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Boystown and bachelorettes

OPINION

May 01, 2012|By Waymon Hudson, For RedEye

Ladies, you know we love you. There always has been—and always will be—a special bond between gay men and straight women. It's a bond as old as time itself—or at least dating back to "Will & Grace."

Now that spring has arrived, it's time for our annual talk about Boystown boundaries before the inevitable bachelorette party invasion becomes a debaucherous spiral into broken heels and street puking.

Yes, I know gay men make you feel special and safe. You come to our clubs so you won't get hit on or groped like you would in a straight establishment. You come so we can tell you how fabulous you are, so you can hear the best music and see the hottest strippers. We get it. We really do.

Just realize that while Boystown is a safe space for you, it also is a safe space for us as a community and a place where many of us live. Our bars are places we can dance, kiss, hug, hold hands and just be our incredible gay selves without fear of stupidity or homophobia.

Know and respect that we have fought hard to carve out places where we can let down our hair and just have fun. So when you drunkenly grope our crotches because you think it's OK or ask us to kiss so you can squeal at the excitement of watching—gasp!—two men make out, it's offensive. And it pisses us off. A lot. We aren't exotic zoo animals for you to come gawk at.

Which leads to the next point: Stop telling us it's "such a waste" that we're gay. I don't care how handsome you think a gay man is or how much you mean it as a compliment, saying that is stupid, plain and simple. (And trust us, it certainly doesn't go to waste. Just ask our boyfriends or husbands.)

If you aren't a personal gal-pal, we don't want to take care of you as you get sloppy drunk. And we don't want to wear your penis-shaped bachelorette party necklace—if we want to see a penis, we'll just look down. We also don't want to wear the drink you're spilling, watch your purse or hold your heels. We perform those sacred duties only for the women in our lives who have earned it by being our friends.

On a more serious note, realize that in this state we still can't get married. Making Boystown a pre-wedding destination is little like rubbing salt in an open wound. We're happy you can legally celebrate your love, but please be sensitive to the fact that we still can't. In the eyes of the state of Illinois and the federal government, our relationships are less important than yours. Be mindful of that as you shove dollar bills down strippers' G-strings, and make a pledge to help us change the laws holding us back from all celebrating together equally.

As you prepare to descend on Halsted Street, I'll leave you with this rule of thumb: Treat us and our spaces with respect, and we'll do the same for you. Then we'll be happy to dance the night away, have fun and commiserate about dating men. Hey, maybe we'll even wear that penis necklace.

WAYMON HUDSON IS A REDEYE SPECIAL CONTRIBUTOR.

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