UIC celebrates Pride Month

The Chancellor’s Committee on the Status of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer People is celebrating Pride Month in June, including with the annual Pride Picnic June 11 at UIC.

Pride Month commemorates the anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion in New York City on June 28, 1969, when patrons at the Stonewall Inn and other bars fought back during police raids, at a time when such raids were common at LGBTQ+ bars. The Stonewall Rebellion sparked national activism and became the catalyst for advocacy for LGBTQ+ rights in the United States.

Pride Month honors the diversity of LGBTQ+ people and provides opportunities for the community and allies to come together. Chicago’s LGBTQ+ community held its first Gay Liberation March on June 27, 1970. The annual march became known as the Pride Parade, encouraging people to fight homophobia and raising awareness of the issues and injustices facing the community. 

Attendees enjoy the 2023 Pride Picnic at UIC. This year’s event will take place June 11. (Photo: Jenny Fontaine/University of Illinois Chicago)

In collaboration with the UIC Gender and Sexuality Center, the Chancellor’s Committee will host this year’s UIC Pride Picnic from noon to 2 p.m. Tuesday, June 11, at the Behavioral Sciences Building gazebo. This event also will celebrate 2024 graduates. You can see the Gender and Sexuality Center’s 2024 Lavender Graduation Keynote Address on YouTube.

Among other Pride Month events is the Lit Play Lab, a new play development series highlighting new theatrical works by professional LGBTQIA+ artists. It’s produced by Bonnie Metzgar, UIC associate professor in the School of Theatre and Music, and 2024 graduate Francisco Rodriguez with About Face Theatre at the Den Theatre. The series is funded by the UIC Awards for Creative Activity.

Performances include:

  • “The Leads” by Jesse Morgan Young and Matthew Sherbach, 2 p.m. June 15 and 16.
  • “Estrellazo” by Nelson Rodriguez, co-presented with Subtext Studios, 7 p.m. June 20.
  • “Jump the Shark” by Bonnie Metzgar, 2 p.m. June 22.
  • “An Interactive Youth Sexual Health Advocacy Project” by Dionne Adai, 5 p.m. June 22.

Other Pride Month events throughout Chicago include:

The Chancellor’s Committee on the Status of LGBTQ+ People says that while many things have improved for LGBTQ+ people, the community still faces discrimination and violence. The ACLU is currently tracking more than 500 anti-LGBTQ+ bills in the United States, including those that prohibit gender-affirming health care for transgender youth. You can learn more at Lambda Legal or Transgender Law Center.

UIC reinforces its commitment to greater inclusion of LGBTQ+ people at UIC with the following resources: 

  • UIC Gender and Sexuality Center: The center promotes deeply engaged and life-affirming thinking, learning and action with students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members. Through programs, initiatives, events and workshops, the center creates a more inclusive campus and catalyzes positive social change in the world. Underlying the center’s work is an understanding of intersecting identities and the multiple layers of diversity within LGBTQIA+ identities. 
  • UIC Chancellor’s Committee on the Status of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer People: Established in 1991, the committee’s mission is to promote the academic, cultural, professional and social welfare of the LGBTQ+ community at the University of Illinois Chicago.
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