Category Archives: Gay Pride

Jennifer Hudson, HRC and the W Hotel

jennifer hudson hrc chicago

A FREE  EVENT – First Come First Served – SPACE IS LIMITED!

Turn it up for Change at The W Chicago – Lakeshore
Wednesday, January 14th @ 9PM

The W Chicago – Lakeshore (644 N. Lake Shore Drive) in partnership with the Human Rights Campaign will host Turn it up for Change, a fundraising and awareness initiative in the fight for nationwide LGBT equality with special guests Grammy® and Academy Award® winner Jennifer Hudson, DJ White Shadow, Legendary Damon along with local Chicago Queens Trannika Rex, Precious Jewel and Shea Coulee.

The event is free and will begin at 9:00PM CST

and entry is available on a first come, first serve basis.

TURN IT UP FOR CHANGE launched in October 2014 and combines W’s longstanding support of the LGBT community with its ongoing passion for music. In partnership with HRC and Jennifer Hudson, W hopes to bring about real and lasting change for LGBT Americans in all 50 states. As part of the program, W Hotels around the country currently host monthly TURN IT UP FOR CHANGE music events, in which a portion of proceeds (equal the number of states that currently recognize same-sex marriage) is donated to HRC. Some events, such as this one at W Chicago – Lakeshore, also include appearances by Jennifer Hudson.



BEST OF Chicago Gay Pride Parade Day

best gay bar chicago hydrate


HYDRATE will open  at 11am SUNDAY   and provide a 17 HOUR DANCE PARTY!

Hydrate Nightclub celebrates PRIDE SUNDAY all day!
Their newly renovated space is the perfect place to catch the parade in all our flat screen TVs while sipping on your favorite cocktails!


Noon-4 p.m.

4 p.m.-8 p.m.

8 p.m.-Midnite
DJ Greg Drescher

Midnite-4 a.m.
DJ Laura B

Plus  Pride Giveaways all day long!  HYDRATE 

3458 N Halsted Street




scarlet bar chicago

There is ALWAYS a party at Scarlet Bar  (3320 N. Halsted) and this weekend, it’s 3 in a row!

7 DJs!

3 Hosts!

RIDIKULOUS FRIDAY   with  Kim Chi and Trannika Rex.

The uber sexy Austin Armacost will be in the house Saturday night – and you know what happens when Austin is dancing and having fun??!!

And  Sunday Pride Day they are delivering 14 hours of music starting at 12:00 noon!





At the other end of the strip are 2 new drinking/dancing spots;  Whiskey Trust and Chloe. Both will open at 10am. (The former SPIN buildings).

There is no cover charge! Special Pride Parade inspired shots will be available for $3 a piece (with flavors like: Mandarin/Cherry/Honey and Berry/Vanilla/Citrus, yum). To start #pride weekend early, check out Chloe’s and Whiskey Trust bartender, Dante LoPresti creating special cocktails, including the “Breath of Fresh-Cher!” here.

Chloe’s DJ and dancing all weekend! Starting at 9pm
Except Sunday, the music and dancing starts at 6pm.

Whiskey Trust (below)  is also open at 10 a.m. this Sunday. 800 W Belmont Ave @ HalstedWhiskey Trust_Interior-1



Before, during or after the parade, our favorite Mexican restaurant EL MARIACHI AND TEQUILA BAR will be celebrating pride all day! 3906 N. Broadway.

Pride Parade Mariachi


Our Big Queer Latina/o Wedding June 1st


In less than two weeks, couples all over the state of Illinois will be able to marry, regardless of gender. To celebrate this triumph and to kick-off the 5th annual United Latino Pride Week, United Latino Pride (ULP) and Lambda Legal, in conjunction with various other community partners and businesses, will hold a large wedding ceremony and celebration.

“We decided to throw a big wedding open to the community because this victory didn’t happen solely thanks to politicians,” says Lalo Aguayo, ULP co-chair. “It happened because of the countless hours our colleagues at all the major LGBTQQIA and Latina/o organizations spent speaking directly to our leaders in Springfield. It happened because our families and friends engaged in conversations with their peers. This is how we won marriage equality. Hearts and minds are changed one conversation at a time. It only makes sense to celebrate this victory the way Latina/os do: as a family.”

