Chicago Annual Pride Parade

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For information contact
Timothy Frye: (2020 Parade Coordinator) at

Visitors to the site:

Since April 8, 2000

Photo credit: Susan Mattes


September 1, 2021:
We did not want to be sending this letter. Earlier this year, we decided that the parade might have to be
moved to a later date. We picked October 3 for several reasons:
1. Our primary reason was, with the advent of three effective vaccines, we felt that the late date
would allow for most people to be vaccinated and, thus, make it much safer to have a parade.
Sadly, we were very naïve in that belief or, a more accurate word – “hope”. Everyone knows the
reasons we were wrong in our estimate as to how safe things would be in the fall. Leave it at that.
2. We also thought that having the parade on Oct. 3 would be a great introduction to LGBTQI+
History Month. The parade has been a part of that history for 50+ years. We decided that, rather
than have an outside Grand Marshal, we would have three organizations as our special guests: (1)
The Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame; (2) The Gerber Hart Library and Archives; (3) The Illinois
Holocaust Museum & Education Center. More about these three organizations later in this letter.
3. We also wanted to recognize an organization that has been an entry in the Pride Parade every
year since 1985 – The Chicago Gender Society. We also wanted to honor someone who was not
able to attend the parade in 2019 but richly deserves the title Legacy Grand Marshal – Gary
Chichester. Last, but certainly not least, we wanted to honor the memory of Richard Pfeiffer.
The parade would not be what it has become without his brilliant leadership for over 40 years.
We will recognize and honor these three next year.
To use the words of a song from the 60’s: “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”; we really wanted
and hoped that there could be a parade in 2021. We don’t feel, though, that we can do it safely for
everyone in the parade and the people watching. We must cancel the parade for the second year.
There is a saying “Third Times A Charm.” We have already scheduled the 2022 Chicago Pride Parade
for Sunday, June 26, 2022. We’re going to believe that saying. We’re going to believe that in June, 2022
we are living in a far safer world than now. We intend to have the best, most joyous, fabulous,
memorable Pride Parade ever. Count on it!
On a personal note: I’ve said many times that one of my motivations for being a part of PrideChicago
was as a way of “paying it forward.” I came out after watching a Pride Parade. So did my husband
Richard Pfeiffer. So did many of you. I always imagine that one person (or more) that comes to the
parade sees what can be in their life. They can have a happy, productive life and be LGBTQI+. We
missed that person(s) in 2020 and now 2021. We won’t miss them again in 2022 or after.
Please read the information on the next page about our three Special Guests mentioned above.

Stay safe.
Tim Frye
2021 Coordinator


Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame

The Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame is both a historic event and an exhibit. The organization honors the
contributions of individuals in Chicago’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities. If you go
to the website for HOF, you will find an incredible number of people and organizations that have been
honored over the years since HOF was founded in 1991. You can look for a specific person or group or
randomly pick names and learn more about how Chicago’s LGTQI+ world became what it is today.
Jane Adams founded Hull House, received the Nobel Prize and even has an Illinois toll road named after
her – and – she’s in the Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame. Click on her name and see why. The website is a
do-it-yourself history class of the people and organizations whose shoulders we stand on today as proud
LGBTQI+ people. Incidentally, some honorees have passed on, but you might very well meet some of the
others sometime.

Gerber/Hart Library and Archives
6500 N. Clark Street, Chicago IL

The Gerber in the Library’s name is Henry Gerber. The Hart is Pearl Hart. Who are they? You can
look them up at the HOF website or you can go to the Library and find countless references to who they
were and their accomplishments. Gerber/Hart was founded in 1981 and focuses on the culture and
history of LGBTQI+ peoples and additional marginalized sexual and gender minorities in Chicago and
the Midwest. It is a lending library, an every growing archive of histories (soon to include PrideChicago)
offers a range of educational programs through exhibits, lectures, panel discussions and film screenings.
Note: the library has a collection of Pride Parades from many years past. Gerber/Hart Library gives
you the history of how we evolved as a LGBTQI+ people (often involving the names found in the HOF
honorees). The two organizations complement each other.

Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center
9603 Woods Drive, Skokie, IL

The mission of the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center is expressed it its founding principle:
Remember the Past, Transform the Future. This, of course, can apply to many groups of people.
Rise Up: Stonewall and LGBTQ Rights Movement – a special exhibition at the museum – explores the
June 1969 police raid of the Stonewall Inn as the flashpoint that ignited the gay rights movement in the
United States. Blending historic images and 85 artifact displays including campaign posters for Harvey
Milk’s campaign for public office in San Francisco to an original rainbow flag signed by its creator
Gilbert Baker and early LGBTQ magazines and publications. The exhibit runs from October 17, 2021 to
May 8, 2022. While at the museum, you’ll find many other exhibits that illustrate vividly the terrible
dangers of prejudice and hatred.


Historically, in the 1970's and 1980's, Pride events were concentrated during a week called "Pride Week" in Chicago, as well as other cities nationwide. However, as the communities grew, there was a realization both locally and nationally that Pride Week needed to be expanded to "Pride Month" in order to accommodate the abundance of events. Spacing events over an entire month allows potential participants the choice of selecting events that they want to attend at their leisure.

Now, every year in Chicago, June Pride Month features close to one hundred different social, cultural, athletic and political events coordinated by various community organizations, groups and individuals. The events take place in different areas of the Chicago metro area. They include choral concerts, workshops, dances, picnics, religious services, plays, film screenings, 5K & 10 K runs, several festivals, a dyke march and the Annual Pride Parade, just to name a few.

Every year, these events are compiled by us, PRIDEChicago, to create the June Pride Month Calendar. The calendar is featured on our web site,  and in local LGBTQ publications. If there is an event that an organization, group or individual wants to schedule during June Pride Month, all they have to do is to organize it, send us the information and it can be added to the the calendar for widespread exposure.

However, our primary responsibility is to coordinate the Chicago Annual Pride Parade. The parade is scheduled each year for the last Sunday in June.

Each year, parade entries, as well as groups sponsoring Pride Month events, have the option of using the international theme, or a theme or slogan of their own choice. This year's international theme is: "Exist. Persist. Resist.". No matter how an individual wants to commemorate and celebrate Pride, there is an event or function that can fit the needs of most people.

At the end of February, the information and registration forms for June Pride Month and the Pride Parade are sent to our email list. At that time, participants begin registering their entries. In addition, groups and individuals coordinating June Pride Month events begin submitting their events for inclusion on the June Pride Month Calendar (featured elsewhere on this web site.)

See Parade Information page for more details.

WEB SITE updated as of: 05/26/21

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