JCFS Chicago Celebrates LGBTQ+ Pride

JCFS Chicago Celebrates LGBTQ+ Pride

Pride Month is our annual opportunity in June to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community. Across the country, celebrations are happening throughout the month, dedicated to providing a safe, welcoming, and inclusive environment for everyone. However, how many people know the origin of Pride Month? Here’s a quick crash course in Pride history:  

The month of June was named Pride month due to the 1968 Stonewall Uprising. The Stonewall Uprising occurred in the early morning of June 28, 1969, when police raided the Stonewall Inn, a prominent New York City gay club, and arrested 13 people. The remaining patrons began protesting from across the street, and after a police officer knocked out one protester with a baton, a full-fledged riot began. The Stonewall Inn was burned to the ground and protests continued for six days after that, giving the LGBTQ+ community their first national voice. Historians consider this to be the turning point for the sexual liberation movement, and in the late 1970s, Pride Month was born.  

JCFS Chicago recognizes how much our LGBTQ+ co-workers and friends contribute to our communities. We celebrate Pride in our own way every month, with our internal LGBTQ+ staff resource group Qmmunity leading the charge. 

Qmmunity is excited to host Pride programming throughout the month for the second year in a row. These programs are great opportunities for staff to learn more and continue to grow their toolbox of skills for supporting the LGBTQ+ community. Events include trivia, guided discussions, and a potluck.  

JCFS Response for Teens is here to help with important information about all things LGBTQ+ and to support young people on their journey of self-discovery. Response also offers numerous resources on how to understand identity while growing up. 

Here’s what we can look forward to this June:  

Local Chicago Pride Events 

Pride Month in June highlights Chicago's vibrant LGBT community. The energy in the city peaks on Pride Weekend, which traditionally falls on the last weekend of June each year to commemorate the Stonewall Riots.  

This year, the 51st annual Chicago Pride Parade will kick off at noon on Sunday, June 26, beginning at the corner of Montrose and Broadway. The parade winds its way through the north side of the city, ending near the intersection of Diversey Parkway and Sheridan Road in Lincoln Park.  

If you are north-west of the city, the village of Skokie is also hosting a Pride Party in the Park on June 26th from 1-4pm at Oakton Park (4701 Oakton Street). The party will feature music, entertainment, games, crafts, food, and fun! 

JCFS Chicago Pride Events 

JCFS Chicago works to make our organization as welcoming as possible, from adolescence through adulthood.  Response for Teens is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, which also marks 50 years of supporting adolescents as they mature and start to figure out who they are.  

In the spirit of this, JCFS Chicago has several opportunities for any adults who love an LGBTQ+ Jewish young person. Parents, caregivers, guardians, or cherished elders can learn more about how to celebrate them as they move through Jewish settings and milestones and connect with other families doing the same. 

Moving Traditions, Keshet, and Response for Teens have teamed up to host three sessions to provide skills and tools to support Jewish LGBTQ+ children and teens: 

Session 1: Wednesday, June 29 from 7- 9pm 

Learn more about various terms and concepts relating to LGBTQ+ identities and about Jewish values that encourage us to fully embrace those with LGBTQ+ identities in our communities. 

Session 2: Wednesday, July 13 from 7- 9pm 

Through the framework of uplifting authentic relationships and accountability, learn about the importance of allyship, equality and how to combat microaggressions and queerphobia in your family and in the community. 

Session 3: Wednesday, August 3 from 7- 9pm 

Jewish lifecycle events have been historically gendered. Learn how Judaism is and should be a space to bend these gender norms and bring home tools to provide a place for your child to bring their full selves. 

All sessions will include opportunities for Q&A and community-building among family members. Sessions will meet in-person and virtually (hybrid) at Sketchpad, 4411 N. Ravenswood Suite 300 Chicago, IL 60640. Vaccination (including at least one booster) and masks required. 

Register at this link. These programs are free of charge. 

Remember the History Behind Pride 

Pride is a lot of fun, but it’s important to understand the historical context behind the parades. Next time that you celebrate Pride Month by going to a parade with your friends or wearing a rainbow t-shirt, remember that this positive celebration of self-expression began as a protest. Don’t forget the sacrifices made by previous generations, particularly Black trans women, that allow the festivities to happen every June. Celebrate how far we’ve come but also think about where we want to go next.