According to organizers, whereas mainstream US society weddings are seen as a private affair, in much of Latin America and in Latina/o communities in the United States, weddings are a communal event.

“Our Big Queer Latina/o Wedding will reflect our culture and how we show happiness. When someone gets married it isn’t just about the two families, it’s about everyone in the community! We invite neighbors and distant cousins, and all the people in our lives that we call uncles, aunts, and cousins, even if they’re not really related,” Aguayo says.

With music, food, and drinks, ULP organizers hope to make this momentous occasion one to remember for the couples getting married and for rest of community witnessing that love and commitment.

“This will be a day for all of us to remember. It is a historic moment in Illinois and an important step towards our vision of a world where the pluralities of our identities as LGBTQQIA Latina/os are not only acknowledged but celebrated as well.”

United Latino Pride’s Big Queer Latino/a Wedding will take place on June 1st, 2014 at the Chicago Urban Arts Society.

For more information and to reserve free tickets visit


March on Springfield for Marriage Equality October 22nd, 2013

Marriage is an important institution.  It is through marriage that
adults throughout our country and throughout the world express their
commitment and devotion to each other.  In turn, governments use the
institution of marriage to recognize and protect family units. 

However, the definition of marriage has not been static throughout
history.  The definition of marriage has changed considerably from
biblical historical days, when the marital unit might have included more
than 2 adults and when every participant’s consent may not have been
readily apparent.  In past traditions, marriage was sometimes used to
consolidate wealth, produce children, and create kinship between
powerful families.  The legal and social benefits of marriage continued
to evolve to accommodate changing needs of societies.

Marriage continues to serve as an important civil institution in
America today.  Its protections continue on many levels:  financial,
legal, social, and emotional.  Even while the institution of marriage
evolves, it is still the avenue through which our society provides
benefits, rights, protections, and responsibilities to partners.

Marriage bestows a host of benefits -and responsibilities – to
couples who choose to marry.  The following is a short, illustrative
list of some of the more than 1,000 benefits and responsibilities that
married couples enjoy automatically, yet are denied to same-sex couples
that cannot wed.

  • Automatic inheritance, even without a will
  • Responsibility for each partner’s debt
  • Ability to put partner and partner’s children on medical or life insurance
  • Hospital visitation rights
  • Ability to make partner a U.S. citizen and prevent deportation
  • Right to take leave to care for a sick partner
  • Ability to make medical decisions in an emergency
  • Privilege from testifying against partner in court
  • Ability to file joint tax returns and use tax benefits for married couples
  • Exemption from gift and estate transfer taxes
  • Right to joint parenting, adoption, foster care, and visitation of children
  • Right to recognition in all states
  • Right to file wrongful death claims for a partner’s death
  • Right to a divorce, court division of property, and visitation of children in times of breakup


ILLINOIS needs to be the next state to DO THE RIGHT THING!

Chicago Fire LGBT Event Saturday September 28th

Even if you don’t like soccer – THIS IS GOING TO BE A FUN EVENT!
The Chicago Fire celebrate LGBT Pride Night at Toyota Park on Saturday, September 28 vs. Montreal Impact

The Fire will be selling two ticket packages with a portion of the
proceeds going to benefit Equality Illinois and the fight for marriage

$20 Corner Kick ticket
$32 Corner Kick ticket + Coach bus transportation 

The event will include a pre-game tailgate and concert featuring Jess Godwin and Isaiah Grass in north end parking lot.

portion of all ticket sales will go directly to Equality Illinois and
the fight for marriage equality in Illinois. Join us for a prematch
concert, tailgate, and then party while watching the Chicago Fire take
on the Montreal Impact. Tickets which are regularly priced at $28 are
available for only $20, and if you would like coach bus transportation , the game ticket and bus ticket are paired
together for only $32!

-Busses are BYOB and will leave from the following locations
-AJ Hudson’s – 3801 N. Ashland Ave. – leaving at 4:30PM
-Galway Arms – 2442 N. Clark St. – leaving at 5:00PM

-Food and drinks can be brought, or purchased for a small donation in the North Lot
-Pregame concerts will begin at 5:00pm in the North Lot
-Everyone is encouraged to bring Pride Flags, banners, etc.


