A town hall slated to take place Nov. 9, after a racist performance marred North Side leather bar Touché’s celebratory event, was postponed—with no event seemingly rescheduled as of yet.

Touché manager David Boyer, who was slated to host the town hall, was reportedly hospitalized. However, according to a Touché bartender who talked with The TRiiBE on Nov. 21, Boyer is not only out of the hospital but also out of town.

The TRiiBE has tried contacting Boyer and Touché owner Chuck Rodocker, but has not heard back from either individual. 

A staffer with Leather Archives & Museum, where the Nov. 9 town hall was supposed to be held, said, “Nothing has been booked in our space but I wouldn’t necessarily know if Touché has made plans for a new date if they are holding it elsewhere, as we weren’t involved apart from being booked as the location.”

Recently, Touché celebrated its 45th anniversary with various festivities, one of which featured white ventriloquist Jerry Halliday performing with a Black puppet on Nov. 1. Halliday performed with one of his creations, “Sista Girl”—a puppet with dark skin, big lips, a blonde weave and heavy makeup, The TRiiBE previously noted.

In one sketch, Halliday had Sista Girl lift up her skirt to expose her private parts—symbolized by an Afro puff, one that he likens to a “Brillo pad” that he said could be used to “do my pots and pans” and “whistle while I work, lawd!” 

Halliday told Block Club Chicago that he’s retiring the puppet.


During this entire act, some attendees applauded while others walked out; in addition, Touché bartender Cris Bleaux quit during the performance. A statement that Boyer posted to Touché’s Facebook page read, “We apologize for not reacting and stopping the show. People were harmed by his words. Racism and transphobia are wrong; we need to do better. Touché will continue to upgrade our awareness of and responses to racism, sexism and transphobia. We are currently exploring ways to address the harm was caused.

“We have and will continue to work hard to make this space more welcoming to all people regardless of their racial, ethnic, sexual or gender identities. Your feedback is noted and appreciated if we are to make that a reality here. We could not have remained in business here for the past 45 years if that were not a core purpose of our business.”

ONYX Midwest, a branch of the leather organization that’s for gay and bisexual men of color, said in a response statement that it “condemned the following—racism; misogyny; sexism; [and] reinforcing old, demoralizing, discriminatory, dehumanizing, and unspeakably damaging stereotypes.”

The group also criticized the “lack of response from the bar management not to recognize, comprehend, take responsibility and act to intervene and stop this hurtful performance. The damage caused is beyond measure as a result of the lack of response.” In addition, ONYX Midwest condemned “the complicity of the bar patrons in causing this damage when they sided with the performer when asked if the ‘heckler’ should leave the bar.”

The group had also planned to remove its flags and “colors” from Touché. It will also cease holding its monthly bar nights there beginning this month.

ONYX also suspended Boyer’s  honorary membership “until after a timeframe to be decided by ONYX Midwest, as well as completed educational activities.” 

The organization also said that Touché must “donate at least $3,000 to a people of color-focused charity that ONYX Midwest will name.”

In addition, ONYX said it would return to the bar if it “terminates or accepts [the] resignation from Boyer” and if it Touché commits “to ensuring that David’s replacement agrees to fight to maintain an environment that excludes racism, misogyny, transphobia [and] sexism and avoids reinforcing stereotypes or discriminatory behavior.”

is the Digital News Editor for The TRiiBE.