Pride Parade

If there’s one thing Chicago has, it’s Pride. The beautiful rainbow kind, I mean. This weekend, Chicago holds its annual Pride Parade, and I’m about to explode with glitter. That’s because Chicago does Pride right — big, bold and, well, proud. In this, the year that Illinois became the 16th state to legalize same sex marriage, we celebrate how far we’ve come and the amazing community that surrounds us. Here are five things I’m looking forward to this Pride weekend!

1) The parade COMPLETELY taking over the city — It’s about freaking time everyone knew that our Pride isn’t just contained to Boystown. In 2012, the parade route grew five blocks. Now the parade extends for four entire miles. I hope everyone brought their Scholl’s.

2) Andersonville Back Lot Bash — It’s a veritable paradise on Clark street, when the ladies (and gentlemen, trans, queer — we love it all!) take over. Boasting an appearance by Kate Moennig (of Showtime’s “The L Word”) on Sunday, June 29, this street party is the ultimate place to gather for some music and fun. Tickets can be purchased here.

Pride Parade

3) Proud to Run — Let’s be honest, we’re going to have to work off those cocktails (or, at least, watch people who are) and what better way than the most colorful (Seriously. I mean, our symbol is a rainbow.) 5K and 10K in Chicago? This year, benefiting About Face Theatre, Test Positive Aware Network and The Night Ministry, the event takes place on June 28. Put on your running stilettos and get out there!

4) Big Gay Cocktail Club Men at Sea! - Board a boat full of your finest friends for a party against the most marvelous of backdrops - the Chicago skyline. The Anita Dee cruises Lake Michigan just in time to catch the fireworks over Navy Pier. Get your tickets here.

5) Hanging out with the most supportive, loving community I know - I hate to get mushy, but love is love, love conquers hate, and PRIDE is the enemy of fear. Happy Pride, you amazing angels.