Chicago Pride: Fifty Years of Inclusivity


Chicago Pride: Fifty Years of Inclusivity

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We’re coming up to that time of year again when LBGTQ+ people from all different backgrounds come together to celebrate their identities in glorious rainbow fashion.

These days, almost every major city in America has its parade, each with its unique worth learning and championing. This week, we thought we’d take a look at the origins of Chicago Pride, Chicago’s famous Boystown, and how it got where it is today.

The Origins of in Chicago

For many reasons, Chicago is a historic city, and LGBTQ+ is a big part of that. In 1924, the LGBT rights organization was started by gay-rights activist Henry Gerber. The organization was set up “to combat public prejudices” and defend the rights of those unfairly discriminated against by society. Ultimately, Gerber was arrested and although his charges were dismissed, he was financially crippled by legal fees and his community for human rights was shut down. Nonetheless, it was the first organization in the United States, and it marked an important milestone in the city’s fight for gay liberation.
That being said, it was not until 1970 that the first official parade was held. The parade was intended to be a simple march, beginning in Washington Square Park and ending at the Water Tower. A hundred-and-fifty people gathered in the park to make their way across town, but things took an unexpected course as many of the participants instead chose to march to the Civic Center chanting the slogan “gay power to gay people.”
Chicago Pride 2022


While America’s first official gay village might seem like an inseparable part of the Lakeview area’s identity, it was not until 1997 that Northalsted – known colloquially as Boystown – received this official recognition. For decades now, Boystown has been the centerpiece of Chicago’s parades, even while the parade has extended out in both directions. To this day, Northalsted is a town proud to champion inclusivity within the community, representing a true home for the LGBTQ+ community of Chicago.

Chicago 2022

So when is Chicago 2022? And how can you join the celebrations? Pride Fest – a celebration run by the Merchant’s Association – will occur between June 18th and 19th and will feature incredible performances by such as Mila Jam, The Aces, Dyllón Burnside, and many others.

Then, just a week later, from June 25th to the 26th, the Pride in the Park celebration will occur in the iconic Grant Park. Attendees can once again expect to see an excellent list of acts featuring Spencer Brown, Joel Corry, and The Chainsmokers.

prideinthepark chicago
The parade itself will be held on June 26th and will run from Montrose Avenue and Broadway, Uptown, down to Lincoln Park.
With less than a month to go until the celebration’s kick-off, we couldn’t be more excited about the upcoming events. is a fantastic opportunity for members of the LGBTQ+ community to come together in the name of love and acceptance. Whether you’re from the community or standing in support as an ally, we wish you an incredible Pride 2022!

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