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Following the tragic nightclub shooting in Orlando, Chicago’s upcoming Pride Month celebrations feel more significant than ever. While it’s been difficult to find joy between vigils and crucial discussions about safety, the LGBTQ community has always known how to celebrate in spite of violence. Here’s a list of events happening around the city that offer solidarity, sun, sand, and some seriously good snackage.
Against Me! Laura Jane Grace, the transwoman who burned her birth certificate at a North Carolina show earlier this year, leads her folk-punk band on songs like “True Trans Soul Rebel” and “Gender Dysphoria Blues.” Sun 6/19, 6:30 PM, Metro, 3730 N. Clark, metrochicago.com, $26.50.
Back Lot Bash Lisa Loeb, Taryn Manning, and Gina Yashere are just a few of the guests at Andersonville’s largest outdoor women’s festival, featuring a comedy night, wine tastings, DJ sets, and a whole lot of girl power. 6/16-6/26, times vary, parking lot behind Cheetah Gym, 5238 N. Clark, backlotbashchicago.com, $7-$35 single day pass, $40 weekend pass.
Chicago Pride Fest North Halsted’s annual celebration brings Jordin Sparks, Dumblonde, and Daya to its concert stage, along with local acts like the Chicago Gay Men’s Chorus. The two-day festival also includes a variety of food, drink, and art vendors geared towards the LGBTQ community. Sat 6/18-Sun 6/19: 10 AM-10 PM, Halsted and Waveland, chicago.gopride.com, free.
Chicago Pride Parade Chicago Fire star Monica Raymund serves as grand marshal of this year’s parade, which stretches between Lakeview and Uptown and showcases 150 different participants. Sun 6/26, noon-3 PM, Montrose and Broadway, chicago.gopride.com, free.
Chicago Reader Pride Booze Cruise Sail aboard the Tall Ship Windy with music, food, and drinks—including brews from Lakeshore Beverage—while taking in the skyline at sunset. Fri 6/24, 6:45 PM, Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand, eventbrite.com, $40.
Dyke March A “grassroots mobilization and celebration of dyke, queer, bisexual, and transgender resilience,” the 20th edition of Chicago’s Dyke March brings together performers and community organizations for an afternoon of support and celebration. Sat 6/25, 2-8 PM, Humboldt Park, 1400 N Sacramento, chicagodykemarch.wordpress.com, free.
Out in the Field: Slushies and Science This Field Museum hosts this party exploring sexual behavior in nature, including virgin shark birth and same-sex mating rituals between penguins. All funds raised will go directly to families affected by the Orlando shooting. Tue 6/21, 6-8 PM, Sidetrack, 3349 N. Halsted, fieldmuseum.org, $5.
Proud to Run The 35th Proud to Run event takes place along the lake and includes a 10K run and a 5K run/walk, all to promote healthy Pride celebrations and raise money for LGBTQ causes like the Center on Halsted. Sat 6/25, 8 AM, Montrose and Simonds, proudtorun.org, $50.
Anna Pulley “It has been MANY / years, but I am not done griping / about The L Word,” writes former Chicagoan Anna Pulley in her new book all about pussies. Women & Children First hosts the author for a reading and signing of The Lesbian Sex Haiku Book (With Cats!). Thu 6/16, 7:30 PM, 5233 N. Clark, womenandchildrenfirst.com, free.
Star Whores: The Pride Awakens GayCo Productions hosts a night of “outrageously gay improv adventure celebrating those who get paid for ‘making wookie,'” featuring stories inspired by the real-life accounts of sex workers. Fri 6/24-Sat 6/25: 10:30 PM, the Playground Theater, 3209 N. Halsted, eventbrite.com, $15.
TKO: Pride Celebration The Center on Halsted shimmies into the Pride Parade weekend with a rooftop bash starring RuPaul BFF Lady Bunny. Admission includes two drinks and snacks. Fri 6/24, 6-9 PM, Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted, chicago.gopride.com, $20.
You’re Being Ridiculous: Pride Show Jeremy Owens brings the Pride edition of his storytelling cabaret back for another year of rainbow connections. Sat 6/18, 7 PM, Women & Children First, 5233 N. Clark, womenandchildrenfirst.com, $10 suggested donation.