Ho, Ho, Homophobia Has Got to Go!


I heard that a neighbor of Bijou Video's new office location (West Lakeview or West Wrigleyville) knocked on the door, claiming he was expressing concern shared by people in the neighborhood about the adult nature of the business.

First of all, how did this person find out? But then, websites like everyblock.com often report business licenses and building violations. Useful of course, but depending on one's motivation, the potential for harmful gossip, stereotyping, or even blatant prejudice exists.

Secondly, it's not like we are actually making adult movies. We sell vintage gay porn. Vintage. Like 30-40 years ago. Perhaps the neighbors thought they would see half-naked men parading in and out of the place and camera on the street. But then, would the neighbors be complaining if an individual was making amateur porn from his/her apartment and selling it via the web? Perhaps, but then the person is not doing this activity as an official business, and if it's consensual adult sex, whose business is it, anyway, privately or publicly? And, it's not like we are doing anything that would physically disturb a neighbor, which might be the case if one was making and selling porn in one's apartment. Police Scanner Log: 1500 West Bryon, loud sex noises coming from apartment 3S. Constant blasting of music. Buzzer keeps ringing. None of this goes on in our office.

Most significantly, I find it perplexing but sadly believable that the complaint may contain roots in the straight frat boy culture of this area (which also was the case in the latter part of our Wells Street tenure). I am sure around here half-naked straight jocks parade around getting drunk and vomiting an publicly urinating (the last activity strikes me as more pornographic in a kinky sense) and create an atmosphere where violence to women can occur. I would be much more concerned about such behavior, which escalates when the Cubs play home games at Wrigley Field and especially on St. Patrick's Day.

However, this neighborhood is also gentrified as well, where the straight jocks and their girlfriends usually become stroller dads and soccer moms. Thus the ugly homophobia which associated anything gay as threatening to children is probably the main cause of such “concern.”

Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones. And in some cases, maybe they should also dress in the basement.

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