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Queering the Parks is the Chicago Park District's inclusive initiative for LGBTQIA+ youth.
Queering the Parks is the Chicago Park District's inclusive initiative for LGBTQIA+ youth. Photo: Chicago Park District/ Marcus Davis

Free festivity on November 17 features free makeup & nails, a costume swap and live music
The Chicago Park District’s Night Out in the Parks event series welcomes a new initiative into its fold, the teen-led Queering the Parks (QTP) initiative. Chicago youth from across the city, who identify as LGBTQIA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer/Questioning, Intersex, Asexual/Ally, Plus) are collaborating to support safer public spaces for their communities by hosting inclusive events.

The event series will culminate with a MasQUEERade Ball on Sunday, November 17 at Columbus Park Refectory, 5701 W. Jackson Blv. from 6 pm to 10 pm.  The free event is open LGBTQIA+ youth and allies, ages 13 to 24 years old as well as adult chaperones, volunteers, and queer elders. This high-glam event queers a typical homecoming dance and invites youth to express themselves as they enjoy a night of dancing and partying with friends. This vogue-style ball with feature a DJ, hair and make-up stations, photo booth, runway competitions, and prizes!

The schedule of activities for the event is as follows:

  • 5-7 pm:              Hair, Makeup, and Nails by Pivot Point Academy
  • 6-6:30 pm:         DJ Hijo Prodigo 
  • 6:30-7 pm:         Performances by Darling Shear, Shane Calvin, Lapzul, Asha Omega, Ebony Watford, Buddha, and Anna Percoset
  • 7:30-8:30 pm:    Vogue Competition with In Demand Entertainment
  • 8:30-10 pm:       DJ Hijo Prodigo

Glitter Guts will be providing guests with opportunities to take pictures in the photo booth all night long.

“I am very honored to be part of something that’s the beginning to many new and important things that us queer folks have been waiting for. The MasQUEERade Ball is going to be a reminder that queer youth are capable of creating amazing and powerful things with the help of the community,” said Queering the Parks Committee Member Alexiss Villagomez.

All events are free and produced by the newly formed Queering the Parks Teen Committee. The Queering the Parks initiative kicked off with a Queering BBQ during Pride Month and a summer Queer Pool Party.

This project is generously supported by Night Out in the Parks, Chicago Parks Foundation, Howard Brown Health, In Demand Entertainment, One Summer Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Reunion, Pivot Point Academy, Glitter Guts, and Illinois Safe Schools Alliance.

For information about Queering the Parks events, visit

Follow us on Twitter at @TeensInThePark and Instagram at @ChiTeensInThePark, and use the hashtag #QueeringTheParks and #TeensInTheParks for updates and coverage of the events.

Queering the Parks extends Chicago’s future as an inclusive home for LGBTQIA+ Chicagoans of all ages through inclusive trainings for Chicago Park District staff, a family-focused event at Ping Tom during Pride Month, and through the public support of allies. Queering the Parks is a youth-centered committee of stakeholders working in conjunction with Night Out in the Parks collaborators to craft all-inclusive events in parks across the city. For more information about Queering the Parks, visit

The Chicago Park District is celebrating its 85th anniversary in 2019 and is a Gold Medal Award winner, recognized for excellence in park and recreation management across the nation. For more information about the Chicago Park District’s more than 8,800 acres of parkland, more than 600 parks, 26 miles of lakefront, 12 museums, two world-class conservatories, 16 historic lagoons, nearly 50 nature areas, thousands of special events, sports and entertaining programs, please visit or contact the Chicago Park District at 312/742.PLAY or 312/747.2001 (TTY). Want to share your talent? Volunteer in the parks by calling, 312/742.PLAY. Follow us at facebook/chicagoparkdistrict, on Instagram/chicagoparks and on Twitter @chicagoparks.