Chicago Pride Parade will be Broadcast on ABC 7

ABC 7 Chicago will
be the only station in the city to broadcast “The 44th Annual Pride Parade” on Sunday, June 30th from midnight
to 1 am. Hosted by ABC 7’s Janet Davies, this is the tenth year ABC 7
has covered the parade. Terri
from WXRT Radio Chicago, will once again join Davies in the
broadcast booth to help co-host the parade. The actual parade will take place on
Sunday, June 30, starting at noon.


“I am
always proud of the fact that ABC 7 is the first and only television station to
broadcast the Pride Parade,” said Janet Davies, host of the event. “This is an
important event to showcase the contributions of Chicago’s LGBT community and
one of my favorite events to host.”


This year, ABC
7’s Ben Bradley, Ryan Chiaverini,
Jessica D’Onofrio, Michelle Gallardo, Evelyn Holmes, Leah Hope, Eric Horng, Ron Magers, Karen Meyer, Hosea
Rafer Weigel and Linda Yu are scheduled to appear in the parade via ABC 7 Chicago’s float.


Wade Davis, a former NFL football player and
nationally recognized speaker, activist, writer and educator will be this
year’s Grand Marshal.


The 44th Annual Pride Parade kicks off from Broadway and Montrose on
Chicago’s North Side and will
end near the intersection of Diversey Parkway and Sheridan Road in Lincoln Park.
The parade originally started to commemorate the anniversary of the Stonewall
Riots, the most important event in the history of the gay rights movement.


The parade ends a weekend of fun and
entertainment with various bands and singers performing on stage, great food
and drinks. The Pride Parade festivities support the gay, lesbian, bisexual,
and transgender communities.

The “Pride Parade” is Chicago’s second
largest parade with streets lined 12 people deep and 750,000 spectators.

“The 44th Annual Pride Parade” will be
available on-demand at

“The 44th Annual Pride Parade” is produced by
Christopher Bowen.  


Jawbreaker Gay Pride Party June 29th

 Limited $30 Advance Tickets NOW AVAILABLE at CRAM Fashion 3329 N. Broadway-Chicago, House Of Blues Box office or online at 
$40 after, more at the door….buy early and save.
MOM and Vienna Candy present: “JAWBREAKER” on gay pride Saturday night!
Revolution, the largest dance party series in the midwest, brings you
the most lavishly designed party to date celebrating everything sexy and
sweet. Don’t be fooled, this is no cotton candy kiddie party! Get
ready to lick the sprinkles right off of our sexy dancers while DJ Billy Lace,
making his Revolution debut, whips his creamy beats into the most
decadent, dessert filled night you will not be able to resist. 

 To top
it all off, Circuit MOM takes the stage to bring you a candy filled
production sending you into a sugar rush like never before! Tell your
friends and come meet the decadent Vienna Candy Boys coming all the way
from Austria to entertain you…The ONLY SATURDAY NIGHT ON GAY PRIDE

The largest gay dance party series, Revolution, returns this month with “JAWBREAKER”, on Saturday, June 29, 2013.

CircuitMOM Productions is partnering with the beautiful city of Vienna,
Austria to promote LGBT travel to this lush, gorgeous and historic
destination.  Together, they will bring you the sweetest, sexiest, hard
candy gay pride party celebrating all things Marie Antoinette.  Her
lavish life style, her decadent love life and her over-the-top party
life will be brought to life with the deliciously hot DJ/Producer Billy
(Matinee, NYC) making his Revolution debut.
  Chicago’s famed House
Of Blues with be transformed into a French palace complete with a two
story set design, imported sticky and sweet French go go boys and girls
and a not-so-candy-coated performance by the legendary Circuit MOM. This
is Chicago’s only large scale dance party on Saturday night of pride
weekend!  Come get your sweet tooth satisfied and shake your hard candy
at this masquerade ball before the big parade on Sunday afternoon.
Tickets available at CRAM FASHION-3329 N. Broadway, the House Of Blues box office (both in Chicago) and always online
Want a taste?  Watch the video!

