The Evolution of That Other Boystown

The opening of Lisa Vanderpump’s PUMP (and soon her nearby Tom Tom bar). The evolution of The Abbey into a bar whose go-go dancers include women as well as men (and whose clientele is increasingly female). The transformation of the former Citibank building on Santa Monica Boulevard at San Vicente into Rocco’s Tavern, a sports bar catering to a straight crowd. All of that has led some gay Angelenos to say: There goes the Gayborhood!

A recent documentary by Vox Media’s Eater takes a look at a similar evolution in the first official Boystown, the famous gay district in Chicago. The 23-minute documentary covers the gentrification happening in the hospitality industry in this LGBTQ neighborhood in Chicago.

The host of this video is Zach Stafford, who is editor-in-chief of Into, a new LGBTQ digital magazine launched by Grindr, the gay sex app.

“Seemingly overnight rent prices have skyrocketed, resulting in many people in the area being pushed out,” says an announcement of the video’s release. “Gay bars have begun to close and are being replaced by trendier and more mainstream restaurant that cater to all…

“As this community continues to make great strides towards full equality in the United States – even under the Trump administration – the future for this neighborhood that was always a beacon of gay hope may be losing is sparkle.”

Into Editor Zach Stafford, left, in Chicago’s Boystown with Kylon Hooks, a social worker for LGBTQ homeless youth.



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