Evanston alderman proposes expanding public nudity ordinance to remove gender

Karen Jordan Image
Wednesday, September 7, 2022
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An Evanston alderman is proposing changing the city's public nudity rules to allow men, women and nonbinary individuals to go topless in public in the name of inclusiveness and equ

EVANSTON, Ill. (WLS) -- On a beautiful summer day in Evanston, there are no shortage of people out enjoying the weather, including some men without their shirts. But women are restricted from going topless, and an alderman wants to change that.

Ald. Devon Reid, who represents Evanston's 8th Ward, is proposing to amend the city's public nudity by dropping language that refers to gender. He said it's about equity, and avoiding potential litigation.

"This ordinance, as it stands, creates a double standard for women, where men can go out in public and take their shirt off without worry for prosecution where women doing the same thing men can do would fear prosecution," he said.

Reid said making the change would also be inclusive of those in the transgender and non-binary communities, and would allow for anyone regardless of gender to go topless in public.

"I have three kids. I'm sure it would make for some interesting conversations at home," said resident Marlene Key.

Other residents said it's a sign of the times.

"For people who are uncomfortable with their own bodies, they might get uncomfortable from seeing other people be confident in their own bodies," said resident Robert Tarlock.

"I don't disagree that it should at least be discussed," said resident Michelle Colledge. "I think our norms are not the norms of the generation coming up."