Facebook Event Page

Vienna Gay Travel

The Best Rooms in Boystown….

Use CODE BGC When Booking!





Sasha Gradiva June 22 – NOT TO BE MISSED

SATURDAY June 22nd,  8pm on the NORTH Stage of Pride Fest – you do not want to miss  SASHA GRADIVA. 

used to be ruled by the mandate of the velvet rope where only a select few were
granted entry into the exclusive party. The late nineties and the first decade
of the millennium were the V.I.P era, when clubs thrived on celebrating those
deemed privileged – usually due to money or good looks – by sectioning them off
into special roped off areas.  Sure,
these practices still exist at some haunts, but they’ve become passé,
overshadowed by an emerging movement that shuns the exclusivity of yesteryear.  It’s a movement being led by club artists
like Lady Gaga, Sasha Gradiva, and Ke$ha whose anthems (“Born this Way”, “We R
Who We R” and “Come with Us”) promote inclusiveness and make it cool to welcome everyone to the party.


“The club world has changed,” confirms Sasha
Gradiva, who is currently touring the country on her “Lovers Wanted” club
tour.  Her new song, “Come with Us”,
written by Gradiva and Justin Tranter and produced by Axident and platinum hit
maker Tricky Stewart (who produced
Rihanna’s “Umbrella” and Beyoncé’s “Single
Ladies (Put a Ring on It)
”, invites the disenfranchised
to join her posse.  “Old club tracks used
to intimidate. They heralded glitz and bling, and
were very
surface. I’d rather my music be inclusive. More over, music should have

According to Gradiva, marching to your own drum is
acceptable today.  “It means that you are
different from others.  Our differences
are what make us unique and special. Trying to be someone else – or trying to
fit in with the status quo – will only dim your light,” she says.

She admits that growing up, she was an
outsider.  “I was the kid with the wild
hair, wearing crazy outfits.  I loved
fashion but not the pretty pashminas and floral dresses all the other girls
were wearing.  I was always experimenting
with avant-garde styles that made me seem a bit freakish to other kids.” 

The point of “Come With Us” is to make all who listen to it feel
understood, embraced and loved.  She says
it carries a special relevance to her gay fans. 

“My message to the gay community is be true you.   When
you fearlessly fight for what you believe in and remain hopelessly optimistic
about life, love and the future, you create connection with all in your path,
most importantly with yourself.”

“Not everyone is going to appreciate you
for the real you,” she continues, “but that’s not your problem.  That’s on them.” 

Not everyone appreciated the real Sasha
Gradiva when she arrived at last year’s Grammy Awards wearing a pink dress and
a costumed (but very real looking) semi automatic assault rifle.  In addition to getting her in big
with event security, she was
lambasted by the press and featured on several worst-dressed lists.


outfit wasn’t a random choice,” she explains. “I wanted to get people to think
about the absurd amount of guns and weapons that are on streets today.  We need to get rid of them.” 

to the recent Sandy Hook massacre, she says, “People shouldn’t be expressing
how sorry they are for one week and then forget about it the next.  That’s what bothers me the most. Do something
about it!”

In Come
with Us, there’s a line that says “when you’re ready, come with us”.

“It simply means when you are ready to make change, you will.  When you’re ready to get off your ass, you

And Sasha
Gradiva will be there waiting for you with open arms.

Don’t miss her at Chicago Pride Fest!

Sasha Gradiva website

Sasha on Facebook

Sasha on SoundCloud


Is Boystown Chicago Becoming a Ghost Town?

Boystown 2023?
I sure HOPE NOT!
Boystown is the name of a district within Chicago, Illinois. Situated within the neighborhood of Lakeview. Boystown has carved a niche all its own within the urban fabric of Chicago.

DID you know?? It was the first officially recognized gay village in the United States, as well as the cultural center of one of the largest lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender (LGBT) communities in the nation. 

Boystown is known for its colorful, lively nightlife and inviting atmosphere.  Boystown also includes some of Chicago’s Off-Loop Theater, specialty restaurants, gorgeous greystone and brownstone walk-up buildings and other historic architecture, trendy fashion outlets, wine boutiques, chain stores and independent shops. 

