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How to use transit to celebrate Pride Month in the Chicago region

May 31, 2024

20210604 173925

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 seeks to be an ally to the LGBTQ+ community and we strive to acknowledge and celebrate the region’s diverse genders and sexualities, especially as an influx of anti-trans legislation threatens the safety and wellbeing of transgender people across the country. Joyful celebration of this community can serve as an act of resistance against oppression. 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 Pride Fest

A two-day celebration, the festival will take place June 22-24. The street festival features 3 stages of live music by national and local artists, food and drinks, drag shows, over 150 arts and crafts vendors, and more.

Where: Halsted Street from Addison to Grace streets

Nearby transit: CTA bus routes #8, 77, 151, 152; CTA Red and Brown lines

Learn More

Chicago Pride Parade

The 53rd annual Chicago Pride Parade kicks off at 11 a.m. on Sunday, June 30. 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.

Nearby transit: CTA Red and Brown lines

Learn More

Navy Pier Pride

Visit Navy Pier on Saturday, June 29 for a free, full-day event that celebrates diversity, inclusivity, and support for the LGBTQIA+ community. Festivities include live music, educational programs, performances from local LGBTQIA+ artists, on-site resources from community partners and more.

Where: 600 E. Grand Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611

Nearby transit: CTA bus routes #29 State, #65 Grand, #66 Chicago, #124 Navy Pier, or #2 Hyde Park Express

Learn more

Aurora Pride Parade

Aurora’s 7th annual Pride Parade will take place on Sunday, June 9 at noon.

Where: Intersection of East Benton Street and South Broadway

Nearby transit: Pace bus routes #524 and 530; Metra BNSF

Learn more

Pride South Side

Celebrate the 6th annual ‘The Right to Pride’ at Pride South Side on Saturday, July 6. Held at The DuSable Black History Museum in Washington Park, this annual event features performances, dancing, local vendors, and more.

Where: 740 E 56th Pl, Chicago, IL 60637

Nearby transit: CTA Red or Green line; CTA bus route #55

Learn more

Queer Neighborhoods

Northalsted (a.k.a. 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 the neighborhood 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.

Nearby transit: CTA bus routes #8, 151, 152; CTA Red, Brown, and Purple lines

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.

Nearby transit: CTA bus routes #50 and 146; CTA Red line

Museum and Art Exhibitions

Aurora Pride Photo Exhibit at Santori Public Library

Art enthusiasts should immerse themselves in this exhibit June 3-28.

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

How to get there: Metra BNSF (Aurora station), Pace bus route #524 (River St & Benton St stop).

Learn more

The Chicago Field Museum

Celebrate the LGBTQI+ community with Field staff and collaborators by attending events all month long to learn about the role of sex and gender in the natural world.

Where: 1400 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60605

How to get there:

  • CTA Red line (Roosevelt stop) and walk 14 minutes (0.6 miles)
  • CTA bus route #146 or #130

Learn more

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 bus route #36 (Broadway & Belmont stop), then walk 3 minutes (0.1 mile).
  • CTA Red line (Belmont stop), then walk 11 minutes (0.6 miles).

Myopic Books

Where: 1564 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

How to get there:

  • CTA bus route #56 (Milwaukee & North Ave/Damen stop), then walk 2 minutes (0.1 mile).
  • CTA Blue line (Damen stop), then walk 2 minutes (0.1 mile).

Bars and restaurants

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 bus route #22 (Clark & Balmoral stop), then walk 1 minute.
  • CTA Red line (Argyle stop), transfer to CTA bus route #36 (Broadway & Balmoral stop) then walk 10 minutes (0.5 miles).

B’Gabs Goodies

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

How to get there:

  • CTA bus route #6 (Stony Island & 57th Street stop), then walk 3 minutes (0.2 miles).
  • Metra Electric line (55th-56th-57th St. station), then walk 3 minutes (0.2 miles).

Donny G’s Ristorante and Bar

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

How to get there:

  • CTA Green Line (Harlem/Lake stop), transfer to Pace bus route #318 (North Ave & 74th Ave stop), then walk 1 minute.

Hewn Bread

Where: 1733 Central St, Evanston, IL 60201

How to get there:

  • CTA Red Line (Howard stop), transfer to Pace bus route #213 (Green Bay Rd & Central St stop), then walk 2 minutes (0.1 mile).
  • Metra UP-N line (Central St station), then walk 1 minute.

Wood

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

How to get there:

  • CTA bus route #22 (Clark & School/Aldine stop), then walk 4 minutes (0.2 miles).
  • CTA Red Line (Belmont stop), then walk 9 minutes (0.4 miles).

Jeffery Pub

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

How to get there:

  • CTA bus route #J14 (Jeffery & 71st Street stop), then walk 1 minute.
  • Metra Electric line (Bryn Mawr station), then 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.

Beatnix

Where: 3400 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60657

How to get there:

  • CTA Brown Line (Belmont stop), then walk 10 minutes (0.5 miles)
  • CTA bus route #152 (Addison & Halsted stop), then walk 6 minutes (0.3 miles)

CRAM Fashion

Where: 3331 N Broadway, Chicago, IL 60657

How to get there:

  • CTA bus route #146 (Lake Shore & Roscoe stop), then walk 5 minutes (0.3 miles).
  • CTA Red Line (Belmont stop), then walk 13 minutes (0.7 miles).

Foursided

Where: 2958 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60657

How to get there:

  • CTA bus route #22 (Clark & Wellington stop), then walk 1 minute.
  • CTA Red Line (Belmont stop), then walk 9 minutes (0.4 miles).

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 links to learn more about queer-owned businesses, resources, and events in the region.

LGBTQ+ owned businesses

Queer-life guide to Chicago

LGBTQ+ Directory

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