About this event:
WHAT: Jim Elledge, author of The Boys of Fairy Town: Sodomites, Female Impersonators, Third-Sexers, Pansies, Queers, and Sex Morons in Chicago’s First Century, discusses his book with Chicago author June Sawyers.
SO WHAT: Elledge’s book is a history of gay Chicago told through the stories of queer men who left a record of their sexual activities. Some were public figures, like reporter John Wing. Henry Gerber, who created a “homophile” organization, was almost invisible. African American ragtime pianist Tony Jackson wrote his song, “Pretty Baby.” about his male lover. Chicago’s anti-“indecency” movement demanded the arrest of female inpersonators and striptease artists. The Boys of Fairytown tells the story of a virtually unknown history of gay life in Chicago before it was legal.
Elledge is the author of 24 books, including his most recent: Henry Darger, Throwaway Boy: The Tragic Life of an Outsider Artist. Sawyers, born in Glasgow, is a writer and editor of many books on topics ranging from Celtic music to the Beatles, Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan.
NOW WHAT: The Boys of Fairytown (Chicago Review Press, $30) was released June 1. Free event.
Categories: Live Lit