The 5 Things I’ll Miss Most About Chicago

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Everyone talks about it.  We’re actually doing it.

The cold, the snow, the congestion / traffic / population density, the violence, the cost-of-living, the corruption and psuedo-democracy.  Whatever the albatross, most people in Chicago at some point in the course of the year (for some, on a daily basis!), threaten to finally get out of dodge.

In fact, in a recent Gallup 50-state survey, residents in Illinois were more likely to say that they would like to relocate than those of any other state!  Half of Illinoisans want to leave!  And nearly 20% say that they are likely to move.

Now granted, inertia is a VERY strong force, and a fifth of Illinois residents are not going to leave the state.  So most of our friends are surprised that the Grivois-Shah family has beaten inertia and are making the leap across the country to the deserts of Tucson, Arizona.

But regardless of how much I’ve decried living in Chicago, I will miss the city that I called home for the first three and a half decades of my life: born and raised in the western suburbs, college, medical school, and residency all in the heart of the city.  I’ve never called another place home.

While I’m looking forward to the warmth, pace, and lower-cost living of Tucson, there are a number of things that make leaving Chicago tough.  Below is a short list of 5 things I’ll definitely miss about Chicago.

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The Story of Marriage Equality: Two Generations in the Making

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The headlines have been amazing these past few weeks. Support for marriage equality reached nearly 60% and more than 80% amongst Americans under 30 (1). More than half of the U.S. Senate now supports marriage equality (2). The American Academy of Pediatrics joined the American Academy of Family Physicians and other major medical organizations in recognizing marriage equality as a public health issue (3). Conservatives commentators from Bill O’Reilly to Rush Limbaugh acknowledged that those supporting marriage equality have won the fight (4).

The chart at the top says it all. There has been a sea change amongst Americans in favor of marriage equality. Some (including our Vice President and former Senator Rick Santorum) cite media, especially Will & Grace and Glee, as the reason (5). While this is definitely part of the equation, it tells an incomplete story.

The true story took two generations. One generation fought for 30 years after the gay rights movement found its voice at Stonewall, a fight, without which, Will & Grace would not have even been possible. The next generation, my generation, of gay and lesbian Americans built upon the work done for decades before we came of age. We came out of the closet in droves; we changed the language; we refused to be marginalized.
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