Out in the Town

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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


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.

Tay­lor Dayne


Pride Pa­rade

Pride Fest

The Color Run

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