BY ANDREW DAVIS
Every detail of Chicago's 36th Annual Pride Parade and the 10th Annual Chicago Dyke March is in place.
According to a press release from organizing group PRIDEChicago, the Pride Parade, which is scheduled for June 26, will begin lining up at the corner of Halsted and Belmont. At noon the parade will step off from that corner, proceeding north on Halsted, south on Broadway, and then east on Diversey to Cannon Drive. There are 250 registered entries featuring floats, decorated vehicles and walking groups representing community organizations, businesses and individuals. Several hundred thousand spectators are expected to line the parade route.
Leading off the parade will be grand marshal Wilson Cruz, actor and gay youth advocate. Cruz is perhaps best known for his portrayal of Ricki Vasquez on the television series My So-Called Life; his other credits include the shows Party of Five, Ally McBeal, and ER as well as the movies Party Monster, Supernova and Johns.
In addition to his acting, Cruz was a spokesperson for the Los Angeles Gay Community Center's teen program, where he worked with homeless gay teens.
The international theme for Pride 2005 is 'Equal Rights!—No More, No Less.' Parade entries or groups sponsoring Pride Month events have the option of using this theme or one of their own choice. In Chicago, Mayor Daley has issued his annual proclamation naming June as 'Pride Month in Chicago' to recognize the many contributions that the GLBT community has made to the city.
Also, the City of Chicago recently informed PRIDEChicago that it has adjusted its previously announced policy of banning certain motorized vehicles at city parades. ( This development also affects the Dyke March. ) As reported in the June 8 issue of Windy City Times, each city parade will now be allowed to have two registered groups of motorcycles, with a maximum of 50 motorcycles per group. In addition, each of the motorcycle entries must be separated by other vehicles. ( Motorcycles will only be allowed as a part of these two entries in city parades. )
The Dyke March is set for June 25. According to a press release from the march's committee, the procession will take off at Trumbull Elementary School, on the corner of Ashland and Foster. It will then head east along Foster, north on Clark, and then east on Bryn Mawr until the marchers reach the lake. Participants will meet at the school at 2 p.m., the march will begin at 3 p.m., and a lakeside rally will start at 4 p.m.
In 1996, The Chicago Lesbian Avengers founded the Chicago Dyke March to protest sexism in the city's LGBT pride parade. This year, marchers plan to continue the tradition in addition to creating a space for a multi-issued queer community. According to Tania Unzueta, producer of the Spanish-language radio show Homofrecuencia, ' [ b ] eing part of a celebration that is community-based and embraces all of my identities makes me feel that I have a place in the queer community.'
Past speakers and performers at the march have included Native American poetess Chrystos and The Hellcat Hussies. Upcoming rally performers will be updated on the Web site, chicagodykemarch.org, by June 20. For more information, call ( 773 ) 814-6503 or firstname.lastname@example.org .