Queering the Parks

*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 LGBTQIA+ communities.

*Queering takes the above definition and turns 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. 

Queering the Parks is a partnership-based, youth-led initiative that creates uncontested public space by and for LGBTQIA+ & BIPOC youth. Founded in 2019, Queering the Parks has engaged over 2,000 queer youth in community organizing, public programming, cultural production, and popular education.

In 2023, we are partnering with the Chicago Public Schools Office of Student Health and Wellness to support youth-led LGBTQIA+ programming across Chicago's public parks - with a focus on the West and South sides of the City. These events will occur during the month of October, which is National Coming Out Month and November, in honor of Trans Day of Resilience. In addition to public programming, QTP will partner with CPS to offer LGBTQIA+ training for park staff and security, in order to ensure safety and access for all LGBTQIA+ youth and community members. 


Wear your park pride. Check out the Pride collection at ChicagoParkStore.com