Are you planning your next trip to Chicago? This city is recognized as one of the most inclusive cities in the country. Chicago established the first “official” gay neighborhood and Boystown is still a thriving area today. However you identify, Chicago has plenty of attractions that will make you feel included and welcomed.
Boystown is the officially named LGBTQ neighborhood and provides visitors with a Legacy Walk. The Legacy Walk honors famous LBTQ members, activists and historic events. Boystown is the center stage for the city’s Pride Month celebrations which includes a two-day party filled with music and drag shows. The neighborhood also provides visitors with plenty of bars, vintage stores, and boutiques.
A swedish neighborhood called Andersonville, is known for their LGBTQ community. In Andersonville you can find venues such as Mary’s Attic that features events such as a drag queen bingo, cabaret performances and diva brunches. During pride month, a festival called Midsommarfest highlights the community’s Swedish roots and hosts performances from “drag divas” and “Broadway stars.”
If you want to learn about LGTBQ history, stop by Rogers Park. The Gerber/Hart Library and Archives is the biggest collection of LGTBQ books in the Midwest. Displayed exhibits recognize local icons to queer sports groups. The theater scene at Rogers Park offers performances by the BoHo Theatre which studies relationships through truth, beauty, freedom and love.
Lastly if you love a nightlife vibe, Uptown is the place to be. At Big Chicks, an LGBTQ restaurant and bar you can find tasty cocktails and weekly deals. To experience a drag queen show to its fullest, watch a performance at The Baton Show Lounge. You can also check a show at the Pride Arts Center that provides performances filled with queer comedy for all audiences.
Tours and Attractions
Located in Little Italy, the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum will allow visitors to learn about a National Historic Landmark that stands for peace and social justice. Jane Addams was a feminist and fighter who brought attention to poverty, labor, race relations, and other social issues.
The Leather Archives and Museum, located in Rogers Park was founded in 1991 and recognizes the history of fetish culture and the LGBTQ community. This is the only museum in the country that is dedicated to the sex culture. The museum offers visitors to walk through eight galleries that include S&M, bondage, a leather history timeline and a guest artist gallery.
At Lips visitors can expect a “glitz and glamour” filled night. Located in South Loop, this venue is covered in pink leopard walls. A talented cast of drag queens will provide visitors with a show filled with singing and comedy. As a plus, the drag queens will also be your waitress for the night!
At Bordel located in Wicker Park, you can expect a “sexy” show that includes dancers, musicians and magicians. The venue is filled with velvet booths and decor inspired by a Bohemian Paris. The shows, including burlesque and cabaret will fuel “fantasy, fetish and glamour.”
In the mood for an award winning martini? At Kit Kat Lounge & Supper Club located in Boystown, visitors can enjoy over 200 cocktails while watching a performance by the Kit Kat Divas. The glamorous drag queens will perform at each table for an interactive show.
Written By: Marla Chavez Garcia