A History of Whispers: Reliving Queer Deviance and Vice - Atlas Obscura
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Chicago, Illinois

A History of Whispers: Reliving Queer Deviance and Vice

Join Field Agent Patti Swanson and Queer Historian Andie Meadows for a walking tour of LGBTQ history, featuring tales of madams, mobsters, and more.

Join Field Agent Patti Swanson as she teams up with Queer Historian Andie Meadows to uncover the whispered stories of LGBTQ communities in early 19th-century Chicago.

Explore the convergence of queerness with nightlife, the arts, Mob bosses, and the city’s infamous red light district as we shed light on the unmarked doors, dark corners, and soirees that didn’t make it into your history books.

Starting at Dearborn Station, the tour will wander throughout the Loop before ending at a top-secret bar, where your first drink is on us.


  • Ticket includes tour and one drink ticket.
  • You must be 18 to be part of the tour and 21 to drink.
  • This event goes on rain, shine, or snow!
  • Find your guides outside of Dearborn Station's main entrance.
  • Be ready to walk 3 miles.
  • Wear weather appropriate clothing & comfortable walking shoes.
  • Limited ADA access.
  • The ticket is non-refundable, but you can transfer your purchase by following this handy Eventbrite tutorial.

About Field Agent Patti Swanson

Patti Swanson is an architectural historian, educator, preservation enthusiast, and bookbinder living in Chicago. Raised near Austin, Texas, Patti came to Chicago in 2011 to pursue a degree in art history at School of the Art Institute of Chicago and stayed for the city's rich history, friendly people, and balmy winters. She worked as a tour guide for four years in various capacities before starting her own walking tour company, Chicago for Chicagoans, in 2016. Patti factors lots of local collaboration into her tours and strongly believes in making history accessible to everyone. She is best described as "Shazam for buildings," and can be found on her website Chicago for Chicagoans.


Email patti.swanson@atlasobscura.com.

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Advance Tickets only. All Sales Final. No Refunds or Exchanges.