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Pride Month

Mon, Jun 8, 2015

by Brandon Howard
heyyouyeahyouAs the summer months arrive our fine city will light up with outdoor events; community gatherings, parades, festivals, meet-ups and just about any other reason to enjoy the warm weather and all the elation it is sure to evoke. Whether your idea of fun is a comic convention, nightclub, theater, night out, street festival, leaning workshop or choir performance, there is plenty this month to explore. Among those celebrating is Chicago’s diverse and inspiring LGBTQ community, which will be well represented through the yearly tradition of “Pride Month,” including both the Pride Festival and the Chicago Annual Pride Parade.

Fair Housing for LGBT People
June 4; 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Access Living, 115 W. Chicago Ave., 4th floor

Presented by Lambda Legal, a nonprofit organization focused on civil rights issues for the LGBTQ community, this training session will address LGBT homelessness and housing discrimination through Federal Policy. Attendees will learn more about the experiences of LGBTQ community members facing housing discrimination, appropriate LGBTQ language, housing protections for LGBTQ people in Illinois and the best practices for sheltering LGBTQ individuals experiencing homelessness.
Admission: Free to the public with breakfast and lunch provided.
Contact Crispin Torres at ctorres@lambdalegal.org for more information.

Sweet Tea: Black Gay Men of the South; June 3-7
Hal and Martha Hyer Wallis Theater at Northwestern University’s School of Communication; 1949 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL
June 3, 4, 5, 6 at 7:30 p.m.; June 7 at 2 p.m.

This theatrical one-man play, adapted from E. Patrick Johnson’s book of the same name, stars Johnson as he explores narratives of the Southern, black gay community, a “minority within a minority,” among a cultural environment of changing legislation and the Black Lives Matter movement.

“Sweet Tea is not a show fixed in history,” said producer Jane M. Saks to Examiner.com. “It is a production of this moment, lending its voice to the necessary global conversations around race, sexuality and identity.”

Admission: $15 to the general public; $10 for seniors, NU faculty/staff, educators and students.

Summer Camp LQQKs at Berlin Nightclub
954 W. Belmont
June 4

As part of the weekly Stardust party, LQQKS is a unisexually focused showcase of queer-inspired art, performance & music.

This month’s party includes performances by Chicago-based performance artist Jake Vogds, who creates “faux-pop” performances that challenge notions of identity, expectations and “trendiness.”
“In my practice, every element is drag-commercial, facilitating a dialogue with a popularized version of itself,” Vogds writes on his website. “I filter this discussion through the lenses of queerness and camp. There is a peculiarity in camp, for it is just indefinable enough to uncannily mirror pop-culture while refusing to meld with its own irony.”
The event features performers including Lucy Stoole, Curlene Ribbons and Joan Waters; a BFF bracelet station and a nail camp. The event is also BYOW (bring your own whistle).
Admission: RSVP for no cover until 11 p.m.

Chicago Alternative Comic Expo
June 6-7; 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
The Center on Halsted, 3665 N. Halsted

CAKE brings a weekend-long ‘alternative’ comic-con to the Center on Halsted, celebrating the past, present and future of Chicago’s legacy within the underground and small press comic community.

Special guests include Gilbert Hernandez and Jaime Hernandez, who created the revered Love and Rockets series, published in 1982 by Fantographics Books and still going strong today. Other guests include SAIC professor and creator of her award-winning autobiographical comic, Keiler Roberts, as well as animator and cartoonist Dash Shaw.
Admission: Free and open to the public.

June 10, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
June 11, 8 p.m.

Roscoe’s, 3356 N. Halsted
One of the hallmarks of Roscoe’s Tavern is its weekly amateur drag contest, Drag Race, now in its 15th year. Stars from the television show RuPaul’s Drag Race have been known to stop by quite frequently, turning a national spotlight on the club that has been a staple in Boystown since it opened in 1987, a time when most gay bars didn’t have windows for fear of retaliation.

