Let’s Go to Sidetrack(s)!

An Introduction to the Kindex & The Gay Chicago Election Project

Speech — Outspoken at Sidetrack Bar Chicago — 02.07.23

Kyle Palmer
8 min readFeb 8


I trust you will pardon me for being here to speak on politics. I do not wish to force my thoughts upon you, but rather, I have forced myself here to speak. At the end of this speech, I hope to convince you to support two candidates in Chicago’s 2023 elections and will describe how doing so makes you Chicago Kind.

I will also tell you about the Gay Chicago Election Project.

The last time you saw me at Outspoken, I was halfway thru writing a three-article series titled A Story About Carrie Evans. The story covers the before, after, and long-after events following the Mayor of Minot, North Dakota’s choice to fly a Pride Flag at City Hall. The blowback from that decision went off at the next City Council meeting, where Carrie Evans delivered a now-viral speech about the Pride Flag. If you’ve ever heard the phrase, “We’re here, we’re queer, and we’re not going away,” you have heard this speech.

Over the course of the series, I tell the stories of Carrie Evans, the community of Minot, and the flimsy theoretical underpinnings that perpetuate anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment within the state. Having been raised next door in Minnesota, I thought I had a lead on North Dakotan culture. But when I interviewed a director from Magic City Equality, I was unprepared for the intra-state drama bomb he would drop after describing the international response to Carrie Evans’ speech.

“There were people contacting us from Australia, South Africa, all over and telling that they were in support of us and they never knew that things like that were still happening. Because they always heard ‘North Dakota Nice’.”

North Dakota Nice!?

Everybody knows it is Minnesota Nice! And every Minnesotan I have talked to has agreed! But, as I stood witness to a North Dakotan thief coming for my Minnesota Nice, I began taking stock of what the term…



Kyle Palmer

Midwesterner, Meet World