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When It Comes to Pride, No One Outdoes Chicago

When It Comes to Pride, No One Outdoes Chicago

When It Comes to Pride, No One Outdoes Chicago

The midwestern metropolis goes all out for Pride Month!


You had better gear up for some deep-dish pizza this June, since we’re headed to the Windy City to celebrate the 49th Annual Chicago Pride celebration!

Things kicked off on June 16 and 17 with the Chicago Pride Festival. Set in the world-famous gayborhood of Boystown, the festival offered "music, exhibitors, great food and drinks." The main stage was graced by gay icon Belinda Carlisle (of “Heaven is a Place on Earth” fame), as well as a host of drag shows.

Between the Festival and the Parade, Chicago Pride offers plenty of events to give you your fill of LGBT history and culture. Check out the OUT at CHM event, which includes a "cocktail reception, panel discussion, vendor marketplace, and viewing" of a short film, Lives: Visible. This community discussion is meant to "explore the evolution and documentation of LGBTQ sexuality" over the decades, analyzing how "open and public spaces like the lakeshore have provided opportunities for intimacy." Check it out!

On the 16th, Women to Women presented Dance with Pride. According to the website, it was a time to "shine the floor with our personal and private Salsa-Merengue Class lead by Dance Academy of salsa," and enjoy an "intuitive non-linear movement activity." 

And on the 18th,The T Word, a ground-breaking web series following a trans woman and a queer black man "as they learn how to be best friends in the wake of their romantic relationship" premiered! After the screening, the creator joined an exclusive discussion with the co-creators and stars!

At noon on June 24, LGBT people and allies will take to the streets for the Chicago Pride Parade. Featuring over 150 "colorful floats, decorated vehicles, marching bands and walking contingents," the parade is the perfect time to show your support for LGBT rights alongside "community businesses, organizations, elected governmental officials and individuals." Check out the map here.

Also, check out the amazing Tips and Tricks page for insider information on how to get the most out of Pride. Highlights include "don't bring any clothes you don't want to sweat in," as well as recommendations for the best restaurants to view the parade.

But the Chicago fun doesn’t end there. While you’re in the Windy City, check out:

A Repository of African-American History

"Chicago's long been a place of cultural significance in the African American community," and it’s not hard to see why. As one of the leading cultural hot-spots of Black Excellence for over a century, today this city is a great opportunity to learn about the African-American community’s continuing role in American culture. Live the entwined histories of Jazz and prohibition with cultural institutions like the Green Mill Cocktail Lounge, and get a taste—literally—of the Great Migration with world-class soul-food joints like Wishbone. On top of all this, the DuSable Museum of African American History features exhibits exploring the role of African-Americans in WWI, the history of the fight for racial equality, and the history of Harold Washington, Chicago’s first Black mayor.

World-Class Art and Architecture

Long known as a hardscrabble city of gangsters and farmers, today Chicago boasts some of the biggest museums in the world, not to mention an architectural catalog that would make Palladio drool. Let’s start with the Art Institute of Chicago. Covering nearly one million square feet in eight buildings, an afternoon in the AIC will transport you from the Edo period through American pop art, from Roman sculpture to a host of lavishly furnished miniature. If that’s not enough for you, the Field Museum of Natural History is the place to go for enormous dinosaur skeletons, rows of mummies and sarcophagi, meteorites, halls of gems and a stunning collection of the plants of the world. With all the culture the city has to offer, it’s almost overkill to sing the praises of the skyline or enumerate all the Frank Lloyd Wright buildings in the area. So I won’t!

A Hub for Nature-Lovers

Just because Chicago is the biggest metropolis in the Midwest doesn’t mean there’s not something for the crunchy-granola in all of us. Millennium Park, dedicated to celebrating the third millennium, is one of the most Instagrammable green areas of Chicago, with its gorgeous open spaces and iconic "Bean" (officially "Cloud Gate") sculpture. If you want to get some fresh air and skip the crowds, Chicago has plenty of smaller parks that merit a visit. Unveiled in Woodlawn for the 1893 World’s Fair, Jackson Park is an underappreciated place to enjoy nature and get a taste of culture, including Yoko Ono’s first art installation in America, Skylanding. Also not to miss are the Chicago Botanic Gardens, which cover over 380 hectares to the north of Chicago and promise hours of wonder with rose gardens, bonsais, and more.

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

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Drew Kiser

Drew Kiser is an American writer and critic living in France. His work has appeared in MAKE Magazine, THE FEM, and Vanilla Sex Mag. Follow him on Twitter, @DrewKiser666.

Drew Kiser is an American writer and critic living in France. His work has appeared in MAKE Magazine, THE FEM, and Vanilla Sex Mag. Follow him on Twitter, @DrewKiser666.