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Memories of Pride
2020-06-24

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We asked our readers to share some of their favorite Pride memories from years past. Enjoy our shared history!

I never missed a parade and had the feet and stamina to be in heels all day ... so young. You might spot a very young BenDeLaCreme before she became famous. I have tons of photos from over the years. I liked this one.

Frida Lay

2018, Center on Halsted float.

It's always fun and exciting to see all the colorful floats at the Pride parade! As the float says, "Come out, come out, whoever you are" and join the fun!

Linda "Kizzy" Ramos

We saw each other at Yolk on Diversey and had to take a picture together with our rainbow selves. A beautiful, joyful, proud moment.

Bill Bettencourt

It was the year of the United States Bicentennial when Diane photographed the 7th Annual Gay Pride Parade. The parade was a declaration of independence with marchers and floats on North Broadway Street, while traffic ran in the opposite direction.

"Kickoff," The Chicago Gay Pride Parade 1976,

Diane Alexander White

Pride 2018, my second favorite day only to Christmas. L to R: Our daughter Meta, me and daughter-in-law Joy Christopher. They've been married for 16 yrs. Their first parade marching, my 19th. They surprised me with the T-shirts, which moved me to tears ( all four parents' names are on the back ).

Proudly,

Phil Kroker,

PFLAG Oak Park

I've been to the last 40 Chicago Pride parades. Every parade since 1979. During that time, it's gone from a march with cars still parked on the street to the five-hour-long corporate extravaganza it is today. I know that many people don't go anymore due to the changes, but for me, it's always been about spending the day with friends and celebrating together. Our current group still includes some of the same people as it did in the 1980s. I've been in the parade, on the sidelines, on porches, and one year had a 'skybox view' from an apartment above. We've cheered on mayors, veterans, dykes on bikes, Bozo and more recently, the AARP float. While I know that we don't have to have a parade to have "Pride", I will really miss the fun- and friend-filled day this year.

Terri Klinsky

The Chicago Coalition of Welcoming Churches are 80+ houses of worship sharing a witness that whatever universal power you believe in loves you as you were made and exist in this world. Love the energy we get from the crowd when we march through.

Brent

Full of love and pride! Kathleen & Lora.

Lora Shade

Growing up in Tennessee, there were no Pride parades when I lived there. After relocating to Chicago and coming out of the closet, I made sure never to miss one, either by watching from the sidelines or dancing on top of a float!

Jerry Nunn

Pride 2010. Walked 'til my feet bled, met so many wonderful people my first year in a new city and made friends that lasted a lifetime.

Andi Gray

Getting ready to march with the Hell In A Handbag float, Pride 2016.

Aaron Smith

A picture of me at my most significant Pride celebration could never have been taken because I was hiding my face in the crowd. In 1992, I was nearing the end of a 20-year Air Force career, afraid to be spotted at a gay event due the outright ban on gays serving in the military that preceded Don't Ask, Don't Tell. I watched the parade from deep in the crowd, wearing a hooded T-shirt low over my eyes and darting away from any television camera I spotted. I'm pictured here two years later and newly out of that life-long military closet, riding high above the crowd on the Windy City Times/Nightspots float and waving my rainbow flag at every television camera I see.

Jean Albright

In 2008, my late husband John Pennycuff and I rode near the front of the parade in a convertible bearing "Just Married" signs. We proudly displayed our marriage license, having been married in San Francisco a few days earlier. The energy, excitement and scream of "Congratulations!" from the crowd were electrifying!

Robert Castillo

My favorite Pride memory has to be my first Pride spent with my girlfriend in 2018. We had been dating almost six months and I was really excited to experience it with her. Now we try to support as many POC LGBTQ+ events and fundraisers as we can.

Pauline Zavala

My first Pride ever, 1996. Here I am with my college friends ( and one girl none of us can seem to remember ). My friends Al and Amy's mom and dad are the quintessential PFLAG parents and we marched with the organization. I was not prepared for the outpouring of love that day.

Kirk Williamson

I attended the Chicago Pride Parade on June 30, 2019, with my best friend from England. She was in the country for the week and with both of us being LGBT+, we had to go to a Pride parade. We drove eight hours round-trip to Downtown Chicago for the parade, and even though it poured down rain we had the most amazing time.

Demi Lawrence

For Pride 2012, our family rode as plaintiffs aboard the LAMBDA Legal float decorated with one giant sign that simply read "IL LOVE," in support of the fight for marriage equality. As our float winded its way through the parade route, the crowd shouted words of support, "We love you LAMBDA!" "Fight for Us LAMBDA!" Our children waved their rainbow flags and held their "I Love My Family" signs high in the air.

Theresa Santos-Volpe


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