During Pride Month, Roscoe’s Tavern will host two nights of performances and photo ops with the entire cast of RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 7, including Violet Chachki, Miss Fame, Ginger Minj, Katya and Tempest DuJour.
Admission: June 10, $150* includes Champagne Reception, Meet & Greet with entire cast plus one ticket to 8 p.m. RuRevue. $75* 8 p.m. RueRevue. June 11 $75* 8 p.m. RuRevue. General Admission 10 p.m. RuRevue. No advance ticket sales.

*Extremely Limited Availability. Pre-Sale Only. Call 773.281.3355, Ext.2 or email shawn@roscoes.com

Windy City Gay Chorus & Windy City Treble Quire: When You Believe
June 20; 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Ebenezer Lutheran Church, 1650 W. Foster Ave.

As part of the Windy City Performing Arts Nonprofit, both choruses will present a musical performance dedicated to themes of aspiration and perseverance within LGBTQ communities. “When You Believe” takes a musical look at some of the things the LGBTQ community dared to dream, as well as giving them a reason to sing their story into the future. The performance will also include a collaboration with Youth Empowerment Performance Project (YEPP). YEPP aims to provide a safe environment for LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness, and enable them to address their struggles and celebrate their strengths through theatrical performance.

Founded in 1979 the Windy City Gay Chorus has been a staple in the city. They have won first place at the Great American Choral Festival, and have received grants for musical excellence from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Illinois Arts Council and ChorusAmerica.

General Admission: $18 first come, first serve seating; $30 reserved seats

Chicago Pride Fest
June 20-21
The weekend before the parade, the Northalsted Business Alliance will host Chicago Pride Fest, featuring two stages and numerous food and art vendors. National highlights from the lineup include the New Orleans Queen of Bounce, Big Freedia, known for her energetic brand of upbeat hip-hop and bold personality. The Boystown festivities will also feature Brooklyn-based St. Lucia, known for their dynamic renditions of 80s synth pop, world music and infectious hooks. Some beloved Chicago artists on the bill include fun-loving tribute bands 16 Candles, Rodd Tuffcurls and the Benchpress. Drag shows are also scheduled for both days of the festival.

Chicago Dyke March
June 27, 2:30 p.m.
Humboldt Park Boathouse, 1400 N Sacramento Ave

Chicago Dyke March will provide a space for the celebration of “dyke, queer, bisexual and transgender resilience.” The Chicago Dyke March Collective describes the event as an “anti-racist, anti-violent, volunteer led, grassroots effort.” Now in its 19th year, the march originally began as a protest against a “corporate, white male dominated Chicago Pride Parade, and to build dyke visibility.”

In the past, the march has been held in Lakeview, Andersonville, Pilsen and South Shore, and the collective notes that the moves to different neighborhoods are a political statement, whether moving away from exclusively white areas, or attempting to stay mobile to visualize the community that exists in all parts of Chicago.

There has also been a call for volunteers. If you are interested in becoming involved, email dykemarchchicago@gmail.com for more information.

Chicago Pride Parade
June 28, 12 noon kickoff at Montrose and Broadway
4 mile route ending at Diversey and Sheridan

This is the big one. The 46th Annual Chicago Pride Parade, the culmination of pride month, is one of the largest and most well-known pride parades in the country. The Pride Celebration commemorates the Stonewall Rebellion that took place on June 28, 1969. According to Chicago Pride’s website, “Pride has come to symbolize several things: the long history of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer dignity, the freedom of all people to meaningfully and proudly express their sexual and gender identities, and the commitment of LGBT people to combating oppression.”

This year, however, the Chicago Pride festival has also symbolized a bit of controversy for residents and politicians of the 44th and 46th Wards, where aldermen Tunney and Cappleman said “if there is not a serious improvement in the parade’s impact on surrounding residents’ quality of life this year, the next step is to assemble an advisory group to make recommendations for moving the parade out of the Lakeview community.” The statement went on to say; “We ask for your support in keeping the parade safe by celebrating both responsibly and respectfully… Let’s work together to ensure that the Pride Parade is a positive reflection of our pride in our neighborhood, city and LGBT community.”

Admission: Parade is free


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