In honor of Pride month, Envisionit’s Ali Aguilar shares her top picks for celebrating our LGBTQ+ community throughout Chicago
I’d like to think that I share pride in my queer identity year-round. But in June, I live a little louder to honor those who came before and paved the way towards LGBTQ+ liberation, and to celebrate myself.
I feel the same is true of Envisionit —a place where I can be unapologetically myself, a company that accepts and celebrates all aspects of who I am.
Living in Chicago offers access to a wealth of information, communities and so many events it’s hard to know where to start!
Our friends at Choose Chicago, the city’s official destination marketing organization, have maintained one of the most comprehensive and easy-to-navigate lists of LGBTQ+ events year round, and they also have a list of Pride-specific activities this June for locals and tourists alike.
In honor of Pride month and to celebrate our queer friends, co-workers and community, here are some of our favorite Chicago events happening in June.
Adults Night Out: Pride Party!
- When it is: June 23
- What it is: Lincoln Park Zoo is hosting a no-kids-allowed after hours party with a wealth of themed activities, including Drag Queen bingo, free carousel rides, a DJ and dance area and more.
Chicago is a Drag Festival
- When it is: June 24
- What is it: After a sold-out debut in 2019 and a massive digital edition in 2020, Chicago Is A Drag Festival returns to Andersonville this Pride Month with a star studded lineup of kings, queens and queer performers from the Windy City.
Pride in the Park
- When it is: June 25 & 26
- What is it: An outdoor music festival held in Grant Park, featuring a 2-day lineup of LGBTQ+ performers, vendors and merchandise, as well as pre & after party events. My must-sees are RuPaul’s Drag Race royalty Shea Couleé (and her drag children), and show-stopping, side-splitting Drag King, Dusty Bahls.
- When it is: June 26
- What it is: smallWORLD Collective has curated a space at The Promontory for Black queer women, trans and gender non-conforming folks. After the parade or as an alternative, you can head to Hyde Park to join in centering queer joy through music, movement and a collective exhale on the dance floor.
Nick Cave: Forothermore
- When it is: May 14 through early October
- What is it: The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago is presenting a career-spanning survey of internationally renowned Chicagoan Nick Cave. Forothermore is an ode to those who, whether due to racism, homophobia, or other forms of bigotry, live their lives as the “other”—and a celebration of the way art, music, fashion and performance can help us envision a more just future.
Boozy BBQ Drag Brunch
- When it is: Sundays in June
- What is it: Every Sunday this month, you can get your boozy brunch on and enjoy watching Chicago’s most electric Drag performers at one of Chicago’s BBQ favorites – Porkchop BBQ. Produced by Chicago’s glittering goddess, Ms. B. LaRose, this rotating lineup of queens and kings is a solid way to shake off a Pride hangover.
Pride’s True Meaning
Always remember that Pride is far more than rainbow logos and parades. Those who have a say in creating, distributing and selecting imagery at any level in the advertising and marketing realm have the ability – and responsibility – to truthfully represent the diverse audiences to whom they are speaking. And there’s always room for understanding and growth. Let’s grow together.
Don’t forget: Pride doesn’t have to end in June. Check out Choose Chicago’s year-long LGBTQ+ guide!
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