Watch the video here of Mayor Jim Naugle apologizing to the people of Ft. Lauderdale for not clamping down sooner on gay men involved with public restroom sex and not alerting citizens as to the the explosion of AIDS cases in the area. A website Mayor Naugle points to lists 13 pages of locations where gays "cruise" for anonymous sex partners. Two of those listed were Ft. Lauderdale city parks and two others are area Home Depots.
Mayor Naugle has been inundated with threatening messages from Ft. Lauderdale's gay community. Link: Fort Lauderdale mayor issues apology, but not to gay community -- South Florida Sun-Sentinel.com.
Which led me to think "What makes anyone think this isn't happening in Chicago?" Pete LaBarbera has been telling us for years that gay bathhouses are popular because of the anonymous sex that goes on in them.
But it's not just the bathhouses. It's public areas. Anonymous sex is called "cruising" by the sex culture and two years ago, Montrose Harbor's Magic Hedge was in the news as 70 gay men were arrested for public indecency.
Cruising is neither gay nor prostitution. Criminalizing it will not make it disappear, especially since straights like it too much. Cruising defines a healthy sexual culture, queer or straight, and it’s a reason why we choose to live in cities. Cities are where we exercise anonymity, dispense with some identities and adopt others and, yes, engage in trysts. Lose all that and we might as well be stuck in the desert of suburbia, with its carefully trimmed bushes and its utter lack of sexual magic.
We don't need public parks anymore for "cruising." We now have the GBLT Center on Halsted, taxpayer-funded and city-approved. Sad thing is, can you imagine Mayor Daley ever apologizing to the people of Chicago as Mayor Naugle did?