You wait for it to come once a year. You take hours to prep for the festivities. You probably have a drunk relative wandering around making bad jokes. It’s like Christmas, but with more colors.
Every year, Chicago hosts one of its biggest attractions and certainly its most colorful: Pride. Chicago Pride is held the last Sunday of June every year running north from Wilson and Montrose to Sheridan and Diversey. Completing its 45th year, the Pride Parade is only a single part of the Pride Week that Chicago holds every year, but has become to be known as the signature Pride event.
Did you miss it? Technically, but what Pride means to its on-goers may draw you to attend next year. Besides the eye-catching floats, skimpy outfits, and the blast of Lady Gaga, Pride fosters an environment that means a lot to people from all walks of life. Check out what these Pride-goers had to say when we asked what Pride meant to them:
“As for me, I’m trying to figure it out, but as I look around and over the years I’ve noticed that a lot of people are proud of the fact that they can express themselves and this was not possible years ago, decades ago. Now that it is possible, it’s something to be even more proud of and celebrate.” - Steven, 31, Chicago
“To express yourself, to not be afraid of who you are. It’s acceptance, all over. Everyone’s okay with everyone and it’s amazing. Everybody should be who they are, period.” – Fabie, 19, Chicago
“Pride means everything. Happiness, equality, love, acceptance, being myself. And it means the world to me.” - Lorenzo, 28, St. Louis
“I think it’s a time to reflect on and be grateful for those who have come before us. We’re really lucky that we haven’t had to fight some of those fights that we’ve seen before, where people are literally beaten. So I think today we pay homage to those people as well as celebrate who we are.” – Paul, 34, Chicago
“[Pride is] an opportunity to embrace who we are, not only as a community, but as an entire nation, as the entire world.” – Kyle, 24, Florida
“I have a quote, I forget the philosopher, but it says, ‘To be comfortable, to be so at ease with one’s environment, that you can’t tell where your body ends and the world begins, because bodies extend into spaces and spaces extend into bodies.’ That’s what Pride means to me.” – Jasmine, 21, Baltimore
Pride creates a home for love, acceptance, and yes, men in tight swimsuits. Check out more of what you missed at Pride this year and watch our Pride video. See you all next year!
To get more information about future Prides and events held during June for Pride Month, visit www.chicago.gopride.com for details.