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. 


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 Family BBQ is a joyful celebration of LGBTQIA+ culture activating park space through food, music, art making, games, and more!  

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
The Queer Pool Party is a joyful celebration of LGBTQIA+ youth culture activating water, health, and wellness. The party is open to 13-17 year-olds of all gender expressions. The pool and park are wheelchair accessible and will feature DJs, food, games, and more!

MasQUEERade Ball
Sunday, November 17th6:00-10:00pm
Columbus Park Refectory, 5701 W. Jackson Blvd.  
Free and open to LGBTQAI+ youth and allies ages 13-24+
The MasQUEERade Ball is a joyful celebration of LGBTQIA+ youth culture. The event will feature dancing, vogue-style competitions and prizes, hair and makeup stations, fashion shows, photo booths, and more! Youth ages 13-24, as well as adult chaperones and volunteers, are welcome to be seen, heard, and affirmed.
5:00-7:00 pm - Pivot Point Academy will be offering FREE hair and makeup
6:00-9:00 pm - Glitter Guts will be hosting a FREE photo-booth

No prior registration required. Just show up and have fun.



Donations are very much welcome and support our queer youth leaders who will be organizing, planning, and hosting these events. 

In-kind donations are tax-deductible. Please contact Irina Zadov at irina.zadov @chicagoparkdistrict.com for in-kind contributions of support.

Suggested Sponsorship Levels:

$50 - support Queering the Parks youth street team 
$75 - CTA passes for one Queer Youth Planning Committee meeting
$150  - LGBTQIA+ mental health resources for one event 
$250 - support an honorarium for one Queer Youth Committee Member
$350 - support an honorarium for one Queer Youth Committee Leader
$500 - lunches for Queer Youth Committee Meetings
$750 - support one DJ, one performer, and one documentarian for one event
$1,050 - support honorarium for the entire Queer Youth Leadership Team 
$2,500 - support peer evaluation + wrap party event 
$5,000 - LGBTQIA+ inclusion and safety training for all Chicago Park District youth + staff