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CTA Pride train painted with rainbow

June is Pride Month, a time to honor and celebrate Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Questioning (LGBTQ+) individuals in the United States. The designation of June as Pride Month pays homage to the 1969 Stonewall Inn uprisings in New York, where the local LGBTQ+ community took part in a series of demonstrations to object to the discrimination that they often endured. The RTA strives to acknowledge and celebrate the region’s diverse genders and sexualities. To celebrate Pride Month, we’ve curated a variety of transit-accessible destinations, neighborhoods, and events to explore, support, learn about and honor the LGBTQ+ community in our region during this Pride Month.

Events 

Chicago 

Chicago Pride Fest

Pride Fest returns this year after two years off due to the coronavirus pandemic. A two-day celebration, the festival will take place June 18-19. The street festival features live music by national and local artists, food and drinks, drag shows, over 150 arts and crafts vendors, and more.

Where: North Halsted on Halsted Street from Addison to Grace Street

How to get there:

  • CTA Red Line (Addison stop) and walk 4 minutes (0.2 miles).
  • CTA Bus #8 (Halsted and Addison stop) and walk 2 minutes.
  • CTA Bus #22 (Clark and Addison stop) and walk 8 minutes (0.4 miles).
  • CTA Bus #36 (Broadway and Addison stop) and walk 4 minutes (0.2 miles).
  • CTA Buses #146, 151 (Lakeshore and Addison stop) and walk 8 minutes (0.4 miles).

Learn More

Chicago Pride Parade 

The 51st annual Chicago Pride Parade kicks off at noon on Sunday, June 26. The annual parade honors the start of the Gay Rights Movement following the Stonewall Inn uprising in New York. This celebration of equal rights for the LGBTQ+ community is one of the largest in the world by attendance. It includes a 4-mile-long procession featuring floats, marching bands, decorated vehicles and much more.

Where: Along North Halsted Street, Uptown, Lakeview and Lincoln Park.

How to get there:

  • CTA Red Line (Any stop between Fullerton and Wilson).
  • CTA Brown Line (Diversey or Wellington stops).

Learn More

Around the Region 

Aurora Pride Parade  

Aurora’s third annual Pride Parade will take place on Sunday, June 12.

Where: Intersection of East Benton Street and South Broadway

How to get there:

  • Metra BNSF Line (Aurora stop) and walk 12 minutes (0.6 miles).
  • Pace Bus #802 (Broadway and New York Street stop) and walk 5 minutes (0.3 miles).

Learn more

Queer Neighborhoods 

Northalsted (formerly known as Boystown)

The East Lakeview neighborhood, recently renamed Northalsted, is the first recognized gay neighborhood in the United States. Northalsted is home to the Center on Halsted, the Midwest’s largest queer community center with over 1,000 daily visitors. Immerse yourself in Chicago’s ‘gayborhood’ and explore LGBTQ+ history as well as the area’s variety of themed shops, restaurants, and events.

Where: Located on Broadway Ave. on the east, Halsted St. on the west, Grace St. to the north, and Belmont Ave. to the south.

How to get there:

  • CTA Bus #8 (Halsted and Roscoe stop) and walk 3 minutes (0.1 miles).
  • CTA Bus #36 (Broadway and Cornelia stop) and walk 4 minutes (0.2 miles).
  • CTA Bus #146 (Lakeshore and Roscoe stop) and walk 9 minutes (0.4 miles).
  • CTA Bus #151 (Lakeshore and Cornelia stop) and walk 9 minutes (0.4 miles).
  • CTA Red Line (Addison) and walk 10 minutes (0.5 miles).
  • CTA Purple Line (Belmont) and walk 12 minutes (0.6 miles).

Andersonville 

Andersonville is well known for its historic architecture and Swedish roots and is home to one of the largest LGBTQ+ communities in Chicago. Time Out magazine lists Andersonville as the second coolest neighborhood in the world. Explore the area’s bounty of locally owned boutiques, specialty stores, and restaurants.

Andersonville hosts Midsommarfest, a street festival celebrating the neighborhood’s Swedish roots and LGBTQ+ culture.

Where: Foster Ave. to the south, Victoria St. to the north, Ravenswood Ave. to the west and Magnolia Ave. to the east.

How to get there:

  • CTA Bus #22 (Clark and Catalpa stop) and walk 1 minute.
  • CTA Bus #36 (Broadway and Catalpa stop) and walk 9 minutes (0.4 miles).
  • CTA Bus #50 (Ashland and Catalpa stop) and walk 2 minutes.
  • CTA Red Line (Bryn Mawr stop) and walk 12 minutes (0.6 miles).

LGBTQ-Owned Businesses in the Region

Art Exhibitions

Art enthusiasts should immerse themselves in the bounty of exhibits featuring works of queer artists in the region.

Pride Month Photo Exhibit at Santori Public Library

When: Thursday, June 30 at 9am.

Where: Santori Public Library. 101 S River St, Aurora, IL 60506

How to get there:

  • Metra BNSF line (Aurora Station), then change for Pace Bus #524 (River and Benton stop).

Southside Art Community Center

EMERGENCE: Intersections at the Center spotlights The South Side Community Art Center’s historical role in supporting a full spectrum of Black artists through an intersectional viewpoint. The first exhibition of its kind at the South Side Community Art Center, EMERGENCE positions the Center as an important anchor for Black LGBTQ artists who belonged to its community from its founding in 1940 to the 1980s. The exhibition features work addressing identity and community, queer spaces and performance, in collage, painting, sculpture, photography, and more.  This exhibit is open through July 2.

