Queering* the Parks Initiative is a joyful and affirming celebration of LGBTQAI+ youth and families. Co-created in partnership with the Chicago Park District's Night Out in the Parks, this initiative is led by queer identified youth of color from across Chicago.

*Queer is an umbrella term for sexualities and gender presentations that do not conform to heterosexual and cisgender norms. Originally synonymous with "strange" or "peculiar", queer has been used as a pejorative term for same-sex attraction for well over a century now. However, since at least the 1980s, queer-identified activists, have reclaimed the word as a politically charged, inclusive term for the LGBTQAI+ communities.

*Queering takes the above definition and makes it into an action. We define queering as expanding access and inclusion, in this case, to our parks which serve the public, in all diverse and changing formations.

This project is generously supported by Night Out in the Parks, Chicago Parks Foundation, Howard Brown Health, Illinois Safe Schools Alliance, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Chicago Public Library, Circles and Ciphers, Northwestern University Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing, Pivot Point Academy, Reunion Chicago, GlitterGuts, and Wendella Boat Tours.


Queer Family BBQ - Sunday, June 30th 11:00-4:00pm
Ping Tom Memorial Park, 1700 S Wentworth Ave
Free and open to all ages

Queer Pool Party - Saturday, August 24th 1:00-4:00pm
Washington Park Refectory, 5531 S. Russell Drive
Free and open to youth ages 13-17

MasQUEERade Ball - Sunday, November 17th 6:00-10:00pm
Columbus Park Refectory, 5701 W Jackson Blvd.  
Free and open to youth ages 13-24+
*Adult chaperones, volunteers, and queer elders welcome!

Photos courtesy of Micheal Courier.