When alert listener Paul shared this story with me, he concluded by asking me if I "even knew that this was a thing." I guess my answer would be yes, but no.

I'll try to explain. Yes, I am very aware that sometimes men will wear women's clothing. When one of my daughter's favorite shows is RuPaul's Drag Race, and it's on the TV in my house regularly, it's hard not to be aware.

Getty Images
Getty Images

I'm also aware, going back to "Annie Hall," that women will sometimes wear something that has been traditionally associated with male fashion.

Diane Keaton and Woody Allen in the film "Annie Hall."
Getty Images

What I wasn't aware of is that some Illinois municipalities have laws on their books that make doing that illegal, and that at least three of those cities and towns are doing something about it, like dumping those laws.

Elk Grove Village dropped its rule last month, while Schaumburg got rid of theirs earlier this week. Coming up Monday night, Des Plaines plans on striking their ordinance from the city's books. Des Plaines Mayor Andrew Goczkowski, calling the law a "relic", says he expects that the changes to the existing law should be easily passed with controversy.


The rule has been in place since 1963 under an ordinance governing "obscene and immoral acts."

According to the regulation, it is illegal for anyone to "appear in any such place in a dress not belonging to his sex." To do so is to commit indecent exposure, the ordinance states.

Illinois, like many states, has a bunch of outdated and weird laws still on the books, like these (Pantagraph.com):

  • Mispronouncing Joliet is a misdemeanor in Joliet.
  • In Galesburg, no person may keep a smelly dog.
  • In Kenilworth, a rooster must step back 300 feet from any residence if he wishes to crow.
  • In Kirkland, bees are not allowed to fly over the village or through any of the streets.
  • In Chicago, it is forbidden to fish while sitting on a giraffe's neck.
  • In Evanston, it is unlawful to change clothes in a car with the curtains drawn, except in case of fire.

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