The Chicago Today team celebrated Pride Month with a special June 25 broadcast from LGBTQ bar Sidetrack in the city's Northalsted neighborhood.
Sidetrack opened in 1982 and has experienced an incredible evolution, from opening with beer cases as chairs to becoming a mammoth space with a documentary, "Art and Pep," created about its owners, Art Johnston and Pepe Peña.
One of the leaders in educating the Chicago area about pride and all that it means is the Center on Halsted, described as "the Midwest's most comprehensive community center dedicated to advancing community and securing the health and well-being of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) people of Chicagoland."
The center's CEO talked about ways people can really step up and be an ally.
"It's always important to not assume something about others and ask the questions," Tico Valle said. "For example, there's been a lot of talk about pronouns recently and what gender people identify. It's best to ask someone what pronoun they use and or their name. At times someone may not identify as he or she but may use the term 'they' or other terms."
He also talked about how pride has evolved in Chicago and through the city's popular Pride Parade.
"The early days of the parade were about grassroots organizations advocating for their causes," Valle said. "HIV activists marching for funding and cure for AIDS, a diverse community fighting for Human Rights. We have come a long way, but today we march for some of the same reasons as in the past. More specifically we march for our trans community and to elect LGBTQ members of our community. Some things change, but also, they remain the same."
Looking for Chicago LGBTQ+ businesses to support? Check out these: