Why I’m thankful for life in Chicago, per our “Chicago gives thanks” feature over at HuffPost:
The more time I spend in “faraway” lands such as New York and Los Angeles, the deeper my gratitude grows for the city I call home: Chicago. Ours is a city where hype doesn’t matter. It’s a city full of nose-to-the-grindstoners who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty and chase their dreams. And I’m endlessly inspired by the many, many people working every day to make our city, flaws and all, a better place.
I’m thankful for Woolly Mammoth’s ever-changing inventory of incredible taxidermy, Cafe Mustache’s goat cheese-and-basil croissants and Big Chicks’ distracting art collection. I’m thankful for people who care enough about our city’s mental health clinics to sleep on the streets. I’m thankful for teachers. I’m thankful that “Showgirls the Musical” happened here. Finally, I’m thankful for all of the city’s animal shelters for working so hard to rescue homeless pets.
Read more submissions from Karen Lewis, Chet Haze, Tammy Duckworth, White Mystery, Mucca Pazza, the founder of Threadless and many more.

Why I’m thankful for life in Chicago, per our “Chicago gives thanks” feature over at HuffPost:

The more time I spend in “faraway” lands such as New York and Los Angeles, the deeper my gratitude grows for the city I call home: Chicago. Ours is a city where hype doesn’t matter. It’s a city full of nose-to-the-grindstoners who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty and chase their dreams. And I’m endlessly inspired by the many, many people working every day to make our city, flaws and all, a better place.

I’m thankful for Woolly Mammoth’s ever-changing inventory of incredible taxidermy, Cafe Mustache’s goat cheese-and-basil croissants and Big Chicks’ distracting art collection. I’m thankful for people who care enough about our city’s mental health clinics to sleep on the streets. I’m thankful for teachers. I’m thankful that “Showgirls the Musical” happened here. Finally, I’m thankful for all of the city’s animal shelters for working so hard to rescue homeless pets.

Read more submissions from Karen Lewis, Chet Haze, Tammy Duckworth, White Mystery, Mucca Pazza, the founder of Threadless and many more.

My intern is extremely paws on.

My intern is extremely paws on.

“In conservative times, people want to return to conservative sounds, I get that. But when people are talking about nostalgia for the ’90s, they are just aching for variety.” —Shirley Manson, on ’90s nostalgia, for HuffPost Chicago
Read the full interview here. Garbage play Chicago for the first time in seven years next week. I’m really proud of how this one turned out.

In conservative times, people want to return to conservative sounds, I get that. But when people are talking about nostalgia for the ’90s, they are just aching for variety.” —Shirley Manson, on ’90s nostalgia, for HuffPost Chicago

Read the full interview here. Garbage play Chicago for the first time in seven years next week. I’m really proud of how this one turned out.

Sometimes I forget how amazing our view at work is until we host an out-of-town visitor.
Sometimes I forget how amazing my job is, period.

Sometimes I forget how amazing our view at work is until we host an out-of-town visitor.

Sometimes I forget how amazing my job is, period.

"I would prefer that everyone grow as much facial hair as possible in as sincere a manner as possible and I hope that, as we continue to evolve as a species, we all allow our fellow members of the human race of either sex to grow as much of it as they deem necessary." -Nick Offerman
I interviewed Offerman, best known as, duh, Ron Swanson of ’Parks and Rec,’ for HuffPost Chicago. He had lots of delightful anecdotes from his Chicago days. Y’all should give it a click.

"I would prefer that everyone grow as much facial hair as possible in as sincere a manner as possible and I hope that, as we continue to evolve as a species, we all allow our fellow members of the human race of either sex to grow as much of it as they deem necessary." -Nick Offerman

I interviewed Offerman, best known as, duh, Ron Swanson of ’Parks and Rec,’ for HuffPost Chicago. He had lots of delightful anecdotes from his Chicago days. Y’all should give it a click.

Yeah, so this happened.
"Two dongs don’t make a right?" That expression? Perfection.
Watch Chelsea Handler’s roundtable discuss my story by clicking above.

Yeah, so this happened.

"Two dongs don’t make a right?" That expression? Perfection.

Watch Chelsea Handler’s roundtable discuss my story by clicking above.

The 15 gay misogynists you’ll meet in the comment thread of an article calling out queer sexism

So, that little story about a certain Chicago gay bar’s “No Women After 11 p.m.” policy has gotten picked up quite a lot — by The Advocate, Queerty, Instinct, Eater, A.V. Club ChicagoChicagoist and ChicagoPride.com.

While I typically try to avoid the comment sections of stories I’ve written, this time I couldn’t resist — I wanted to see what people had to say about what appears to be a  public accommodation’s pretty clearly illegal, anti-woman policy — particularly considering what a wide audience the story has gotten.

Let me tell you — it’s like a trip down the “Women ruin EVERYTHING” rabbit hole.

Enjoy!

Number one: “Just two blocks over from Boystown are tons of straight bars. Go there and stop bitching because you can’t get into the local gay bar.”

Number two: “It is not a matter or not allowing women into bars, it’s about reserving a very few very endangered spaces that are just about men. … I don’t need ‘straight allies’ in gay bars any more than I need them in my bedroom giving suggestions.”

Number three: “its [sic] a gay bar…think of it as a mens [sic] restroom…its a MENS [sic]restroom. use your little brains, there is no discrimination going on here.”

Number four: “Good ive [sic] been to a lesbian bar before and wasnt [sic] permitted, as it was women only. Why do women got to get all bitchy when they are not allowed in somewhere but when men are on the other side its ok.”

Number five:Women are equal enough to men now that they should be able to handle this without crying victim.”

Number six: “Why do women always demand to go where they are not wanted? Often half naked!”

Number seven: “Wherever there are straight women, you will find straight, horny men–who get drunk and pick fights, especially if another man hits on them. That is why women need to be kept out of gays [sic] bars.”

Number eight: “If I seen a gay bar with a bunch of straight women I would immediately leave. It’s not a gay bar anymore. It’s a faghag bar. I’m looking to see men when I’m at a bar or gay club. So it needs to be at least a limit on how many women can enter. Lets [sic] face it, its a males playground in a gay bar.”

Number nine: “Dear girls, we know you are fun, fierce and fabulous but sometimes - when the boys want to play with each other - your presence just brings the mood down. Is this really so difficult to understand?”

Number ten: “It wouldn’t be so bad if the lesbians weren’t such loud, obnoxious drunks. I don’t see a problem with men only after a certain time in a large city like Chicago. I’m sure there are lesbian bars where they can be loud and drunk.”

Number eleven: “Another reason why some owners and bartenders want to keep lesbians out, is that lesbians are notorious as being bad tippers.”

Number twelve: “It’s horrible going into a crowded gay bar only to find a bunch of drunk loud mouthed straight girls holding each others hair while they vomit. The only thing worse than the straight girls are the fags that bring them. They ALWAYS go home alone and bitchy and they never know why.”

Number thirteen: “The gay community is NOT QAF. That was a tv show, not real life. In real life, gays and lesbians don’t normally hang together.”

Number fourteen: “Gay men are also an oppressed minority. Straight men and women don’t get gay-bashed and lynched and hung from barbed wire fences because they’re gay — only gay folks get that special gay-bashing treatment.”

Number fifteen: “Gay men have so few places that are our own. All week and every day, we function in a world run by straight men and women. And, by and large, we get by — with some homophobia and gaybashing thrown in by straight society just to keep us on our toes.”

"[It’s] a major problem with the culture of music right now — of there not being enough patience in the audience. People — even me — will be like, ‘What happened to that person? Did they stop making music or did they die?’ No, they stopped for one month. I think all musicians are struggling with that — trying to make time for themselves and to exercise their craft and refine it." -Nika Roza Danilova, a.k.a. Zola Jesus, in The Huffington Post.

"[It’s] a major problem with the culture of music right now — of there not being enough patience in the audience. People — even me — will be like, ‘What happened to that person? Did they stop making music or did they die?’ No, they stopped for one month. I think all musicians are struggling with that — trying to make time for themselves and to exercise their craft and refine it." -Nika Roza Danilova, a.k.a. Zola Jesus, in The Huffington Post.

On bullying, suicide and rape

I published an essay on The Huffington Post today, some version of which I’ve long wanted to write but never thought I would.

In a moment of journalistic synchronicity, Rolling Stone and The New Yorker recently published in-depth stories digging deep into a handful of the spate of suicides of LGBT youth that, in the fall of 2010, served as a stern reminder of a very serious problem that persists in the shadows of the queer community — a problem that, for many, persists on a daily basis via our own personal shadows.

This is my story of coming out as — not just a victim — but a survivor.

I guess I’m lucky that this has never, ever, ever been me in my current job.
I am constantly writing, researching, reading.
I’m definitely lucky.

I guess I’m lucky that this has never, ever, ever been me in my current job.

I am constantly writing, researching, reading.

I’m definitely lucky.