North Halsted Street is the main street of this bustling district. City planners have designated North Halsted an official pedestrian and bike route following a 1998 community project that resulted in the erection of 11 pairs of rainbow-colored abstract Art Deco pylons along the strip. History was made! And we must NOT LET THAT DIE!

There is  a great wiki article, which traces gay life in Chicago.

First, the gay community was first in the River North area around Clark and Hubbard. The Baton Bar is still in this area.

The area we now know as Boystown in the 1970’s was a crime-riddled
neighborhood, but Little Jim’s opened there in 1975 and because gays
were being priced out of the up-and-coming River North area, they moved
further north.

Gays have a way of making their neighborhoods great, and
places where the general population want to be as well. So, soon other
gay bars would move into the area. Sidetracks and the now gone
Christopher St would open. Roscoe’s must have came to be about this same
time. There was even a lesbian bar there named the Ladybug.

These are wrenching times for many historic gay villages, with population shifts, booming development, and a waning sense of belonging that is also being felt in gay enclaves across the nation, from Key West, Fla., to West Hollywood and San Francisco, as they struggle to maintain cultural relevance in the face of gentrification. I GET IT.  I hear people all the time say, “Oh I’m going to Bucktown (or Wicker Park) tonight”.
Variety is fine – and everyone’s choice. But people are deserting our home, our village. Equal rights, equality for all is WHAT WE DESERVE. We deserve to be accepted where ever we choose to live or work. That does not mean we should abandon our roots, abandon our community, and our gay brothers and sisters who have great businesses WE NEED TO SUPPORT.

The New York Times analyzed the shift of the Castro in 2007.
In the Castro, the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical
Society held public meetings earlier this year to grapple with such
questions as “Are Gay Neighborhoods Worth Saving?

“The Castro, and to a lesser extent the West Village, was where you
went to express yourself,” said Don F. Reuter, a New York author who is
researching a book on the rise and fall of gay neighborhoods, or

“Claiming physical territory was a powerful act,” Mr. Reuter said. “But the gay neighborhood is becoming a past-tense idea.”  – I think it’s a shame. They ARE worth saving.

I think someone like Ian Reisner, from THE OUT NYC, who wants to open his 2nd OUT hotel, in Boystown, means something. He wants to invest $30 million into Boystown and bring over 100 new jobs. The fact that THE ABBEY was sniffing around Boystown, means something. That it is still worth re-investing in!

ZACH STAFFORD did an awesome piece in this week’s RedEye.

He says, “Boystown is my go-to, my very own Cheers, but on a larger scale. I’m
certainly not alone, but as the weather starts to warm and the bar scene
beckons ever more urgently, I keep asking myself: Is this really a good
use of my time in Chicago, a progressive city with so much to do? Do I
need to bust out of Boystown for a change? I’m not so sure.

LGBT people understand what I’m talking about. Boystown is a gay
refuge, rainbow pillars and all. It’s become the place that we, as a
community, have built for ourselves over the years at times when most of
society told us we had no place. And in regards to going out, it’s a
community where many gay folks feel the most safe when tossing back a
few beers.

Sure, society has come a long way in terms of LGBT rights, but things
aren’t really that perfect yet. We, as LGBT people, still have a lot of
things to worry about when thinking of going out for a night on the

(Please read his full article).

Boystown should not be a place that you only patronize on Gay Pride Day. I don’t care where you live, people fought for us to have this community, and to be here. We need to support it!

Chicago Pride Fest Expands as well as Gay Pride Week 2013

For years now ,  Australia and Toronto has had a week long gay pride celebration. And visitors come from all over the world to those cities. 

Here in Chicago we host a 2 day pre-pride party, Friday and Saturday on North Halsted called Pride Fest, then on Sunday is our parade. 
For 2013, event organizers are going to expand it into a full week!  With Pride Fest being 2 days, Saturday and Sunday (instead of usual Friday night and Saturday) June, 22 and 23, followed a week long of LGBT events with the big parade on June 30th! 
The expansion will allow locals a whole week to celebrate their pride and this expansion should also make Chicago more of destination for Gay Pride! Some non-profits we have talked with are already plan some of their events to take place during that week.
More details  soon!
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