Chicago is home to one of the largest pride celebrations in the country. The city is known for North Halsted (formerly Boystown)--a neighborhood filled with bars, restaurants and parks celebrating the city’s LGBTQ+ community.
The month of June is filled with exciting events and celebrations of the community. On June 18th and 19th, Pride Fest was held on North Halsted–with tons of great music, popups and food vendors coming out. But arguably the biggest event during Pride month is the annual parade (that was unfortunately canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic).
Chicago’s first pride parade was held in 1970. Only a few hundred people attended, and since then, the event has steadily grown–with hundreds of thousands attending every year. This year, the parade was held on June 26th, where many came together and celebrated on the northside of the city–from Montrose in Uptown to Lincoln Park. Politicians, celebrities, activists, musicians and many more gathered together to celebrate a still underserved community.
But the entire month of June in Chicago is dedicated to the LGBT community–and the city celebrated in all kinds of ways.
Pride in the Park came to fruition in 2019–a music festival in Grant Park downtown featuring LGBTQ artists and performers. This year, The Chainsmokers and Alesso headlined. Acts like rapper Saucy Santana and Daya, along with many others, also performed.
Chicago is also one of the biggest cities for comedy in America. The Second City in Old Town (where alums include Tina Fey, Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert and many more) is still holding a parody of the popular Queer Eye show–running throughout the entire summer! You can get tickets for the show (that also features an all LGBT cast!) at secondcity.com. The Laugh Factory, located in Lakeview, also held pride themed stand-up shows all throughout June.
Drag brunches, which are popular year round in Chicago, also happened all throughout the city throughout the month. For those with a sober lifestyle, there was Sober & Proud, a dry event featuring music and performances at 825 W. Wellington. Sounds of Pride was an event put on by Chicago Fringe Orchestra on June 12 at 1312 N. Leavitt street. Navy Pier Pride had a free event at noon on June 25 at the popular tourist spot. There were dozens of pride events that could fit any lifestyle and schedule.
If you feel so inclined, you can donate to an LGBTQ+ organization, such as The Brave Space Alliance, located on the city’s south side, that provides resources for the community in Chicago’s west and south sides. You can also donate to The Center on Halsted, an organization that provides resources to the community. A list of organizations you can donate to, and a list of all events is available at blockclubchicago.com.
Pride is a huge celebration–it’s a time to acknowledge the progress that has been made for the community, and also a period to realize how far there is to go to achieve full equality.
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