lesbians Investing in Tomorrow, has convinced Chicago to officially designate Far North Side nabe Andersonville a lesbian enclave. The city will erect a series of decorative markers to be placed on Clark Street between Foster and Bryn Mawr Avenues by this fall.
“There are more than 25,000 dykes living on the North Side and, quite frankly, I’d like to see the city try and live without the $1,879 we spend annually on bars and nightlife,” Bushman tells us over a pint of Guinness at Andersonville bar T’s. Japanese automaker Subaru has agreed to pay for the Georgia O’Keeffe–inspired markers, which will be “handcrafted from recycled materials we hauled back from last summer’s Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival,” Bushman says.
But some residents oppose C.L.I.T. “This is really disheartening,” says one anonymous gay man who settled on Balmoral Avenue with his partner last year. “For the better part of the last two decades, gay men have worked hard to scrub Andersonville of its hardware stores, softball fields and vegan coffee shops. The fate of its brunch scene now hangs in the balance.”
This story is a parody—but you already knew that, right? Enjoy more of our 2010 April Fool's Day shenanigans here.
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