Where: 3831 S Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL. 60653

How to get there:

  • CTA Bus #24 and walk 10 minutes (0.5 miles).
  • CTA Bus #29 (State and Pershing stop) and walk 5 minutes (0.2 miles).
  • CTA Bus #35 (35th street and Michigan stop) and walk 9 minutes (0.5 miles).
  • CTA Bus #39 (Pershing and Michigan stop) and walk 1 minute.
  • CTA Green Line (Indiana stop) and walk 6 minutes (0.3 miles).

Bookstores

Across the region, there are a plethora of LGBTQ+-owned bookstores dedicated to showcasing the works of queer authors and educating the public on LGBTQ+ contributions to literature. Here is a short compilation of transit-accessible bookstores.

Unabridged

Where: 3251 N Broadway, Chicago, IL 60657

How to get there:

  • CTA Red, Purple Line (Belmont stop) and walk 11 minutes (0.6 miles).
  • CTA Bus #8 (Halsted and Aldine stop) and walk 6 minutes (0.3 miles),
  • CTA Bus #135 (Inner Lakeshore Drive and Belmont stop) and walk 5 minutes (0.3 miles),
  • CTA Bus #146 (Inner Lakeshore Drive and Belmont stop) and walk 6 minutes (0.3 miles).

Myopic Books

Where: 1564 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

How to get there:

  • CTA Blue Line (Damen stop) and walk 2 minutes (0.1 miles).
  • CTA Bus #56 (Milwaukee and Honore stop) and walk 2 minutes (<0.1 miles).
  • CTA Bus #72 (North Avenue and Milwaukee/Damon stop) and walk 1 minute.

Food and Drinks

Food lovers should explore the abundance of LGBTQ+ owned bars and restaurants in the region. Each location is easily accessible by transit and provide an opportunity to appreciate the queer community’s contributions to the culinary arts.

Big Jones

Where: 5347 N. Clark Street. Chicago, IL. 60640

How to get there:

  • CTA Red Line (Argyle stop) and walk 15 minutes (0.9 miles).
  • CTA Bus #22 and walk 1 minute.
  • CTA Bus #50 and walk 2 minutes.

B’Gabs Goodies:

Where: 1450 E 57th St, Chicago, IL 60637

How to get there:

  • CTA Bus #6 (Stony and 57th Street stop) and walk 3 minutes (0.2 miles).
  • CTA Bus #55 (55th Street and Blackbone stop) and walk 5 minutes (0.3 miles)
  • Metra Electric (55th-56th-57th Street stop) and walk 3 minutes (0.2 miles).

Donny G Ristorante and Bar

Where: 7308 W. North Avenue. Elmwood Park, IL. 60707

How to get there:

  • CTA Bus #72 (Harlem and North Avenue stop) and walk 4 minutes (0.2 miles).
  • CTA Bus #90 (Harlem and North Avenue stop) and walk 4 minutes (0.2 miles).
  • Pace Buses #307, #318 (North Avenue and 74th Avenue stop) and walk for 1 minute.

Hewn Bread

Where: 1733 Central St, Evanston, IL 60201

How to get there:

  • CTA Purple Line (Central Station stop) and walk 11 minutes (0.6 miles).
  • Metra UP-N line (Central Street Station stop) to Central Street Station and walk 1 minute.
  • Pace Bus #213 (Green Bay and Central Street stop) and walk 2 minutes.

Wood

Where: 3335 N. Halsted Street. Chicago, IL. 60657

How to get there:

  • CTA Brown, Red Line (Belmont Stop) and walk 8 minutes (0.4 miles).
  • CTA Bus #8 (Halsted and Aldine stop) and walk 1 minute.
  • CTA Bus #146 (Lakeshore and Roscoe stop) and walk 11 minutes (0.5 miles).

Jeffery Pub

Where: 7041 S. Jeffery Blvd. Chicago, IL. 60649.

How to get there:

  • CTA Red Line (69th stop), then change for CTA Bus #5 (Jeffery and 71st Street stop) and walk 1 minute.
  • CTA Bus #J14 (Jeffery and 71st Street stop) and walk 1 minute.

Retail Stores 

Check out these quirky and artsy LGBTQ+ owned stores. These include a variety of shops, from clothing boutiques to artisanal jewelry spots.

CRAM Fashion

Where: 3331 N Broadway, Chicago, IL 60657

How to get there:

  • CTA Bus #22 (Clark and Belmont stop) and walk 10 minutes (0.5 miles).
  • CTA Bus #36 (Broadway and Roscoe) and walk 1 minute.
  • CTA Bus #146 (Lakeshore and Roscoe stop) and walk 6 minutes (0.3 miles).
  • CTA Red Line (Belmont stop) and walk 12 minutes (0.7 miles).

Foursided 

Where: 2958 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60657

How to get there:

  • CTA Bus #22 (Clark and Wellington stop) and walk 1 minute.
  • CTA Red Line (Belmont stop) and walk 9 minutes (0.4 miles).
  • CTA Brown Line, Purple Line (Wellington stop) and walk 5 minutes (0.3 miles).

Learn more about the LGBTQ+-owned businesses in the region.

Celebrating the LGBTQ+ community all year round  

Acknowledging and honoring the region’s diverse genders and sexualities does not need to happen only in June. Check out the following resources to learn more about queer-owned businesses, resources and events in the region.

LGBTQ+ owned businesses

Queer-life guide to Chicago

LGBTQ+ Directory

Related Posts Same Author

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