Out in the Town
June is by far the gayest month in Chicago, and it’s delightful. From campy drag shows to events that merely slant gay, for a whole month the city dons its rainbow best and celebrates diversity, unity and Pride. Here, a run down of the can’t-miss events. Oh, and don’t worry, none of them require an actual gay card.
Local charity Chicago House kicks off Pride month on June 1 with Out of the Office, an annual cocktail party, now in its 16th year. Ditch work and head to IO Godfrey (127 W. Huron St.), a swanky rooftop lounge with fab skyline views. This year, all proceeds from the networking event will benefit Chicago House’s Trans Works program, which aims to advance employment and opportunities for transgender individuals. 6 pm to 8 pm. 773.248.5200, chicagohouse.org
While not an explicitly gay event, The Color Run 5K has giant unicorns, a unicorn medal and a “Purple Color Zone,” so it’s definitely not not gay. Also known as the happiest 5K on Earth, runners will leave looking like rainbows thanks to powdered paint and whimsical colored foam. There’s even a Dream Wall where participants can paint their aspirations. June 4. Individual tickets, $44.99; team tickets $39.99. Register at thecolorrun.com
Get a pump on and show support for the gay community at Crossfit Defined’s annual sweatfest, cleverly dubbed WorkingOUT, June 3. LGBT members and allies from across Chicago can lift and compete for a good cause: All proceeds benefit Lambda Legal, an organization dedicated to achieving equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people and those living with HIV. There’s even an after party at nearby Crew Bar + Grill, because after that workout, you’ve earned a drink. Registration, $65. 11 am. 2750 W. Lawrence Ave., 773.680.2331, crossfitdefined.com
FIRST, THE FEST
Never say Chicago doesn’t know how to celebrate Pride: We’ve claimed two weekends to revel. While the actual parade (more on that later) isn’t until the end of the month, the merriment really turns up for Pride Fest, a two-day festival put on by the Northalsted Business Alliance. Held June 17-18 in the heart of Boystown on N. Halsted St. between Addison Ave. and Grace St., this festival is packed from 11 am till 10 pm (when the party
moves from the street to the various bars on Halsted). Chow down on classic street food as well as beer and wine before heading to the stage to enjoy entertainment like drag shows, the Gay Men’s Chorus, local bands and the beloved pet parade. Don’t miss the big showstopper: This year’s headliner is none other than iconic songstress Taylor Dayne, who will belt out hits Saturday night. Suggested $10 donation. Northalsted. com
For the second weekend in a row, Boystown will be bursting with energy, but the culmination of Chicago Pride is an appropriately glittery spectacle on Sunday afternoon: the annual Pride Parade. Expect crazy costumes, rainbow beads, inventive floats and—of course—a smattering of shirtless hunks. The actual parade starts at noon on June 25 and runs from Montrose Ave. and Broadway in Uptown all the way down to Diversey Parkway and Sheridan Ave. in Lincoln Park. Nearly 1 million people descend on the route to take in the incredible display of diversity and togetherness.
The Color Run