Chicago Reader print issue cover, June 9, 2022 (Vol. 51, No. 18): The Pride Issue
On the cover: Illustration by Betsy Ochoa. For more of Ochoa’s work, go to

The vibrant rainbow stripes on the Pride flag have come to be synonymous with more than just the LGBTQ+ community; in recent years, they’ve become almost as much a symbol of capitalism. A movement that began as a radical fight for liberation has been commodified and watered down. There are still benefits to seeing rainbows on horrendous Target merch, random food packaging, and the like—people who grew up feeling completely alone in their queerness can at least see visual representations of Pride while moving through the world. But in a moment in time when legislation is threatening bodily autonomy, prophesizing the revocation of existing rights for queer people, and endangering the mere existence of transgender people in the U.S., that doesn’t feel like enough.

I want the colors on the cover of this Pride Issue to represent more than just capitalism and generic inclusivity. In this issue, you’ll find stories about trans creatives, LGBTQ+ community spaces, and drag performers; but you’ll also find an investigation and interview about electronic monitoring in policing. (Remember, the first Pride marches celebrated the Stonewall riots, a response to a violent police raid.) I want the colors on the cover of this Pride Issue to inspire people as they move through this month of June and promote true liberation.

Whether you see yourself and your identities represented on this cover or not, know that it is for you. It’s for all LGBTQ+ identities and allies, for trans Black and Brown people, for our queer siblings facing incarceration, and for everyone who believes in a joyously queer future.

In The Pride Issue