The annual pride parade makes its way through Boystown. Image: iStock

Chicago's Gay Village Drops the Name "Boystown"

By Beau
Beau is the founder of Apollo Social. He recently relocated to Melbourne with his husband and has begun a love affair with the city.
Chicago's gay village will no longer be known as "Boystown" in a move to make the name inclusive of all members of the LGBT+ community.

The Northalsted Business Alliance announced that the nickname "Boystown" will no longer be used in marketing material after an online petition claimed it was not inclusive of women, gender nonbinary individuals and people of color. It will now be advertised as Northalsted, with the slogan "Chicago’s Proudest Neighborhood."

It's not hard to see that a name like "Boystown" excludes so many in the LGBT+ community and the time has come to change. However, names that have been used for decades can have cultural significance in themselves and some may mourn their loss.

The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is currently wrestling with changing its name to be be more inclusive of the entire LGBT+ community. A previous move to drop "Gay and Lesbian", and to instead be simply known as "Sydney Mardi Gras" backfired and had to be reverted due to community backlash. Some claimed that it was an attempt to make the event less gay and more mainstream. The organisation is currenly in a multi-year process of community consultation about a future potential name change.