Posted inColumns & Opinion

Seeking queer acceptance

I think about acceptance a lot.  When I was a young twentysomething, I heard a lot about “acceptance” versus “tolerance.” That it wasn’t enough to merely put up with queer people. We were striving for something more, something solid. But these days even tolerance feels like a high bar to meet.  I have been writing […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Collective healing

Queer bars are more than just bars that happen to be queer. They can be a refuge, a meeting place, and, quite literally, a safe space. They’re also places where our history has been written: from the Stonewall riots to the Pulse Nightclub shooting. Sam Mueller’s latest production unpacks what happens when the safety and […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Huff, huff, pass

I remember the first time I tried poppers. It was with my first serious boyfriend during my sophomore year of college in Orlando, Florida. He was older, sweeter than I deserved, and graciously showed me the proverbial and literal ins and outs of gay sex. It was one of those sweet, brief relationships that is more […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Hidden no more

One of my favorite passages in Chicago journalist Michael J. O’Loughlin’s new book, Hidden Mercy: AIDS, Catholics, and the Untold Stories of Compassion in the Face of Fear, opens like an old-school joke. A nun named Sister Carol Baltosiewich is sitting in a New York City gay bar and eyeing the men around her, when […]

Posted inCity Life

Comfort in the face of the unknown

The numbers boggle the mind. More deaths than AIDS in 40 years, the most recent epidemic in recent memory. More deaths than the 1918 influenza pandemic, previously the deadliest disease event in American history. More deaths than the U.S. Civil War, the deadliest conflict in our nation’s history. More deaths. More. More. More.  The COVID-19 […]

Posted inNews & Politics

As pandemic restrictions ebb and flow, health care for trans people hangs in limbo

Patti Flynn thought that April 2020 would be a momentous month. She was slated to fly from Chicago to India for gender-confirmation surgery, which would finally bring her body and sense of self in line. And then came COVID-19. Flynn, like many people, faced pandemic-related impacts to her health care. But unlike most, transgender and […]