“There are lots of happy and fulfilled gay/bi people out here… and when you get out of Nastytown and move on to a more welcoming environment … you’ll start meeting them.

High School Is Finite

Comments on Savage Love by Dan Savage, March 13

Henry Julius:

I got the snot beat out of me in high school some 30 years ago because I was a “fag.” Problem was, I wasn’t gay (not then, not now) but when you’re dealing with the small minds of high school bigot bullies, classmates who look the other way and teachers/administrators who don’t want to deal with the issue of fag bashing (or any other kind of bashing for that matter), I agree with Dan. Bide your time, hang in as best you can, stay as safe as possible, then get the hell out of there as far away as possible and get yourself in a community of people who aren’t mired in that microcosmic idiocy of high school.

Gay in Chicago:

As a gay man who took similar shit in my high school, in my first job, and from my extended family, I concur 100 percent with Dan Savage’s advice and with the supportive comments of the people who have already posted here.

Kids, their advice is right on. It’s hard to feel—really feel in your gut—that there is a whole big planet out there beyond your high school/hometown where people think and act differently and gays live happy and healthy lives. But the good news is: there is.

The even better news: you can be truly happy, fulfilled, and loved as a gay man or woman. There are lots of happy and fulfilled gay/bi people out here (pun intended), and when you get out of Nastytown and move on to a more welcoming environment (and there are more colleges and cities in that category every day), you’ll start meeting them.

In the meantime, if you are feeling isolated, alone, and at the end of your rope, consider reaching out for support to one of the gay-supportive organizations that most likely exist in whatever larger city is closest to you. You can search the Web and contact them online or by phone.

Finally, know that you will be stronger as a result of surviving the shit being kicked in your face right now. I know that I am, and the strength I acquired via my own trial by fire has served me well in all aspects of my life since.

Believe in yourself and the power you have to make your life what you want it to be!

CU2, Take Two

In the South Loop issue of the Chicago Reader [March 13], a reporter wrote a review of Close Up 2 Smooth Jazz Club, and from his vague description of the establishment, it was apparent that he never visited us, except via the Web site. If this reporter had attended Close Up 2, he would have noted that as the only smooth/contemporary jazz club in the country, CU2 has an upscale, art deco design that consists of exposed brick walls, granite tables, imported French lighting and bright, eclectic artwork displaying some of the best jazz artists of our time. CU2 is a modern version of the classic New York jazz club Birdland. Our diverse patrons, as well as a 35-foot bar that includes premium cognacs, scotches, and champagnes, adds to the unique atmosphere Close Up 2 brings to the South Loop. Not to mention that it features the best local, regional, and national smooth jazz bands Wednesday through Saturday. Close Up 2 is pure contemporary jazz.

CU2 reflects Chicago’s jazz heritage with a hip, relaxed environment and a commitment to the up-and-coming contemporary jazz scene in the city. This commitment birthed the Close Up 2 smooth jazz outdoor festival held one week before the Taste of Chicago. The second annual event will be held June 20-22 at Pritzker Park, the only city park on State Street. CU2 cordially invites you and your readers to experience the exciting future of contemporary jazz.

Frank Goss III

General Manager

Close Up 2


Comment on the Reader’s online archive of stories on Barack Obama, including Hank De Zutter’s 1995 profile (chicagoreader.com/obama)


Clearly, Obama has evolved (as The Audacity of Hope also reveals), but at the same time he has remained amazingly consistent and true to his roots in organizing for community-based systemic change, which has been, not surprisingly, the key to the success of his current campaign.

The Chicago papers have searched for the supposed political land mines for years and have concluded “there’s no there there.” Period. Read the Chicago Trib‘s 3/16/08 op-ed (that’s the conservative paper, by the way). One might also consider that after years of dredging for dirt, the Trib has seen fit to endorse Obama over Clinton.

That the Clinton campaign repeatedly attempts to arouse suspicion suggests that Obama has “gotten a pass,” and continues to agitate for “vetting”—knowing full well that the Chicago media has already done its job and even noted that Obama filed “unusually frank ethics disclosure reports”—indicates to me that greater scrutiny for honesty and integrity should be directed at Clinton, who has yet to release her tax returns, White House archives, and donor lists for the Clinton Presidential Library.

Poop Is Everywhere …

In slamming the American beef industry (Letters, March 13), Thomas Westgard declares consumption of animal feces to be “a pathological behavior, because only sick people eat poop.” But he overlooks the thousands of citizens who, every summer at countless weekend picnics, athletic events, and outdoor cafes, ingest quantities of pulverized, airborne bird, insect, and mammal waste (not to mention a few live bugs) deposited on their food and drink, all in the name of pastoral jollity.

Mary Shen Barnidge


Due to an editing error, the capsule review of The Inner Life of Martin Frost (March 13) incorrectly cited The Music of Chance as Paul Auster’s directing debut. Auster wrote the novel but Philip Haas directed the film. Auster made his directing debut with Lulu on the Bridge.

The photo (below) of Opera and Zapatista that accompanied Lynn Becker’s story “Land of the Loft” in our South Loop issue (March 13) should have been credited to Rick Selin.