By: Celia Borg
The streets of Boystown and all throughout Halsted were covered in an array of rainbow colors as many people commemorated gay pride at the two-day 49th Annual Gay Pride Parade in Chicago this weekend. The LGBTQIA community came together to celebrate the holiday in different fashions—some with their appearance and clothing and others with signs as their way of expressing the excitement of Pride Month.
The Pride Parade commenced on Sunday at 12pm beginning on a 4-mile route starting at Montrose Ave. and Broadway Street in Uptown, marching all the way down Halsted St. in Boystown and ending on Diversey and Sheridan in Lincoln Park.
Pride celebration started in honor of LGBTQIA people of Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, New York in response to a police raid in June 1969. The following year a celebration took place in honor of gay pride. Soon after, Pride was celebrated annually. Chicago Pride has become one of the biggest Pride celebrations in the world.
Pride means something different to everybody who attends. Some people go because they are apart of the LGBTQIA community and they want to come out and celebrate their identity. Some people go to enjoy the festivities of the parade, regardless of their identity. Many people however go to remember many of the people in the LGBTQIA community that they have lost due to suicide or other violent deaths against the community.
Shay Whalen has come to Chicago Pride for the last three years. She explains that Pride has become a very important time for her and other close friends who come from Downers Grove every year: “I came out when I was 18 and I just always thought it was important to come and celebrate Pride because I have been disowned by some members of my family, I’ve discriminated against, I’ve even been mugged once just because I am gay, “ she said.
There is no other time like the Gay Pride Parade. It is a lively time full of fun, love, and antics that fill up the Chicago streets as each person celebrates Pride in a different way. No matter what the mood is, Pride will never get old. “Oh, I will be at Pride until I am 85 and in a wheelchair. Even then, I won’t stop,” says Whalen.