Last week Chicago celebrated marriage for all, supporting gay marriage. It’s good to know that Illinois is one of the most forward thinking state that favors equality for all. We haven’t talked much about Gay Chicago but I have found that this city is more accepting than many cities I’ve lived in before, allowing for the development and growth for the gay community.
I thought it would be a good idea to chat with one of the classiest dressed men I’ve come across- Mr. Zach Stafford. Zach is a Tennessee born writer currently living in Chicago, “I moved here to attend undergrad at DePaul University and it seems like the city just won’t let me go.” He has written for a broad range of outlets including The Huffington Post, Glamour Magazine, Slate, USA Today (and more) and is currently a columnist at the Chicago Tribune’s daily paper the RedEye. Recently this year, Stafford published the anthology BOYS, which is co-edited and curated. I met Zach at a photo-shoot. He was very humble, full of smiles and calmly intelligent. His dress style in his own words are “Warm, modern, and Southern”.
ZS: My undergrad is in Women’s and Gender Studies and after that I got into graduate school to do a Master’s and PhD in Cultural Geography. Upon getting into grad school, I decided to hold off and pursue other interests. I plan on eventually going back to school, I just think right now I need to be focused on my writing. However, what I was going to specialize in graduate school is still a huge part of my work. A lot of my writing is interested in the relationship between places and people, which is also why I love Chicago so much. I think our city breathes and feels just as much as the people that live in it do.
Me: I can’t even look at my personal journal growing up in fear of embarrassment of what I wrote! Getting your feelings out on paper or across is also challenging. Where did you find the confidence to share your thoughts and feelings to the world?ZS: Wine and a friend, ha ha. But really, I think readers push me. I write a lot of LGBT non-fiction so I am sharing sometimes very personal things that just a few years ago would have never been published, and it’ can be so hard to share that with the world. It’s frightening actually. But I always remind myself that someone will read this and it may help them in some way and that makes it worth it.