Don't like to read?
Pride events and festivals are arriving in Chicago this June, such as Pride in The Park Chicago. Last year the event had roughly 30,000 guests and hosted Tiësto, Gryffin, Chaka Khan, Tracy Young, Betty Who, Mila Jam, and legendary Drag Queens. This 2-day event is returning in person on June 25, 2022, through the 26th.
This Chicago pride event will be put on by the Northhalsted Business Alliance for all ages. Hosting premiering headliners on the 25th such as Alesso, followed by the 26th with The Chainsmokers, continued lineup includes: Joel Corry, and Daya, Saucy Santana, J. Worra, Spencer Brown, Joel Corry, Rebecca Black. “Rupaul’s Drag Race” Winners Shea Couleé, Monet X Change, and Priyanka will also be in attendance. Additional productions include performances by Aaron Aanenson, GSP, Alexandrea Diamond, Avi Sic, Sasha Love, Kenya Black Dupree, Dusty Bahls, Janky, Mimi Marks, Khloe Couleé, Kenzie Couleé, Bambi Banks Couleé, Lúc Ami, Juicy Love Dion, Pepper, Travis Fiero, and Pride Ball hosting by Legendary Kentrele Gorgeous Gucci. The event will be located at Butler Field, Grant Park Chicago, north of Buckingham Fountain.
Pride in the Park will be standing in partnership with The Center on Halsted. Portions of the ticket sales will be used for disadvantaged youths and the LGBTQ+ community. Participants can enjoy a welcoming environment that will allow everyone to celebrate Pride freely. Additional partnerships include Pride Bowl XIII, CircuitMOM Productions, Health Pass by CLEAR, and Howard Brown Health. In a statement by the Pride in the Park Lead Organizer, Dusty Carpenter: “We continue to celebrate Pride to remind us of our achievements and to also remind us of our history, struggles, and work that is yet to be done.”
Carpenter added, “As much as we celebrate Pride today as a party, it has never been more important to remember that Pride is a protest, and the queer community is continuously fending off anti-gay legislation and sentiments. From anti-trans legislation to ‘Don’t Say Gay’ laws impacting our youth that while we dance we must also fight for one another.”
Additional events in the city include Chicago Pride Fest. It will be held on Saturday, June 18 through Sunday, June 19 at Northalsted on Halsted Street from Addison to Grace Street. They will feature headline artists such as Alaska Thunderf*ck, Dorian Electra, CupCakee, Netta, The Aces, Mila Jam, Grag Queen, and Madison Rose and multiple stages. There will also be food drinks, arts/crafts, dancing, drag shows, games, giveaways, and more.
At entry, a $15 tip is encouraged in order to help pay for the staff and performers, in addition to helping to fund community programs. In the past, such donations have helped pay for rainbow Chicago pride crosswalks, and interstates clad in rainbow were paved making up one of the longest installations of its type in the world. Entry to the festival will have access to the CTA Red Line Addison station, numerous options for bus routes, and car/cab services. On their website, they wrote, “It’s a love-filled celebration of diversity, equality and the Chicago LGBTQ+ community on Halsted Street, America’s first recognized gay village.”
Jonathon Sarson, a member of the LGBTQ community, remarks on his time at Bangor Pride as a former volunteer and his experiences growing up. He is a former member of Bridge of Alliance remarks that coming outcomes down to “you gotta do it for you” feeling that he remarks on finally being in an environment that was a happy liberating experience.
Sarson added, “I felt like I was around people that understood me and embraced me for who I am.” Adding when he came out “Well, for me it was like, it felt like a million bricks were like lifted off of me when I came out, I was able to breathe, but my life has been normal since the day I was born. It’s just, it’s who I am.”
He emphasizes the importance of Pride is building a better awareness. “If they have like a friend or a family member that’s going through coming out or trying, or like thinking about coming out, they can ask like, people like me and anyone who is of who has friends and family who are LGBT they can talk to them and, you know, ask questions.”
Written by Skye Leon
Edited by Sheena Robertson
Interview: Jonathon Sarson on May 4, 2022
Pride In the Park: Pride In The Park Official Lineup And Press Release
Pride In the Park: Superstar Acts The Chainsmokers, Alesso Revealed As Headliners For Pride In The Park Chicago
Chicago Pride Fest: CHICAGO PRIDE FEST®
Chicago Pride Fest: Performers
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Victoria Pickering’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of 7beachbum’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License