Chicago has one of the most active and friendly lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities in the world, including hundreds of LGBT-owned businesses and social hubs throughout the city. Bit of trivia: In 2006, Chicago hosted the Gay Games VII.
Chicago’s LGBT-friendly Attractions, Accommodations, and Activities:
The Chicago Gay Men’s Chorus that entertains audiences with innovative musical programming exploring themes ranging from love to politics to the sometimes fabulous, sometimes challenging world of being gay.
The award-winning About Face Theater that strives to challenge audience’s intellects, imaginations, self-conceptions, moral expectations, and ideas about gender and sexuality.
Each year, Chicago hosts the Reeling Film Festival, the second oldest LGBT film festival in the United States.
LGBT Chicago Neighborhoods:
Chicago has an official City of Chicago–designated LGBT neighborhood: Lakeview (Boystown) marked by 22 rainbow-ringed and illuminated 20-foot pylons on Halsted Street, from Belmont to Waveland Avenues. This “eclectic gay quarter” features fine restaurants, outdoor cafes, vintage clothing, and several blocks of LGBT bars ranging from classic Chicago pubs, to lounges and dance clubs.
Andersonville, an old Swedish enclave, has developed into a popular lesbian and gay neighborhood. According to the Chicago Office of Tourism. “Andersonville, a sort of “Girl’s Town,” features one of few remaining independent women’s bookstores in the nation, a sleek LGBT gym, coffee houses, art galleries, and a wide variety of ethnic culinary experiences.”
Hollywood Beach, long recognized as the city’s LGBT beach, is a 15-minute walk away through the landscaped and garden-laden streets of Andersonville.
Center on Halsted opened early 2007 and has become Chicago’s “premiere LGBT destination.” The Center houses more than a dozen community service partners plus a theater, gymnasium, organic grocery store, café, technology center, and other gathering spaces for LGBT programs and services.
Chicago's LGBT-friendly Hotels:
The Neighborhood Inns of Chicago are three hotels located in Lakeview: the City Suites Hotel, Majestic Hotel, and Willows Hotel. There are also two B&Bs in Boystown: the Ardmore House and the Villa Toscana, and the Hawthorne Terrace Best Western.
Reminder: Each June, Chicago celebrates Pride Month, with social, cultural, political, and athletic events, as well as the Gay Pride Parade, which takes place on the last Sunday of the month.